Born in 1976 in the city of Kazan, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, he began his career as a trainer in freestyle wrestling in Tashkent in 1987. His interest in wrestling began as a youngster when a friend invited him to watch him at wrestling practice, “He called me one day and asked if I wanted to go and I said why not,” recalled Damir. “In the Soviet Union it is popular to watch practice. I then started to go to the gym and found that I really liked it.”
He was a winning competitor and in 1991 he won 1st place in the National Championship among juniors. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 he joined the national team of Uzbekistan. While there he participated at the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000, 2004; and in the World Cup in 1996 and 2001.
He competed in the World Championships; and in Asia at the 1999 World Championships where he won 3rd place. Then, while in the military, he repeated his medalist performance in the Asia Games, and the World Cups and World Championships in 2008.
He came to the United States in 2008 and his coaching skills produced six All-Americans in the state of Alabama from 2009 to May, 2011. He worked at Perry High school, in Ohio, one of the top ten in the country in wrestling, where he trained 10 state placers, who have received grants to study at prestigious universities. He loves coaching kids.
Zahardinov joined The Fight Factory Gym two years ago and has been producing competitive wrestlers ever since.