This is a very nice article about Sadulaev with videos where his mother and father talk and his first coach:
The new Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling in his youth had to chose between sport and medicine. Abdulrashid Sadulayev, nicknamed "Russian tank", who took gold in men's freestyle wrestling, has not lost a single match since 2013.
He was talked about as a prodigy in 2014, when at the Word Championships in Tashkent, he defeated the experienced Cuba's Reineris Salas, a participant in the Olympic Games in Beijing, three-time medalist of the World Championships. Then the Dagestan fighter confidently - like a tank - marched through Europe, where he won two golds. And last year, he rose to the first step of the podium in Las Vegas, becoming at 19 years old, a two-time world champion.
In Rio, a 20-year-old boy from the Dagestani village of Tsurib, confirmed the status of the main world star of wrestling.
Abdulrashid burst into the elite of wrestling full of courage thanks to the foundation that was laid for him in his childhood.
Daily rise at 6am in the morning, with the first training session being even before school starts.
At an angle of forty-five degrees, every day he ran a few kilometers up the mountain to take an icy shower under a growling waterfall, and then run down. Breakfast and school.
Skipping the morning workout was not an option. His father Bulach and trainer Magomed Alikhanovich are closest friends, sharing a room in the medical institute's hostel when younger.
After school - lunch, twenty-thirty minutes of rest and again training in the Tsurib wrestling hall. A few hours of continuous hard training under the guidance of the strict Alikhanovich.
When exhausted, Sadulaev returned home where he had to do more work: carried water, cleaned the yard and chopped wood. The third and youngest son in the family according to the mountain tradition was not deprived of village work.
Dinner. Twenty to thirty minutes of rest. Exactly at 9pm -- bed time.
Sadulaev Sr. strictly controlled the regime, with medical scrupulousness. Not for nothing did he earn the reputation as the best therapist in and around Tsurib.
Any deviation from the regime that his father set up, was noted immediately. At the table, his father hanged a sheet of paper with tasks that all three brothers had to perform during the day. If you did your job well, he put a checkmark.
Once, Bulach Sadulayev was delayed by attending an event at a friend's house. It was already past midnight when he returned home, but he took a look at the checkmark sheet even when he returned home late. There were not enough checkmarks!
Immediately he kicked all three brothers out of bed, and made them do all the necessary tasks and more. The middle brother tried to shield Abdulrashid from work as he was the smallest of the three, but the father was adamant and Abdulrashid was kicked out of bed like the others and put to work.
Bulach Sadulaev did not have the goal that his son becomes a professional athlete. He actually wanted him to become a doctor, like himself.
When Sadulaev was finishing school - by the time he had already won gold in the championships of Russia - Bulach gave him 1 week to reflect what he wants to do. Pick 1: serious sport or medicine. Despite the fact that wrestling training took a long time, Abdulrashid was an excellent student and had perfect marks in all subjects. Abdulrashid was a very good student and was often sent to competitions in mathematics and history, and his father used to complain to the teachers do not allow him to train as much as he needs to.
To the delight of his first coach, Abdulrashid chose wrestling and not medicine. For him, this was a chance that a dream of his would come true: one of his students would make it to the Olympic Games. The future Olympian came to Magomed Magomedov (coach) in the second grade. Magomed was studying to become a doctor and somehow accidentally ended up as a freestyle wrestling coach. Medical practice did not work out, and Alikhanovich temporarily settled in the village gym.
In his youth, he was fond of wrestling, and slowly started coaching the kids in the village, among whom was Sadulayev. Then, of course, no one suspected what kind of world sensation would be created by the self-taught village coach and the then-small Sadulaev. Abdulrashid won the district championship and appeared to shine in those competitions. In Dagestan they had seen a lot of wrestling matches, but this was something special. Its as if Sadulaev was born on the wrestling mat.
Of course, there were bad moments. Especially due to Sadulaev's character (he was too nice). Sometimes with rivals with whom Abdulrashid was friends outside the competition, he did not engage 100%. He felt compassion for them and did not want to wrestle hard and embarrass anyone (in the video: his coach says Sadulaev is soft hearted and it was had to motivate him to wrestle hard sometimes). To address this, Alikhanovich had to slap Sadulaev few times before a match, so to make him angry: so that Sadulaev could understand that there are no friends or brothers on the mat - these are rivals. The coach even tried a psychological trick. He appointed Abdulrashid as a leader of the team. He thought that a responsible position for him would make the boy treat his peers more strictly. The trick didn't work. The only thing that remained was explaining to Sadualev that he had to go 100% in all matches, friends or not.
There was a turning point in the career of the phenomenal wrestler: before his first Russian championship, Sadulayev twisted his ankle and didn’t get to the competition for which he had been preparing hard for several months. He could have stopped training then, but the injury only irritated him further: he started training harder and winning tournament after tournament. At first - juniors. And then - after a crushing success at the youth world championships, where, by the way, he was called the “Russian tank”, he began to wrestle in men's divisions. At 17.
His first coach says that earlier Sadulaev did not have enough speed -- but now Sadulaev fixed that and wrestles like a lightweight. In his teenage year, Sadulaev moved to another coach -- he no longer had good training partners in his village. And without good partners in wrestling, you cannot go grow. The nature of the sport. Sadulaev had to move to Makhachkala, where he settled with his brother.
World Championships and the Olympics would come later, but he still had lots of things to overcome. From Shamkhal-Termen - the village where his brother's house was located (this is a suburb of the Dagestan capital) - Sadulaev had to travel 1.5 hours to even reach the training hall. As a young teenager, Sadulayev traveled to training by public transport. Unfortunately, even if it was possible to get to the morning classes by bus, after the evening training, he had to find creative ways to get home. The buses stopped working around 9pm in the evening just when the wrestling session was over. Exhausted after wrestling training, Sadulaev had to take a special bus to the North point— this is what the exit from Makhachkala is called — and from there he had to either walk on foot or hitchhike to get home.
An obligatory part of a family holiday is a trip to Gilib, a village located further in the mountains, from where his family originates. Sadulayev's grand father lives there, and he is, according to the stories of relatives, even more severe than his father Sadulaevl's father Bulach. Sadulaev's Olympic victories on the mat or the fact he is tired from training are not an excuse for the old man and after wrestling training, Abdulrashid has to plow in his grandfather's garden sometimes. The younger son in a Dagestan family is also a special kind of position.