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The Success

Story

R A D U G A PUBLISHERS

Soviet Sport

Dear reader, This book will tell you about the history and present day of Soviet sport, and about people w h o have greatly c o n t r i b u t e d to the development of sports in the world. We hope that reading this book you will see that Soviet people are sincerely fond of sport, they actively promote it and do their best to make sport and Olympic ideals serve the cause of mutual understanding, friendship and peace a m o n g nations. Blokhin, O l e g f o o t b a l l Bubka, Sergei athletics Kasparov, G a r r y c h e s s Rodnina, I r i n a f i g u r e skating Tretyak, V l a d i s l a v i c e hockey Vlasov, Y u r y w e i g h t l i f t i n g

SOVIET SPORT
The Success Story

Raduga Publishers Moscow

Translated f i o m the

Russian

Cnopi

a CCCP x3b/xe Shteinbakh Gerlitsyn Gorkin Grachikov Khavin KuKushkin Orlov Shteinbakh

Ha anrnnMCKOM C o m p i l e d by Contributors' V. V. A. O. B V. Ft. V.

E d i t o r of the R u s s i a n text Ya. Brodsky E d i t o r s of the E n g l i s h text A Timofeyev and D e s i g n e d by V. Miroshnichenko Art e d i t o r L. Cheltsova P h o t o s by M. Botashov. S. Lidov. R. Maximov, L a y o u t by S. Sizova Cocrati. H.-jflaTentiC^Bo -Paflyra- 1987 English -ranslation RadugR Publishers 198" Printed in the Union o' Soviet Socialist

Ye.

Kopytkin

Yu.

Sokolov

Republics

ISBN

5-05-001188-4

CONTENTS

Page T E M P U S FUGIT M I L E S T O N E S IN S O V I E T S P O R T H E A L T H IS T H E P R I N C I P A L R E C O R D B i l l i o n s f o r the M i l l i o n s Health Made to Measure C h i l d r e n ' s H e a l t h Is S o c i e t y ' s H e a l t h A P r i c e l e s s Treasure A S m a l l T o w n at Play Sporting Territory E d e l w e i s s at L a n d ' s End R u n f o r Y o u r Life Translated Translated Translated by Jim by Paul by Jim Riordan 55 Kotsyubinsky 65 85 86 89 96 98 101 104 107 109 111 113 117 120 122 125 129 131 135 137 140 143 144 146 148 151 155 Riordan SPORTS AROUND THE REPUBLICS 7 13 39 40 41 43 44 45 46 47 49

SOVIET S P O R T IN Q U E S T I O N S A N D A N S W E R S THEY W E R E E D U C A T E D BY S P O R T Twice All-Round Champion T h e R o a d t o the O l y m p u s Kotkas Means "Falcon" D o c t o r of S c i e n c e s " Y o u ' v e D e c e i v e d Us A g a i n " H o l d e r of t h e " G o l d e n " P a d d l e " G r i s h i n Is O w e n s o n Ice" The Phenomenal Bogdanov Life B e g i n s T o m o r r o w M a s t e r i n g Oneself The Coach T h e Q u e e n of Skates T h e H o u r of G l o r y T h e T r i u m p h at S a p p o r o T h e G o a l of His Life How Chizhova "Outjumped" Beamon F o u r t e e n Years a n d T w o Days T h e H u r d l e of A m b i t i o n The Korbut Loop
T

H E VICTOR'S P O D I U M T h e S e n s a t i o n of Flying T o M a k e t h e S h o t Fly T h e A t h l e t e f r o m Siberia T h e Hearts of Four Yury D u m c h e v ' s W i n g e d D i s c u s

Friendship Brings Success Vyacheslav Z a i t s e v ' s Five Sets M o m e n t s of Free F l i g h t He Loves the M u s i c of A t t a c k S a i n i k o v ' s P h e n o m e n a l Quality Is His A b s o l u t e C a l m " The M u s i c of S p e e d The T h i r d C h a m p i o n An A u d a c i o u s H e a d l o n g Flight Translated by Vivienne Burdon

158 162 165 168 170 174 176 178

Tempus Fugit
It is amazing how time flies, yet what human beings achieve in that time is even more amazing. We present to you a book depicting a country that was once k n o w n as the "Giant with feet of clay". Back in 1917 Russia o c c u p i e d an area of 22 square million kilometres and had a population of nigh on 170 million, yet its industrial o u t p u t was eight times tess than that of the USA, some 3.5 times less than that of Germany, three times less than that of Great Britain and 1.5 times less than that of France. The situation was no better in sport. The nation could boast no more than a t h o u s a n d sports clubs with approximately 45,000 members, c o m i n g in the main from the privileged classes. "Marvel of marvels! We've opened a sports society... My Goodness, how immense have been its birth pains. They started in 1913. First one attempt, then another, all in vain. We drew up statutes, submitted them to the proper authorities, and waited one month, two, three. A w h o l e year we waited and then stopped, gave it up as lost. Then other people tried, but that met with the same silence of the grave." This letter written by some sports enthusiasts f r o m Podolsk, a small t o w n near Moscow, was published in the journal Russky sport in 1916. Another letter said, "Russian sport is terribly poor, while w e i g h t l i f t i n g and wrestling are simply beggars... We have absolutely no funds whatsoever." Yet another reported that "W.e still have no full-time gymnastics teaching staff. S c h o o l sport and physical education are greatly in need of special allocations f r o m the Ministry of Education." A n d issue No. 11 of the magazine K sportu in 1912 tells us that "Sport is first and foremost an expensive pastime. It is not for workers. Their path is to the pub. A n d next morning, hunched and ragged, they're off to w o r k again." Three years later, the magazine noted that " W h e n you are s w i n g i n g a scythe all day or h u m p i n g bricks and mortar from d a w n to dusk, you don't have any desire or need for sport." Not only did the tsarist g o v e r n m e n t and the patrons not lift a finger to promote sport a m o n g the public, they did everything they could to pour scorn on and debase it. At the turn of the century Russky sport wrote, "Physical culture and sport are s o m e t h i n g vulgar, bestial and shameful for modern cultured people in the eyes of our intellectuals." And elsewhere in the journal it was said, "Those w h o run our sport are not bent on spreading it a m o n g as many people as possible, just the opposite,

Soviet Spori

they are intent on narrowing the circle of sports participants." Following the October Socialist Revolution of 1917, concern for people's health became a key aspect of state policy. In the very first years of Soviet government, the c o u n c i l of People's C o m m i s s a r s t h e supreme executive and legislative body between 1917 and 1946 debated the issue of building an estate outside Moscow for workers' leisure. High Party and governmental figures like Nikolai Podvoisky, p r o m i n e n t in the October Revolution of 1917, and People's Commissar (Minister) of Health Nikolai Semashko headed the sports movement in that period. Vladimir Lenin signed the Statute on Health Protection of Children and Juveniles on 15 September 1921 The d o c u m e n t accorded an important role to physical culture. Two years later the g o v e r n m e n t instituted a state body, the Supreme Council of Physical Culture, with the status of a standing government committee that took charge of the health of all Soviet people. In defining the range of duties of the People's Commissar for Education, Lenin specified the need to introduce physical training as a compulsory subject in schools. Lenin's instructions laid the f o u n d a t i o n for Soviet physical culture. As the eminent German and international labour movement figure Clara Zetkin noted, q u o t i n g Lenin, " Y o u n g people especially need a zest for life and cheerfulness. Healthy sports like gymnastics, s w i m m i n g , hiking, all manner of physical exercise, various cultural interests, study, and research must all be c o m b i n e d as far as possible." Even while the Civil War was in progress, physical culture colleges opened in Petrograd and Moscow, workers started building a sports stadium in Bryansk, and railwaymen in Cherepovets were constructing sports g r o u n d s in their spare time. Soviet y o u n g men and w o m e n demonstrated their readiness for labour and defence of their country, their adherence to internationalist ideals at the I All-Union Spartakiad w h i c h took place in M o s c o w in the summer of 1928. Besides the 7,000 Soviet athletes, there were members of worker sports organizations from Germany, Britain, Norway, France, Austria, Finland and elsewhere. It is interesting to note, by way of comparison, that the IX Olympic Games held the same summer in Amsterdam attracted only three thousand-odd participants. The book Soviet Sport published in the 1920s says. "Soviet sport must still be considered a babe in arms
h i s t o r i c a l l y . All t h e s a m e t h a t b a b e in a r m s h a s not its feet, it has become so vigorous that it can only even

dispensed with its nappies, has g r o w n strong and found

Tempos

Fugit

successfully withstand international competition. The reason is evident: our sport straightaway relied on the people and was supported by the people. Here lie the n o u r i s h i n g roots of Soviet sport and the major reasons for its mighty growth." During the grim years of the Great Patriotic War, 1941-45, Soviet people were engaged in intrepid struggle against Nazi fascism. It was the tempering obtained in sport that helped them withstand the assault and become victorious in the end. Here is just one fact f r o m the heroic annals of the war years. In 1942 m o u n t a i n troops rescued 230 children w h o w o u l d otherwise have been murdered by the Nazis. They smuggled t h e m across the front line, traversing the extremely dangerous Becho mountain pass in the Caucasus. The m o n u m e n t to the Soviet liberator-soldier that stands in Berlin's Treptow Park (sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich; erected in 1946-49) honours their memory and that of millions of their comrades in sport and arms. The reader may see testimony f r o m the many examples in this book to the noble mission of immense state importance that is being pursued in the USSR. For the first time in the history of humanity sport has become the privilege of the millions, and physical culture has become part and parcel of the socialist way of live. As is testified to by Soviet and overseas experts, it is a progressive system of physical education of a new type w i t h no historical precedent. A prime outstanding feature of the system is its sheer scale, the health orientation, its service in the interests of the publuc and its accessibility. Soviet physical culture has developed as a key c o m p o n e n t of the g o v e r n m e n t concern for people's health. In excess of 250,000 physical culture g r o u p s and 7,000 sports and sports-technical clubs operate at factories and mills, schools and f a r m s i n all areas of Soviet society. Virtually 90 million people are engaged in various forms of physical activity and sport. A c c o r d i n g to expert estimates, the USSR has constructed sports amenities to the aggregate sum of some seven billion rubles; it is also reckoned that in summertime Soviet sports centres can simultaneously accommodate over 20 million people. Figures, figures... They are now perceived as sums of e n o r m o u s work and concrete results. Today the Soviet Union has more than 350,000 full-time people employed in physical culture: coaches, sports instructors, teachers, researchers and other members of the profession. Sports medicine provides a powerful orientation to health maintenance. The USSR is the first country in the w o r l d to set up a state system of medical service for

Soviet

Spori

10

people engaged in physical culture and sport. Over 130 institutes are c o n d u c t i n g research and developing projects in the sphere of physical culture: and over 200 specialized higher and intermediate educational institutions are training personnel for sports. The country publishes 35 sports newspapers and magazines with a single edition of over eight million copies. The main sports paper Sovetsky sport is one of the biggest sports publications in the w o r l d ; every day except Monday its printers in 45 Soviet cities put out almost five million copies that are distributed all over the world to more than 120 countries. Krasnaya gazeta (Red Gazette), published in the 1920s, once wrote, "Tsarist Russia's backwardness was general and profound... As far as the so-called national outlying provinces of the former tsarist empire are concerned, the very concept of physical culture' was even unknown. The October Revolution changed that situation. The work ahead, however, is enormous. Physical culture, an integral part of education, must become equally accessible to all peoples inhabiting our country." The Soviet Union is justly k n o w n as a country without areas where people do not go in for sports. We are implementing a country-wide p r o g r a m m e of improving physical fitness, w h i c h even today is t r a n s f o r m i n g our state into a gigantic stadium of 22,400,000 square kilometres. Soviet history is rich in examples of how members of one nationality or another have been enriched by the cultural experience and attainments of other nationalities, and have been brought into contact with world culture. Soviet sport is generous in its mutual assistance, and is internationalist in its very essence. Coach Levan Suliev, an Ossetian, b r o u g h t a Russian girl, Elvira Ozolina, to the gold Olympic award, while his Russian colleague, Leningrader Victor Alexeyev, trained Latvian World Champion Inese Jaunzeme. The Press sisters, Tamara and Irina, deprived of home and sustenance in Nazi-devastated Kharkov, f o u n d a second home in the remote Uzbek city of Samarkand, and it was here they took up sport and began their path to the Olympic heights. Feelings of friendship and kinship g r o w strong in the acute, u n c o m p r o m i s i n g contests that take place in sporting arenas; and each Soviet athlete may call any other team member of another nationality his or her comrade in sport As the September 1981 Resolution "On Further Promoting Mass Physical Culture and Sport adopted by the CPSU Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers puts it. "The mass nature of the sports movement is

Tempus

r 'jy-t

11

one of socialism's finest attainments." The USSR Constitution has the f o l l o w i n g w o r d s inscribed in it: "The state ... encourages the development of mass physical culture and sport" (Article 24). The country has and is constantly improving a u n i f o r m education system w h i c h "serves ... the intellectual and physical development of the youth' (Article 25). The right of Soviet citizens to rest and leisure is ensured, in particular, by "the development on a mass scale of sport, physical culture, and camping and t o u r i s m " (Article 41), while the right to health protection, as well as "free, qualified medical care ... (and) extension of the network of therapeutic and health-building institutions" (Article 42) are also guaranteed. These articles of the Constitution contain direct references to the responsible mission of physical culture and sport to ensure the h a r m o n i o u s development of the individual. Guests arriving in the Soviet Union are sometimes surprised at us wanting everyone to engage in sport. Well, here lies the p a r a m o u n t distinguishing feature of our society in that it cares for all its members w i t h o u t exception. This concerns not simply sport, but physical culture in the widest meaning of the term: the physical culture of the nation as a whole. Valery Kudryavtsev, Editor-in-Chief of Sovetsky sport and member of the USSR National Olympic Committee

Milestones in Soviet Sport


This chapter c o n t a i n s only a small p o r t i o n of the events involving Soviet sport over the last seventy years. All the same, we hope that even this brief c h r o n i c l e will aid the reader in understanding and appreciating the hard road traversed by the Soviet sports movement f r o m the initial decrees of 1917, the primary purpose of w h i c h was t o improve children's health, to present-day state plans to involve almost 100 million people, over a third of the population, in sporting activities. i

Soviet Spori

14

1917
November.
Lenin and the People's Commissar for Education Anatoly Lunacharsky signed the decree on establishing the State Committee on People's Education. One of the Committee's sections was that on medicine and health. The decree stated, "Comrades, the People's Government puts concern for children in the forefront of its work. Children are our future... "Schools must keep an eye on children's physical and mental development and s h o u l d provide gymnastics, sports, games, bathing and walks."

1918
January.
Moscow played host to the Speed Skating Championship of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). The first Soviet athlete c r o w n e d RSFSR C h a m p i o n was Yakov Melnikov (1896-1960) w h o subsequently became European (1927) and World (1927, 1935) Champion. On Lenin's initiative, the government passed a decree on universal military training for all citizens t o safeguard the Revolution's gains; the organization set up to implement this training was k n o w n as Vsevobuch. In addition to military disciplines, Vsevobuch detachments studied the fundamentals of jphysical education. This is how the development o,f physical culture and sport in the y o u n g Soviet republic began. The State Committee on People's Education issued the Declaration on the Uniform System of Vocational Education, w h i c h instructed to employ physical culture and sport as the main means of physical education. "Gymnastics and sport should develop not only strength and skill, but also the ability to take precise g r o u p actions, and a spirit of mutual assistance, etc."

April.

October.

1919
April.
M o s c o w was the venue for the First All-Russia Congress of Physical Culture and Sport Employees. The Congress adopted a resolution w h i c h for the first time set out the m e t h o d o l o g i c a l principles of the Soviet system of physical education aimed at the all-round physical development of y o u n g people. The first nationwide parade of athletes and Vsevobuch detachments t o o k place on M o s c o w ' s Red Square. Lenin took the salute and, in his address to those in the

May.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

15

October.

parade, he said, "Today's festival shows what progress we have made, what new force is g r o w i n g w i t h i n the w o r k i n g class." The Lesgaft State Physical Education Institute (nowadays the Leningrad Lesgaft Physical Culture Institute) opened in Petrograd on the basis of the Physical Education Courses for W o m e n Teachers and Instructors, f o u n d e d in 1896 by the eminent Russian educationalist and medic Pyotr Lesgaft (1837-1909). The Second Congress of the Russian Y o u n g C o m m u n i s t League (Komsomol) debated physical education issues and indicated the need for active Komsomol involvement in the physical e d u c a t i o n of y o u n g people and assistance to the g o v e r n m e n t in p r o m o t i n g physical culture and sport.

1920
May, June. A Sports Day organized by Vsevobuch was held t h r o u g h o u t the country. M o s c o w held the first cycle race along the inner r i n g - r o a d t h e Sadovoye k o l t s o w h i c h subsequently became an annual event. It was to mark its sixtieth anniversary in 1987. M o s c o w played host to the "Pre-Olympic Games", Omsk to the first Siberian Olympics, Yekaterinburg (now Sverdlovsk) to the first Urals Olympics, Mineralnyye Vody to the first North Caucasus Olympics, and Tashkent to the first Central Asian .Olympics. The Supreme Physical Culture Council attached to the Vsevobuch Main Board came into being. Its duties i n c l u d e d drawing up programmes, regulations and statutes of physical education, organizing and h o l d i n g sports events, training coaches, supervising the PT for s c h o o l c h i l d r e n and students, and being responsible for the medical supervision of athletes. The Third Congress of the Russian Komsomol a d o p t e d a detailed resolution on p r o m o t i n g physical culture and sport a m o n g y o u n g people. Guided by Lenin's instruct i o n s Lenin had in fact addressed delegates on the o p e n i n g d a y t h e Congress inscribed in its resolutions that "Physical education of the younger generation is a necessary aspect of the overall system of c o m m u n i s t e d u c a t i o n of y o u n g people, aimed at f o r m i n g a h a r m o n i ous person, a citizen of creative endeavour in c o m m u nist society." Lenin signed the C o u n c i l of People's Commissars' decree on establishing in M o s c o w the State Physical Culture Institute.

July.

August.

October.

December.

Soviet Spori

16

1921
May. The Soviet Government issued the decree "On Rest Homes", w h i c h indicated the need to use physical culture and sport for health purposes. The International Association of Red Sports Organizations ( c o m m o n l y k n o w n as Red Sport International) was set up and given the task of u n i t i n g worker sport worldwide, of strengthening proletarian solidarity, and c o m b a t i n g the forces of reaction and militarism. M o s c o w played host to the first Russian Federation S w i m m i n g Championships. The Soviet Government adopted "Provisions on Protecting the Health of Children and Juveniles" w h i c h defined the role and place of physical e d u c a t i o n in school and justified the need for a scientific a p p r o a c h to the issue. The Fourth Congress of the Russian K o m s o m o l advocated closing d o w n the old sports clubs and societies. On K o m s o m o l initiative the Muravei Sports Society was set up in Moscow, Spartak in Petrograd, and Krasny molodnyak in Minsk (Byelorussia).

July.

August. September.

1922
May. Moscow held the running relay along the Garden R i n g - R o a d t h e Sadovoye k o l t s o w h i c h became the forerunner of the annual athletics contest run on that city thoroughfare. The RSFSR held its first Soccer Championships, w o n by the M o s c o w team. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics came into b e i n g t h e first socialist state in history, expressing the will and interests of the w o r k i n g class, peasantry and intelligentsia, all the nations and nationalities of the country.

September. December.

1923
June. The All-Russia Central Executive Committee (VTslK), w h i c h was the country's supreme legislative, administrative and supervisory body between 1917 and 1937, raised the Supreme Physical Culture C o u n c i l to the level of a s t a n d i n g committee attached to the VTslK, so as to improve leadership of the sports movement. The Council was entrusted with the task of c o o r d i n a t i n g and h a r m o n i z i n g the research and organization in physical education and the physical development of the public generally.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

17

August.

September.

November.

On the initiative of Felix Dzerzhinsky (1877-1926), p r o m i n e n t Soviet statesman and Party official, the first nation-wide sports society was set up; it became k n o w n as Dynamo. The first such society was in Moscow, but w i t h i n t w o years, 1923-24, the M o s c o w example was emulated in Penza, Ryazan, Astrakhan, Nizhny Novgorod (now Gorky) and several other cities. M o s c o w was the venue for the first USSR S w i m m i n g Championships, w o n by the Petrograd (Leningrad) team. M o s c o w held the first All-Union Physical Culture Festival involving athletes and physical culture enthusiasts from as many as forty Soviet cities. A total of 18 national records were set in events featured in the festival's programme. A football match took place in Berlin between the local w o r k e r team and Moscow, w h i c h instituted contacts between Soviet athletes and German worker sports clubs; M o s c o w w o n the match 6:0. The sports publishers Fizkultura i sport (Physical Culture and Sport) came into being to provide literature about sports aimed at a mass audience and specialists alike.

1924
February. May. M o s c o w played host to the first USSR Skiing Championships. The Party Central Committee Report at its Thirteenth Congress stated that the Russian Federation sports organizations had a membership of 375,000, of w h o m 42 per cent were workers. In just seven years the number of people d o i n g sport on a regular basis had virtually g r o w n eightfold. The first edition of the newspaper Krasny sport (nowadays Sovetsky sport) came out. The first USSR Athletics C h a m p i o n s h i p s took place. This m o n t h saw the debut of the Soviet soccer team. It beat the national Turkish side 3:0. The first Ail-Union Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships were held.

July. August. November. December.

1925
July. August. The Party Central Committee adopted the resolution "On Tasks of the Party in Physical C u l t u r e " . M o s c o w was the venue for a trade-union festival of physical culture. The track and field, cycling, shooting and team sports events attracted over 600 participants from the railway, chemical industry, textile, metal-

Soviet Spori

18

September.

November.

worker, m i n i n g and trade employee unions. The first A r m e d Forces A u t u m n Championships took place, thus inaugurating the general p r o m o t i o n of equestrian sport in the country. The Ail-Union Conference of People W o r k i n g in Physical Culture was held.

1926
April. September. M o s c o w held the first USSR B o x i n g Championships. Physical education was i n t r o d u c e d into the curricula of several educational, medical, agricultural and technical colleges as a compulsory subject.

1927
January. Four M o s c o w athletesDmitry Vasilyev, Boris Dementyev, Alexander Nemukhin and Vladimir S a v i n s k i e d f r o m M o s c o w t o Helsinki and S t o c k h o l m , a total of 2,150 kilometres in 29 days, with an average daily speed of 74 km. The Russian Federation ice hockey (bandy) team beat a Swedish w o r k e r ' s team in Leningrad 11:0; the match was effectively the first time Soviet ice hockey had featured in an international contest. Leningrad also played host to the All-Russia Winter Physical Culture Festival, the winter counterpart of the All-Russia Physical Culture Festival dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the Revolution. M o s c o w held a parade of athletes and physical culture enthusiasts involving as many as 18,000 people. Three t h o u s a n d athletes and physical culture enthusiasts t o o k part in the All-Russia Physical Culture Festival (the summer festival). Besides Russian athletes, the c o m p e t i t i o n s featured sportsmen f r o m such Soviet republics as the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Georgia and Uzbekistan, as well as worker athletes f r o m Germany, Latvia, Norway, Fir>land and Czechoslovakia. During the t o u r n a m e n t as mafly as 52 Soviet records were established. The first w o m e n ' s Chess C h a m p i o n s h i p s were held. The country's first indoor 25-metre four-lane s w i m m i n g pool o p e n e d in Leningrad.

February.

July. August.

October. November.

1928
August. The I All-Union Spartakiad was held; it was dedicated to the First Five-Year Plan for developing the Soviet e c o n o m y (1928-32) and the tenth anniversary of the

Milestones in Soviet Sport

19

Soviet sports movement. It paved the way for future regular multisport tournaments. The festival p r o g r a m m e included events in track-and-field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, water polo, cycling, shooting, motorcycling, wrestling, boxing, w e i g h t l i f t i n g , soccer, volleyball, tennis, handball, the Russian folk sport of gorodki, fencing, rowing and sweep-oar boating, sailing and folk dancing. The Spartakiad had over 7,000 participants, i n c l u d i n g over 600 athletes from 17 foreign countries Czechoslovakia, Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Argentina and Uruguay. So it was more than a review of the Soviet sports movement, it was a demonstration of the international unity of w o r k e r athletes. Sports competition represented, in fact, a festival of f r i e n d s h i p between the athletes of the Soviet Union and other countries. The Spartakiad featured athletes f r o m all the Soviet republics. First place in the team c o m p e t i t i o n went to athletes f r o m the Russian Federation.

1929
February. Oslo was the scene of the world speed skating c h a m p i o n s h i p s for w o r k e r athletes. Sweden, Norway and the USSR t o o k part, t h o u g h Soviet speed skaters carried off all the medals. Soviet trade unions held an Ail-Union Fortnight of Physical Culture w h o s e timetable of events i n c l u d e d mass competitions, display games and performances, and sports parades. By decree of the Russian Federation Council of People's Commissars, physical education became a c o m p u l s o r y subject in all the Republic's colleges and universities, many of w h i c h set up their o w n faculties of physical education and sport. The Party Central C o m m i t t e e adopted a resolution " O n the Physical Culture M o v e m e n t " w h i c h emphasized the need for state centralized administration and the involvement of the general p u b l i c in the movement.

