Sergei Ovchinnikov, the head coach of Russia’s national women’s volleyball team, was found dead in a Croatian hotel room on Wednesday. Details regarding his passing remain few and far between at the moment but, as of right now, the Russian Times is reporting that he committed suicide.
For what it's worth, nobody has offered an official statement on the cause of death.
Why did he allegedly commit suicide? According to former Russian coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin and current men’s coach Vladimir Alekno, it may have been related to his squad’s poor showing in the 2012 London Olympics.
Despite the fact that Russia was one of the favorites to capture gold at this year’s games, the team ended up losing to Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Via the Russian Times:
Former Russian coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin speculated the suicide may have been a reaction to the poor showing of the Russian women’s volleyball team at the 2012 London Olympics.
"This is so stupid,” Kuzyutkin told the RSN radio station. “He was my friend, my colleague. No one said a bad word about him. Yes, there was a blunder at the Olympics, well, to hell with it. I don’t know why he couldn’t cope with it.”
The head coach of the men's volleyball team, Vladimir Alekno, confirmed that the London failure was a huge blow for Ovchinnikov.
“He took the Olympics very personally,” Alekno said. “I saw what he was going through and how upset he was after the defeat. He didn’t talk much. Even after victories he was always thinking about something and smoked a lot."
Ovchinnikov is survived by his wife and two children.
(Kudos Russian Times)