43 year old Andrei Kozhemyakin is multiple award winning Russian, European and worldwide champion in shooting amongst people with musculoskeletal disorders. Even in his youth he took part in athletics, competing for champion of long jumping.
In 2002, at the age of 27, Andrei sustained a serious injury in an accident: he fell from the third story of a building and injured his back. He had three operations and had to learn to live in a wheelchair. The first year after the accident was particularly difficult, but Andrei received support from his mother, friends and an athletics coach. Three years after the injury, Kozhemyakin returned to the sport: at first he simply worked in a gym, had a go at powerlifting, and then became very interested in shooting. One year later, he won his first competition: in 2006 he received a silver medal in the Russian championship.
He met his future wife, Olga, whilst already in a wheelchair. In 2014, the couple had a daughter who they called Milan. In order to support his family now, Andrei is working as a firefight dispatcher for the main directory of the Ministry of Emergency Services in the Belgorod region. Sport in his life still plays an important role: Kozhemyakin’s new goal is to take part in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Belgorod, Russia. 2019