Shavarsh Karapetyan, an Armenian finswimmer, holds many records. He’s an 11-time World Record holder, 17-time World Champion, 13-time European Champion and even 7-time USSR Champion. However, the fame and the glory haven’t clouded his head.
In September 1976 Karapetyan was training with his brother, when he saw an unfortunate trolleybus sinking in the Yerevan Lake. He immediately set off in order to help the passengers. While the trolleybus was sinking, the water became so muddy that he could hardly see. He managed to dive down 33 feet and rescued numerous people from the water. However, only 20 of them survived.
This was the end of Karapetyan’s career – the cold, filthy water caused lung complications, sepsis, and 45 days of unconsciousness. Ten years later he put his own health at risk again for strangers, saving many people from a burning building.
When it comes to athletes, the gold is of extreme importance. But when it comes to this athlete, his heart is in the right place.