July.

September.

1930
April. It was decided to institute the All-Union Physical Culture C o u n c i l and make all local physical culture councils, f r o m district up to Republican, including the C o u n c i l itself, bodies of state administration and supervision.

Soviet Spori

20

1931
March.
The All-Union Physical Culture C o u n c i l ratified the statutes and standards of the new national fitness p r o g r a m m e Gotov k trudu i oborone SSRGTO (Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR). The statutes stated, " A l l - r o u n d physical t r a i n i n g is ensured t h r o u g h the f u l f i l m e n t of a set of practical and theoretical tests." This GTO set of tests included 15 physical disciplines, such as running, j u m p i n g , t h r o w i n g a hand grenade, skiing and s w i m m i n g , and a k n o w l e d g e of the basics of the Soviet sports movement, military training and the application of first aid. M o s c o w ' s Red Square was the scene of the All-Union Sports Parade featuring some 40,000 y o u n g men and women.

July.

1932
January.
The s e c o n d grade of the GTO p r o g r a m m e was introduced; this contained more testing requirements for all-round physical training on the part of y o u n g people. Its p r o g r a m m e was expanded to 25 standards: three theoretical requirements and 22 practical tests (21 for women). This was meant to ensure a higher level of training for y o u n g people to prepare t h e m for work and defence. The n u m b e r of sports was now extended. To qualify for a second grade GTO badge required more effort and regular training. The annual All-Union Sports Parade t o o k place on M o s c o w ' s Red Square, featuring on this occasion some 70,000 people and dedicated to the GTO programme. The I All-Union Trade Union Spartakiad was held. The Central Physical Culture Research Institute (now the All-Union Physical Culture Research Institute) was f o u n d e d in Moscow.

August.

September.

1933
March. August.
The People's Commissariat for Labour gave permission for factory f u n d s earmarked for labour protection to be used for organizing keep-fit exercises at places of work. The annual All-Union Sports Parade in Moscow for the first time featured mass gymnastics displays; they involved some t w o thousand athletes f r o m the capital. In total the parade involved some 105,000 people. Moscow played host to the Armed Forces Spartakiad for the Red Army Officers.

September.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

21

1934
January. A set of tests was i n t r o d u c e d for the physical t r a i n i n g of schoolchildren, k n o w n as Bud gotov k trudu i oboroneBGTO (Be Prepared for Labour and Defence); it was intended as the initial stage of all-round physical fitness and contained 16 standards in technical sports disciplines. To c o m p l e t e the p r o g r a m m e the candidate had to demonstrate a m i n i m u m medical knowledge, an ability to instruct somebody in a particular sport, to play and referee a team sport. The BGTO was the c u l m i n a t i n g stage in establishing the u n i f o r m All-Union Physical Culture Programme "Ready for Labour and Defence". All three s t a g e s t h e BGTO, GTO-I and GTO-II had been w o r k e d out on the basis of the general principles of all-round physical e d u c a t i o n and attaining a high level of overall fitness. They contained standard ratings of m o u n t i n g difficulty. The first All-Union Chess and Draughts S c h o o l c h i l d r e n ' s T o u r n a m e n t took place; as many as 100,000 y o u n g people competed for the right to participate in it. The honorary title of Merited Master of Sport of the USSR was instituted, in w h i c h c o n n e c t i o n Pravda wrote, "The Soviet Government has inaugurated the Merited Master of Sport title. There can be no d o u b t that it is to play an august part in raising the sports movement to a higher level." The first such title was bestowed u p o n the outstanding Soviet speed skater Yakov Melnikov. The Leningrad weightlifter Nikolai Shatov boosted the w o r l d record f r o m 75.5 kg to 78.4 kg for the left-hand jerk in the lightweight division during a M o s c o w v. Leningrad match; the previous w o r l d record had been held by the Swiss s t r o n g m a n Hans Eschman. Shatov was the very first Soviet athlete officially to register a w o r l d record. Soviet footballers (the M o s c o w team), track and field athletes and boxers j o u r n e y e d abroad to Czechoslovakia where, besides c o m p e t i n g against worker athletes, they t o o k on members of bourgeois clubs, w i n n i n g every event. In c o m m e n t i n g on the high-class p e r f o r m a n c e of Soviet boxers, the Czechoslovak press wrote that they had been a real revelation for the rest of Europe. M o s c o w footballers marked up a particular success in beating one of the best professional teams in Czechoslovakia and Europe 3:2.

May.

October.

1935
February.
Soviet cross-country runners t o o k part in the L'Humanit Meeting in Paris and t o o k first team place.

Soviet Spori

22

April. August.

The Uniform All-Union Sports Classification was introduced, c o m p r i s i n g junior rankings, first, second and third adult rankings, and the title of Master of Sport. The Spartak All-Union Voluntary Sports Society came into existence. Footballers of the Ukrainian team beat the Paris professional team Red Star Olympique, on the occasion of w h i c h L'Humanite wrote, "Parisian workers took pride in the victory of their brothers f r o m the USSR, in them being able in just a few years to train such splendid c h a m p i o n s in no way inferior t o c h a m p i o n s of capitalist countries."

1936
June.
The All-Union Committee on Physical Culture and Sport Affairs attached to the USSR C o u n c i l of People's Commissars came into being. It t o o k charge of the administration and supervision of the training and placement of physical educationalists and sports personnel, the use of sporting facilities and distribution of sports equipment. On the basis of the successful experience of such sports societies as Dynamo, Spartak and M o s c o w sports organizations, nationwide trade union sports societies were set up. At the International Chess T o u r n a m e n t held in the British city of Nottingham, the Soviet Grandmaster Mikhail Botvinnik shared first place w i t h the Cuban Jose Raul Capablanca. Without losing a single match, Botvinnik overcame such w o r l d - r e n o w n e d players as Emanuel Lasker, Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr.

August.

1937
February. July.
The I All-Union Winter Spartakiad for Collective Farmers took place. For the first time representatives of all the Soviet Union Republics t o o k part in the nationwide Sports Parade on M o s c o w ' s Red Square. The Parade was a demonstration of the attainments of the multinational sports movement over the t w o decades of Soviet government. The III Worker Olympics were held in Antwerp. Soviet gymnasts, track and field athletes, footballers, weightlifters and boxers did particularly well. It was the first multisport international performance by Soviet athletes and it bore witness to the progress they had made to the f r o n t rank of European sport.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

23

1938
February. July. September.
A four-day skiing race f r o m Yaroslavl to M o s c o w was held. All-Union Schoolchildren's Sports Competitions were held for the first time. In Georgia the Tbilisi Physical Culture Institute started t r a i n i n g PT teachers and sport instructors.

1939
February. May. June.
A g r o u p of K o m s o m o l members completed the e x a c t i n g ski crossing along the shores of the White Sea, covering 500 km in five days. A g r a n d total of 17,000 Muscovites started in the annual s p r i n g Komsomolskaya pravda cross-country run held in Sokolniki Park. The Soviet Government instituted Athletics Day as an official national holiday on 18 July (today, the second Sunday in August).

1940
July.
A total of 30,000 athletes and physical culture enthusiasts, including envoys f r o m the twelve Union Republics, featured in the Athletics Day on M o s c o w ' s Red Square. Over the previous year a total of 201 national records, i n c l u d i n g 30 w o r l d records, had been broken.

1941
June.
The Nazi Germany perfidiously launched an attack on the Soviet Union. The Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 began. At the Party's appeal, the work of all state and p u b l i c organizations was subordinated to the goal of routing the foe. The entire country became a military camp. Military and physical training as well as physical rehabilitation of w o u n d e d servicemen acquired t o p priority within the c o u n t r y w i d e programme of c o m b a t readiness. With the outbreak of hostilities and the departure of a large contingent of athletes for the front, sports w o r k by no means ceased. On the very day that the war began, the USSR Cross-Country Motor Racing C h a m p i o n s h i p s t o o k place on the Minsk Highway just outside Moscow. When news came t h r o u g h of the Nazi incursions, the

Soviet Spori

24

NovemberDecember,

principal referee of the t o u r n a m e n t s issued the order " t o c o n t i n u e the competitions and complete them in good order". The order " t o continue the c o m p e t i t i o n s " became the m o t t o of all Soviet athletes d u r i n g the war. In the Urals, in Siberia, in Moscow and even in besieged Leningrad athletes c o n t i n u e d to train and take part in matches as well as to fulfil their work duties. A n d behind the lines the city championships, cross-country runs, relays and super long-distance runs continued, even t h o u g h the overall scale of sports activities obviously diminished. The M o s c o w Cup competition for ice hockey (bandy) was held. The capital also provided speed skating c o m p e t i t i o n s featuring the c o u n t r y ' s t o p skaters. A n d at the toughest moment of the battle for Moscow, when the enemy was less than 30 km away, the city held its Chess Tournament, attracting the attention of the Soviet and foreign sports public. Victory laurels went to Chess Master Isaac Mazel. He had only recently been fighting in units defending Moscow, but w h e n the front-line c o m m a n d realized the importance of the chess championship, they felt it feasible to give the Chess Master leave for the duration of the t o u r n a m e n t .

1942
July. A trade union and Komsomol cross-country run was held simultaneously in various t o w n s and villages, involving a total of over five million people. The cross-country was unusual in that it included running over r o u g h terrain, grenade t h r o w i n g and doing the leopard crawl.

1943
July. The Trudovyye Reservy voluntary sports society was set up w i t h the principal aim of training y o u n g people to be highly-productive workers and g o o d defenders of their homeland.

1944
January-March. September.
Mass skiing tournaments were organized for y o u n g collective farmers for the first time. A total of 1,130,000 people t o o k part. The Physical Culture Institute was o p e n e d in Kiev.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

25

1945
May. The war against Nazi Germany came to an end. Mass sports w o r k that year was influenced by that v i c t o r i o u s event and the switch over to peacetime construction. The p r o g r a m m e of sports events i n c l u d e d 22 All-Union c h a m p i o n s h i p s and over 300 major tournaments and training c a m p sessions. There were numerous matches and city c h a m p i o n s h i p s in a variety of sports; championships were held by the voluntary sports societies, and winter spartakiads were run by the trade unions in Siberia, the Soviet Far East, the Urals, Northern Caucasus, Central Asia and the Transcaucasus. During the year, 108 new national records were set, and 13 of t h e m actually bettered the existing official w o r l d records. The All-Union Sports Parade was held on M o s c o w ' s Red Square, dedicated to victory in the war. Athletes f r o m all the Union Republics t o o k part. Physical culture institutes were f o u n d e d in Lithuania, A r m e n i a and Kazakhstan. The Moscow Dynamo soccer team toured the British Isles where it played f o u r matches against British clubs, w i n n i n g t w o and d r a w i n g two, scoring 19 goals and c o n c e d i n g 9.

August.

September. November.

1946
February. After an absence f r o m international competitions caused by the war, Soviet runners again took part in the L'HumanitG cross-country run and scored the team victory. Soviet track and field athletes made their debut in the European Championships in Oslo. Gold medals w e n t to Nikolai Karakulov, Yevgeniya Sechenova, Tatyana Sevryukova, Nina Dumbadze and Klavdiya Mayuchaya. Soviet weightlifters made a successful debut at the official World C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Paris, w i n n i n g one gold, t w o silver and t w o bronze medals. The first Soviet W o r l d Weightlifting C h a m p i o n was Grigory Novak; Yakov Kutsenko and Vladimir Svetilko became silver medallists, and Moisei Kasyanik and Georgy Popov t o o k bronze. Soviet sports organizations affiliated to international associations; the first sports t o join were soccer and weightlifting.

August.

October.

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26

1947
April.
Prague saw the debut of Soviet wrestlers in the European Championships. Three Soviet wrestlers, Nikolai Belov, Konstantin Koberidze and Johannes Kotkas, became European Champions. The Soviet basketball team w o n their first ever European C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Prague.

1948
February. May.
In the Finnish city of Turku, Maria Isakova was the first Soviet w o m a n athlete to become W o r l d Champion in Speed Skating in combined events. As w i n n e r of a chess t o u r n a m e n t involving the w o r l d ' s top Grandmasters, Mikhail Botvinnik became the first Soviet chess player to be c r o w n e d W o r l d Champion.

1949
August. September. October.
Soviet athletes w o n 115 gold medals at the X International Student Games in Budapest. Prague was the venue for the first Men's World Volleyball Championships; they were w o n by the Soviet team. Soviet wrestlers w o n the match in M o s c o w against the national Finnish team with a score of 8:0, even t h o u g h the o p p o n e n t s included Olympic and w o r l d championship medallists in their team.

1950
January. July.
Lyudmila Rudenko was the first Soviet w o m a n to be c r o w n e d W o r l d Chess Champion. The gigantic Kirov Stadium seating 100,000 spectators opened in Leningrad; it was at that time the nation's biggest arena.

1951
April. May.
The USSR National Olympic Committee was set up. At its 46th Session in Vienna, the International Olympic Committee officially recognized the USSR National Olympic Committee and accepted it into the Olympic movement.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

27

1952
July-August.
Soviet athletes made their Olympic debut at the Helsinki Olympic Games; they w o n a total of 22 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze medals. The first victors were Nina Romashkova (subsequently Ponomaryova) in track and field, David Tsimakuridze in free-style wrestling, Boris Gurevich in Greco-Roman wrestling, Yury Tyukalov in rowing, Anatoly B o g d a n o v in rifle shooting, Ivan Udodov in weightlifting, and Victor Chukarin and Maria Gorokhovskaya w h o both became All-Round Gymnastics Champions. M a k i n g its debut in the chess Olympiad in Helsinki, the Soviet team w o n the tournament. M o s c o w played host to the first Women's Volleyball W o r l d Championships, w h i c h were w o n by the Soviet team.

August.

1953
February. May.
Oleg Goncharenko was the first Soviet male speed skater to become W o r l d C h a m p i o n . Soviet boxers made their debut at the European Championships, and titles were w o n by Vladimir Engibaryan and Algirdas Shotsikas.

1954
February.
At the Skiing World C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in the Swedish t o w n of Falun, Soviet skiers Vladimir Kuzin, Lyubov Kozyreva, Margarita Maslennikova and Valentina Tsareva all took top titles. The Soviet ice hockey (puck) team made a successful d e b u t in the World and European C h a m p i o n s h i p s in S t o c k h o l m , taking first place w i t h o u t losing a single game. The Soviet gymnastics debut in the Rome W o r l d Championships b r o u g h t Over-All Champion titles to Victor Chukarin, Valentin Muratov and Larisa Latynina. The Finals of the I All-Union Schoolchildren's Spartakiad were held in Leningrad and involved more than 2,500 schoolchildren. Roman Brener, Valentina Chumicheva and Tatyana Karakashyants were v i c t o r i o u s in the debut by Soviet divers in Turin at the European Diving Championships. Sports faculties were opened at the Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev physical culture institutes; this paved the way for the training of top-class coaches.

March.

June. August. September.

Soviet Spori

28

November.

Soviet marksmen made a successful debut at the World S h o o t i n g Championships in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, w i n n i n g six of the seven cups and establishing 18 w o r l d records. Anatoly Bogdanov alone gained six gold medals.

1955
April. Boris Shakhlin became All-round Gymnastics C h a m p i o n in Frankfurt-on-Maine at the first-ever European Cup in that sport. Konstantin Salnikov became the first Soviet pentathlete to w i n a w o r l d title at the W o r l d Modern Pentathlon C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in the Swiss t o w n of Macoline.

October.

1956
January-February.
Soviet debut at the VII Winter Olympics. At the Italian resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Soviet athletes w o n seven gold, three silver and six bronze medals. Lyubov Kozyreva opened the Soviet medal a c c o u n t in skiing, Yevgeny Grishin in speed skating, and the ice hockey team t o o k the Olympic title. The f i n i s h i n g touches were put t o the new Lenin Central Stadium in M o s c o w ' s Luzhniki district. The Finals of the I Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR were held. As many as 23 million people had taken part in the preliminaries, and over 9,000 finalists representing 40 Soviet nationalities came together for the c o n c l u d i n g events in Moscow. First prize went to the M o s c o w team. A total of 355 Republican, 32 national and nine w o r l d records were set d u r i n g the Spartakiad. At the XVI Olympic Games held in Melbourne Soviet athletes gained 37 gold, 29 silver and 32 bronze medals. Vladimir Safronov opened the Soviet account in boxing, Yelizaveta Dementyeva in kayaking, Pavel Kharin and Gratsian Botev in canoeing. First Olympic gold medals were w o n by the Soviet pentathlon and soccer teams.

July. August.

NovemberDecember.

1957
September. At the Paris World Championships Alexandra Zabelina w o n the first-ever Soviet gold in fencing. The first W o m e n ' s Chess Olympiad, held in the Dutch city of Emmen, culminated in victory for the Soviet team.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

29

1958
July.
The Moscow Central Lenin Stadium played host to the first international Znamensky Brothers Memorial Meeting, c o m m e m o r a t i n g the remarkable Soviet r u n n i n g brothers of the 1930s, several times National Champions and winners of many big international tournaments. The All-Union K o m s o m o l and Y o u t h Spartakiad w i t h s o m e 15 million participants came to an end.

October.

1959
May.
At the Athletics C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in Moscow Vasily Kuznetsov bettered the w o r l d record held by Rafer J o h n s o n by 55 points, a c c u m u l a t i n g 8,357 points in the decathlon, w h i c h is generally regarded as the " b l u e r i b b o n " event in track and field events. At the end of the year an international survey of sports journalists voted Kuznetsov the best athlete of 1959. The II USSR Spartakiad, w i t h over 40 million participants f r o m preliminaries to finals, came to an end in Moscow. Some 3,600,000 athletes took part in district, city and regional Spartakiads, setting more than 30,000 local records. The Finals were contended by a total of 8,432 athletes representing 43 different nationalities. As many as 22 sports featured in the competitions. During the closing stages of the c o m p e t i t i o n s the finalists set 154 Republican, M o s c o w and L e n i n g r a d records, 12 national records and three w o r l d records. In the team score victory went once more to Moscow.

August.

1960
February.
Soviet athletes w o n seven gold, five silver and nine bronze medals at the VIII Winter Olympics held in the A m e r i c a n t o w n of Squaw Valley. Lidiya Skoblikova and Klara Guseva w o n the inaugural Olympic w o m e n ' s speed skating events. Soviet athletes at the XVII Olympic Games held in Rome w o n a total of 43 gold, 29 silver and 31 bronze medals. First Soviet Olympic victories were in cycling (Victor Kapitonov), in equestrian sport (Sergei Filatov), in f e n c i n g (Victor Zhdanovich), and in sailing (Timur Pinegin and Fyodor Shutkov). The Physical Culture Institute opened in Volgograd.

AugustSeptember.

September.

Soviet Spori

30

1961
May. June. Yury Melikhov was the first Soviet athlete to take an individual victory in the Peace Race. During the USSR-USA Athletics Match Valery Brumel set a new w o r l d high j u m p i n g record of 2.23 m in Moscow. He subsequently improved on the w o r l d record a total of five times and raised the bar t o 2.28 m. It took an entire decade, until 1971, for any rival t o break that record. In 1961, 1962 and 1963 an international sports journalist panel voted him top athlete of the year. M o s c o w held the Modern Pentathlon W o r l d Championships, w h i c h were w o n individually by Igor Novikov, with the team title g o i n g to the USSR.

August.

1962
March. The finals of the I Winter USSR Spartakiad took place in Sverdlovsk and Bakuriani; they had been preceded by preliminaries in ten Union Republics competed for by ten million athletes. The team title in the Finals went once again to Moscow. Anzor Kibrotsashvili became the first Soviet j u d o wrestler to w i n a European title w h e n he took the over-all title at the European J u d o C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in the West German city of Essen. At the inaugural World Rowing Championships held in the Swiss resort of Lucerne Vyacheslav Ivanov took first place in the single sculls.

May.

September.

1963
August. The III USSR Spartakiad Finals encompassed a total of 23 sports involving 7,518 athletes. They resulted in six world, five European, 35 national and 389 Republican records. First place went to the M o s c o w team.

1964
January-February. Soviet athletes w o n 11 gold, eight silver and six bronze medals at the IX Winter Olympic Games held in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. The u n c r o w n e d Olympic " q u e e n " was Lidiya Skoblikova w h o w o n all four of her speed skating races. Vladimir Melanin was the first Soviet biathlon competitor t o w i n an Olympic gold.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

31

October.

Soviet athletes gained 30 gold, 31 silver and 35 bronze medals at the XVIII Olympic Games held in Tokyo. First Olympic golds went t o the Soviet s w i m m i n g (Galina Prozumenshchikova) and volleyball team.

1965
February. May.
Inga Artamonova became Over-All World C h a m p i o n in speed skating for the f o u r t h time in the World Championships held in the Finnish t o w n of Oulu. Eight out of ten Soviet boxers f o u g h t their way to the finals of the European B o x i n g Championships held in Berlin. In fact, those finals ended 8:0 in favour of the USSR over the rest of Europe.

1966
March.
The II Winter USSR Spartakiad t o o k place. Representatives of over 40 nationalities t o o k part in the Finals held simultaneously in Sverdlovsk, Terskol, Gorky and Kiev. First place went to the M o s c o w team. Soviet water polo c o m p e t i t o r s w o n the European c r o w n in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

August.

1967
June. July-August.
The Soviet basketball team w o n the World C h a m p i o n ship for the first time in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Finals of the IV USSR Spartakiad, dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the Revolution, took place w i t h over 80 million participants. The preliminaries were held in 160,000 physical culture g r o u p s ; over 16,000 people c o m p e t e d for titles in 23 sports in the Finals. The Spartakiad p r o d u c e d 20 world, 12 European and 46 national records.

1968
January.
The I All-Union Y o u n g Farmers' Games c o m m e n c e d ; they lasted almost a w h o l e year. More than ten million people took part in the first stage, involving mass exercise and fitness tests and spartakiads. The Finals featured 11 sports and were w o n by the Urozhai (Harvest) team f r o m the Russian Federation. At the X Winter Olympic Games in the French city of Grenoble, Soviet athletes gained five gold, five silver

February.

Soviet Spori

32

June. September. October.

and three bronze medals. Vladimir Belousov was the first Soviet athlete to w i n a g o l d in ski j u m p i n g . The Pravda International R u n n i n g T o u r n a m e n t was held in the Lenin Central Stadium, thereby inaugurating one of the most popular of all international meetings. The I W o m e n ' s Youth Central Asian and Kazakh Spartakiad t o o k place in Dushanbe. Soviet athletes w o n 29 gold, 32 silver and 30 bronze medals at the XIX Olympic Games held in Mexico. Yevgeny Petrov was the first Soviet athlete to w i n an Olympic gold in skeet shooting, and Yelena Belova took the first Soviet gold in the individual w o m e n ' s fencing competition.

1969
August.
The team of Soviet archers made up of Emma Gapchenko, Nonna Kozina and Tatyana Obraztsova were the first athletes to w i n a world c h a m p i o n s h i p s for the Soviet Union in that sport; they did so in the US t o w n of Valley Falls. The Third All-Union Congress of Collective Farmers adopted a new Statute w h i c h stated that "the collective farm adopts measures to improve the everyday life of farmers, and displays daily c o n c e r n to fortify the health and physical education of farm members and their families".

November.

1970
June.
The Soviet equestrian team w o n its first World Championships in the West German city of Aachen. Yelena Petushkova w o n the individual dressage title and, together w i t h Ivan Kalita and Ivan Kizimov, took the team honours.

1971
July.
M o s c o w was the venue for the Finals of the V Summer USSR Spartakiad. Some 45 million people took part at some stage of the preliminaries, and over 7,000 athletes c o n t e n d e d the Finals w h i c h were supplemented that year by handball and archery. During the proceedings a total of 18 world, 19 European and 31 national record marks were set. First place on this occasion went to the Russian Federation team. The USSR National Olympic Committee upheld the proposal made by Moscow City Council to put forward

September.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

33

M o s c o w ' s candidature as host city for the XXII Olympic Games to be held in 1980.

