He became Ukrainian
heavyweight champion… …and then champion of the Soviet Union. Then we were invited to
a contest in America. The USA versus the Soviet team. FLORIDA WEST PALM BEACH… …I was brainwashed
when I was growing up. Every morning at school we had to write… …about all the bad things in America. America was our enemy. America meant capitalism, where people treated others like slaves. We’d been fed all that since kindergarten. It was like a trip to the moon. We had heard a lot about Coca-Cola… …and when I tasted it for the first time, I felt I could drink a whole bucket. I was completely knocked out. We could spend all day in shopping malls… …with our mouths hanging open,
looking around us. Of course, we didn’t have any money. We just wanted to take in all the smells… …and be able to touch things. How can there be
100 different types of cheese? That’s madness. There’s only one type of cheese.
It’s called cheese. But they had 100 different types.
I couldn’t understand it. Why did they need so many shoes? One pair is enough. Okay, maybe two pairs, one for sport. When I got back, I said to my father, who was a Communist, ‘Dad, they’ve been telling us
complete nonsense every day. ‘It’s such a lovely country.
The people are so friendly.’ I remember him saying, ‘No, they just showed you the good side. ‘They’ll use that as propaganda.
America is a dreadful place.’ My parents like living
here in Florida in winter… …because it’s cold in the Ukraine. I understand what my father went through. Today he has a different view of the world.