Born in Moscow, the capital of Russia, I got my first river experience from traveling with my father in Karelia in the north of Russia. It happened to be a really remarkable experience that remained in my memory.
Few years later while graduating in Moscow Power Engineering Institute (1983-89), I joined famous Moscow whitewater and slalom club - "The Open Wind" - and the sport career began.
In 1990 I’ve won the USSR Whitewater Championship held on the Varzob River in Pamirs Mountains of Tajikistan. From 1986 till late 1990-s I participated in virtually all whitewater competitions in the USSR and then Russia, and many times I came first.
Once Soviet’s "Iron Curtain" crashed in early 1990-s I spent a lot of time traveling and going to whitewater expeditions all around the globe.