SYDNEY - Dual Gold medallist from Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games, Alexandre Popov of Russia was summoned to Moscow last week from his training base in Australia, to meet the three Presidents, Boris Yeltsin President of Russia, Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC President and Vitali Smirnov Russian OC President. Regrettably, due to a bout of pneumonia, President Yeltsin was forced to send his Deputy Vadim Eluyshin.
The reason for the summons was for Alex, the swimming Tsar, to receive the Russian Medal of Honour for contributions to sport in his home country. At an Olympic Ball the same night, January 16, Alex also received the prize for his selection as Russian Athlete of The Year for 1996.
Alex is now back in training in Canberra with Coach Gennadi Touretski.