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January 16, 2020

Curry Senior Center has a clientele that is diverse and unique. If you visit us, you can often hear a variety of stories that are truly inspirational. One of our seniors has participated in programs and services at Curry Senior Center now for over five years and he is a former Olympic coach with many noteworthy accomplishments. We’d like to introduce you to Dr. Pobed Lavrentjev.

Dr. Pobed Lavrentjev was born in Southern Russia on May 8,1945. Pobed’s name is inspired by Russia’s win against Germany in World War II in 1945 – “Pobeda” means “victory” in Russian. As a child, he learned ballet and had an interest in sports. At the age of thirteen, he began freestyle wrestling and then changed his focus to Russian mixed martial arts. Pobed participated in many championships and was accepted into a medical military academy at age seventeen. 

In 1971, he moved to Moscow and graduated from Moscow Medical University. He then became involved in art, dancing, boxing and political activities. Pobed’s sports involvement allowed him to come to the United States and enter into a surgery internship at Columbia Prebysterian University. In 1983, he graduated from Mt. Sinai Administration Hospital with a specialty in sports medicine. Dr. Pobed also became interested in neuroscience and computer science and technology. His interest and skill led to his graduation from two doctoral fellowships and a sponsorship by the National Institute of Health to work in artificial intelligence in medicine. 

In 1985, Dr. Pobed started his practice in sports medicine and taught sport sciences at Long Island University where he taught physical therapy and athletic trainer students. During his time as an athletic trainer, he was able to coach an athletic club team which had a few athletes that were selected to participate in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. That year, his team earned eight gold medals and two silver medals, with the United States ranking # 1 in the nation, which can be partially attributed to Dr. Pobed’s successful coaching and skill. Some of the athletes included super-heavyweight freestyle wrestler, Bruce Robert Baumgarten; lightweight freestyle wrestler, Bobby Weaver; super heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler, Jeff Blatnik; and brothers, Dave and Mark Schultz. 

Dr. Pobed moved to the valley in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009. Inspired by his interest in art, he then moved to San Francisco in 2013. He now lives in subsidized housing one block away from Curry Senior Center. “I live in senior housing and participate in various activities and I am friends with Del Seymour and we do community service work together,” expressed Dr. Pobed. He also coaches at Kroc Community Center, a newly built gym by the Salvation Army, where he teaches ballet and dance and is planning to start mixed martial arts classes and golf.

Dr. Pobed participates in various activities at Curry which include Project Senior Vitality, creative writing activities, services in the Dining Room, and health and community programs.

“[Curry Senior Center] gives me a feeling of being cared for and builds my esteem. It gives me confidence that I’m needed and that I am valuable and capable.”

Dr. Pobed had more to say about the staff and programs at Curry: 

“We have an incredibly involved staff and I have been able to enhance my health through the Fitbit given by the Senior Vitality Program.”

Dr. Pobed is one of our amazing seniors at Curry that come from diverse backgrounds and have achieved meaningful moments in their lives. We invite you to stop by Curry Senior Center to connect with our seniors and learn more about the work that we do.