1972
January. A new GTO national fitness p r o g r a m m e became the basis of the Soviet physical education system. It was c o m m i s s i o n e d to help shape the spiritual and moral o u t l o o k of Soviet people, to encourage their physical perfection and creative endeavour. Henceforth the GTO was to consist of six grades and be based on the principle of age for that segment of the p o p u l a t i o n f r o m seven to 60. The new p r o g r a m m e was as f o l l o w s : Grade 1 "Ready for the S t a r t " a g e s 7-9 (to be introd u c e d f r o m 1 September 1979); Grade 2 " B o l d and S k i l f u l " a g e s 10-11 and 12-13; Grade 3 "Sports Reserve"ages 14-15; Grade 4 "Strength and C o u r a g e " a g e s 16-18; Grade 5 "Physical P e r f e c t i o n " a g e s (men) 19-28 and 29-39; and (women) 19-28 and 29-34; Grade 6 "Fitness and H e a l t h " a g e s (men) 40-49 and 50-60; and (women) 35-44 and 45-55. Each Grade consists of a set of theoretical tests and a set of exercises and sports standards. The theoretical tests include fundamentals of the Soviet physical educat i o n system, a knowledge of personal and social hygiene habits, of rules and methods of protection f r o m w e a p o n s of mass destruction, and fulfilment of m o r n i n g keep-fit exercises. The practical standards embrace exercises that determine the level of a person's physical attributes (strength, endurance, speed and skill), as well as exercises that help him or her to master applied habits (running for speed and endurance, strength exercises, high j u m p and long j u m p , ski racing, swimming, pull ups, etc.). Those w h o meet the requirements and standards for Grades 2, 3 and 4 receive silver and g o l d badges; those w h o meet Grade 5 norms gain a silver, gold or gold w i t h distinction. People meeting Grade 6 standards receive a gold badge. GTO tests normally take place at sports competitions. At the XI Winter Olympics held in Sapporo, Soviet athletes w o n eight gold, five silver and three bronze medals. Vyacheslav Vedenin was the first Soviet athlete to w i n an individual ski race event; Alexander Ragulin, Vitaly Davydov, Victor Kuzkin and Anatoly Firsov were the first hockey players in the history of the Winter Olympics to be members of a team w i n n i n g its t h i r d ice hockey title. Soviet athletes obtained a total of 50 gold, 27 silver and 22 bronze medals at the M u n i c h XX OLympic Games.

February.

AugustSeptember.

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34

First titles were w o n in j u d o b y Shota Chochishvili, in diving by Vladimir Vasin, in the men's k a y a k s b y Alexander Shaparenko, while the Soviet basketball and water polo teams won first-time victories for their country in these events.

1973
April. The Soviet ice hockey team w o n all its matches on the way to t a k i n g the w o r l d and European title in the c h a m p i o n s h i p s held in Moscow. M o s c o w was the venue for the VII World Student Games in w h i c h Soviet athletes w o n 68 gold, 36 silver and 30 bronze medals.

August.

1974
March. The Finals of the III Winter USSR Spartakiad, held in Sverdlovsk and Bakuriani, attracted more than 2,500 athletes from 12 of the 15 Republics. Team victory that year went to Leningrad. Vassily S o l o m i n and Rufat Riskiev took their weight division titles at the first-ever W o r l d B o x i n g Championships, held in the Cuban capital of Havana. M o s c o w was chosen as host for the XXII Olympic Games at the 75th Session of the IOC, held in Vienna. The " S p o r t in Modern Society" World Congress held in M o s c o w attracted scholars f r o m 45 countries.

August.

October. November.

1975
March-July. The VI S u m m e r USSR Spartakiad t o o k place, dedicated to the thirtieth anniversary of Soviet victory in the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War. The sports programme ranged over 27 sports and involved well over 80 million people f r o m preliminaries up t o the Finals, w h i c h were c o n t e n d e d by over 7,000 athletes. Altogether six w o r l d and European and 21 national records t u m b l e d d u r i n g the Spartakiad. First team place went again to the Russian Federation. At the Aquatic Sports World C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in the C o l u m b i a n t o w n of Cali the Soviet water polo team w o n its first gold medals ever. Irina Kalinina became World Diving Champion. The Kiev Dynamo soccer team that had w o n the European Cupwinners' Cup back in May now took the European Super Cup. Vladimir Nevzorov became the first Soviet j u d o wrestler to take a w o r l d title when the W o r l d Championships were held in Vienna.

July.

October.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

35

1976
February.
Soviet athletes w o n 13 gold, six silver and eight bronze medals at the XII Winter Olympic Games held in Innsbruck. First-ever Olympic titles went to Soviet ice d a n c e r s L y u d m i l a Pakhomova and Alexander Gorshkov, while the Soviet biathlete Nikolai Kruglov became the first man in history to " d o the Olympic gold d o u b l e " in w i n n i n g both the individual and the team events. Soviet athletes at the XXI Olympic Games, held in Montreal, w o n 47 gold, 43 silver and 35 bronze medals. The Soviet handball team w o n its first-ever Olympic title. The inaugural Finals of the All-Union Starts of the Hopefuls team games c o m p e t i t i o n began; they involved children from all over the country c o m p e t i n g for K o m s o m o l Central C o m m i t t e e prizes.

July-August. October.

1977
October.
The USSR Supreme Soviet adopted a new USSR Constitution envisaging a boost to physical culture and sport (Articles 24, 25 and 41).

1978
March.
Sverdlovsk put on the Finals of the IV Winter USSR Spartakiad; over 32 million people t o o k part in the entire Spartakiad, while more than 2,000 top athletes f r o m teams representing 12 Republics, the cities of Moscow, Leningrad and Sverdlovsk f o u g h t out the Finals.

1979
July-August.
The huge figure of 87,600,000 sports enthusiasts started out in the VII S u m m e r USSR Spartakiad. On the way to the Finals, some 29 million competitors passed their GTO tests and 24.4 million gained a ranking in a specific sport. The Finals encompassed 30 sports and t o o k place in M o s c o w and other cities, involving 8,338 finalists. A novel feature of this Spartakiad was the participation of overseas a t h l e t e s a l m o s t 2,400 from 85 countries; they came from all over Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, from Australia, Canada, the USA and Japan. The games saw 135 records broken, including 12 world, one European and 18 USSR marks. First place in the team event went once again to the Russian Federation.

Soviet Spori

36

1980
February. At the XIII Winter Olympics, held in the US t o w n of Lake Placid, Soviet athletes w o n ten gold, six silver and six bronze medals. Vera Zozulya w o n the first Soviet bobsleigh gold, while biathlete Alexander Tikhonov became the first athlete to w i n a medal at four Winter Olympics. The S e c o n d International Sports Congress "Sport in M o d e r n Society" took place in the Georgian capita! of Tbilisi. The XXII Olympic Games were held w i t h a great deal of success in the city of Moscow as central venue. Athletes f r o m 81 countries and all five c o n t i n e n t s took part. All told, as many as 8,300 people represented Olympic delegations, including 5,748 athletes. The competitors s o u g h t 203 sets of medals in 21 sports. The high level of sports achievements owed m u c h to the well-prepared c o m p e t i t i o n sites, the top-class equipment, the smoothr u n n i n g transport and c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , the fair and precise w o r k by all officials and the friendly atmosphere in w h i c h the Games were held. As many as 36 world, 74 Olympic and 39 European records were established d u r i n g the 1980 Games. Ketevan Losaberidze took the first Soviet Olympic title in archery, Yelena Khloptseva and Larisa Popova w o n the first g o l d medal for their country in w o m e n ' s double sculls, and Sergei Fesenko w o n a first in men's s w i m m i n g . Altogether the Soviet squad took 80 gold, 69 silver and 46 bronze medals.

July.

July-August.

1981
February. Sergei Danilin became the first Soviet man to become W o r l d C h a m p i o n in bobsleigh, in the Swedish town of Hammarstrand. The CPSU Central Committee and Government adopted the resolution "On Further Improving Mass Physical Culture and Sport" that spelled out a specific prog r a m m e of activity for all Party, state and public organizations for p r o m o t i n g sport for all. The resolution further t o o k stock of the prevailing situation, spotlighted the best experience from various parts of the country and outlined prospects for a fresh impetus to mass physical culture and sport; it also pinpointed the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c , defence, cultural and educative funct i o n s of physical culture. The W o r l d Gymnastics Championships, held in Moscow, b r o u g h t great success to Soviet gymnasts: the AllRound Champions were Yury Korolyov and Olga

September.

November.

Milestones in Soviet Sport

37

Bicherova, and gold medals went to both the Soviet men's and w o m e n ' s teams.

1982
February-March. The Soviet men's handball team took the w o r l d title for the first time when they w o n the World C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in West Germany. The Finals of the V Winter USSR Spartakiad were held simultaneously in the three cities of Krasnoyarsk, Divnogorsk and Norilsk. A record of 35 million people lined up for the start. 12 Union Republics, Moscow, Leningrad and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, represented by 2,519 athletes, c o n t e n d e d the Finals. They included 23 Merited Masters of Sport, 139 International Class Masters of Sport and 757 Masters of Sport. The Soviet w o m e n ' s handball team w o n the W o r l d Handball Championships, held in Hungary, for the first time.

March.

December.

1983
July-August.
The Finals of the VIII S u m m e r Spartakiad took place in different Soviet cities; the Spartakiad was dedicated to the sixtieth anniversary of the f o r m a t i o n of the USSR. A new record of 95 million people took part in the big multisport competitions covering 40 sports, while the Finals involved 14,500 t o p athletes from all 15 Union Republics and over 500 guest athletes f r o m more than fifty countries. Some 3,000 Soviet and 150 f o r e i g n j u d g e s officiated at the contests. The total n u m b e r of sports covered in the Finals was 32. While c o m p e t i n g in Helsinki, the Soviet high j u m p e r Tamara Bykova became the first w o m a n athlete f r o m the Soviet Union to become W o r l d Champion at the W o r l d Athletics Games. Kiev played host to the W o r l d Championships in free-style and Greco-Roman wrestling and the Soviet unarmed combat sport of sambo. Soviet matmen dominated all three c h a m p i o n s h i p s . Soviet strongmen took the w o r l d team title at the W o r l d and European Weightlifting Championships held in Moscow.

August.

SeptemberOctober. October.

1984
February. Soviet athletes w o n six gold, ten silver and nine bronze medals at the XIV Winter Olympics, held in Sarayevo.

Soviet Spori

38

June-September.

Igor Malkov was the first Soviet speed skater to become Olympic C h a m p i o n at 10,000 m. The top international c o m p e t i t i o n Friendship-84 was held in Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, the Korean People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Poland and the Soviet Union. The Friendship Games covered virtually the w h o l e Olympic programme and were contested by athletes of those socialist states that had been denied participation in the Los Angeles Olympics by the US Administration. Athletes of several other countries also t o o k part. As a result as many as 46 corrections were made to the table of w o r l d records.

1985
March. The USSR National Olympic Committee upheld the proposal by Leningrad City Council to host the XVII Winter Olympics in 1996. M o s c o w held the European Athletics Cup Finals in w h i c h the Soviet men's and w o m e n ' s teams were victorious. The match between the w o r l d ' s t w o top chess players Anatoly Karpov and Garri Kasparov ended in victory for Kasparov with a score of 13:11. The match was held in Moscow.

August.

SeptemberNovember.

1986
June-July. Soviet athletes took part in the Peace Race '86 Kiev-Prague-Montreal-New York. The appeal of the Race signed by over twelve million people has been handed over to the UN headquarters. History's first Goodwill Games held in Moscow, Tallinn and Yurmala attracted over 3,000 competitors f r o m 80 countries representing all continents.

July.

Is

Health Principal Record


In investing substantial sums of money in sport and recreation, the state certainly does not remain out of pocket. Regular exercise and t r a i n i n g help to fortify the health of g r o w n - u p s and children alike, make their leisure time more interesting and fruitful, their w o r k more productive, and give them an active and creative life.

Billions for the Millions


Q u i t e a number of foreign journalists have c o m m e n t e d that Soviet sport is the privilege of the millions. And they are perfectly correct. More than 87 million people are regularly engaged in sport in the Soviet Union; they are aided by some 350,000 full-time e x p e r t s c o a c h e s , instructors and specialists of one sort or another. At the services of all sports enthusiasts are up-to-date amenities whose overall value is virtually seven billion roubles. Who finances Soviet sport? What are the sources of its material security? Literally billions of roubles are needed to involve millions of people in regular active sport. We have to bear in mind that every sports buff pays 30 kopecks a year in m e m b e r s h i p fees to sports clubs and receives in exchange services worth between 300 and 450 roubles. State budget expenditure on health and physical culture in 1986 amounted to some 20 billion roubles. Yet this figure alone does not reflect the aggregate state c o n t r i b u t i o n to promoting physical culture and sport. After all it does not cover PT in schools, colleges and universities, w h i c h is financed out of the education section of the state budget. Social security p a y m e n t s w h i c h is just another budget item for maintaining children's and y o u n g people's sports schools also amount to many millions of roubles. Furthermore, most industrial undertakings, collective and state farms use their o w n funds to pay for sports facilities, equipment, recreation officers and some 50,000 specialists responsible for keep-fit exercises and other physical health work. Public organizations also make a sizeable c o n t r i b u t i o n to sports development. The trade unions, for example,

aiiocatea almost a billion roubles in 1986 to p r o m o t i n g sport and recrea-

Health

Is t h e

Principal

Record

41

ion. These funds were put at the isposal of the various voluntary ;;jorts society councils. Moreover, the oluntary sports societies dispose of neir own funds obtained from memwarship dues, entrance fees to various o o r t s events and partly out of the rofits made by their o w n production icllities. , ace 1970 the state lotteries "Sport. j t o " and " S p r i n t " have been running egularly. and the profits thus earned ire used lor c o n s t r u c t i o n of sports icilities.fof reconstruction and general upkeep of sports buildings, and f.xnandmg sporting amenities generaly Dozens of sports complexes, -.indiums and s p o r t i n g g r o u n d s have nepn built in Soviet t o w n s and villages .vith money b r o u g h t in by the lotteries. Arid hundreds of t h o u s a n d s of people attend the sports clubs and physical irness groups that have opened in those sports centres. Muscovites, for example, are well acquainted with the Palace of Sport belonging to the Lenin Komsomol Moscow Car Works; its artificial ice skating-rink is used by athletes and the general public of all ages, from tiny tots to old-age pensioners. But as a matter of fact, the " S p o r t l o t o " and Sprint" sports lotteries contributed 600,000 roubles to b u i l d i n g the Palace of Sporti.e., a t h i r d of its total cost. The cash received f r o m sports enthusiasts for hiring sporting equipment and renting facilities also constitutes some small addition to the total budget for bettering sports facilities. There are other ways of financing sport and recreation, and they are on 'he increase. In the vocational schools or skilled workers, for example, part of the money earned by students during their practical work goes to nprove mass sport and outdoor rel a t i o n Annually this sum is now in xcess of 20 million roubles.

Health Made to Measure


T h e Party and Government adopted a resolution in September 1981 "On Further Improving the Mass Nature of Physical Culture and Sport". It was tne first time that they had c o m b i n e d the notions of "state plan" and "physical culture". Why did they find it necessary to plan what is apparently such a narrow sphere of life? The answer is simple: e n g a g i n g in recreation and sport is as m u c h a state as a personal affair. In c o n s u m i n g part of the national income, the non-productive sphere (which includes physical culture) increasingly impinges upon material p r o d u c t i o n , thereby fashioning public requirements and improving both the forces and the relations of p r o d u c t i o n That is why the State Planning Committee for nationwide e c o n o m i c development and supervision of the fulfilment of economic plans was no longer happy with the practice of itemizing only sports c o n s t r u c t i o n projects and the output of a certain assortment of sports g o o d s in the state e c o n o m i c and social plans. Such p l a n n i n g did not comply with the m o u n t i n g need for the state to administer the complicated m e c h a n i c - , of physical education; moreover. ; E was also hampering the process of trying to involve as many people as possible in regular sport and recreation. The concept of "physical culture plann i n g " became a reality in the a u t u m n of 1982. A session ot thy USSR Supreme S o v i e t t h e highest body of state p o w e r r a t i f i e d the 1983 State Plan f o ' Economic and Social Deveiopmer.t containing physical culture' tarc,f '-j .ynose i u h ; ; 1 ent was to be jus* - ~ipulsory -.s those of
- -" . of i n n .

Soviet

Spori

4 2

B e f o r e that session a n d virtually for t h e v.hole year p r e c e d i n g it, the press was tilled w i t h a lively debate on what the targets o u g h t to c o n t a i n . The State Planning Committee and the Sports Committee were bombarded with t h o u s a n d s of letters e x p r e s s i n g various v i e w p o i n t s on the issue. S o m e were c o n c e r n e d not to o v e r l o o k the m i l l i o n s of u n o r g a n i z e d s p o r t s ent h u s i a s t s w h o were not s p o r t s c l u b m e m b e r s ; others were keen to make p l a n n e d targets d e p e n d e n t u p o n the c a p a c i t y of the existing material s p o r t s a m e n i t i e s ; yet others s u g g e s t e d a d o p t ing s t r i n g e n t measures to ensure s t a d i u m s and g y m n a s i u m s w e r e used to full capacity, and so on. W i t h a c c o u n t for the o p i n i o n s of t h o s e w h o had taken part in this u n i q u e f o r m of r e f e r e n d u m , t h e State Plann i n g C o m m i t t e e , the USSR Central Statistical Bureau, a n d t h e Soviet S p o r t s C o m m i t t e e d r e w u p draft plann i n g targets. The p l a n n e d t a r g e t s were based on prevailing s p o r t s facilities a n d a s c i e n t i f i c a l l y - g r o u n d e d forecast of their f u t u r e d e v e l o p m e n t . The Gove r n m e n t passed on t h o s e p r o p o s a l s to t h e USSR S u p r e m e Soviet w h i c h inc l u d e d t h e m in the draft a g g r e g a t e e c o n o m i c plan w h i c h was t h e n subm i t t e d for attention and r a t i f i c a t i o n at o n e of its sessions. Here are those targets a l o n g w i t h the g u i d e l i n e s for the year: 1. to raise t h e n u m b e r of people regularly e n g a g e d in sport a n d rec r e a t i o n up to 87.5 m i l l i o n ; 2. to attract 56.2 m i l l i o n p e o p l e in regularly using s p o r t s facilities: 3. to prepare 29.9 m i l l i o n GTO badgeholders: 4. to ensure an a g g r e g a t e use of the c o u n t r y ' s sports a m e n i t i e s of no fewer t h a n 21 m i l l i o n p e o p l e a day
Some goods other targets, such as sports in the total with various production, also feature of t h e

those

of

the

Sports

Committee

and

the Trade

Ministry.

W h o s h o u l d fall into the category of people regularly involved in sport a n d recreation'? First a n d f o r e m o s t they are m e m b e r s of physical c u l t u r e sect i o n s s p o r t s c l u b s and teams, t h o s e w h o are t r a i n i n g in the various s p o r t s s c h o o l s or a t t e n d i n g health g r o u p s and general physical fitness classes, and t h o s e c o v e r e d by the c o m p u l s o r y PT c u r r i c u l u m in s c h o o l and college. They s h o u l d also e m b r a c e those indep e n d e n t l y e n g a g i n g in sport a n d rec r e a t i o n i.e.. p e o p l e w h o are p e r m i t ted to e n g a g e in s o m e f o r m of physical exercise as a result of their a n n u a l m e d i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n . As a rule they i n c l u d e p e o p l e w h o prefer i n d e p e n dent o u t d o o r recreation, cycle rides, keep-fit exercises a n d j o g g i n g in t h e c o u n t r y , in parks or in their o w n b a c k yard. S u c h a c a t e g o r y did not used to be taken into c o n s i d e r a t i o n . But n o w the statistical agencies are establishing the f i g u r e s t h r o u g h prime acc o u n t i n g statistics d r a w n up by recreation a n d s p o r t s g r o u p s at w o r k a n d study places. W h e n d r a w i n g u p t h e State Plan o n Physical C u l t u r e , the state bodies naturally t o o k a c c o u n t of the i n d e p e n d ent p o w e r s of the local c o u n c i l s t h e Soviets of P e o p l e ' s Deputies as they are k n o w n ; it is their j o b to supervise sport a n d r e c r e a t i o n in the localities, i n c l u d i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for e x p a n d i n g sports amenities, t a c k l i n g issues c o n cerned w i t h j o i n t use of the f u n d s b e l o n g i n g to w o r k a n d study places, various o r g a n i z a t i o n s , coilective a n d state farms, in b u i l d i n g stadiums, gymnasiums a n d c o u r t s as well as the ratification of all plans for their location.
That ning gral vital sport part of the role and the of the local councils planintesocia' tho d e f i n e s t h e t e r r i t o r i a l p r i n c i p l e of recreation economic anj as a n and so on

production planned

programmes are

ministries and departments: their taigets coordinated

development Republic,

plan for the country, dist.'ict

Health

Is t h e

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Record

43

nildren's Health Society's Health


x; physical health of children is a i! aspect of Soviet state policy, lidren come into contact with sport le they are still at kindergarten or c h e t i l l the age of six or seven in case of the former, and three in case of the latter. Physical educaof the youngest children takes ice under medical supervision in = with the c u r r i c u l u m ratified by the nous Republican education minises Whenever possible it is provided ut of doors. lessons taught by specialist ohers are a c o m p u l s o r y part of the hool timetable; the PT teacher is sponsible for all sports work in the hool. <ercise breaks are now compulsory ing all school lessons, while chil'Ti who remain in school after their , ademic subjects (the so-called exuded day school) have a daily PT >ur. ' h e total school year envisages seven, hours of PT in each form although te overall amount of PT and games jepends on age. The primary school 7 - 1 0 ) devotes 45-minute periods to msic gymnastics, team games, swimming and skiing. Athletics is introduced at the ages of 11 and 12. As

w h i c h particularly cultivate open-air exercises and hiking. In addition to the PT lessons, many s c h o o l c h i l d r e n roughly nine out of ten in the 12-17 age r a n g e a t t e n d various sports clubs. There is an extensive network of palaces and houses of Young Pioneers, clubs, hiking lodges, stadiums for children in t o w n and country. All such sports amenities are equipped with appropriate sports facilities and are staffed by specialist coaches to arrange sports competitions, matches and festivals. All types of Soviet schools have sports groups under the supervision of teachers or professional coaches, and each g r o u p consists of children of the same age and roughly equivalent physical ability. They meet no less than twice a week. For y o u n g people between 13 and 18 there are over 8,000 sports schools where enthusiasts may train in any
Olympic sport. In addition they can

children grow older lessons become nore intricate and the requirements ikewise. Far more stringent demands ere made on pupils of the senior classes, from 13 to 17; after all, many such students take part in both individual and team contests at various
e v e l s of proficiency,

besides attending PT lessons, each oupil must participate in competitions


l e a s t once Mining 'loneer every two months. Dur-

iq the summer holidays compulsory


continues c a m p s (for in the Young 9-15 year olds).

attend sports schools specializing in gymnastics, swimming, figure skating or tennis: these take children f r o m the age of eight. While some schools specialize in a single sport, others provide training in t w o or three. Children register for the sports schools at the start of the school year. In about half such schools youngsters are accepted if they show promise and inclination in a particular sport, as measured by tests. The rest of the schools accept casual sports enthusiasts irrespective of ability. Each s c h o o l on average takes between 50 and 200 schoolchildren, and the training course lasts five years. M u c h of Soviet sport is run by the voluntary sports societies w h i c h have their own stadiums, s w i m m i n g pools and skating-rinks. Of late, however. district sports clubs have g r o w n in popularity. In the last few years alone some 9.000 sports and physical fitness ciubs have sprung up for young

Soviet Spori

44

people at places of residence, and more tnan 10,000 football pitches and ice-hockey rinks, 60,000 basic playing g r o u n d s have been built, and over 30,000 backyard learns and sports ciubs have come into existence. The Leather Ball (soccer), Gold Puck (ice hockey), Olympic Snowflake (skiing), Merry Dolphin (swimming) and White Rook (chess) competitions run by the Komsomol Central Committee have quickly won e n o r m o u s popularity among yungsters. More than 30 million boys and girls take part annually in such contests. The time may well come when many of them will take an active part in the sporting affairs of the country at an even higher level.

A Priceless Treasure
T h e Y o u n g Dynamo j u n i o r sports school is c o n d u c t i n g an interesting experiment: coaches and sports m .\.i.:s are using a special set of tests to find out the h a r m o n i o u s effect that physical development has on children. The experts are employing intricate devices designed in the sports medical metrology laboratory. Promising athletes are seated beside a panel fitted out with gauges w h i c h react to fast button pressing on a device resembling a telegraph key. The " w i n n e r " made 59 movements in 14 seconds: as the dials p l u g g e d into the tensometric platform showed, he succeeded in outstripping the rest in speed of foot "tapping". "This youngster has an excellent speed reaction," said Vaiery Arsky, the school head, adding to parents of the other children. "So you see your lads need some training, they could do with some fencing or tennis sessions."

