Lausanne, Switzerland, February 14, 2015 – Ivan Zaytsev is already one of the world’s top players having proved himself on the world stage with bronze medals for Italy at the London 2012 Olympic Games and in the 2013 and 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League.
But the 2.02m star – son of two-time world champion and Moscow 1980 Olympic Games gold medallist Vyacheslav Zaytsev – is not resting on his laurels and is on a continued mission to keep improving.
“I want to prove myself and I try to carve out some extra time to devote to weights and machines,” he said in an interview this week. “From my side of the net and on the other I am confronted with explosive players, my muscles actually have to be at their best; in addition, I'm still recovering from two injuries to my ankles.
“I’m plugging away"
One of those ankle injuries forced him to sit out the second round of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014. He had scored 70 points for his team up until that point and his loss was a blow for Italy, who failed to progress to the third stage of the tournament.
But that is now behind him and the opposite has recently joined Russian club Dynamo Moscow on a three-year contract.
It follows two years in Italy with Lube Banca Macerata which culminated with victory in the Italian League. Needless to say, it was a tough choice for Zaytsev to leave.
"The last two years were splendid,” he explained. “It allowed me to grow both as an athlete and as a man and ended in the best way: winning the league in May. My first Scudetto: even more memorable, then, because I carried the rank of captain.
“I was sorry to really go by the club: the promise that I will return remains valid."