Rukshin at 15 was a troubled russian kid with drink and violence, then a miracle happened: He fell in love with Math and turned all his creative, aggressive, and competitive energies toward it.

He tried to compete in Math olympiads, but outmatched by peers. Still *he believed he knew how to win; he just could not do it himself*.

He formed a team of schoolchildren a year younger than he and trained them.

At 19 he became an IMO coach who produced Perelman (Gold IMO & Fields/Clay Poincare Conjecture). In the decades since, his students took 70 IMO, include > 40 Golds.

**Rukshin’s thoughts on IMO**:

1. IMO is more like a sport. It has its coaches, clubs, practice sessions, competitions.

2. Natural ability is *necessary but NOT sufficient* for success: The talented kid needs to have the right coach, the right team, the right kind of family support, and, most important, the **WILL** to win.

3. At the beginning, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between future (Math) stars and those who will be good (at IMO) but never great (Mathematician).

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