Alexey Voyevoda: Russia’s Vegan Olympian
Russian athlete Alexey Voyevoda can boast that he’s a champion on three fronts. As a professional arm wrestler, he’s taken gold at the World Championships, and he’s an Olympic bobsledding medallist who has just won gold for Russia at the Sochi Winter Olympics this year. In addition, as a vegan, he’s a champion for animals!
We caught up with him ahead of his performance and asked him a few questions.
When and why did you decide to go vegan?
Three and a half years ago. At first, I approached it from a scientific standpoint. However, I then came to have some ethical views about this diet. I love happy, living animals!
What benefits have you noticed since becoming vegan?
There are so many. First, I no longer eat the suffering and pain of defenceless animals. Secondly, my body has become lighter, so to say “clearer”. Thirdly, in my profession, flexibility and elasticity are incredibly important, and I increased both of these. And fourthly, now I almost never suffer from a cold or flu.
What advice would you give to other young athletes who are inspired to follow in your footsteps?
Study and listen to yourself, to your own heart, and you will get to the place which is just right for you!
Alexey is not the only vegan Olympian who’s found that a plant-based diet is a winning formula. Legendary sprinter Carl Lewis, who won 10 Olympic medals, credits his record-breaking success in the 1991 World Championships in part to his vegan diet, and just this week, vegan figure skater Meagan Duhamel walked away with a silver medal in Sochi.
More and more athletes, including ultra-marathon runners such as Rich Roll and Fiona Oakes, mixed martial arts fighters, German strongman Patrik Baboumian, footballers, cricketers and even the Williams sisters have gone vegan in order to boost their performance – and, of course, to help animals at the same time. Plant-based diets are nutrient-rich and low in fat and cholesterol, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re a top choice for some of the fittest people on the planet.
If you’ve yet to experience the health-boosting effects of quitting meat, dairy products and eggs, why not take our 30-day pledge to find out what you can achieve?