Legend of the athlete

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Ivan Semenovich Kruts (1906-1968) - the Ukrainian athlete, the athlete, ex-the champion of the USSR on Greco-Roman wrestling. His name for the first time began to sound on a wrestling scaffold in 30-x years of the last century.

By then the numerous "Masks" breaking the well-known fighters sank into oblivion, manezhny fight developed into a separate sport on which the championships of the Soviet Union, Europe and the world were held.

The national rumor composed legends of great athletes Ivan Shemyakin, Ivan Zaikin, Ivan Poddubnom and many other favourites of public. Ivan Kruts's life also became a legend in which it is impossible to distinguish the truth from fiction. Especially as it isn't enough authentic data.

They say that it, despite a big age difference, was amicable with Ivan Poddubny. Poddubny organized Kruts's duel with one of the European champions on fight. It isn't known, however, when and where it passed, it seems, even at us, but you can foresee result and: Ivan Semenovich won a convincing victory.

That he was born in Kursk is known of Kruts's childhood only. In some years after that his family moved to our regions. In youth Ivan Semenovich acted together with the gymnast Dzyuboy, but during one of performances in Odessa Dzyuba was lost. They say that it wasn't accident, someone from "well-wishers" damaged a gymnastic shell from which the gymnast and broke. Since then Kruts acted always one.

Our Ivan Semenovich remembered not as fighter, the champion of the Soviet Union among rural athletes in Greco-Roman wrestling, and as the athlete showing the improbable force more. Once a year in club October it showed the art. There was, for example, such number. On a scene six guys were called. Them connected among themselves bench hammers, Kruts raised all ligament to himself on shoulders and twisted "mill".

Seven "doubles" (the coupled pig-iron pigs) connected with the gross weight of fourteen poods among themselves a chain, the athlete lifted them teeth, thus shaking here and there. And the nail 150 mm long drove in into a floor on the hat with the hand wound by a handkerchief.

During the Great Patriotic War, addressing fellow countrymen in occupied by Bogoyavlensk, I threw hands a pig-iron kernel and I caught it on a nape.Spoke, thus the kernel shot fireworks under Kruts's shout "Death to fascist invaders"! But told also another …

During occupation Ivan Semenovich earned to himself a living by that went on villages, showing the force. Once I came back home on the van harnessed by couple of horses. The van was loaded with provisions with which villagers paid off with it. On entry into the city it was stopped by the German patrol, and soldiers began to search a van. Kruts tried to explain who is he and from where goes. Soldiers didn't understand … Then it climbed under a van and lifted it over the earth.

Conversations went that after that Kruts's case took for work in Gestapo where it interrogated underground workers … So it or not so, but after war it was gone for some years. Hearings that was condemned for cooperation with fascists spread, served sentence.
The truth is more tragic and typical the then. Yury Ivanovich Zyuzikov, long time being on friendly terms with Ivan Semenovich's adopted son, told me the following:

"Not a secret that in occupation people continued to work to live. The enterprises, collective farms, the markets worked. Ivan Semenovich as it was already spoken, earned to himself a living, showing the phenomenal opportunities. Germans became interested in the Ukrainian athlete and suggested it to address occupational armies. After war there were the vigilant citizens who have informed in competent authorities that the known fighter I. S. Kruts cooperated with fascists".
Probably, Kruts took part in the tournaments organized by fascists. But after all and players of Kiev "Dynamo" participated in superiority of Kiev in the city occupied by fascists. It appeared that it at all was no death match of what we were assured by many years, and regularly held tournament.

Ivan Semenovich was condemned, but subsequently is rehabilitated and set free. After long absence I returned in October, I built the house in which lived to the death. I bought also rare for those times a foreign car, I employed the driver, and so I drove about on the cities and villages with demonstration performances. Builds it was powerful and when got into the car, it heeled on one party.

The car too participated in its performances: Kruts put to himself on a breast two thick boards on which then I passed his "Mercedes".

Memories of Krutsa are always benevolent and a little comical.

Dmitry Petrovich Klimenko met Ivan Semenovich three times:

- I built the house and brought on a log power-saw bench on sawing up. I wait for the turn, I talk to workers. Here brought Kruts. He got out of the car and went, rolling over from a foot on a foot. "It that for the phenomenon"? - I was surprised. "Yes same Ivan Semenovich Kruts", - workers validly told. It appeared that it too was under construction, and it needed to dismiss logs on beams. Workers - young children - didn't want to overstrain once again, and at the same time arranged itself a free attraction. They told Krutsu: "We will saw without turn if itself you put a log on the power-saw bench cart". Ivan Semenovich came to a log end, clasped it two hands from below, sharply exhaled and threw it on the cart. Then as got also other end.

On Mill in October there was Kruts's wrestling club. I often had to go by it for work and from work. Once I go from work, and it costs at a threshold. Here two motorcyclists approached and stopped near it. Kruts bent and squeezed fingers the wheel camera so as if in it at all there was no air.

- What it you go by the lowered camera? - I asked the owner of the motorcycle. That in perplexity felt the camera:
- It seems today I checked, it was beefy".

Under fingers of the guy the camera didn't cave in on millimeter …

Ivan Semenovich lived on Petrovskogo Street (now - Litovchenko Street). In those days in October yet there were no bus stops therefore transport stopped where who could. Kruts became at the intersection of streets Petrovsky and Lenina (Oktyabrsky Avenue) and stopped all cars in a row, - to it urgently it was necessary where - that to go. But, having caught sight of its portly figure, drivers passed by, without stopping.

- … ! Though in a hole hide with such weight! - Kruts was distressed. - Nobody wants to bring!

At last, one driver on "Muscovite" stopped, and Kruts hardly squeezed into the car, having pressed down the bottom to the concrete. The driver in horror clutched at the head:

- Would take three thin, than you one better!

Alexander Dmitriyevich Klimenko studied in one class with Kruts's adopted son Yury (Ivan Semenovich had no children). Remembers that at PTA meetings the fighter sat on two chairs. Strictly I watched Yury's study and I didn't hesitate to lecture him for bad progress publicly.

It was strict and for the pupils. Dmitry Petrovich Klimenko told how Kruts brought an order to the club: "Boys whether fought, whether simply quarreled, generally, were linked directly in club.Kruts took both of them for a shkirka, took out on the street and threw out from porch steps on the road". Cruelly, but it is intelligible and instructive for others. Perhaps, therefore among his pupils was many winners and prize-winners of competitions of the most different level.

The well-known fighter in 1968 died. It is buried on a cemetery in October. On its monument with what my story begins is written:

"Ivan Semenovich Kruts (1906-1968) - the Ukrainian athlete, the athlete, ex-the champion of the USSR on Greco-Roman wrestling".

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