My name is Artur Akhmatkhuzin and I am a 2016 Olympic Champion in fencing. I have been fencing for over 20 years and it was always my dream to win an Olympic Gold medal.
For many years, I have had issues with both of my hips, but continued fencing despite the pain. By 2013 the pain had become unbearable. I consulted with doctors in Russia, Italy, and Germany who diagnosed me with hip joint arthrosis. They told me that I needed hip resurfacing surgery and would not be able to fence after the surgery. I was devastated, but did not give up hope. I had heard of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and sought a consultation with Dr. Edwin Su. Dr. Su said he could perform the surgery and assured me that I would be able to continue my fencing career afterwards. Hearing those words was the biggest relief of my life.
At the beginning of 2014, I underwent the hip resurfacing surgery. True to Dr. Su’s words, I returned to fencing a year after the surgery. Remarkably, a year and a half after my surgery, I won two medals at the 2015 World Championship: bronze in the individual and silver in the team competition. In 2016 I won the Russian National Championship, and the team gold at the European Championships. My highlight of 2016 was my qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio for both the individual and team competitions. I placed 9th in the individual competition and won an Olympic Gold medal in the team competition.
I can’t thank Dr. Su enough for everything he has done for me. Thank you for coming to support me in Rio and a special thank you for helping me make my childhood dream come true! My Gold medal also belongs to him.