Shavarsh Karapetyan

Shavarsh Karapetyan

Armenian athlete, multiple champion and world record holder in scuba diving, Honored Master of Sports
Date of Birth: 19.05.1953
Country: Armenia

  1. Biography of Shavarsh Karapetyan
  2. Early Life and Sports Career
  3. Heroic Acts
  4. Life After Sports
  5. Achievements and Recognition

Biography of Shavarsh Karapetyan

Early Life and Sports Career

Shavarsh Vladimirovich Karapetyan, an Armenian athlete, was born on May 19, 1953, in Kirovakan, Armenia. He is a renowned sportsman, holding numerous international titles in underwater swimming. However, Karapetyan gained global recognition not only for his sporting achievements but also for his courage and bravery.

Shavarsh Karapetyan

Heroic Acts

On September 16, 1976, a trolleybus carrying 92 passengers plunged into the water after an accident on the dam of the Yerevan Reservoir. By chance, Shavarsh was present at the scene, as he and his brother Kamo were on their morning jog. Without hesitation, Shavarsh jumped into the cold water to rescue the people. He managed to save 20 individuals through incredible efforts. In reality, he saved more people from the sinking trolleybus, but not all could be revived. Due to the closed Soviet system, the information about this incident did not become public knowledge for many years. Neither the people he saved nor the country knew about Karapetyan's heroic act. His name only became widely known in 1982 after an article was published in the "Literaturnaya Gazeta" about the events at the Yerevan Reservoir. However, this act took a toll on his health, as he developed double pneumonia, which later led to blood infection. Despite needing extended medical treatment, he was able to get out of bed after a month and a half and resumed training.

Shortly after recovering, Karapetyan found himself in another accident, this time at a fire in the Sports and Concert Complex in Yerevan. He arrived at the scene as one of the first responders and started rescuing people, assisting the firefighters. Once again, he saved numerous lives but suffered burns in the process. He spent a week in the hospital. After his recovery, Karapetyan returned to training and set another world record in the 400-meter distance with diving gear, marking the final world record in his sporting career. However, due to the injuries affecting his health, he could no longer continue his athletic career and was forced to leave professional sports.

Life After Sports

Initially, he attempted coaching but was not successful. He then worked as an engineer in a factory, tried his hand at other ventures, and eventually moved with his family abroad, leaving Armenia for the United States. In 1993, Karapetyan relocated to Moscow. Here, he started a business and opened a small shoe manufacturing workshop called "Second Breath." Today, he is a successful businessman and the honorary president of the Russian Association of Underwater Swimming.

Achievements and Recognition

Shavarsh Vladimirovich Karapetyan is a Merited Master of Sports, a 7-time champion of the USSR in underwater swimming, a 15-time winner of the USSR Cup, an 11-time world record holder, a 17-time world champion, a 13-time European champion, and the best underwater swimmer in the world. He is a National Hero of Armenia, an Honorary Citizen of Yerevan, and a recipient of the Order of Honor. Karapetyan was the first Soviet athlete to receive the UNESCO "Fair Play" prize - the prize for "Fair Play" - even though his heroic act did not occur in a sporting arena. Today, Shavarsh Vladimirovich Karapetyan lives and works in Moscow.

Every year, the Shavarsh Karapetyan Prize is awarded in Russia during the All-Russian Underwater Swimming Competition. In 2007, the Karapetyan Charitable Foundation was established.

On March 20, 2020, he was appointed as an Advisor to the Head of Bashkortostan.