Tests c o n t i n u e d apace. In turn the lads take their places in the ergometer saddle as the dial records the diminishing speed of pedalling for each candidate. All the adults have to do is make a simple calculation to find out lung capacity data and gas exchange in the organism. Tnose juniors showing poor results are advised to join the swimming, ice hockey or basketball sections, or to do more running; in other words, to go for tnose sports that develop stamina. Strength is tested on speciallydesigned dinamometers, a horizontal beam that automatically records the number of pull ups, devices for determining height of spot j u m p i n g , and starting blocks that register the force of leg thrust off. A laboratory assistant scrupulously records the results of each youngster on a special file so as to compare them subsequently with the results attained after a year or t w o of training. As Arsky explains, "It is naturally not a matter of predetermining which particular sport our eight-year-old is likely to opt for in the future; it is m u c h more important to know our own orientation w i t h the kids to make sure they grow up genuinely sporting, harmoniously developed, to make sure that we are left with no child w h o could be branded as unfit for any sports activities. We aren't in search of t o m o r r o w ' s record-breakers or champions, our purpose is to help these boys and girls to become strong ana hardened," The pieces of equipment and training devices made in the sports medical metrology lab can be seen also in the gyms of several Moscow secondary schools. As one school PT teacher puts it, "When children use special equipment to boost stamina, measure strength and improve certain muscle groups they are able two or three times more quickly to acquire abilities that enable

Health

Is t h e P r i n c i p a l

Record

45

nem to pass their GTO tests. Inasmuch as youngsters enjoy using techiical equipment (such is the age we ve in), they tend to take to it like a ;sh to water." The Moscow No. 1 Sports Medical Clinic uses similar e q u i p m e n t for quite different purposes. As Lev Markov, eminent sports medic ind the Clinic's head doctor, affirms, Supervision helps the athlete to alter sis motor stereotype f o r m e d over the years so that he or she can perform :)etter. This is c o n f i r m e d particularly hy the experience of the Moscow sprinters Nikolai Sidorov and Irina Nazarova who t o o k gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics... All the same t is considerably more valuable for us ' o use electronic e q u i p m e n t to improve motor habits, to take preventive measures against injury and illness, and to treat and rehabilitate patients to full fitness."

men and those w h o earn their living f r o m the sea. Yet when assistant farm chairman Velio Kallasmaa was asked how his fellow-townsfolk preferred to spend their leisure time, he answered unequivocally, "Sport first, amateur talent activities second." Once a month the farm puts on a Health Day when thousands gather at the t o w n sports centre and go on a seven-kilometre hike in the country where they take part in various engaging contests and forms of recre-

A Small Town at Play


M o r e than seven centuries ago, after the crusaders had c o n q u e r e d Estland, as the northern part of Estonia used to be called, they built a huge cathedral and stone fortress on the shore of the Baltic Sea where the Ests had had a pagan grove in w h i c h they used to worship. Alongside it arose the small t o w n of Haapsalu. Today it is one of the most popular recreation spots on Estonia's west coastline, about a hundred kilometres from the capital Tallinn. The t o w n numbers some 15,000 inhabitants, and its principal workplace is the fishing collective f arm Laane Kalur or Western Fisherman. r h e problem of low activity is certainly not one that afflicts seamen, fisher-

ation, returning home for the evening. Sport for the townsfolk is primarily a means of c o m m u n i o n , an enjoyable, sociable facet of life that brings people together. The t o w n has four sports halls: t w o at schools, one at the Sulev weaving mill and one at the J o u d (Strength) rural sports society where all the major t o w n sports events also take place. The packed timetable of the sports g r o u p s gives a feeling of an even, long-fashioned rhythm. The sports halls are rarely empty. Perhaps that explains the success of the t o w n athletes. Its wrestlers are well k n o w n in the country at large. Haapsalu-born Henni Polluste is in charge of Estonia's Greco-Roman wrestling squad. A n d graduates of the t o w n ' s f e n c i n g s c h o o l include world c h a m p i o n s h i p medal-winners, while Boris Joffe was the first Estonian fencer to take a Soviet c h a m p i o n s h i p title. The track and field athletes and marksmen f r o m the t o w n have also produced notable results. Despite such success, people in the t o w n will tell you that victories in top-class sport are not the main thing. They a c c o r d far more importance to physical f i t n e s s t o sport for all like the ski marathon w h i c h practically the w h o l e t o w n turns out for, or the popular luge races for adults and j u n i o r s together. You have to race uphill with your luge before you can

Soviet Spori

46

slide riown: both the uphill and downhill portions of the trip are c o u n t e d for final time. It goes w i t h o u t saying that
not a single young participant remains

w i t h o u t a prize. The Laane Kalur collective farm's fitness g r o u p sets the tone for the town's sporting life. The fact that those who run the g r o u p genuinely love sport and recreation obviously has much to do with it. It is interesting to note that the Estonian Fishermen's Spartakiad not only has general teams c o m p e t i n g ; it also has teams made up of farm chiefs,
and the Haapsalu team has taken

remaa from Haapsalu was three-time European Champion, while Velio Kuusk was the first European to w i n the North American championships in the sport. Hardly surprisingly, Haapsalu youngsters trying out their first flimsy ice-yachts w o u l d love to emulate their heroes.

Sporting Territory
T h i s t o w n was f o u n d e d only in 1949 and lies on the Kola Peninsula beyond the Arctic Circle. Its brief history confirms the ideas of the great Russian scientist and scholar Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765) who wrote over two h u n d r e d years ago that these localities "are b o u n d to be rich in minerals and ores". And the t o w n gained its name, Olenegorsk, from the Olenya M o u n t a i n w h i c h contains rich iron ore deposits. As Pyotr Zelenov, Head of the Olenegorsk Ore Concentration Plant, explains, "Our t o w n is a swiftlyg r o w i n g industrial centre. You are bound to agree that since we call the t o w n modern we have to be sporting at the same time. After all, sport today is a direct aid to our work, especially in a place like this, in the Far North, where people are constantly up against the rigours of nature." Indeed, Olenegorsk has every right to call itself a sporting town. It has a remarkable sports complex that includes t w o palaces of sport, one with a 25-metre indoor s w i m m i n g pool, the other with an artificial ice-rink. In addition the t o w n has an open-air jce hockey rink, a stadium seating 8,000 spectators, a figure skating rink, a rifle range, halls for boxing, weightlifting, wrestling and table tennis. Two downhill skiing courses have been built just outside the town. All in all, other larger t o w n s might well envy these

first place on more than one occasion. Sociologists claim that sport and recreation help promote initiative and enterprise among managers. There is probably some truth in that, as the example of the Haapsalu collective farm confirms. They not only catch fish and process it in their own fishpacking plant, but they also make garden furniture, breed musquash, make handsome headwear from them, construct mobile caravans and breed pigs. The farm made a net profit of several million roubles in 1986, of w h i c h a sizeable a m o u n t went to sports needs. Such generous financial support enables the farm sports club to run such expensive sports as sailing, motor-boating, motor and motorcycle racing. The farm's fleet of boats is currently fifty strong and includes three cruising yachts and six motorboats. Farmer Raivo Oiglas and mechanic Mats Erisalu used one of these yachts to win the USSR Championships in 1984. Ice-yachting is nonetheless the No. 1 attraction in Haapsalu. The sport became popular at the end of the last century among members of the Estland Yacht Club. During the 1930s Haapsalu racing enthusiasts constructed a fixed-sail ice-yacht w h i c h could travel up to 100 kilometres an hour in a good breeze. Endel Voo-

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nerners
nties.

their

wonderful

sports

.-ting territory... How seductive it You can feel it b e c k o n i n g , sense it /our bones far better than explain. it. The town so far has no theatre oncert hall, and w h e n professional sts visit the t o w n they perform in Ice Palace, the same location ere local figure skaters weave their ures and put on ice reviews. So the >rting territory becomes artistic ter;ory: sport and the arts share the ,(Tte location. ferring to the events of a decade -eviously, Pyotr Zelenov goes on to ;y, "At first I felt that our sports nenities should be confined to our vn employees. Then events forced a lange of mind. You see, in the main nldren of our employees come to the j o r t s groups. So well-planned traing sessions are b o u n d to be of nefit to the plant's employees eir kids will g r o w up healthy and lysically fit. Our sports facilities are iw open to everyone. We take a mall payment f r o m the adults, but othing from the children. In Menegorsk, as elsewhere in the couny. children have free use of palaces f sport, s w i m m i n g pools, stadiums <nd play areas." he sports centre superintendent, who s also chairman of the Lapland Sports Jlub, Konstantin Braslavsky, is one of hose people w h o never lose their nfectious enthusiasm and imagination is they grow older, a virtue that links hem to the world of children. He used ".> be a master of sport in boxing, and arrived in the t o w n more than twenty years ago. He b r o u g h t with him a pair "jf boxing gloves given him by Niko:ii Korolyov, outstanding Soviet heavyweight and many-times National Champion. Boxing is far from Braslavsky's only nterest. At one time he was a stunt ' 1 an in quite a few films based on Iktales, that evidently stems from the

romantic obsession he has w i t h art w h i c h embellishes his passion for sport. Members of the Lapland Sports Club are well k n o w n beyond the Arctic Circle since they are frequent winners and medallists in regional contests in ice hockey, figure skating, table tennis, Greco-Roman wrestling and the gorodkia Russian folk sport. S p o r t i n g territory! You can even sense the smell of the southern cornel plant from whose hardwood they make the lengths of w o o d for the game of gorodki. You can see Little Tom T h u m b taking part in the New Year ice ball. You may hear the tale of the lucky finder of a remarkably fine amethyst on the White Sea shore. And, of course, you can enjoy the p e r f o r m a n c e of graceful figure skaters and exciting hockey duels. Boris Odegov, athletic d o c t o r at the sports centre explains, "This c o m p l e x for us is also a vital launching pad for health protection. A few years ago we carried out special tests to discover the effect of regular sport and fitness exercises. Over a six-month period we f o u n d that athletes and keep-fit enthusiasts fell ill only half as often as those w h o d i d virtually no physical exercise, and they recovered m u c h more quickly."

Edelweiss at Land's End


K a m c h a t k a is a land of silvery hills and s m o k i n g volcanoes. From time immemorial the local people have taken a laconic view of the m o u n t a i n s that s u r r o u n d t h e m e i t h e r as a place of w o r k or as a hindrance in their way. Incidentally, it was here at the very dawn of Soviet mountain c l i m b i n g that the well-known Soviet explorer Vladimir Arsenyev made his extremely

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48

arduous ascent of the Avachinsky Volcano in 1923. The Soviet downhill skiing squad came to Kamchatka in 1962. It was then that the local people realized fully what e n o r m o u s pleasure the mountains can give people. Kamchatka had become a d o w n h i l l skiing centre rivalling the Caucasus and the Carpathians. Yet they had not had their o w n local c h a m p i o n s for a long time; that changed w h e n the Agranovsky man and wife arrived, for in the mid-1960s they established their Edelweiss junior d o w n h i l l ski school. The school is unusual, as is one of its founders, German Agranovsky, a geography teacher by profession, and a mountaineer and rock climber in his spare t i m e g o o d e n o u g h to be asked to clean the famous Admiralty spire in Leningrad on one occasion. He arrived in Kamchatka with his wife L u d m i l a and seven-year-old daughter Olya, an accomplished d o w n h i l l racer, possessing the second sports ranking. The family was t o u r i n g in the region on vacation, but they liked it so m u c h they decided to stay and have their t h i n g s sent on from Leningrad. The Agranovskys suggested to the local Spartak sports society that it o u g h t to have its o w n d o w n h i l l ski school, and they got the backing they sought. It was not long before w o r k was in full swing on the slopes of a nearby hill; they built a w o o d e n cottage and put up the sign Edelweiss. Then they set to clearing the slope. Children, followed by their parents, began to help mow the weeds and used rocks to create the necessary relief. Right from the start, from the time they sank their new roots in the mid-1960s, the pair made plain their educational principle: that it was not hard t o teach a child to ski d o w n h i l l ; the main thing was to teach that child to work hard. The Edelweiss sports centre built by

the hands of children and their parents differs from many other such centres. Its distinguishing feature is the training areas, the runs with varying degrees of difficulty. Training sessions include a run on roller skates, j u m p i n g on boards and over logs, all manner of exercises on home-made pieces of e q u i p m e n t which help to strengthen all muscle groups. In other words, the d o w n h i l l run has become a teaching aid for both twenty-yearold "veterans" and three-year-old tots. A course in d o w n h i l l skiing is now being taught to youngsters scarcely out of their prams. They tend to lack any fear of twists and turns, and w h e n they come a cropper they are up on their feet in no time at all and off skiing. It all began as follows. During a trip to Austria Lyudmila saw a "ski nursery" where instructors were teaching the elements of moving on the snow to young whipper-snappers. She reckoned that it was a risk with children w h o c o u l d hardly walk, but why not start classes w i t h three-year-olds? All the same, before experimenting w i t h other people's children, she and her husband decided to try out their theories on their o w n child. Olya first tried on her skis w h e n she was five. A n d she subsequently did well in the national championships, w i n n i n g the USSR Cup and even ... skiing d o w n the hitherto inaccessible 7,000 m Lenin Mountain. All the same she did not become a world-class skier. Perhaps she had taken up downhill skiing t o o late? Whatever the reason, the m i n i m u m age for Edelweiss pupils was set at three and has remained so for several years. The Agranovskys have produced National C h a m p i o n s and members of the Soviet national team. Today many of their charges are assisting
their instructors to train young

children.

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lun for Your Life


O u r age has become so inured of i r i o u s kinds of discovery and sensaon that we simply fail to notice many f them in the tempestuous round of aily life. And sometimes we discover omething new that was actually nown perhaps t h o u s a n d s of years igo. Jogging is just such a discovery nade in the late 1960s. * we glance back into the past we can ^ee that for millions of years humanity vnew no other f o r m of travel than ,hanks' pony, and attained considerable expertise at it. There have been rimes when our distant forebears nunted hare or deer w i t h o u t weapons, pursuing them merely by strength of
toot, lung power and heart endurance.

We don't have to go back into antiquity for evidence of that. Just take the Indians of the Tarahumar tribe living in Mexico today w h o still use that hunting method. They are the envy of any marathon runner. One popular game requires that they run for days on end, tossing a ball to each other. What is more, spectators run alongside the participants. Games involving runs of lengthy duration are also k n o w n to other ethnic g r o u p s around the globe. Our remote ancestors well appreciated the importance of r u n n i n g for health. Some two t h o u s a n d years ago the Roman poet Horace uttered the following words of w i s d o m , "If you don't run while you're fit, you'll run when you're sick." And in Ancient Hellas a wall inscription tells us, ''If you wish to be strong, run, if you wish to be handsome, run, if you wish to be wise, run." Nevertheless, for millions of people t h r o u g h o u t the world running as a means of keeping fit has only recently become a genuine discovery. Its rebirth seemed to c o m e just at the right time: many people f o u n d that the

simplicity and accessibility of r u n n i n g helped them to avoid sickness that was so prevalent in the age of machinery and automation. People just stopped moving more than was necessary to the organism. Doctors called this p h e n o m e n o n hypodynamia. In many spheres of work requiring physical labour, people replaced it by lathes, automated machinery and even robots! Without giving it a t h o u g h t people opted for comfort w h i c h they exalted as the greatest happiness, yet w h i c h b r o u g h t them sickness. Humanity was beset with heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. This was the price of the machine age. It was then that the search began for all kinds of means of c o m b a t i n g ill health and p r o l o n g i n g life. It is hardly surprising perhaps that some came up with amazing panaceas "elixir of eternal y o u t h " and "water of life". Scientists and dilettanti rummaged a b o u t in the Oriental folios for prescriptions on all eventualities in life. But the t r u t h did not lie there. Finally the answer was f o u n d . It turned out that in order to avert all the ailments s u r r o u n d i n g hypodynamia, it was simply necessary to return to an active way of life, to move about more, to take up sport. A n d r u n n i n g is the simplest, the most accessible sport that requires no special e q u i p m e n t or piece of apparatus. Go outside your house, onto the pavement, a park pathway, a length of track and just run. You can easily set your o w n distance or time, you can easily supervise yourself. In other words, the values were so n u m e r o u s that more and more thousands of people in countries on all five continents got the running bug: w o m e n and men, young and old, mental and manual workers, townspeople and countryfolk. In the USSR running as a means of health maintenance and preventing

50

disease became popular in the very early years of the Soviet government when the new sports system was just taking shape. Athletics and simple r u n n i n g were accorded a prime place in the new system. During the 1920s and 1930s the first large-scale crosscountry runs were held, and running took its legitimate place in the GTO standards which were to improve people's health and prepare them for productive work and defence of their country. Cross-country runs were even held d u r i n g the grim years of the war; more than nine million people of all ages and trades took part, for example, in the joint trade union and K o m s o m o l sponsored cross-country run in the spring of 1944. From 1962 the country's biggest sports event has been the Pravdasponsored nationwide cross-country run. Over the past twenty years well over 105 million people have taken part. The race organizers have for the last few years even included a run for veterans in the finals programme. Other mass competitions have g r o w n in popularity, like, for example, the Health Day. The simple maxim that one can run at any age is confirmed by many runners in their seventies or eighties in the various long-distance runs. The unusual story of war veteran Oleg Los became k n o w n in the mid1960s. He had been w o u n d e d five times in battle, including three w o u n d s to his legs. Only people close to him knew of the immense suffering he had to put up with. But his principal method of recovery was running. Oleg Los not only returned to active life, taking a position as a lecturer in a Leningrad college, but he also became a fine athlete, becoming city Running Champion. Gradually he took a liking to supermarathon runs, infected his friends with his enthusiasm and set up the Leningrad long-distance running g r o u p of enthusiasts. The marathon

routes were exceedingly impressive: Leningrad-Moscow. Moscow-WarsawBerlin, etc. These people in the autumn of their lives were training for and p e r f o r m i n g their super-marathons not for records or fame; running simply brought them enjoyment, improved their work capacity, health and general mood, and gave them the feeling they were enjoying life to the full. It all began when Los was talking to Boris Ivanov, head of the Leningrad Spartak sports society; Ivanov suggested that Los should organize a club of fun runners open to allcomers. The club had its inauguration on 6 February 1968, with Oleg Los chosen as its president. The club's nucleus came from his fellowenthusiasts and friendsscholars, lecturers, engineers and manual workers. It was not ail a bundle of laughs. They were the pioneers and they had to do a lot of agitating themselves to attract new faces to the club, to work out organizational forms and training methods. Initially they focused their main attention on former athletes w h o had quit sport, in that they felt their chief aim was to induce ex-athletes to do active exercise t h r o u g h fun running. It was not long, however, before they realized that was not enough. And from 1971 they took the proper course of primarily concentrating on people w h o had not done m u c h sport previously yet w h o wanted simply to maintain or improve their health and fitness. So they created a few health groups from young, middle-aged and older running enthusiasts. Club veterans who had been good runners in their time started to train the newcomers and give them advice, and soon membership had g r o w n to 300. When news of the ciub filtered through, people from other cities began to send in letters, asking them

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j share their experience and give ,jvice. So now the club veterans had v pay attention to their correspondence section. Some 150 people were -ow running t h r o u g h the post, so to -peak; t h o u g h they lived in other ities, they considered themselves honorary members of the Los Club. At hat time the average age of the runners was 38.5 and a large percentage were people w i t h a variety of health problems. "he club subsequently began to acumulate experience and go from trength to strength. The number of runners was on the increase, and new unning methods began to be worked ujt. Now part-time coaches were conducting training sessions with newcomers based on exercises prepared hi the club. The first ranked athletes appeared; they had trained for their ranking while d o i n g some j o g g i n g . And the club c o m p i l e d its regular competition calendar. All the while the f o r m s of club work were improving: members put on thematic evenings, country excursions and entertainment activities run by the members themselves. The club s interesting and attractive events began to induce young people to join, and more and more frequently they began to get applications for membership rrom youngsters even under 20. Today the club has a membership of over 1,200. The question now is whether an organization operating on a voluntary basis can "serve" so many people. It has to be said, however, that more than 600 people regularly visit the club and perform the training Plan, and they are under constant medical supervision and enjoy the advice and recommendation of coaches, as well as taking part in competitions. The other half of the membership is made up of the "correspondence course" runners in other iowns. The club currently has a dozen

g r o u p s : a beginners' group, five fitness groups, two sports ranking groups, two long-distance running groups, experimental athletes' and youth groups, a g r o u p of veteran runners, and a children's g r o u p in w h i c h the children train along with their parents. A part-time coach supervises each group. All coaches are either correspondence students of the Athletics Department of the Physical Culture Institute, or sports enthusiasts w h o have completed j o g g i n g courses put on by the club. The work is supervised by a board and president. The club rules regulate all its affairs and activities. The club regards its main mission to attract as many Leningraders as possible to daily j o g g i n g and running. The club has g r o w n so big that it now has branches in factories, schools and places of residence. Former athletes have joined groups where they can gain a second breath, so to say, come back to sport at a more leisurely pace. The average age has now c o m e d o w n to 32, w h i c h may be c o u n t e d as another of the club s achievements. Every Sunday between 20 and 30 fresh faces appear at the stadium eager to take up running. What is more, many of them come with their families. This family atmosphere pleases the club management since w h e n the w h o l e family takes up running it is more likely to see it through. So the first joggers club sprang up in Leningrad only two decades ago. Yet it w o u l d be hard to visualize the sports movement today w i t h o u t clubs such as that. They exist in just about every t o w n and village, and they are the most likely future form of g r o u p sports activity. The All-Union Joggers' Club Council came into existence in 1982; it took charge of the club movement established by the Recommended and Standard Regulations and Statute on Clubs. A year later it arranged the I

52 A11 - U! "i - r, r i Conference on J o g g i n g and Walking, which attracted over 500 representatives of the country s diverse clubs. The All-Union Runner's Day held for the first time on 12 September 1982 did m u c h to popularize jogging. On that day well over 47 million people took to the streets, parks and woodlands. Today it is no rarity to see a jogger in a park or on deserted track somewhere far from urban civilization; people are running independently, on their o w n initiative and a c c o r d i n g to their own regime. Very often they are their own coaches and doctors. Some might ask why it is we need such joggers' clubs, why we s h o u l d spend time and effort on setting them up. Things normally have to stand the test of time, take the litmus test of life itself. In this instance time has given its response: the joggers' clubs are not simply needed, they are absolutely vital. J o g g i n g is a powerful means of preventive medicine and treatment for many illnesses, especially those of a
cardiovascular nature. Of course, it

Nowadays clubs w h i c h vary in form and methods of operation may be found simultaneously in any town, while in the largest cities they run into several dozen. Many of them have accumulated interesting experience and so possess their own traditions and personality. Thus, the Leningrad club we referred to above is a real running centre capable of satisfying the needs of several hundred people at a time. Its w o r k is strictly disciplined, its n u m e r o u s groups are stringently regulated and contain people who are roughly equivalent in strength and potential, and work under a coach's supervision. The core of the club's work is the splendidlyorganized training and teaching process. To give another example, let us take the Muravei (Ant) Club in the t o w n of Kaliningrad not far from Moscow. Its membership is made up of likeminded people w h o share the same interests; it not only provides j o i n t training sessions and competitions, it facilitates h u m a n contact by way of socials and festive occasions. In a word, it is a club based on c o m m o n interests. The sports clubs attached to the Moscow House of Scholars and the Gorky Central Recreation Park share a clearly-expressed agitational orientation in their activities. They vigorously campaign a m o n g Muscovites with the notion of health through long-distance running. Hence the monthly " r u n n i n g socials" held in the House of Scholars and the " M o s c o w running days" held in Gorky Park, w h i c h attract hundreds of people. The Fili Joggers' Club in Moscow is notable for catering mainly for onetime runners of middle and older age. Its orientation is patently competitive in that it puts on regular training sessions for running races and various competitions. It is hardly surprising that Fili vets" often feature in the

must be said that it fulfils its health f u n c t i o n only when it is done properly, wisely. If not it may have the opposite effect and be the cause of an accident. There can be no ambiguity about it. Once it is demonstrated that running is a valuable health treatment, it must be applied like any other health treatment only on a specialist's advice and in proper doses. That being the case, we have to equip people with knowledge about jogging, teach them to use the proper dosage, to supervise their o w n m o o d and body state, to run, breathe, recuperate, dress and eat properly, and so on. And all this knowledge, these skills and habits have to c o m e from the clubs themselves since they are effectively the method centre for j o g g i n g at the workplace, in the n e i g h b o u r h o o d , the village and the town.

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: .o of M o s c o w ' s unofficial records veteran runners over various dis. es and for different age groups. Kaluga the majority of members of Pulse Club attached to the regionsports and health clinic are former nents. Shamil Araslanov, the clinic ctor in charge of the club, is a great nning aficionado; he actively uses vv running in treating a variety of messes. He even has at home a "pill .seum" displaying all the medicines egone by his f o r m e r patients who : j g h t the r u n n i n g bug. j b members f r o m the town of ubertsy near M o s c o w energetically . rnbine fun r u n n i n g with elements of ardening the body and other effec,<e health methods. But it does not - top them doing well in various con-

tests held in towns up and d o w n the country. One could continue the list ad infinitum and cite hundreds of other clubs with their own traditions, dist i n g u i s h i n g features and f o r m s of w o r k that have g r o w n out of local conditions, the president's force of personality or attitudes to the club on the part of district, town or sports c o u n c i l chiefs. All the clubs certainly cannot be tarred with the same brush. The main t h i n g is that all the joggers' clubs s h o u l d be on the right track, s h o u l d provide training and instruction in an acceptable and tested manner, and s h o u l d operate within the f r a m e w o r k of an voluntary sport and health association.

