In Depth Society, 07/04/2021

Legendary 97-Year-Old Tennis Player Vaccinated in Kharkiv

At the end of March, 97-year-old Kharkivite Leonid Stanislavsky was vaccinated against coronavirus with the India-produced Oxford/AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine.

“I write about him a couple of times a year because I am proud of this elderly man. He has been playing in the Senior Tennis World and European Championships in Europe and in the USA for 6-7 years annually. The oldest tournaments’ participant in the world. Our old man. Ukrainian. Kharkivite,” writes Yurii Sapronov, Kharkiv businessman and philanthropist, on his Facebook page.

Kharkiv Observer correspondent talked to Mr. Stanislavsky and asked him why he made a decision to take a vaccine.

Kharkiv Observer: Why have you decided to get vaccinated?

Leonid Stanislavsky: I am at risk. I’m a senior and have to take the subway to get to the courts and to the store. Sometimes, Valerii Burko, the Unicourt tennis club director, sends a car to pick me up to the courts. My sparring partner Anatolii Dariy or my neighbor Oleksii Tubolev give me a lift at times. Anyway, risks remain.

Kh.O.: Who helped you to take the vaccine?

L.S.: I applied to Harry Karohodsky, Kyiv businessman and philanthropist, that I wanted to be vaccinated. He called Mr. Sapronov who immediately reacted, contacted the head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration. The director of the Regional State Administration’s Department of Medicine, Ihor Volochkov, called me and offered to send the medical team to my place, but I decided to arrive in the Regional Clinical Hospital.

Kh.O.: Have you been examined before vaccination?

L.S.: The medics conducted a cardiogram, then I was examined by a cardiologist and a therapist and after that, I was vaccinated.

Kh.O.: How do you feel after vaccination?

L.S.: I’m OK. I listened to the doctors and stopped my training for 10 days. Mr. Sapronov and Burko check on me every day and Mr. Volochkov calls me a couple of times a day.

Kh.O.: Mr. Stanislavsky, tell our readers how you live during quarantine? How has your life changed during the pandemic?

L.S.: I try to leave home less and reduce contact with people, wear a mask, including the courts, measure my temperature. I only play tennis without a mask. The pandemic has imposed difficulties, and I can feel them. I feel age affects. I sleep a lot. I drink vitamins and occasionally zinc.

Kh.O.: What are your plans for the future?

L.S.: I’ve got big plans for the future if the pandemic does not prevent them: veterans’ tournament in Kyiv, Senior World Championship in Spain. I would like to visit Basel in Switzerland and meet Roger Federer. I have not been to many countries in Europe such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Monaco. It would be great to visit some.

Yurii Sapronov checked on Leonid Stanislavsky and called him regularly after vaccination. “Today [Kh.O.: April 2] is the fifth day after vaccination. Everything is OK. He hasn’t got any pain, fever or weakness. Moreover, yesterday he scared me. I called and asked him how he was doing. Mr. Stanislavky replied: ‘I have fried potatoes, now I will have 50 grams of cognac, and tomorrow I am going to train on the court!’ writes Yurii Sapronov on his Facebook page.

“I could hardly manage to convince him that he neither needs 50 grams nor training. According to doctors, alcohol and sports are prohibited for 10 days after vaccination. It seems he agreed,” Sapronov concluded.

We wish our compatriot Leonid Stanislavsky all the best with his dreams and hope his expectations will come true and he will remain in good health during these tough times.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: Yurii Sapronov’s Facebook page