by Johnny Walker
According to a report in en-ura-inform.com, Vladimir Klitschko Sr., the father of the current heavyweight champions of the world Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, died today after a long illness.
Vladimir Klitschko Sr. was a Colonel in the Soviet Air Force. He was one of the people tasked with the clean-up of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine.
In the recently documentary on the Klitschko brothers, entitled simply Klitschko, Klitschko Sr. explained that most of his friends who worked on the Chernobyl accident clean-up were now dead. They were sent in with no protective gear, a suicide mission, basically.
Klitschko Sr. eventually became ill as a result of Chernobyl, but at the time of the filming he was said to be making good progress.
Vladimir Klitschko Sr. was a strict military father who could give out whippings for misbehavior. He started his sons out on the road to boxing glory by teaching his eldest boy Vitali how to fight. “There is one rule. When you fight, you must fight to win,” he told Vitali. Vitali quickly soaked up that lesson and the rest, as they say, is history.
The documentary makes clear that the brothers’ now legendary discipline, which has allowed them to reach the pinnacle of their profession, came from their father.
May he rest in peace.