The Soviet Union is justly referred to as a country where no backward provincial areas can be f o u n d with respect to sport. In fact, a physical fitness program for the entire adult population developed for many years ahead has turned the c o u n t r y into a m a m m o t h s p o r t s g r o u n d of twenty-two million four hundred t h o u s a n d square kilometres where almost 90 million people take part in

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56

p h y s " a! f i t n e s s a n d that o health idea of

sports

activities.

Figuratively

s p e a k i n g , ail f i f t e e n

republics some sports

n s t i t u t e t h e S o v i e t U n i o n c a n at p r e s e n t p r o d u c e t h e i r " c e r t i f i c a t e s " of g o o d We h o p e that the i n f o r m a t i o n the present state and presented b e l o w will give the reader of t h e physical fitness and development

m o v e m e n t in t h e r e p u b l i c s , m a n y of w h i c h w e r e o n c e b a c k w a r d o u t l y i n g a r e a s of

tsarist Russia.

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian Federation)


F o u n d e d o n O c t o b e r 25 ( N o v e m b e r 7). 1917, it is t h e b i g g e s t U n i o n R e p u b l i c in area, p o p u l a t i o n a n d e c o n o m i c p o t e n t i a l . A r e a : o v e r 17 m i l l i o n sq. k m . ; p o p u l a t i o n : o v e r 130 m i l l i o n . Capital: Moscow.

Forty-two million, 400 thousand people regularly engage in physical fitness and sports programs in the Russian Federation. They are organized into physical fitness collectives (groups, teams and clubs at places of w o r k or residence) of w h i c h there are over 130 thousand. Annually, some 15 million people receive GTO (Ready for Labour and Defence) badges, the basic physical fitness level certificate; over 14 million attain mass sports rankings, including 167 t h o u s a n d with first rankings; about 20 t h o u s a n d qualify for Candidate Master of Sport and over four thousand for Master of Sport titles. A b o u t 170 thousand people work in the realm of sport. Four-fifths of them have specialized higher or secondary educations. Their task is to help the population at large organize physical fitness and sports activities. In addition, four million 306 t h o u s a n d PT instructors, trainers, and coaches

work on a voluntary basis. Those w h o go in for physical fitness and sport in the Russian Federation have at their disposal some 2,000 stadiums, 40,710 gyms, almost 1,400 s w i m m i n g pools, 4,000 skiing centres, 16,000 s h o o t i n g ranges and galleries, 55,000 basketball and 109,000 volleyball courts, and 517,000 football pitches. Regional, territorial, and republic competitions in national s p o r t s l i f t i n g of weights, various national styles of wrestling, dog-sledge and reindeersledge races etc. are regularly staged in the Federation. Almost 8.5 million children take part in track and field events connected with the Starts of the Hopefuls campaign, some t w o million compete for the prize of the Leather Ball Club, more than 1.5 million are members of the Gold Puck Club, and half a million, the White Rook Club.

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The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (The Ukraine)


F o u n d e d on D e c e m b e r 25. 1917. j o i n e d the USSR o n D e c e m b e r 30. 1922. Area: over 600 t h o u s a n d sq km.: p o p u l a t i o n : m o r e t h a n 50 m i l l i o n C a p i t a l : Kiev.

e than 17 million people engage :-oit or physical fitness activities in Ukraine. 11 million of w h o m bej to s p o ' t s clubs. Every year, alseven million people receive GTO badges, the basic physical ">ss ievel certificate; more than six Hon attain mass sports rankings. . uding 70 t h o u s a n d w h o win first kings and some t w o thousand o qualify for the Master of Sport ire than 60 t h o u s a n d people are iployed full time in making physical :oss and sport part of people's ryday lives There are also over two non volunteer PT instructors, train-

ers and coaches. One million 725 t h o u s a n d people work as volunteer referees and umpires. Over 900 stadiums, 14,000 gyms, 300 indoor s w i m m i n g pools, and tens of thousands of sports- und playing fields are placed at the disposal of sport-minded population of the Ukraine. Some six million children and teenagers participate in mass sporting events. Competitions under the m o t t o "Every Member of the Family on His M a r k ! " are regularly held in almost 300 cities and towns, and 500 rural districts of the Republic, d r a w i n g over 260 t h o u s a n d participants.

The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Byelorussia)


F o u n d e d o n J a n u a r y 1, 1919; j o i n e d the USSR o n D e c e m b e r 30. 1922. Area: over 207,000 sq. km.; p o p u l a t i o n : a b o u t 10 m i l l i o n . C a p i t a l : M i n s k .

I hree million 200 thousand individu- s take part in sports and physical tness activities here. Every year over million of them attain mass sports inkings. and more than 400 qualify the Master of Sport title, -venty-eight physical fitness centres, 59 physical fitness and sports clubs, d 238 j o g g i n g clubs function at aces of residence. '->me 14.000 full-time employees work the area of sport Byelorussia s ieges and specialized secondary hoois graduate over 1,000 special-

ists annually. Eight hundred t h o u s a n d voluntary PT instructors devote their free time to physical fitness and sport. There are 144 stadiums in the Republic, 94 s w i m m i n g poois, 3,250 gyms, nine indoor track and field arenas, and 50 thousand playing-fields. Such large sport facilities as an indoor track and field arena with stands for 2,500 spectators in Gomel or the sports complex of the Labour Reserves Sports Society consisting of a track and field arena, a s w i m m i n g pool, and five gyms have been built recently.

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The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbekistan)


F o u n d e d on O c t o b e r 27 1924, it is the f o u r t h largest U n i o n R e p u b l i c in p o p u l a t i o n . Area: a b o u t 450 000 sq. km, p o p u l a t i o n : over 14 m i l l i o n . C a p i t a l : T a s h k e n t .

A b o u t six million peopie regularly engage in physical fitness programs and sport in Uzbekistan. Every year almost two million receive GTO badges, the basic physical fitness level certificate. About one million 820 thousand athletes attain mass sports rankings, including almost 19 thousand who become holders of the first ranking; about 5,000 qualify for the title of Candidate Master of Sport and more than 300 for Master of Sport. There are 175 stadiums in the Republic, 3,000 gyms, 50 s w i m m i n g pools,

2,400 s h o o t i n g ranges and galleries, and about 40,000 football pitches and sports g r o u n d s National sports, especially kurash wrestling and equestrian games are particularly popular here. Over 20,000 sports specialists, mostly with specialized educations, and 642 thousand volunteer PT instructors work with almost 12,000 physical fitness and sports collectives. Daily exercises at places of work have become a regular feature at more than 4,000 enterprises, educational establishments, and institutions.

The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (Kazakhstan)


F o u n d e d o n A u g u s t 26, 1920, initially as an A u t o n o m o u s R e p u b l i c of the Russian F e d e r a t i o n , it w a s raised to the s t a t u s of a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of the USSR on D e c e m b e r 5, 1936. S e c o n d largest in area a n d t h i r d in p o p u l a t i o n . Area: over t w o m i l l i o n 717 t h o u s a n d sq km.: p o p u l a t i o n : m o r e t h a n 15 m i l l i o n . C a p i t a l : Alma-Ata.

M ore than 5.5 million people have made physical fitness and sports activities a regular pastime. Every year, some t w o million people from seven to sixty receive their basic fitness level certificates GTO badges, and over a million and a half athletes attain mass sports rankings, including 18 thousand for the first ranking. About four thousand qualify for the Candidate Master of Sport title and some 400 become full-fledged Masters. Almost 23.000 full-time trainers, coaches and other sports personnel and over 550 thousand volunteer PT

instructors help the population take its first steps in physical fitness and sport. Mass c o m p e t i t i o n s for children and teenagers are organized in the Republic every year that draw about 4.5 million participants. One million 800 thousand s c h o o l c h i l d r e n take part in the Starts of the Hopefuls c a m p u n n . more than 320 thousand boys vie for the prize of the Leather Ball Club. 110 thousand are members of the Goid Puck Club. 520 thousand play in chess
t o u r n a m e n t s of t h e W h i t e R o o k Club,

and 300 thousand take part in tournaments of the Wonder Draughts Club.

Spurts Arnund

Republics

athletes of Kazakhstan have at -,nir disposal more than 130 stadiums, . S 70 gyms, 100 s w i m m i n g pools. 140 sports grounds, and 1,940 looting ranges and galleries.

The calender of sports events in the Republic includes competitions in national sports such as wrestling, equestrian games, archery, falconry and h u n t i n g with golden eagles.

The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (Georgia)


Founded on F e b r u a r y 25, 1921, it j o i n e d the USSR a l o n g w i t h o t h e r r e p u b l i c s of t h e T r a n s c a u c a s i a n F e d e r a t i o n o n December 30, 1922, a n d o n D e c e m b e r 5. 1936, it b e c a m e a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of t h e USSR. Area: over 69,000 sq. km.; p o p u l a t i o n : a b o u t five m i l l i o n . C a p i t a l : Tbilisi,

P h y s i c a l fitness and sport have beme part of everyday life for one nillion 795 t h o u s a n d people, or more han a third of Georgia's population. These people are organized into more han 7,100 physical fitness collectives.
tvery year 580 thousand earn GTO

badges; half a million attain mass ports rankings, i n c l u d i n g 7,500 holders of the first ranking; 1,600 qualify ' :>r the title of Candidate Master of Sport, and over 300 are rated as Masters of Sport. m recent years, new sports facilities nave been commissioned, including he reconstructed Dynamo stadium and aquatic sports complex in Tbilisi, ndoor tennis-courts and training

camps at Alakhadzy and Eshera. At present there are over 80 stadiums in the Republic, 1,400 gyms, 70 swimm i n g pools, 2,500 basketball, 3,700 volleyball and 870 handball courts, 1,600 football pitches and 270 shooting ranges and galleries. Georgian villagers are ardent lovers of national sports such as wrestling, a u n i q u e ball game, equestrian games i n c l u d i n g t h r o w i n g a spear at a target at a gallop or archery at a gallop, mounted polo, and trick riding. More than 1,900 trainers and coaches and 220,000 volunteer PT instructors help people meet their physical fitness and sporting needs.

The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Azerbaijan)


F o u n d e d on A p r i l 28, 1920, it j o i n e d the USSR a l o n g w i t h r e p u b l i c s of t h e T r a n s c a u c a s i a n F e d e r a t i o n o n D e c e m b e r 30, 1922. a n d o n D e c e m b e r 5. 1936, it b e c a m e a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of the USSR. Area: over 86,000 sq. km.: p o p u l a t i o n : a b o u t six m i l l i o n . Capital: B a k u .

T w o million 220 thousand people ngage in physical fitness programs ;>nd sport with more than 7,500 collectives. Every year over 670 thousand

receive GTO badges, about 450 t h o u s a n d attain mass sports rankings, including more than 4,700 who are given the first ranking, annually, over

60

900 athletes qualify for the title of Candi late Master of Sport and about 100 'or Master of Sport. More than 11,000 people work fulltime in physical fitness and sport, almost 10,000 of w h o m have a higher or specialized education. In addition, there are about 170 thousand volunteer trainers and PT instructors. The population of the Republic has at its disposal more than 60 stadiums, about 8,000 outdoor sports facilities, 199 shooting ranges and galleries, 26 s w i m m i n g pools, 1,150 gyms, and 837 multi-purpose sports-grounds at schools and places of residence. In addition, there are various clubs attached to places of residence67

physical fitness and sport clubs for adults, over 90 such clubs for children and teenagers, and 120 j o g g i n g clubs. Polo, archery, fencing with cornel sticks to the a c c o m p a n i m e n t of folk instruments, and gulesh wrestling in particular have been very popular in Azerbaijan since olden times. Sixty-two sports and recreation camps for children are organized in summer. Every year 125 thousand boys take part in tournaments vying for prizes instituted by the Leather Ball Club, 380 t h o u s a n d schoolchildren compete in the Young-Pioneer Friendship quadrathlon, and over 812 thousand in Starts of the Hopefuls. Kiddies' Games draw about 40 thousand children of preschool age.

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (Lithuania)


F o u n d e d o n July 21, 1940, it b e c a m e a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of t h e USSR o n A u g u s t 3. 1940. A r e a : over 65,000 sq. km., p o p u l a t i o n : exceeds three million. Capital: Vilnius.

O n e million 379 t h o u s a n d people regularly engage in physical fitness programs and sport in the Republic. Every year about 590 t h o u s a n d of this number meet sports standards for the GTO program and more than 550 t h o u s a n d attain mass sports rankings. Some 8,800 achieve first rankings and Candidate Master of Sport, and some 230 are honoured with the title of Master of Sport. There are 4,700 full-time physical fitness and sports staffers in the Repub-

lic, most of w h o m have a specialized education, as well as 205 t h o u s a n d volunteer PT instructors. Sporting facilities include 36 stadiums, eight indoor track and field arenas, nine rowing centres, 35 s w i m m i n g pools, 456 s h o o t i n g ranges and galleries, 885 gyms, and 4,123 playing fields. Not long ago, a Sports Palace in Vilnius, an indoor s w i m m i n g pool in Alitus, and a sports centre of the Physical Education Institute in Kaunas were commissioned.

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The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavia)


Founded on October 12. 1924 as an Autonomous Republic of the Ukraine, it became a Union Republic on August 2, 1940. Area: over 33.000 sq. km.; population: about four million. Capital: Kishinev. Over one million 380 thousand eople regularly engage in physical mess and sport here in almost 4,000 sorts groups and clubs. Every year tore than 460,000 master the GTO togram standards and 390,000 reeive mass sports rankings. Annually, ,500 join the ranks of first-ranked .portsmen and Candidate Masters of iport, and more than 20 qualify for laster of Sport. he Republic's population has at is disposal 67 stadiums, 28 swimrung pools, 1,164 gyms, 784 shootig galleries, over 1,000 football itches and more than 7,000 playjiounds. Over 5,000 sports personnel, threequarters of w h o m have a specialized education, pass their experience on to fitness enthusiasts. Thousands of young people and adults take up the national form of wrestling that is very popular in Moldavia. Particular attention is paid to the physical education of the younger generation. More than 600,000 schoolchildren engage in physical fitness programs, in Starts of the Hopefuls and Merry Starts, and c o m p e t e for prizes instituted by the Leather Ball Club, the White Rook Club, and the Merry Dolphin Club.

The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (Latvia)


Founded on July 21, 1940, it joined the USSR on August 5, 1940. Area: over 63,000 sq. km.; population: more than 2,500,000. Capital: Riga. O v e r 920 t h o u s a n d people who reguarly engage in physical fitness and sport are organized into more than 2,840 sports g r o u p s and clubs. Every year more than 360 thousand people am GTO badges and 370 thousand necome rated sportsmen; over 4,200 athletes receive first rankings, more 'han 370 qualify for Candidate Master f Sport, and 180 for Master of Sport. Almost 4.000 full-time sport staffers, ' 567 of w h o m have a higher educaon in physical training, help people get involved in the physical fitness and sports movement. In addition to this number, there are 86,000 volunteer PT instructors and 80,000 referees. The Republic's sports facilities include 36 stadiums, 1,166 volleyball, 678 basketball and 213 handball courts, 320 football pitches, 50 track and field arenas, 89 ice hockey rinks, and 28 s w i m m i n g pools. In addition, there are 63 physical culture and sports clubs at places of residence with a member-

62

ship u' 61,000. 53,000 children study at 90 specialized sports schools where 40 different

sports are taught, while over 27,000 children and youngsters attend 1,457 beginners' groups.

The Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic (Kirghizia)


F o u n d e d o n O c t o b e r 14, 1924, as an a u t o n o m o u s r e g i o n of t h e R u s s i a n F e d e r a t i o n , it w a s r e o r g a n i z e d i n t o a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of t h e U S S R o n D e c e m b e r 5, 1936. A r e a : a b o u t 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 sq. k m . : p o p u l a t i o n : o v e r 3 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 . C a p i t a l : F r u n z e .

About one million 190 thousand people belonging to 2,760 sports groups, teams and clubs regularly engage in physical fitness activities, and sports, play national games, or go in for hiking, camping, h u n t i n g and fishing in the Republic. Every year some 365 thousand people meet GTO standards, more than 280 thousand receive mass sports rankings, including 3,000 first rankings. The title of Candidate Master of Sport is awarded to 400 athletes, and Master of Sport to 80. A m o n g the Republic's sport facilities are 24 stadiums, 26 s w i m m i n g pools, 267 s h o o t i n g ranges and galleries, 808 gyms, 3,558 volleyball and 2,375 basketball courts, 905 football pitches, and 24 sports clubs.

5,132 PT instructors, including 4,184 with specialized higher or secondary educations, assist population of the Republic in its efforts to join in the mass physical fitness and sports movement. Horse-racing, wrestling on horseback, wrestling with a sash, and shooting at targets while galloping are the most popular national sports in the Republic. Competitions in various sports events draw an increasing number of children and y o u n g people every year. About 340 thousand young athletes take part in the Starts of the Hopefuls campaign and 68 t h o u s a n d children vie for prizes instituted by such clubs as the Leather Ball, Little Ear of Wheat, Youth, and Hope.

The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajikistan)


F o u n d e d o n O c t o b e r 14, 1924 as an A u t o n o m o u s R e p u b l i c w i t h i n U z b e k i s t a n , it w a s r e o r g a n i z e d i n t o a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of t h e U S S R o n O c t o b e r 16, 1929, A r e a , o v e r 143,000 sq. k m . : p o p u l a t i o n : a b o u t 4,000,000. C a p i t a l : D u s h a n b e . O n e who and million belong clubs 415 to thousand sports people groups cal the fitness and sporting Every for activities over of in 600

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e Master of Sport and about 100 Master of Sport. -80 full-time s p o r t s personnel, the e r w h e l m i n g majority of w h o m have e o a l / z e d s e c o n d a r y or higher edu,non, assist the p o p u l a c e w i t h physij fitness and s p o r t s p r o g r a m s . Over 0 PT i n s t r u c t o r s have been honied w i t h the title of Merited Coach the Republic, in a d d i t i o n there are ver 90,000 v o l u n t e e r PT i n s t r u c t o r s id trainers w o r k i n g actively in physi1 fitness and sport. he Republic's s p o r t s facilities include 3 stadiums. 2,000 basketball and 345 volleyball courts, 936 f o o t b a l l -itches, 673 gyms, 165 shooting

ranges and galleries, and 33 swimm i n g pools. Over the past few years, large s p o r t s c o m p l e x e s have been built: an Olympic r o w i n g centre in D u s h a n b e , and an Alpine s k i i n g complex w i t h lifts and a hotel. National wrestling, chavgonbozian ancient game akin to field h o c k e y t i g h t - r o p e w a l k i n g , and r u n n i n g comp e t i t i o n s are quite popular. Tajikistan is a major Soviet m o u n t a i n e e r i n g centre, for it is here that the c o u n t r y ' s highest peaks are f o u n d , i n c l u d i n g a b o u t one h u n d r e d peaks h i g h e r t h a n 6,000 metres. So naturally, there are many m o u n t a i n e e r i n g c a m p s in the area.

The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (Armenia)


F o u n d e d o n N o v e m b e r 29, 1920, it j o i n e d t h e U S S R a l o n g w i t h o t h e r r e p u b l i c s of t h e T r a n s c a u c a s i a n F e d e r a t i o n o n D e c e m b e r 30, 1922. Its s t a t u s c h a n g e d o n D e c e m b e r 5. 1936, w h e n it b e c a m e a U n i o n R e p u b l i c . A r e a : a b o u t 3 0 , 0 0 0 sq. k m . ; p o p u l a t i o n : o v e r 2.5 m i l l i o n . C a p i t a l : Y e r e v a n .

H e r e , 994 t h o u s a n d p e o p l e regularly engage in physical fitness p r o g r a m s and sport. They b e l o n g to 3,490 sports groups, clubs a n d physical fitness learns. Every year a quarter of a million people measure up to mass .sports standards (GTO), about 3.5 t h o u s a n d receive first rankings, and over 500 qualify for C a n d i d a t e Master of Sport, and m o r e than 100 for Master of Sport. 2.860 full-time coaches and 107 i h o u s a n d v o l u n t e e r PT instructors and rainers help p e o p l e go out for physoal fitness and sport. The number of referees and umpires totals "7.000.

There are 27 stadiums in the Republic, 1,277 gyms, 71 s w i m m i n g pools, 713 basketball, 824 volleyball and 208 h a n d b a l l courts, 230 f o o t b a l l pitches, 25 tennis-courts, 111 s h o o t i n g ranges and galleries, and 116 m u l t i - p u r p o s e sports-grounds. National wrestling, ball g a m e s (on foot or horseback), and equestrian g a m e s are very p o p u l a r a m o n g the A r m e nians. Children have the o p p o r t u n i t y to enter one of 159 specialized s p o r t s schools. A b o u t half a m i l l i o n children and y o u n g people take part in various sports c o m p e t i t i o n s annually.

64

The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmenia)


F o u n d e d as T u r k m e n R e g i o n of t h e T u r k e s t a n A u t o n o m o u s R e p u b l i c o n A u g u s t 7, 1921 ; t b e c a m e a U n i o n R e p u b l i c of t h e USSR o n O c t o b e r 27. 1924. A r e a : a b o u t 500.000 sq. k m . : p o p u l a t i o n : o v e r 2.5 m i l l i o n . C a p i t a l A s h k h a b a d .

M o r e than one million people regularly engage in physical fitness programs and sport in the Republic. More than 300,000 GTO badge wearers and over 170,000 rated athletes are trained in the 2,918 physical fitness collectives every year. Over 2,000 athletes achieve first rankings, about 500 qualify for the Candidate Master of Sport title, and over 75 become Masters of Sport. 4.5 thousand are employed as full-time coaches, of w h o m 3.3 thousand have a specialized higher or secondary education; they help draw people into

physical fitness and sport. The Republic's sports facilities include 22 stadiums, 604 gyms, 14 s w i m m i n g pools, 174 shooting ranges and galleries, 1,885 volleyball, 743 basketball and 315 handball courts, and 509 football pitches. Much attention is paid to the development of physical fitness and sport among children and teenagers. About 36 t h o u s a n d young athletes take up sport at more than 100 children's and young people's sports schools and at three schools of advanced training.

The Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (Estonia)


F o u n d e d o n J u l y 21, 1940, it j o i n e d t h e U S S R o n A u g u s t 6 o f t h e s a m e year. A r e a : o v e r 4 5 , 0 0 0 sq. k m . : p o p u l a t i o n : m o r e t h a n a m i l l i o n a n d a half. C a p i t a l : T a l l i n n .

A b o u t 600,000 people in Estonia belonging to more than 1,600 physical fitness groups regularly engage in physical fitness and sports activities. Every year, 215,000 physical fitness fans meet GTO standards and 255,000 achieve mass sports rankings, including over 6,000 athletes w h o become holders of the first ranking. Over 800 qualify for the title of Candidate Master of Sport and about 150 for Master of Sport. About 2,700 full-time staffers, over 66,000 volunteer PT instructors, and more than seven thousand referees and umpires work in the area of physical culture and sport. There are 19 stadiums in the Republic

462 gyms, 218 playing-fields, 40 swimming pools, and 139 shooting ranges and galleries. In addition, over 70 physical fitness clubs and centres with a membership of about 16,000 function at places of residence. Children's sport is developing actively in Estonia. Every year, more than 155,000 children and teenagers participate in the Starts of the Hopefuls campaign, and about 18,000 compete for prizes of the Leather Ball and Gold Puck clubs. Yachting is a very popular sport in the Republic. In 1980. Tallinn was the venue of the regatta within the framework of the XXII Olympic Games.

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Soviet Sport in Questions and Answers


We hear much of the Soviet citizen's right to sport. How is that implemented?
In accordance w i t h the USSR Constitution citizens of the Soviet Union enjoy the right to rest w h i c h , specifically, is ensured by the p r o m o t i o n of sport for all, physical culture and o u t d o o r recreation. The state has established extensive opportunities for that facility. It has been calculated, for example, that over 20 million people can engage in sport and recreation daily at all the country's sports centres (stadiums, s w i m m i n g pools, games halls and courts) in summertime. What is more, recreation is practically free of charge in so far as the annual m e m b e r s h i p payment to a sports society, as mentioned earlier, is no more than 30 kopecks. Sports enthusiasts can use equipment, amenities and gear for that purely nominal sum. The state remunerates coaches and, together w i t h public organizations, particularly the trade unions, it bears the costs of h o l d i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s and sports festivals, i n c l u d i n g money spent on transporting, feeding, a c c o m m o d a t i n g and providing medical services to athletes.

Why is so much attention paid to physical culture?

Because it is accessible to people of all ages and all degrees of physical fitness, and i ^ t h e simplest and most effective means of bolstering health. One might cite several new f o r m s of health and recreation a c t i v i t i e s c o u n t r y w i d e festivals of running, skiing or s w i m m i n g , mass cross-country runs and cycling races. On s u c h days millions of people, many for the very first time, line up at the start in t o w n and country. Regular involvement in physical culture helps to attract people to sports events, induces t h e m to take up serious t r a i n i n g and better their skill. So it is precisely mass physical culture that has become the f o u n d a t i o n for top achievements in sport.

