Bilozertchev: The U.S.’s new secret agent?

Never mind that winning a junior national championship means even less if you’re a guy than if you’re a woman. Never mind that he competed with the seniors during the second day of competition and finished in 10th place. Never mind that nobody’s really seen what this kid looks like.

Alexy Bilozertchev is almost certainly the next great U.S. champion.

He’s a new face cloaked with an old name, and he could help bring the U.S. men back to dominance the way his father helped the Soviet Union achieve gymnastics greatness.

Despite being only 17, Bilozertchev must feel the responsibility of his name. His father, Dmitri, was arguably the top Soviet athlete at the 1988 Olympic Games and would have been in 1984 as well had the U.S.S.R. not boycotted.

And if his career is anything like his father’s Alexy will one day wind up in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

At age 16 in 1983, Dmitri Bilozertchev was the top gymnast in the world. He had class, he had style, he made it look so, so easy. But in 1985, just before the World Championships, he crashed his car into a tree, shattering his left leg. The only reason it wasn’t amputated was because a few minutes before the leg was to be removed, somebody recognized that he was the best gymnast in the U.S.S.R. A more subdued, grown up Bilozertchev appeared at the 1987 World Championships in Rotterdam, Holland and reclaimed his world title. At the 1988 Olympics, Bilozertchev was poised to take the gold medal, but his coach told him not to water down his high bar routine to protect his lead. Bilozertchev made a small mistake and wound up third.

Dmitri Bilozertchev as a carefree 16-year-old at the 1983 Worlds…

And after his leg injury at the 1988 Olympics…

So, 19 years later, enter Alexy, part of the Ohio State University training squad despite the fact that he’s only a senior in high school. This guy’s mysterious; there seem to be no Youtube videos of him. Even his picture is missing from USA Gymnastics’ official biographies of National Team members. Maybe he’s a secret agent, a kind of Soviet powerhouse gymnast of yore, being controlled by the U.S. Gymnastics Government.

Bilozerchev is the latest in a string of second-generation gymnasts to follow in thier parents’ footsteps (others include Nastia Liukin, Jana Bieger and Sasha Artemev). By winning the U.S. Junior championship Wednesday night, he showed he is capable of becoming a household name in his own right.

Why not? The U.S. is sorely in need of some all-around depth. They have some specialists, like ringman Kevin Tan, and some all-arounders who can’t put it together in competition (Sorry, Jon. Sorry, Sasha.) If there was one thing Dmitri Bilozertchev could do, it was hit when it mattered.

The Hamm twins were Olympians at 17. Alexy Bilozertchev will be 18 next summer. It could happen.

5 Responses to “Bilozertchev: The U.S.’s new secret agent?”

  1. blogomment Says:

    Eh. We’ll see. Sasha was supposed to be the next great US Champion too. Now people talk about how he can’t hit when it matters…

  2. Onorato, Bilozertchev to Ohio State « The Gymblog Says:

    […] head coach Miles Avery announced today that Philip Onorato and Alexy Bilozertchev, son of the great Soviet champion Dmirtri Bilzoertchev, who now works as an assistant to Avery at […]

  3. chad Says:

    I think he will become the next great US Champion, i do know him personally as he goes to my high school, he has great character and is very determined. i think he will go very far in the olympics.

  4. asheley Says:

    i agre with chad , i know him personally he was a senior my freshman yr , and now that im back from vacation we are plannin on hangin out . he is a very hard-workin , nice guy. and i know he will go far , i cant wait to see him in person in the olympics bcuz i will be going to that.

    CAN’T wait to SEE you , ALEXY


  5. |X|  Dmitri Wladimirowitsch Bilosertschew Says:

    […] Gymnastics Cup (27. Januar 1996)↑ Homepage der United Sports Academy↑, Bilozertchev: The U.S.’s new secret agent? (28. August 2007)↑ Profil von Alexy Bilozertchev beim US-amerikanischen Turnverband↑ […]

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