Yuri Postrigay: «I’m brutal rather than phygital. But you must keep pace with the times”

The Russian canoeist Yuri Postrigay, champion of London Olympics, honored master of sports, told us what he thinks about phygital sport and its potential. the opportunity it opens.

— Yuri, tell us, please, what do you think about the format phygital in sport? Do you consider yourself phygital?

— I rather consider myself brutal (laughter). I’am ready to consider myself phygital if we agree how we will interact. In general any new step forward is interesting. If you’re stuck with classic stuff, then you will have a hard time making adjustments. It’s like teaching my grandma how to use a modern telephone. She is more into classic stuff – she’s got her clamshell phone, she is more used to just push the buttons, this is what he needs. For every professional athlete if he is still active or if he quit his sports career it is important to move further in some direction. If he stays in the same sports discipline, then it will be in virtual space … It will be cool. In any case we must develop and keep pace with the times. If we’re slow – like that sloth animal, then we are in trouble. We somehow need to raise social awareness, to make sure our children move in the right direction. So, if they play computer games, then we must make sure they also take up real sports and move. They develop in both areas. It should all be together as one.

— Did I get you right that the Games of Future can relaunch the career of a professional athlete? If one has called it a career in a traditional sports discipline, then he may become a champion in phygital sport?

— In any case it is possible. I know many professional athletes who are very good at this or that computer game – PlayStation, FIFA, Counter Strike. And they joined and keep joining some major teams in cybersport. And they do well there. It’s all because they had enough time for it, and they developed a passion for it. And today, in our times, it has become a profession. It’s great to have even bigger perspectives, So, I am all for it.

— Do you play yourself?

— When my first child was born, then the second one I already stopped playing because I am short of time. When we get together with friends, then we hear “let’s play some little football” or, maybe, tennis or some other enthralling sport games. As an athlete I am more into sports games. All this shootings stuff is not my cup of tea.

— You mean, you’d rather play FIFA, NBA2K, NHL?

— There is rowing, too (laughter). Or at least here was rowing.

— Would you like to see rowing part of the Games of Future?

— I sure would. As a promoter of my sports discipline I am all for a healthy life style. I wanted my sports discipline to be trendy permanently everywhere. This is what we are doing with our colleagues – we organize competitions, we invite representatives of other sports disciplines which are top media opinion makers, we try to raise awareness; we encourage businessmen and sports bloggers to try their hand at rowing and take a seat in a canoe to make sure canoeing and kayaking as a sport lives and develops.

— Would you participate yourself in the tournament Games of Future?

— Of course, I would. Please, do invite me. I am ready.