W h a t is a p h y s i c a l culture group?

Virtually every industrial enterprise, farm, school, college and office has its o w n physical culture organization, of w h i c h there are currently more than 250,000, including 130,000 in rural areas. Physical culture g r o u p s with a large membership (like those at big factories or industrial complexes, or at universities) receive the title

8-11

Soviet SportinQuestionsandAnswers

66

of sports club and normally possess their o w n sports centre with up-to-date e q u i p m e n t and amenities w h i c h enable them to cultivate several sports. The smaller g r o u p s usually p r o m o t e just a few popular sports, while frequently renting sports facilities on the money earmarked for those purposes by the management and trade union committee.

What is a voluntary sports society (DSO)?

It is a society that affiliates mainly on the principle of place of w o r k the physical culture g r o u p s at industrial enterprises, farms, colleges and offices. For example, the All-Union L o k o m o t i v DSO covers athletes and fitness enthusiasts employed on the railways; Burevestnik is for students and teaching staff in higher education; Trudovyye rezervy is for students and teaching staff in the vocational trade colleges. Most DSOs c o m e under the trade unions. The first trade-union DSO was Spartak, f o r m e d in 1935, while the All-Union Physical and Sports Society Dynamo dates from 1923. Every DSO has its o w n rules, emblem, flag and sportswear for athletes; each one c o n d u c t s its o w n competitions and f o r m s teams in various sports that take part in the national championships and cups; and each society registers its o w n records.

Does the Soviet Union have a Sports Ministry?

The Committee on Physical Culture and Sport attached to the USSR C o u n c i l of Ministers is in charge of the physical culture and sports movement. All the decisions and instructions on sport and fitness p r o g r a m m e s taken by this state body are b i n d i n g on all ministries and departments. The Committee's range of activities is fairly diverse: to draw up and implement a scientifically-grounded system of physical education; widely to involve people of all ages and professions in sport and fitness p r o g r a m m e s ; to train highly proficient athletes. It is also the C o m m i t tee's responsibility to extend contacts w i t h foreign sports organizations and to coordinate the activity of Soviet members of international sports federations and associations. The paramount decisions of the USSR Sports Committee (as it is k n o w n for short) are discussed and ratified by its board whose membership includes representatives of other state and public organizations (including the trade unions, the Komsomol and education bodies) concerned with sport and fitness programmes, as well as the Committee's o w n leading members. The USSR Sports Committee is responsible for all

Soviet Sport in Questions and Answers

67

sports cultivated in the country as well as for constructing all major sports amenities and for training sports and physical culture personnel.

What part do the trade unions play in Soviet sport?

Very great. Suffice it to say that roughly half the number of Soviet physical fitness ethusiasts (48 million) are members of the trade union DSOs. In their concern for the health of all employees, the u n i o n enterprise committees see that a special clause on p r o m o t i n g mass sport, fitness exercises and health is inserted in the collective agreements w h i c h they sign w i t h management. In all industrial undertakings, in colleges and in farms, trade union committees assist in the w o r k of the sports groups. The union DSOs currently have 142,000 physical culture g r o u p s and possess almost 3,000 stadiums, more than 13,000 sports halls, over 1,000 s w i m m i n g pools, 1,500 tennis courts, nearly 5,000 ski centres. 15,000 ice hockey rinks, 330,000 sports courts and pitches, as well as 2,800 children's and y o u n g people's sports schools, and more than 2,000 sports and health camps. Every year the unions spend almost a billion roubles out of their o w n f u n d s on p r o m o t i n g sport and physical culture. The union DSOs train top-class athletes; at the 1980 Summer Olympics, for example, trade union-sponsored athletes w o n 57 out of the Soviet total of 80 gold medals.

What is "production gymnastics", often mentioned in the Soviet press?

These are a special set of physical exercises w h i c h people are supposed to do d u r i n g " c o f f e e breaks". They are designed to help eliminate fatigue. These breaks for exercise are held once or twice a day and last normally about five m i n u t e s h e n c e their popular name of "five-minutes of bracing exercise". The exercises are w o r k e d out jointly by medics and recreation officers with account for the nature of the w o r k being done by those they are designed for. At the present time p r o d u c t i o n gymnastics are being performed at more than 200,000 places of w o r k and study; they are usually c o n d u c t e d by specially-trained instructors.

How many Soviet people engage in sport?


8'

By athletes or sportsmen we refer to those w h o train regularly in a particular sports g r o u p and perform in competitions. At the moment we have over 50 million permanent sports enthusiasts, i n c l u d i n g some 19 million

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in the countryside. More than half (about 30 million) have a sports ranking, more than 500,000 have met the standards for Candidate Master of Sport, some 200,000 bear the title of Master of Sport, and more than 8,000 have the International Master of Sport title. Registered athletes also include y o u n g people at the sports schools where more than three million s c h o o l c h i l d r e n train. The number of actual sports enthusiasts is m u c h greater. S c h o o l c h i l d r e n and students, for example, do various sports w i t h i n the framework of their study curriculum, and many millions of " u n a c c o u n t e d f o r " casual athletes line up for the start of mass contests and sports festivals, i n c l u d i n g such occasions as the countrywide festivals of running, skiing and s w i m m i n g , and the multi-sport GTO days, not to mention the many cross-country runs. That is why statistics q u o t e a figure of in excess of 87 million people engaging in sport and fitness programmes. What sports are cultivated? Over seventy not c o u n t i n g the various folk games; they include all Olympic sports. Of the non-Olimpic disciplines, besides such w e l l - k n o w n sports as acrobatics, badminton, rugby, unarmed combat (sambo) and mountaineering, there are plenty of fans for orienteering, trampolining, water skiing and bandy. If we take into consideration the number of people engaging in a particular sport we must give athletics the vote. The USSR Athletics Federation has over seven million athletes on its books. Volleyball (six million), skiing (five million) and soccer (almost five million) are very popular a m o n g y o u n g people. Skiing is the No. 1 sport in terms of participants in the wintertime, as one w o u l d expect in a country with several months of snow over m u c h of its territory.

Is t h e r e o n e favourite sport?

The annual membership dues to a sports society are 30 kopecks. What do people pay for sport when they are not sports club members?

That depends on what sport the person fancies. If he or she wishes to spend time s w i m m i n g , playing tennis or horse-riding with specialist expertise, that person can avail himself of a season ticket or entry payment to use the appropriate facilities. For example, it costs one rouble an hour t o swim with a subscription g r o u p in the Moscow Olympic S w i m m i n g Pool w h i c h was built for the 1980 Olympic Games, while it costs roughly three roubles an hour for adults and 25 kopecks for children to hire a horse at the Bitsa Equestrian Centre, w h i c h was also c o n s t r u c t e d specially for the 1980 Olympics. For several years we have had certain fitness and sports

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complexes on a profit and loss basis, operating as part of the c o n s u m e r services network. For a small fee (about three roubles a month on average) anyone can not only play any sport, but also attend a rehabilitation centre, enjoy a sauna and have a c h e c k - u p from a sports medic.

Is t h e r e a c o n c e p t of e x p e n s i v e sports?

There is indeed. Take equestrianism as an example. The renowned Pepel on w h i c h Yelena Petushkova, now Vice-President of the USSR National Olympic Committee and researcher at Moscow University, w o n the World Dressage Championships was valued at several tens of thousands dollars. A n d ten t h o u s a n d dollars was the price paid for the motor-cycle ridden by Leningrad student Gennady Moiseyev when he w o n the world motocross championships. No less expensive were the yachts piloted by Valentin Mankin, thrice Olympic Champion, now an engineer in Kiev. Nonetheless, neither Petushkova's Pepel, nor Moiseyev's motor-bike, nor Mankin's yachts cost them a kopeck. Each of them, like many thousands of other Soviet athletes, paid their annual 30-kopeck dues, and the sports society gave them the horses, motor-bikes and yachts on w h i c h they w o n World Championships and Olympic Games.

D o e s sport feature in t h e s c h o o l timetable?

Yes, twice a week. From the first f o r m all children attend physical education lessons. They are only excused if they can produce a d o c t o r ' s note. Marks are awarded for performance at t)ie PT lessons, on a par w i t h other school subjects. A n d the PT mark also features in the school-leaving certificate, the "maturity certificate". T w o lessons of PT a week is not much. Scientists and medics have demonstrated experimentally that children need a m u c h greater amount of activity and physical exercise. In recent years Soviet schools have been trying out the idea of "exercise breaks". This means that d u r i n g the main break the 7-15-year-olds g o out into the playing g r o u n d s or school yard to piay active games with their teachers. Some 82 per cent of all school PT teachers (120,000 in all) have a college or university qualification w h i c h ensures an overall high level of physical education work. Each PT teacher is also responsible for c o n d u c t ing extracurricular sports activities for those w h o want them. Schools have their o w n sports g r o u p s run by teachers or senior pupils from a m o n g the best athletes; there are also sports groups for beginners run by the children's and y o u n g people's sports schools.

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How is the younger generation of talented athletes nurtured?

The Soviet Union has children's and y o u n g people's sports schools (CYPSS) at w h i c h boys and girls w i t h s p o r t i n g ability and an inclination to improve their skill in a particular sport can come and train after s c h o o l in the afternoon or evening. There are more than 8,000 such schools catering for almost four million y o u n g people. They normally have their o w n sports amenities and well-qualified coaches. It is an invariable c o n d i t i o n for acceptance into a CYPSS that besides sports talent the applicant must have g o o d school marks. Some ordinary secondary schools have recently experimented with special sports classes for children, w h i c h are local branches of the CYPSS. After their regular lessons in the school timetable the children go home and c o m e back later to train in the school gym. There are currently over 3,000 such sports-oriented classes in progress. The CYPSS have trained many athletes w h o have subsequently become top-class athletes and members of Soviet national squads. Of the 24 members of the men's s w i m m i n g team at the 1980 Olympics, for example, seven had trained in a CYPSS, while 11 of the 15 members of the Soviet w o m e n ' s s w i m m i n g team were ex-CYPSS charges. The 1983 World Gymnastics Championships were w o n by Dmitry Bilozerchev, and the 1983 European Gymnastics Championships by Olga Bicherova, both M o s c o w students and graduates of a sports school of the Army Central Sports Club.

Are there many special children's competitions?

Indeed. A n d of a great variety. The Starts of the Hopefuls track and field c o m p e t i t i o n s are particularly popular among s c h o o l c h i l d r e n ; they are c o n t e n d e d by school forms in w h i c h all pupils take p a r t t h e s t r o n g athletes and the novices. The winners meet in the Finals at the Artek children's health centre in the Crimea. Starts of the Hopefuls attract up to 20 million participants. Just as well-established fixtures in the children's competitive calendar are the Gold Puck in ice hockey, the Leather Ball in soccer, the Merry Dolphin in s w i m m i n g and the White Rook in chess, all of w h i c h attract millions of entrants. The All-Union Spartakiads are the major j u n i o r competitions. They initially start the ball rolling in schools f r o m w h i c h the best athletes meet at city, district and regional championships. To compete in the finals local c h a m p i o n s make up Republican j u n i o r teams. Up to 37 million children take part in the Spartakiad preliminaries, while as many as 6,500 top j u n i o r athletes, often CYPSS members, fight out the finals in more than

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20 sports. Thus, a year before he set his first w o r l d high j u m p i n g record Vladimir Yashchenko w o n the Junior Spartakiad w i t h a j u m p of 2 m 26 cm.

M u s t all s t u d e n t s do physical culture?

Physical education is part of the c u r r i c u l u m at all higher educational institutions, and attendance is c o m p u l s o r y for all students in their first t w o years. Students of weak health, however, have preparatory and special medical g r o u p s w i t h a lighter load. Victor Markin, then a first-year student at the Novosibirsk Medical College, was advised to attend just such a g r o u p . Once his health had improved in the preparatory group, Markin gained medical permission to transfer to the basic g r o u p and there t o o k such a liking to sport that after a few years he w o n the gold medal in the 400 m run d u r i n g the M o s c o w Olympics. All colleges and universities have sports clubs operating on a voluntary basis. The student sportsclub is at the centre of extensive fitness and health-improving activities; it also organizes sports g r o u p s for those w h o wish to pursue a sport after lectures and improve their skill at a particular sport. As many as 20,000 instructors and some 2,500 professional coaches w o r k in the student sports and fitness movement, while student sports clubs practise some 50 sports, i n c l u d i n g all the Olympic ones. The most popular are track and field with 226,000 participants and skiing w i t h 155,000 registered enthusiasts.

Do students h a v e their own sports society?

Yes. Sports clubs at most colleges and universities are members of the Burevestnik voluntary sports society. There are some exceptions. Sports clubs at colleges training railway engineers, for example, c o m e under the auspices of the L o k o m o t i v D S O f o r railway personnel. Today Burevestnik is responsible for sports clubs in almost 700 higher educational establishments: that involves more than t w o million students and some 360,000 teaching staff. Student sport has at its disposal more than 50 stadiums, almost 400 ski centres, 82 s w i m m i n g pools, more than 1,700 multi-purpose sports halls, 32,000 basketball, volleyball and handball courts and 315 s h o o t i n g ranges. Burevestnik annually trains up to 1,200 USSR Masters of Sport and International Masters of Sport, and its members feature practically in all national sports squads. Of the 1980 Olympic gold-medal holders 22 were members of the student sports society.

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H o w d e v e l o p e d is women's sport?

Some 35 million w o m e n are involved in physical culture and sport. In contrast to several Western countries, Soviet w o m e n do not play soccer or ice hockey, nor do they box or wrestle. This is not anti-woman discrimination, it is a manifestation of concern for their health. In all other sports w o m e n enjoy the widest opportunities to train and take part in competitions. The success of Soviet s p o r t s w o m e n internationally is well known. At the 1980 Moscow Olympics alone they w o n gold medals in basketball and volleyball, handball and gymnastics, athletics and equestrian sport, rowing and s w i m m i n g , diving and archery. A n d at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and Sarajevo they w o n gold medals in figure skating and cross-country skiing, in the luge competitions and speed skating. Many lovers of sport all over the w o r l d know the names of outstanding Soviet w o m e n athletes like Larisa Latynina and Olga Korbut, Tatyana Kazankina and Galina Kulakova, Irina Rodnina and Lyudmila Buldakova, Lina Kachyushite and Irina Kalinina, Lidiya Skoblikova and Tatyana Averina, Tamara Bykova and Olga Mostepanova, and many, many more.

What opportunities are there for the middle aged and elderly to take part in sport?

People over 40 naturally no longer dream of setting records and p e r f o r m i n g wonders, but many of t h e m retain a desire to do sport and even take part in competitions. The most popular form of sport w i t h such people is the health and keep-fit training group. Such groups exist at practically all sport clinics and sports societies, and have a membership of some 20 million.

W h a t rural sports facilities exist?

It has to be said that opportunities for d o i n g sport in the countryside cannot c o m p a r e w i t h those in the town. Nonetheless, most collective farms have their sports and physical fitness groups. Altogether the country has 130,000 such g r o u p s e m b r a c i n g almost 30 million farm workers. Rural athletes have their o w n All-Union Urozhai (Harvest) DSO w i t h a membership of approximately 20 million. One recent innovation is the establishment of inter-farm sports clubs f o r m e d t h r o u g h p o o l i n g the resources of a few collective farms. For example, the Kolos (Ear of Wheat) inter-farm sports c l u b operates in part of the Ukraine and encompasses 17,000 sports enthusiasts f r o m n e i g h b o u r i n g state and collective farms; it has g r o u p s in 13 sports and a children's and y o u n g people's sports school. More than a few w o r l d - f a m o u s athletes have emerged from rural sports clubs: the renowned skier Raisa

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Smetanina, the five-times World C h a m p i o n wrestler AN Aliev, the basketball player Ulyana Semyonova and the w o r l d w e i g h t l i f t i n g record-holder Yurik Sarkisyan. And many more.

How many sports amenities exist?

A b o u t 700,000. Every day in summer they can a c c o m m o date over 20 million people. The c o u n t r y has over 3,500 stadiums w i t h seating for 1,500 or more spectators. It has, of course, far more courts for s u c h team games as basketball, volleyball and handball: about 380,000 altogether. There are over 75,000 multi-purpose sports halls, over 2,000 s w i m m i n g pools, 5,500 ski centres, some 4,500 athletics tracks and 22,500 ice hockey rinks. Many of the sports facilities of M o s c o w and other Soviet cities are well k n o w n to overseas participants in top international competitions. They include the biathlon stadium at Raubichy outside Minsk, the Jubilee Sports Palace in Leningrad, the indoor athletics track in Tbilisi and the sailing centre in Tallinn. Athletes and sports experts awarded full marks for the sports amenities built in M o s c o w for the 1980 Olympic Games. They include such vast complexes as the velodrome, the indoor stadium in the aquatic sports centre, the multi-sport Druzhba sports hall and the Bitsa equestrian centre. All these sports centres remained in c o m m i s s i o n after the Olympic Games.

What are the most popular sports competitions?

The USSR Spartakiads held once every four years on the eve of the Olympic Games. Their p r o g r a m m e includes all Olympic and some non-Olympic sports; the Finals essentially determine the make-up of the Soviet teams for the f o r t h c o m i n g Olympics. But the aim of the Spartakiads is m u c h wider than providing a selection procedure. They are primarily intended t o be a multi-sport, multi-stage contest that c o m m e n c e s in factory and farm stadiums, in the sports g r o u p s of offices and colleges. The best athletes then go f o r w a r d t o c o n t e n d the c h a m p i o n s h i p s of towns, districts and regions after w h i c h they f o r m Union Republic, M o s c o w and Leningrad teams for the culminating stage of the Spartakiad. Thus each spartakiad represents millions of participants, people of all ages and b a c k g r o u n d s ; it is a festival of international friendship, of the national culture of all the country's fifteen Republics.

Are folk games popular?

They certainly are. The Soviet Union has over a hundred different nations and nationalities, each of w h i c h has

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retained its traditional games and contests w h o s e roots g o back into antiquity. Today no national festival is complete w i t h o u t such folk games. Georgia, in particular, has the popular chidaoba wrestling style and a folk game involving a ball played on horseback (rather like polo); the Buryat A u t o n o m o u s Republic in southern Siberia has a folk game involving firing an arrow at skittles; many ethnic g r o u p s in the Far North have reindeer racing, lassoing and sledge j u m p ing; in Russia the old folk pursuit of gorodki (rather like skittles) is popular. Tournaments featuring folk games at various levels are held, up to Republican championships. Both sports rankings and the Master of Sport title are awarded for achievements in such sports. It is a c u r i o u s fact that many widely-known c h a m p i o n s entered top-class sport via folk games. The Olympic j u d o c h a m p i o n , Shota Chochishvili, asserts f r o m his o w n experience that anyone w h o has been involved in chidaoba for any length of time is already a ready-made j u d o wrestler; the Buryat Vladimir Yesheyev has for several years been a top Soviet archer, after spending his early years practising his o w n folk sport. The state does all it can to encourage folk sports inasmuch as it sees them as an integral part of overall national culture.

Does the USSR regard hiking as a sport?

Not all forms. The e n o r m o u s number of people w h o g o on excursions t o see memorial and historic places and w h o are independent hikers cannot really come under the athlete rubric. An athlete is someone involved in outdoor recreation w h o has covered (on foot, horseback, in a canoe or on a raft, etc.) a specially authorized route of a certain difficulty category. It is now a tradition that at the end of each route the new rambler is awarded the s p o r t i n g lapel badge of Soviet Tourist. There is also the USSR Master of Sport in T o u r i s m title. Tourist rambles usually begin from tourist bases under the watchful eye of experienced instructors w h o have had special training. The country now has over 65,000 tourist groups affiliated to physical culture groups, 870 tourist clubs, more than 200 children's excursion and tourist lodges, and about 1,000 hikers' homes, not to speak of tourist camps, h u n t i n g and fishing lodges, and camping sites. More than 19,000 routes are registered by the Central T o u r i s m and Excursion Council; as many as 19 million people use them every year. Vouchers for a stay at outdoor recreation centres or camps are normally given free of charge. Costs are borne by trade unions attached to those workplaces and

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colleges w h o s e sports groups encompass o u t d o o r recreation and organize appropriate groups. In the space of a year the tourist and excursion organizations provide facilities for approximately 34 million ramblers and hikers.

W h a t sports titles are awarded?

Depending on the level of skill displayed, the athlete may gain respectively the third, second and first rankings, the titles USSR Master of Sport and International Class Master of Sport. Each category has its own standards w h i c h are reviewed upwards once every four years in line w i t h the Olimpic cycle. The standards are inscribed in the All-Union Sports Classification System, and requirements are fairly high. As an example, to become International Master of Sport in the 100 m run, a man must cover the distance in 10.3 sec., and a w o m a n in 11.3 sec. The USSR Sports Committee makes the awards of rankings and titles in 56 sports, and the Union Republic sports c o m m i t t e e s cover folk games. The most cherished title in Soviet sport is Merited Master of Sport of the USSR w h i c h goes to athletes w h o have distinguished themselves in top international tournaments; they are normally World or Olympic Champions. The speed skater Yakov Melnikov became the first Merited Master of Sport in 1934. Almost 200,000 athletes have gained the Master of Sport title since it came into being in 1935, 8,300 have w o n the International Class Master of Sport accolade since its inauguration in 1965, and 3,000 have gained the Merited Master of Sport title.

Can one talk of purely "Russian" sports that have gained international recognition?

Yes, such sports do exist. Above all there is modern rhythmic gymnastics. After the first Soviet t o u r n a m e n t t o o k place in Tallinn back in 1947, the relatively novel sport t o o k a hold in many countries. Sixteen years later, in 1963, the first World Championships in Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics were held, and in 1984 it became an Olympic sport. Sambo (the Russian acronym for samozashchita bez oruzhiyaunarmed combat) is a sport that first saw light in the 1930s in the Soviet Union. It was an amalgam of various folk wrestling styles (Azerbaijanian, Georgian, Yakut, etc.) and included throws, painful holds, grips and blocks. Sambo has gained a f o l l o w i n g a m o n g y o u n g men in several countries. The International Sambo Federation, set up in 1973, now holds sambo w o r l d championships.

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Is the concept of "sports provinces" applicable to Soviet outlying regions and cities?

Naturally. The big cities like Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev w h i c h possess sports research centres, physical culture institutes and conditions for training top-class athletes undoubtedly have the edge. But there is no great gap between the provinces and the centres. Suffice it to say that people from 95 specific populated areas of the country were members of the Soviet contingent at the 1980 Summer Olympics. A n d Olympic Champions include weightlifter Yurik Vardanyan from the Armenian t o w n of Leninakan, track and field athlete Tatyana Kolpakova from the Kirghiz capital of Frunze, and the gymnast Maria Filatova from the Siberian t o w n of Leninsk-Kuznetsky. In winter sports one might cite recent Olympic winners like skier Vassily Ftochev f r o m the village of Bakur in the Komi A u t o n o m o u s Republic, the bobsleigh competitor Vera Zozulya f r o m the Cesis Latvian sports organization, and the biathlete Yury Kashkarov f r o m the Siberian t o w n of Khanty-Mansiisk. The gymnastic schools of Voronezh and Vitebsk, the cycling school of Tula and the pole vaulting clubs of Irkutsk have all p r o d u c e d their Olympic and World Champions, and record-breakers at various times.

Does the USSR h a v e its s p o r t s industry?

It does. W i t h o u t it we c o u l d not clothe, shoe and equip each of the many millions of people w h o take part in competitions. Over a t h o u s a n d industrial plants make sports equipment, sportswear and footwear, facilities and amenities. The USSR Sports Committee also imports some foreign e q u i p m e n t to provide athletes and fitness enthusiasts with all possible sports goods. But these are only a back-up for the sports g o o d s and equipment manufactured domestically.

W h a t is the scientific back-up to sport?

The Soviet Union has three research physical culture institutesin Moscow, Leningrad and Tbilisi, and 27 study institutes each of w h i c h has faculties in several sports. They c o n d u c t both study and research work, and employ more than 20,000 specialists. Scholars are taking an interest in sociological, educational, psychological, medical-biological and organizational issues c o n c e r n i n g both mass physical culture and top-class sport. The M o s c o w Sports Research Institute, for example, is just putting the finishing touches to a comprehensive p r o g r a m m e of general physical education from an early preschool age. Without scholarly help it w o u l d have been impossible to establish the GTO programme, since it is a scientifically-grounded national fitness p r o g r a m m e for people between seven and 60.

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Research, recommendations and experiments assist coaches t o train proficient athletes. The w o r k of many Soviet sports scholars is widely k n o w n t h r o u g h o u t the world. Professor Vladimir Kuznetsov, for example, has developed the concept of a n t h r o p o m a x i m o l o g y t h e maximal potential of the h u m a n organism. Dr. Igor Ratov has systematized biomechanical laws of sporting achievements. The principal goals set by sports science is to fortify people's health, to promote the h a r m o n i o u s development of individuals and to attain top results in sport. H o w vital is m e d i cal s u p e r v i s i o n in sport? We have a strict rule that no athlete can compete, whether it be national c h a m p i o n s h i p s or a modest factory tourney, w i t h o u t a doctor's permission. Medical supervision is largely ensured t h r o u g h a network of sports medical institutions b e l o n g i n g to the Soviet Health Ministry. This network is quite extensive, including over 400 sports health centres, 900 medical supervision cabinets, 8,000 sports therapy clinics of w h i c h 2,500 are for children. Over 30,000 people w o r k in sports medicine, keeping an eye on the health of all people engaged in sport and fitness programmes, contribute to the designing of sports projects, determining healthy c o n d i t i o n s for training and c o m p e t i t i o n s alike. Medical services for all athletes, like all medical services in the country, are absolutely free. Coaches, like all physical education and sports instructors, are trained in the 27 physical culture institutes and 25 colleges of specialist education. What is more, departments of physical education exist at about a hundred colleges of education and universities. Teachers' training colleges have 74 PT departments. Altogether the physical culture institutes teach approximately 90,000 students, the colleges some 26,500; the total annual graduation figure is in excess of 27,000 sports and PT specialists, including 16,800 w i t h higher education. The physical culture movement employs a total of some 328,000 people full time. That may seem insufficient for a state in w h i c h over 87 million people participate in sport and fitness exercises. But w e must add that trained specialists get a helping hand f r o m voluntary part-time coaches w h o are normally sports enthusiasts, one-time or currently c o m p e t i n g athletes, w h o take classes in sports g r o u p s gratuitously in their spare time. To give t h e m some expert training there are special courses and seminars. Currently the country has more than 16 million volunteers in sport.

How does one become a coach?

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Leading athletes are constantly replenishing the ranks of skilled coaches. To give recent examples, the long-time leading women's gymnast Lyudmila Turishcheva, the renowned figure skater Irina Rodnina, the Soviet and w o r l d basketball star Sergei Belov and the legendary Soviet ice-hockey captain Boris Mikhailov are all now employed as coaches in their sports. Coaching is a greatly honoured profession and the role of coaches is regarded as absolutely vital in training the younger generation. So it is not surprising that the state has h o n o u r e d a large number of coaches w i t h orders and medals for their outstanding achievements at the Olympic Games d o w n the years.

How can Olympic Champions remain undergraduates or postgraduates for up to ten years?

Higher education courses normally last between five and six years, d e p e n d i n g on the subject. If we add the three years that it usually takes to gain a postgraduate diploma (the main way to train educational and scientific researchers) we reach a total of 8-9 years. In exceptional cases some students, irrespective of whether they are actively involved in sport or not, take advantage of the right to an academic years off. A n d the same right applies to student sport members w h o may avail themselves of it to better prepare for big competitions like the Olympic Games. So the course of study may well be p r o l o n g e d by a year.

W h a t is t h e sporting press?

It consists of 35 periodicals with a single total printing of over eight million copies; 16 of the periodicals are All-Union publications. Further, the publishers Fizkultura i sport alone put out more than 150 sports titles every year with an aggregate printing of 8.5 million copies. The leading Soviet sports paper is Sovetsky sport (Soviet Sport) w h i c h comes out every day save Monday in a printing of 4.9 million; and the leading monthly magazine is Fizkultura i sport (Physical Culture and Sport) with over 600,000 copies. Most Union Republics have their o w n sports periodicals. Soviet sports publications inform their readers of h o m e and foreign events as well as acting as organizers of various sports events and campaigns. To give an example, it was the initiative of Sovetsky sport that launched the nationwide festivals of running, skiing and swimming, w h e n millions of people in all corners of the land participate in sport. It is not only the s p o r t i n g press that takes on the role of sports organizer. The daily newspaper Pravda, organ of the CPSU Central Committee, for example, pays m u c h attention to sports and fitness issues, and it is responsi-

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ble for s p o n s o r i n g the nationwide cross-country run every year; the newspaper Izvestiya, organ of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium, holds display reviews under the rubric " W h o l e Team to the S t a d i u m " and "Every Member of the Family on His M a r k " , as well as s p o n s o r i n g an international ice hockey t o u r n a m e n t ; the paper Moscow News now sponsors popular international contests in figure skating and gymnastics. Are sports lotteries held in t h e c o u n t r y ? They are. The most popular are " S p o r t l o t o " and " S p r i n t " , the former being based on lucky numbers: punters buy cards on w h i c h they have t o mark six out of any 49 sports suggested, or (in another version) five out of 36. The draw is held once a week, and w i n n i n g s g o up t o 10,000 roubles. " S p r i n t " is an instant lottery in w h i c h the purchaser tears off a strip f r o m his card to see whether he is lucky or not. The t o p prize money for one " S p r i n t " card is 5,000 roubles. Sports lotteries are run under the slogan "You w i n and sport w i n s " , inasmuch as the lion's share of income goes to boost mass physical culture, particularly in building new amenities. For example, the city of Lvov was assigned nine million roubles f r o m " S p o r t l o t o " and " S p r i n t " to build a multistory Palace of Pistol and Rifle Shooting. It has to be said that lotteries were a big help in c o n s t r u c t i n g and refurbishing sports centres for the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow. A fifth of the total cash obtained f r o m sports lotteries remains in the hands of local spdrts organizations and goes to p r o m o t e mass sport and recreation. In that way the local sports committees obtain up to six million roubles every year.

How do athletes combine competition with study?

The state and trade unions take responsibility for sports p r o m o t i o n effectively free of charge to practitioners. The management of w o r k and study places, being interested in p r o m o t i n g sport and physical fitness, grant those employees w i t h a g o o d work and sport record the o p p o r t u n i t y to travel to c o m p e t i t i o n s even d u r i n g w o r k i n g hours, while trade unions see that their average wages are retained for the time off. The best student athletes enjoy the right to attend lectures freely and to take their examinations a c c o r d i n g to an individuallytailored programme.

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With how many countries do Soviet sports organizations maintain contacts?

They have permanent contacts with over 80 countries, with many of w h i c h , first and foremost all the socialist states, long-term cooperation agreements have been signed. In general, the international contacts of Soviet athletes constitute about a third of all Soviet cultural contacts. Besides participation in international sports associations they include bilateral meetings, j o i n t training sessions w i t h foreign athletes, exchange of specialists and sports officials, participation in w o r l d symposia and conferences on all manner of sports issues. There is also, of course participation in the various international events: d u r i n g one year Soviet athletes w o u l d normally take part on average in as many as a hundred European and w o r l d championships. The USSR v USA and USSR v GDR athletics matches are now regular fixtures, as too are fixtures in volleyball with Japan, ice hockey with Canada, and speed skating with Norway and Sweden. The motto of our sports movement is " W e Are for Co-operation". We are in favour of co-operation in tackling urgent problems in the international sports and Olympic movement, its safeguarding f r o m political interference and f r o m professionalism and commercialism, and we are against all forms of discrimination. Representatives of Soviet sport see their duty in further diffusing the noble Olympic ideas and in maintaining peace t h r o u g h o u t the world.

How is Soviet sport represented in international sports federations?

Some 150 Soviet sports figures represent their country in 81 international federations and hold a variety of posts w i t h i n them. To take an example, Yury Titov is President of FIG, the International Gymnastics Federation; Valery Sysoyev is President of the International Amateur Cycling Federation; 27 Soviet representatives have been voted Vice-Presidents of various sports federations, i n c l u d i n g athletics, soccer, volleyball, skiing, rowing, wrestling, sailing, weightlifting, university sport and the s p o r t i n g press. Two Soviet sports officials, Konstantin Andrianov and Vitaly Smirnov, are IOC members. The o n g o i n g persistent campaign to democratize the w o r l d sports movement and for active participation in implementing the IOC Olympic Solidarity p r o g r a m m e are a m o n g the principal concerns of Soviet representatives in their international activity. They have, in particular, always been in the forefront of the fight against racism and apartheid in sport, and they played a key part in having S o u t h Africa excluded f r o m the Olympic movement and many international federations and associations. Soviet representatives in ISU, the Internation-

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al Skating Union, are currently o p p o s i n g the decision to introduce cash prizes to winners of European and World C h a m p i o n s h i p s ; in FIFA (the International Federation of Football Associations) they are d o i n g all they can to p r o m o t e the sport, including that of j u n i o r soccer in developing countries; in the International Association of Olympic Medical Officers they are pressing for recommendations on treating minor injuries. This is just a brief list of examples that c o u l d well be extended.

What is the role and purpose of the USSR National Olympic Committee?

The USSR National Olympic Committee (NOC) came into being on 23 April 1951. It now n u m b e r s 180 persons w h o represent sports federations and are members of international sports associations, w h o are state officials, p r o m i n e n t athletes, coaches, scholars, health specialists, figures in culture and the arts, and journalists. The USSR NOC sets itself a number of specific aims and tasks, including, in line with its statute, helping to p r o m o t e sport and physical fitness for all, popularizing Olympic ideas w i t h i n the country, e x p a n d i n g the international contacts of Soviet athletes, establishing the c o n d i t i o n s c o n d u c i v e to implementing the IOC Olympic Solidarity programme, and setting up and maintaining contacts w i t h other National Olympic Committees. The USSR NOC is guided in its daily w o r k by the provisions of the Olympic Charter. It holds its plenary meetings no less than once a year, and, in the interim, it is run by its 35-strong Presidium. In 1955 it was the first National Olympic Committee to be awarded the IOC prize instituted to h o n o u r the Olympic statesman Count Bonacoss; it was bestowed on the USSR NOC in recognition of its immense c o n t r i b u t i o n to p r o m o t i n g w o r l d sport in the spirit of Olympic ideals. Several f o r m e r Soviet athletes are recipients of the highest IOC accolade, the Olympic Order; they include Irina Rodnina, Lyudmila Turishcheva, Victor Saneyev, Yelena Mukhina, Lidiya Skoblikova, Zoya Mironova, Galina Kulakova, Alexander Medved and Lev Yashin.

How does the USSR N O C t a k e p a r t in the Olympic movement?

In line w i t h the agreement between the USSR NOC and the IOC, every year some 200 sports specialists from developing countries improve their qualifications at seminars put on in the USSR. The M o s c o w State Physical Culture Institute has permanently-running sixm o n t h courses for sports officials, coaches, and athletes f r o m newly-independent states. A n d the USSR Sports Committee and NOC send coaches and other sports

9-11

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specialists to w o r k in developing countries. At the present time these specialists are imparting their experience to local personnel in about 30 developing states of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Which are the outstanding Soviet Olympians?

A total of 670 Soviet athletes bear the title of Olympic Champion. The absolute record of most awards belongs to the gymnast Larisa Latynina w h o w o n 18 medals at her three Olympics (1956, 1960 and 1964): nine gold, five silver and four bronze. There are other record-breakers. Long j u m p e r Igor Ter-Ovanesyan took part in a total of five Olympic Games, w i n n i n g bronze medals at t w o of them. Alexander Medved (free-style wrestling) and Vyacheslav Ivanov (rowing) w o n three Olympic tournaments in a row. Yachtsman Valentin Mankin and triple j u m p e r Victor Saneyev took part in four Olympics, w i n n i n g gold in three. The kayak c o m p e t i t o r Vladimir Parfenovich and swimmer Vladimir Salnikov also w o n three g o l d medals each, but at the same Games the 1980 M o s c o w Olympics. A m o n g winter athletes one might pick out Lidiya Skoblikova w h o w o n six gold medals in speed skating, Yevgeny Grishin and Galina Kulakova w h o were fourtimes Olympic C h a m p i o n s in speed skating and skiing respectively. Then there is the phenomenal figure skater Irina Rodnina w h o with her partners, first Alexei Ulanov and then Alexander Zaitsev, w o n three Olympic Championships. A n d the biathlete Alexander T i k h o n o v became C h a m p i o n at four Olympics in the relay. Soviet athletes have also done well in team sports. The football and basketball teams have been Olympic Champions, and the volleyball men's and w o m e n ' s teams have performed the feat several times over, as has the water polo team. A n d we must not forget the brilliant Soviet ice hockey team that has w o n five out of seven Olympic titles.

What did the 1980 Moscow Olympics bring Soviet sport?

Preparation for and the holding of the Olympics in Moscow provided an e n o r m o u s boost to mass sport and physical culture in the country at large. That can be specified in the f o l l o w i n g examples. We built 11 large-scale sports centres, and completely rebuilt just as many in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk where the soccer preliminaries were held. All these sports centres were handed over to the public once the Games came to an end. In the run-up to the Olympics we held mass tournaments under the slogans of "The Olympics Aren't Only

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for Olympians", " F r o m GTO Badge to Olympic Medal" and "Olympians Are amongst Us" w h i c h all unquestionably helped swell the ranks of sports enthusiasts.

What did the Moscow 1980 Olympics cost?

The first t h i n g to say is that the state bore all expenses associated w i t h staging the Olympics, releasing funds f r o m the state budget, since the c o n s t r u c t i o n of many amenities dovetailed with the country's e c o n o m i c and social development plan. That applied to c o n s t r u c t i o n of hotels, airports, the housing estate for the Olympic Village, roads, c o m m u n i c a t i o n s centres, public catering, c o n s u m e r services, etc. A total of 744.8 million roubles was spent by the 0 l y m p i a d - 8 0 Organizing Committee, i n c l u d i n g the building and refurbishing of sports buildings, and organizational costs (putting on competitions, maintaining participants and officials, renting sports facilities, etc.); other f u n d s came from the revenues of the fiscale c o n o m i c programme. The s u m of 744.8 million roubles was fully covered t h r o u g h lotteries, c o m m e r c i a l licence issuing, the m i n t i n g of special coins, the selling of TV rights, tickets for events and Olympic philately. In the financial sense Moscow made no profit from being venue for the Olympics. But f r o m the social standpoint M o s c o w and all Soviet people u n d o u b t e d l y benefited in that the Olympics gave a boost to building and i m p r o v i n g the capital city, and p r o m o t i n g the sports movement.

H o w is t h e p u b l i c using Olympic facilities t o d a y ?

They were all handed over to the public of Moscow, Leningrad, Tallinn, Kiev and Minsk i. e., the cities where events t o o k place. Not a single Olympic site stands empty, it serves sport. It c o u l d not be otherwise: the Olympic sites were built f r o m a long-term viewpoint. Let us take Moscow as an example. The Olympic s w i m m i n g and sports complex now has s w i m m i n g g r o u p s for parents and children. Muscovites are also using the facilities of the Bitsa equestrian centre and the unique Dynamo Palace of Sport w i t h its several sports halls. The citizens of the Gagarin district of Moscow have at their disposal a really splendid sports centre that had once been part of the Olympic village. One of M o s c o w ' s main sporting attractions is now the sports c o m p l e x at Krylatskoye w i t h its rowing canal, cycle track and archery range; the cycle track incidentally can be used for training and c o m p e t i t i o n in a w h o l e range of other sports, like track and field and gymnastics. And at all the other Olympic arenas from the

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soccer-cum-athletics centre of the Army Central Sports Club to the Sports Palace in Izmailovo, now fully at the disposal of students at the State Physical Culture Institute you will invariably find activities in progress, training, competition, and everywhere a sense of the vibrating rhythm of Soviet sporting life. The modern sports facilities w h i c h 0 l y m p i a d - 8 0 presented to the public are helping further to p r o m o t e sport and recreation in the capital city. Following the Games, as many as 500 new g r o u p s of general physical training for children and grown-ups, six children's and y o u n g people's sports schools with 32 sections accommodating some 15,000 y o u n g Muscovites, all sprang up on the capital's f o r m e r Olympic sites.

They Were Educated by Sport

The names of the heroes of the Olympic b a t t l e s t h e gymnast Victor Chukarin, the runner Vladimir Kuts, the wrestler Johannes Kotkas, the speed skater Evgeny Grishin and o t h e r s a r e k n o w n in many countries of the world. Their talent and chivalrous behaviour in the sporting arena have w o n them the respect and affection of fans and rivals alike. When they retired from big-time sport they took up worthy occupations in society, b e c o m i n g workers and doctors, coaches and writers, engineers and scientists. But each one of them can say with pride: "Sport has educated us!"

Twice All-Round Champion

Victor Chukarin (1921-1984), gymnastics, Merited Master of Sport (1951). Graduated from the Lvov Institute of Physical Culture. All-Round Champion of the USSR 19491951, 1955, World Champion 1954, Champion at the XV and XVI Olympic Games (1952, Helsinki; 1956, Melbourne). Many times USSR, World and Olympic Champion in individual disciplines in the combined events. Formerly head of the gymnastics department of the Lvov Institute of Physical Culture.

E v e r y day t h e M e s s u h a l l i Hall in Helsinki w h i c h seats n i n e t h o u s a n d s p e c t a t o r s was p a c k e d t o c a p a c i t y , for it was t h e r e that t h e g y m n a s t s w e r e c o m p e t i n g . Everyone's a t t e n t i o n was riveted o n the Soviet s p o r t s m e n w h o w e r e m a k i n g their O l y m p i c d e b u t in Helsinki that year. Q u i c k to f i n d fault, t h e j u d g e s noted t h e s l i g h t e s t m i s t a k e m a d e by any o n e of t h e m . V i c t o r y d e p e n d e d not only o n t e c h n i c a l skill, b u t o n self-discipline, s t r e n g t h of will, total d e d i c a t i o n and, of c o u r s e , o n t h e passionate desire to hear t h e strains of their n a t i o n a l a n t h e m u n d e r t h e a r c h e s of t h e hall. A n d they proved that they w e r e entit l e d to w i n , a l t h o u g h it w a s far f r o m easy. After t h e vaults t h e Soviet gymnasts w e r e in s i x t h a n d s e v e n t h place. They had each s c o r e d less t h a n 9 p o i n t s . Only t h e team l e a d e r t h e ever s e r i o u s V i c t o r C h u k a r i n h a d 9.45 points. He w a s c o m p o s e d a n d outwardly calm. But t h e c a l m n e s s d i d not c o m e easy. C h u k a r i n k n e w very w e l l t h a t not only his o w n success, but t h e v i c t o r y of t h e w h o l e t e a m d e p e n d e d o n his performance. A f t e r t h e exercises o n t h e h o r i z o n t a l bar t h e Soviet t e a m c l i m b e d t o s e c o n d place. Only t h e F i n n s c h a m p i o n s of the previous G a m e s w e r e ahead. C h u k a r i n g a i n e d 9.8 p o i n t s o n t h e bar. This w a s t h e best result in t h e first t w o days of t h e c o m p e t i t i o n s . On t h e s e c o n d day V i c t o r w a s a g a i n in t h e lead after t h e vaults: over t h e t w o days he h a d s c o r e d a t o t a l of 19.25 points. No-one could overtake him. Chukarin's v a u l t i n g was m e t i c u l o u s . One of t h e G e r m a n g y m n a s t s said that t h e g e o m e t r i c a l p r e c i s i o n of C h u k a r i n ' s f l i g h t over t h e h o r s e c o u l d only be repeated w i t h t h e help of a slide rule a n d a pair of c o m p a s s e s . The best p e r f o r m a n c e o n t h e p o m m e l led horse was given by V i c t o r ' s teammate Grant S h a g i n y a n . T h e g y m n a s t f r o m Erevan g a i n e d t h e h i g h e s t mark of 9.9 points. T h e Soviet g y m n a s t s s c o r e d t h e p o i n t s

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they needed for victory on one apparatus after the other. Finally the team events were over. The n e w c o m ers w h o had w o n over the spectators from the m o m e n t they appeared on the floor, were rightfully called the best Olympic team. The Soviet gymnasts had scored 574.4 points, 6.9 points more than the Swiss team w h i c h was composed of all their 1950 World Champions. The Swiss newspaper Gazette de Lausanne w r o t e on that occasion: "The Russian success in the gymnastics was totally unexpected. Their brilliant and close-knit team was in excellent f o r m and clearly outshone our compatriots." Victor Chukarin, the leader of this "brilliant and close-knit t e a m " , became All-Round C h a m p i o n at the XV Olympiad. He was then 31. At that age many sportsmen retire f r o m bigtime sport. Victor first saw gymnasts perform at the stadium in Mariupol, the small southern t o w n where he lived w i t h his parents. When he came h o m e he got together with his friends and made a horizontal bar with rusty pipes. So began his initiation into gymnastics. It was a long way f r o m the homemade horizontal bar to the Olympic Games. At first there were lessons at the school club, then at the gymnastics club of the technical college where he studied metallurgy and after that at the Kiev College of Physical Culture, and after that ... there was the war. It broke out on the very day Victor graduated from college. He left for the front immediately and f o u g h t in an artillery unit. He was s u r r o u n d e d and taken prisoner. He became prisoner No. 10491 in the Sandbostel concentration camp. Victor spent four years in that hell. It is difficult even to imagine how m u c h he had to g o t h r o u g h . When the Soviet Army advanced on the camp, all the inmates were hurriedly evacuated to

another t o w n and kept on the harbour under armed g u a r d for three days. They were given n o t h i n g to eat or drink. On the f o u r t h day the prisoners were herded o n t o a barge filled with explosives w h i c h was to be taken out to sea and blown up. The Nazis even prepared an advance press statement about the event: "The barge was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine." But patriots w h o s e names we do not know, saved the prisoners. Victor returned h o m e in 1945. "I was so t h i n and emaciated," Victor recalled, "that even my o w n mother didn't recognize me. It was only w h e n she placed her hands on my head and felt the c h i l d h o o d scar w h i c h remained f r o m my fall off a hayrick that she a c k n o w l e d g e d me as her son." Back home Victor was scarcely able to do a couple of chin-ups on the horizontal bar. But soon the hard work was to start in earnest and in three years Chukarin became USSR Champion on the horizontal bars. A year later, in 1949, he w o n the title of All-Round Individual C h a m p i o n of the Soviet Union w h i c h he held for a further t w o years. Finally there was the first Olympic victory at Helsinki w h i c h was f o l l o w e d by another one at the 1954 W o r l d Championships at Rome and successes at many major international and All-Union tournaments. These victories did not always come easily, often they had t o be f o u g h t for in seemingly hopeless situations. In Rome, for example, Chukarin dislocated a finger the day before the event and suffered considerable pain t h r o u g h o u t the entire championships. But he kept g o i n g to the end and with Valentin Muratov became All-Round World Champion. The contest at the XVI Olympic Games in Melbourne was also a difficult one. Our gymnasts' main rival was the y o u n g Japanese team and it was not

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clear w h o w o u l d w i n until the very last moment. After the first day the Soviet team led by only 0.2 points. On the second day the Japanese were first to perform. They left the floor to stormy applause and the marks gained by each member of the team were very high. The Soviet team at the Melbourne Olympics was c o m p o s e d almost entirely of new members. Only the team captain, Victor Chukarin, had been at Helsinki. The duel w i t h the Japanese began with the ring exercises in w h i c h the three best in the Soviet team lost the odd point: Albert Azaryan gained 9.8, Chukarin and Muratov each gained 9.6. The vaulting was w o n by Valentin Muratov w i t h Yury Titov in second place. The t h i r d a p p a r a t u s t h e parallel b a r s w a s Chukarin's forte. A m o n g his trophies there are nine gold medals awarded for his performances on the parallel bars: one was w o n at the World C h a m p i o n s h i p s and eight at the National Championships. At Helsinki he was 0.05 of a point behind the winner and gained a silver medal. At Melbourne Chukarin and the Japanese gymnast Masami Kubota each scored the same n u m b e r of p o i n t s 9 . 5 5 after the c o m p u l s o r y events. The Japanese gymnast performed m u c h better in the floor exercises. To overtake him, Chukarin had to collect not less than 9.85 p o i n t s a n d he did just that! The storm of applause proclaimed Victor the winner even before the judges had a n n o u n c e d the result. The Japanese gymnasts were the first to congratulate him. They had three apparatus behind them. Half the distance had been covered. The Soviet team was confidently c a t c h i n g up w i t h the Japanese. Boris Shakhlin w o n the exercises on the horse and Chukarin was third. Our gymnasts did not manage to catch up with Takashi Ono on the horizontal bar. He executed the c o m b i n a t i o n

brilliantly and gained very high marks. There remained only one e v e n t t h e floor exercises. Each member of the Soviet team had to collect not less than 9.2-9.3 points to become champions and they rose t o the challenge magnificently. For the second time in succession Soviet gymnasts w o n the team gold at the Olympic Games. Chukarin had a harder fight to w i n the title of All-Round Individual Champion. Initially he was not even in the first three. The talented Japanese gymnast Takashi Ono was in the lead and his supporters were about to celebrate his victory. But once again Chukarin did not falter. Not for n o t h i n g has he been called a " m a n w i t h o u t nerves"! If only one knew the t r e m e n d o u s nervous tension that went into his performance of the floor exercises w h i c h was to decide the fate of the Olympic gold medal! Victor gave his all and beat the Japanese. Afterwards O n o c o m p l a i n e d to journalists: "It is impossible to beat this man. Failure only stimulates him to make even greater efforts." Victor Chukarin did not have to taste the bitterness of defeat. He retired f r o m the floor unvanquished. In one of his interviews he said: "A real sportsman is first and foremost a strong character. A man w h o has no self-confidence has no place in gymnastics. This does not mean, however, that success can be guaranteed by making some sort of desperate effort. It is m u c h more complicated. There are different interpretations of courage in sport. A long-distance runner for example must have the capacity for endurance, a sprint-cyclist or slalom skier will not achieve success unless he takes risks. A gymnast must be both skilful and careful and never gamble, never rely on providence or l u c k i n short on anything that is undependable or fortuitous. Whatever the situation, he must keep a g r i p on

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himself, remain a wise strategist and, of course, do everything to the best of his ability. A c o m b i n a t i o n can only be performed faultlessly if it has been well prepared in training and tested hundreds of times."

The Road to the Olympus


H i s first appearance was at the National Championships in 1952. Soviet sportsmen were preparing for the Helsinki Olympics and the debut of the 25-year-old sailor from the Baltic Fleet passed almost unnoticed. Later Kuts himself recalled that event: "The 1952 National Championships showed that I was still weak and knew little about running. I shot f o r w a r d at the start and, unable to assess my strength, 'expired' long before the finish. That was a lesson, that was the price I paid for not k n o w i n g the t e c h n i q u e and tactics of running." Now there is probably not a single sports enthusiast w h o does not know the name of Vladimir Kuts. Why then rummage in the distant past to recall his first defeat? No sportsman has started his career w i t h instant w o r l d records and Kuts is no exception. This recollection of his first defeat simply underlines the fact that in just one year Kuts progressed from being an ordinary sportsman w i t h a first ranking to b e c o m i n g National Champion and one of the w o r l d ' s strongest long-distance runners. It cannot be said that his c h i l d h o o d was a particularly happy one. Once, it is true, he had a real stroke of luck: he f o u n d his first sports t r o p h y p a r t of a broken ski t h r o w n away by soldiers passing t h r o u g h the village where he lived. That was in 1943 w h e n the village had just been liberated from Nazi troops. "My friends looked at the broken ski w i t h undisguised envy," Kuts recalled. " B u t part of a ski is still not a ski. So, in the evenings, after I had rushed t h r o u g h my h o m e w o r k I set about repairing it and the broken part was soon transformed into a proper ski. I made the second ski with a plank from an old cracked barrel..."

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A n d so V o l o d y a s t a r t e d skiing. He c o u l d hardly have i m a g i n e d t h e n that his skis w o u l d serve h i m as a s p r i n g b o a r d to t h e r u n n i n g t r a c k a n d t o w o r l d records! "It w a s t h e skis," Kuts w e n t on, " t h a t a w o k e in me t h e p a s s i o n f o r movement. A n d a l t h o u g h t h e s n o w m e l t e d w i t h t h e first days of s p r i n g a n d t h e skis w e r e carefully h i d d e n away u n t i l t h e f o l l o w i n g winter, I c o u l d not hide t h e desire t o run. It has r e m a i n e d w i t h me t h r o u g h o u t my e n t i r e life." B u t his real i n t r o d u c t i o n t o s p o r t c a m e in t h e army w h e r e he t o o k up w e i g h t l i f t i n g , b o x i n g , s w i m m i n g , rowi n g a n d skiing. He even g a i n e d his first s p o r t s r a n k i n g in s k i i n g . On t h e May holiday in 1948 he t o o k part in a c r o s s - c o u n t r y race a n d t o e v e r y o n e ' s s u r p r i s e a n d most of all his o w n , he won. S o m e m o n t h s later V l a d i m i r , s t a n d i n g in f o r a sick f r i e n d , ran in t h e fivek i l o m e t r e race in an a r m y event a n d o n c e again he w o n ! A f t e r t h i s he m a d e t h e f i r m resolve t o start t r a i n i n g in earnest. At first he t r a i n e d independently, l e a r n i n g by trial a n d error, w i t h o u t any idea of training loads, running s c h e d u l e s , t e c h n i q u e or t a c t i c s . He ran a n d ran w i t h o u t p u t t i n g u n d u e pressure o n himself. O n e day he c h a n c e d u p o n an a r t i c l e a b o u t t h e t r a i n i n g m e t h o d s of t h e c o u n t r y ' s long-distance record-holder Nikolai Popov. " T h i s article," Kuts said, " w a s a revelation to me. I d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e r e was a system of t r a i n i n g , a d e f i n i t e p r o c e d u r e f o r r u n n i n g . I read a n d reread it until t h e p a p e r w a s in tatt e r s . " T h e result of his t w o years' s t u d y of t h i s article w a s t h i r d , s e c o n d a n d t h e n first r a n k i n g g a i n e d f o r r u n n i n g distances of 5,000 a n d 10,000 metres a n d invariable first places in all t h e g a r r i s o n events. T h e n t h e r e was his d e b u t (unsuccessful, it is true) at t h e 1952 National

Vladimir Kuts (1927-1975), track and field athletics, Merited Master of Sport (1954). Graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Physical Culture. USSR Champion 19531957, European Champion 1954 and winner of two gold medals at the XVI Olympiad (1956, Melbourne) for long-distance running. Holder of 5 world records. He was voted the world's top sportsman in 1956 and 1957.

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Championships. And once again, it was training, training and more training. First he worked under the Tallinn coach Alexei Chuzhin and then under the well-known coach Georgy Nikiforov. In 1953, he won the title of USSR Champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 m. In August of that year Vladimir joined the Soviet team and took part in his first international event. This was in Bucharest at the I Youth Friendship Games. The track of the Republic stadium proved to be a lucky one for the n e w c o m e r h e came second to the famous Emil Zatopek in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres. Moreover, he covered the five kilometres in 14 minutes 4 secondsthe fourth result in the entire history of track and field. Victories alternated with defeats. Kuts set a world record but the English runner Christopher Chataway beat it, Kuts set a new record which was beaten by another Englishman Gordon Pirie. But it was Kuts himself w h o helped them to beat these records. This for example is what happened in 1956 in Bergen where Gordon Pirie had come specially to meet Kuts and prove once and for all that he was not "unlucky Pirie" as the journalists had branded him. Kuts already held the title of European Champion and was the world recordholder in 5,000 metres. He was eight times National Champion and had set All-Union records over both the long distances. But in addition to these prestigious titles he possessed one quality which won him the love and respect of his opponents: he never resorted to subterfuge and manoeuvre on the track, never hid behind the backs of the other runners but always led from the front boldly and decisively. Let us go back to 1956, to a track and field meet in Bergen (Norway). We will let Vladimir Kuts himself describe the

race: "I was leading f r o m the first lap. The pace was fast400 metres in 60 seconds. Pirie was behind me. I tried to break clear of him. I stepped up the tempo, but Pirie doggedly held on behind me. In the first kilometre we clipped four seconds off the world record. I ordered myself to keep going without slowing the pace. Apparently Pirie had decided not to fall even a metre behind. I heard his breathing and the crunch of the spikes close behind my back. "I had to stun him, confuse him with a sudden burst of speed, I decided, and made a spurt in the second kilometre. But Pirie held on. He followed me like a shadow. We covered the second kilometre 6 seconds faster than the record time. "Pirie was behind me all the time. "Then at the start of the third kilometre I crossed over to the second lane. Let him have the task of leading the race even for a short time. But as soon as he was in the lead Gordon immediately slowed down the running. Lap after lap Pirie lost the valuable seconds we had gained in the first two kilometres. "What to do? Literally hypnotized, I could not take my eyes off my rival who was running on in front. Pirie's speed was flagging inexorably. "Was it worth running the first two kilometres at a knock-out speed to drag out the second half in this w a y I wondered. Pirie either cannot or will not work up a high speed by himself. Why can he only support someone else's initiative, someone else's pace? "It often happens to me in competitions that at the critical moment my thoughts become crystal clear and a plan of action presents itself, and so it was on this occasion. "I'll overtake quickly, I decided, and break clear as far as my strength will allow.

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"By strength of will I forced myself to run alongside Pirie for a second. I wanted to see what he was capable of w i t h o u t a leader drawing him along like a tow-rope. The eighth lap was the s l o w e s t 6 9 seconds. Then I stormed ahead. Slanting torrents of rain lashed across my face, the salty sweat trickled into my eyes and burned them, my heart was p u m p i n g furiously. "The c o m m e n t a t o r announced that I had c o m p l e t e d the ninth lap in 65 seconds and it was the same with the tenth. So, I was r u n n i n g close to my plan. But what was this? Behind my back I once again heard the c r u n c h of spikes and Pirie's gasping breath. The effort of the battle itself had dulled my alertness somewhat. For a m o m e n t I kept up the increased tempo and lost sight of my opponent. But he, meanwhile, a d o p t i n g my pace, was only t w o strides behind. At the tenth lap Pirie was behind me and still behind at the eleventh! I made one more effort to break c l e a r b u t in vain. Pirie was still behind me. We were running six seconds faster than the world record. "We entered the home straight. I was ahead. Suddenly on my right I saw Pirie's face distorted by the desperate effort he was making. He stormed ahead f r o m behind. I threw myself after him, but it was too late. The remaining distance was not long enough to make the adjustment. Pirie crossed the line a few strides ahead of me. We both clocked a time that was faster than the w o r l d record. But my result was only an All-Union record whereas Pirie became world recordholder for the first time." That was how Vladimir Kuts helped the English runner to beat the w o r l d record in Norway. As he collapsed into the arms of his friends Pirie said: "Thank you, Kuts!" Six months later they met again in Melbourne. The papers juggled with the names of the possible winners in

the long distances. The favourites were the Australians Lawrence and Stevens, the English runners Pirie and Chataway and, of course, Vladimir Kuts. Certain sports c o l u m n i s t s wrote about Kuts rather sceptically, calling him a robot, a h u m a n machine... One of the Melbourne papers asked: "Can a robot beat t h i n k i n g athletes?" A n d answering its o w n question wrote: "No, such runners as Kuts cannot win in the battle of wits." Even the famous English runner Roger Bannister (one-time Minister of Sport in Great Britain) w h o was covering the Olympics as c o r r e s p o n d e n t of the American journal Sports Illustrated declared that Kuts was n o t h i n g more than a ruthless running machine. All these p r o n o u n c e m e n t s naturally upset Vladimir, but as he himself recalled, he had only one wish: to run successfully in the Games and prove those "experts" w r o n g . The 10,000 metres was run on 23rd November 1956. 38 athletes f r o m 20 countries took p a r t a w h o l e constellation of runners: Kuts, Kovacs, Mimoun, Lawrence, Pirie... A n d all were thirsting for victory. But only one c o u l d win. Here is an excerpt f r o m Vladimir Kuts's diary: "At the g u n I immediately shot f o r w a r d f r o m the middle of the first row and set the pace w h i c h I had put to the test in training: I c o m p l e t e d the first lap in 61.4 seconds. This was the normal pace for me but it did not suit many of my opponents. Pirie, true to his usual tactics, f o l l o w e d behind me. He believed that he c o u l d repeat the Bergen victory here in Melbourne. He wanted to achieve victory and perhaps a new w o r l d record b e h i n d the leader. "Pirie was behind me. I c o u l d see this f r o m his long shadow w h i c h glided alongside me over the green turf. This shadow pursued me stride by stride in spite of all my efforts to break away.

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"I put in my first spurt w h i c h gave me a small temporary advantage. I completed the fifth lap in 65.4 seconds. But Pirie's shadow was o n c e again creeping up on me, once again I felt his breath at the back of my neck. The applause f r o m the stands acknowledged the Englishman's answering spurt. Then I suddenly reduced the speed. We completed the lap in 71.6 seconds. This was a 'stop-start' race." At 5,000 metres many t h o u g h t that Kuts w o u l d not manage to break away from the Englishman. But Vladimir kept to his planned tactics of a "stopstart" race. He wore out his o p p o n e n t first by stepping up the t e m p o dramatically then by an equally dramatic decrease in speed. "There were still more than three kilometres to the post but many had already decided that the g o l d medal was in the hands of the Englishman," Kuts continued. "At that point I prepared myself for the final decisive spurt w h i c h , according to my plan, was to follow in the twentieth lap. It was time to carry out my plan. "So I crossed from the first to the second lane at full speed. Pirie followed me. I crossed from the second to the third lane. Pirie f o l l o w e d me. From the t h i r d to the fourth. Pirie f o l l o w e d me. From the f o u r t h back to the first. As ever Pirie was behind. Suddenly I slowed d o w n this unusual zigzag running, so m u c h so that I all but stopped and t u r n i n g r o u n d I beckoned to Pirie to take over... A n d finally Pirie went into the lead! We were now r u n n i n g alongside each other and for the first time in the whole of this race I saw beside me his d r o o p i n g figure, the extreme exhaustion written on his face, and I realized that the m o m e n t had come to put in a decisive spurt. After I had run alongside Pirie for about a hundred metres, I again stepped up the tempo and finally broke

away from the Englishman. He fell further and further behind, having apparently exhausted what was left of his strength. He was overtaken by Kovacs, Lawrence, Krzyszkowiak, Norris, Czerniawski and Power in turn. "All the strength seemed to have drained from Pirie's body. Now came the twenty-fifth and final lap. I completed it in 66.6 seconds. I flew to the tape and to my victory. Even the judges could not remain impassive in these final seconds of our race." Thus came his first Olympic victory w o n by titanic effort, courage and exceptional strength of will. Kuts's time of 28 minutes 45.6 seconds was 31.4 seconds faster than the 1952 Olympic record set by Emil Zatopek, w h i c h at that time was considered to be phenomenal. To the shouts and ovation of the spectators Kuts effortlessly ran one more l a p t h e lap of honour. " A n d , " as one of the papers wrote, "he ran faster than the reporters w h o were rushing towards him." Vladimir Kuts's g o l d medal was the first top award to be w o n by the Soviet track and field athletes at the XVI Olympic Games and the first gold medal in the men's events. Kuts's victory inspired animated c o m m e n taries in the press and there was a dramatic change in tone. In an article "Kuts the Cat, Pirie the Mouse" Roger Bannister w h o had called Kuts " a ruthless machine" wrote: "Kuts is not a machine. His brain is as finely tuned and his t h i n k i n g es perfect as his body." "Everyone Fell in Love With the Sailor" was the title of an article in the Melbourne Sun. "For half an hour," the paper wrote, "the attention of the spectators in the vast Melbourne stadium was riveted to Vladimir Kuts, the stocky fair-haired sailor from the Ukraine." "He murdered me," Gordon Pirie admitted. "Kuts's change of tempo in the

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race became a torture for me." When a journalist asked whether he t h o u g h t he c o u l d beat Kuts, Pirie replied: "This t h o u g h t inspired me from the very start. My hopes seemed to be c o m i n g true up to the sixteenth lap when Kuts abruptly slowed d o w n the t e m p o of the race and then suddenly put in a devastating spurt. This manoeuvre finished me off. The race against Kuts over this distance seemed like a marathon to me. I am very upset for I do not think that I shall ever be able to beat Kuts over 10,000 metres," Pirie concluded. Vladimir Kuts took part in the other long-distance race in M e l b o u r n e t h e 5,000 metres. Everyone was interested in how he w o u l d run this distance. On the 26th November three 5,000 metres preliminary heats were run, with the first five in each heat qualifying for the final. It was not surprising that Vladimir, to save his strength, ran the race just to finish in the first five and came second to Lawrence, the Australian athlete. What a storm of applause greeted this victory of Lawrence's and what a sensation it caused in the press! "I got the impression that Kuts was tired," the coach Franz Stempfl w r o t e in the Argus, "and that his fantastic victory in the 10,000 metres had sapped his strength. I shall not be surprised if we see him defeated in the 5,000 metres final." Before the 5,000 metres final Gordon Pirie confidently a n n o u n c e d : "All the runners in the 5,000 metres final i n c l u d i n g Kuts of course will put up a g o o d fight, but I have already beaten him once this year and I am not particularly worried about him now." On the 28th November this amazingly aesthetic 5,000 metres final got underway at 4.45 p.m. 14 runners from 9 countries lined up at the start. Lawrence had to d r o p out because of an injury. The three Englishmen Pirie,

Chataway and Ibbotson and the Hungarians Tabori and Szabo were all serious contestants. Kuts immediately set a blistering pace, covering the first 200 metres in 30.8 seconds and the first lap in 63.2 seconds. He tried unsuccessfully to draw out the runners, then he slowed d o w n the pace somewhat r u n n i n g t w o laps in 66.2 seconds apiece. Having covered 1,600 metres in 4 minutes 22.6 seconds Kuts was in the lead by the end of the f o u r t h lap. The three Englishmen were still hard on his heels. Kuts stepped up the t e m p o once more and after a lap run in 65.8 seconds only the Englishmen, the Australian Thomas and the Hungarian Szabo presented any real threat. In spite of the cracking pace Kuts did not tire and ran another t w o laps in 66 seconds apiece. He even managed to put about three metres between himself and his opponents. The Englishmen started to get worried. Sensing this, Kuts completed the f o l l o w i n g lap in 65.4 seconds. Chataway tried to keep up, but it was hopeless. It was the beginning of the end. Ibbotson and Pirie did their best to keep up the pace set by Kuts and for some time they succeeded, but Pirie finally began to weaken and then Ibbotson, finding himself alone, also gave up the struggle for first place. Now Kuts stormed ahead even faster. At the bell he was 40 metres ahead of his o p p o n e n t s and as t h o u g h in response to the shouts of the spectators, he stepped up the t e m p o of the race. It seemed that the bell had spurred him on. The final lap was run by this incredible athlete in 62.6 seconds! Vladimir Kuts had completed the distance in 13 minutes 39.6 seconds, setting yet another Olympic record. "I knew that even if they were stronger, the Englishmen w o u l d still 'sit on my back'," Kuts said after the race. "I knew that Chataway could run the last three h u n d r e d metres in

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38 seconds. That meant I had to get ahead immediately and w i n by setting a fast pace. I am happy that I was able to realize my plan." And how did Pirie w h o had so hoped to take his revenge react to this new defeat? In an interview w i t h one of the correspondents he said: "I knew after the first lap that I could not beat the sailor. On the fast track his time equalled 13 minutes 3 0 . 0 seconds instead of 13 minutes 3 9 . 6 seconds. The track was t o o soft. I personally should not have run in the 10,000 metres. I am totally exhausted." C o m m e n t i n g on the exceptional determination of the Soviet athlete, one of the Australian newspapers w r o t e on the 29th November: "In Kuts there is s o m e t h i n g of the man of the past, of the ancient Spartans w h o were prepared to d r o p dead rather than admit
defeat."

was also declared top sportsman in the year f o l l o w i n g the Olympics. Vladimir Kuts, twice Olympic Champion, European Champion, set more than one world record on the track. His world record over five kilometres was unbeaten up to 1965 and his record over ten kilometres stood until 1960. Vladimir Kuts travelled a hard road to the Olympus. At the height of his fame he was modest and hard-working and remained so until death struck him d o w n in his 49th year, in August 1975.

This sentiment was echoed by another paper: "Kuts the hero of the 10,000 metres became a legend with his victory in the 5,000 metres. Kuts's performance in the 10,000 metres set the t o n e for all the c o m p e t i t i o n s at the Gamesthe tone of unrelenting struggle w h i c h requires an iron will and m a x i m u m effort. Yesterday he once again demonstrated these qualities to the highest degree, in an almost s u p e r h u m a n way. A n d once again this amazing Russian runner completed the lap of h o n o u r after the race while the other runners behind h i m were falling senseless to the g r o u n d . The spectators a c k n o w l e d g e d him w i t h shouts of approval that rang out like a clap of thunder. He did not once stop to get his breath. Even in the dressing-room twenty minutes after the race he refused the chair offered him, saying that he never got tired." The w o r l d press was u n a n i m o u s in proclaiming Kuts the hero of the XVI Olympiad and voting him the w o r l d ' s leading sportsman of 1956. He

Kotkas Means "Falcon"

J o h a n n e s K o t k a s (b. 1915), w r e s t l i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1943). A l l - R o u n d C h a m p i o n o f t h e U S S R 1940, 1943-1945. U S S R C h a m p i o n 1946, 1948, 1950-1953, 1955-1956, E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n 1938-1939, 1947, C h a m p i o n at t h e X V O l y m p i c G a m e s (1952, H e l s i n k i ) in h e a v y w e i g h t w r e s t l i n g . N o w c o a c h of the Estonian w r e s t l i n g team.

T h e story started in t h e a u t u m n of 1940 w h e n c o m p e t i t i o n s w e r e b e i n g held in t h e Soviet U n i o n f o r t h e title of A l l - R o u n d C h a m p i o n in F r e n c h Style Wrestling (now called Greco-Roman w r e s t l i n g ) . At that t i m e t h e title of A l l - R o u n d C h a m p i o n of t h e USSR was held by the G e o r g i a n a t h l e t e Konstant i n Koberidze. It s e e m e d that he had n o equal in s t r e n g t h a n d skill. In the s u m m e r of 1940 t h e B a l t i c r e p u b l i c s of Lithuania, Latvia a n d E s t o n i a were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e USSR. In t h e early a u t u m n of t h a t year Estonian w r e s t l e r s arrived in M o s c o w . T h i s c o n t e s t a r o u s e d great interest: t h e Estonian team w a s h e a d e d by t h e European Heavyweight Champion J o h a n n e s Kotkas. At that t i m e Soviet s p o r t s m e n did not b e l o n g t o t h e intern a t i o n a l s p o r t s f e d e r a t i o n s a n d had never f o u g h t against a s i n g l e European c h a m p i o n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , n o - o n e in t h e Soviet U n i o n held s u c h a p r e s t i g i o u s title. T h e q u e s t i o n as to who would winthe All-Round C h a m p i o n of t h e USSR or t h e European C h a m p i o n e x c i t e d all s p o r t s enthusiasts. However, their e x c i t e m e n t d i d not last long. K o t k a s w o n c o n v i n c ingly a n d it was o b v i o u s that had t h e r e been a s e c o n d or t h i r d b o u t , he w o u l d still have w o n . N e w s p a p e r s started t o p u b l i s h articles w h i c h w e r e h i g h l y c r i t i c a l of t h e serio u s s h o r t c o m i n g s in t h e Soviet s c h o o l of w r e s t l i n g a n d b o t h e x p e r t s a n d t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c alike d i s c u s s e d h o w w r e s t l i n g skills c o u l d best be improved. Only o n e m a n r e m a i n e d u n s h a k e a b l y o p t i m i s t i c J o h a n n e s Kotkas himself. He stated that he h a d seen quite a n u m b e r of r e m a r k a b l e w r e s t l e r s in M o s c o w , that he w o u l d a d d s o m e of t h e i r t e c h n i q u e to his a r m o u r y a n d that his victory over K o b e r i d z e meant n o t h i n g because K o b e r i d z e w e i g h i n g under 87 k i l o g r a m s was a lightheavyweight, w h e r e a s his (Kotkas's) w e i g h t was in excess of 100 k i l o g r a m s w h i c h c o u l d not b u t have been a decisive factor. M o r e o v e r , they s h o u l d

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train together and then they w o u l d see w h o was the better man. Thus the Estonian wrestler with his amazingly simple and friendly manner was accepted into the large family of Soviet wrestlers. His life had been a hard one before he became the Kotkas w h o was applauded by the sporting w o r l d of Europe. His father was killed in the First World War and his mother had to bring up the two-year-old Johannes and the five-year-old Emmi alone. Deprived of its breadwinner, the family s o m e h o w had to make ends meet and w h e n he was still a boy Johannes was o b l i g e d to go out to work. He had no special skills. No w o r k s h o p or factory w o u l d take him on: w h o needed an unskilled y o u t h ? Fortunately, Johannes possessed great physical strength. At the age of 15 he w o r k e d as a stevedore. Initially he shifted bales at the port of Tallinn and later handled freight for a cons t r u c t i o n firm in Tartu. A n d he still had e n o u g h strength and energy left over at the end of the day to spend a little time studying. By the t i m e he was 20, Johannes was w o r k i n g as a mechanic at a small factory in Tartu. It was then that he took up wrestling. His exceptional strength and natural talent for sport helped h i m achieve success on the mat and he soon acquired patrons. Vying w i t h one another, the managers of professional sports clubs began to invite him to appear, foreseeing the high box-office t a k i n g s w h i c h this remarkable strong man w o u l d bring in. But Johannes did not t u r n professional; he remained a w o r k i n g man. That is why Kotkas easily adapted to the family of Soviet sportsmen. Alt h o u g h he didn't know Russian at that time, he quickly f o u n d a c o m m o n language. As veterans of sport now recall, Johannes took them by surprise w h e n he suddenly started speaking Russian with a Georgian accent! It
10-11

turned out that he had been having lessons with his new friend Konstantin Koberidze... But their second encounter did not take place. In 1941, Johannes Kotkas, European C h a m p i o n left for the front to defend his country against the Nazi invaders. When the war ended sports enthusiasts once again saw this remarkable wrestler in the halls and stadiums. Yes, in the stadiums too. Kotkas twice became c h a m p i o n in wrestling and ... track and field! He chose perhaps the most difficult event in track and f i e l d t h r o w i n g the hammer, but this unusual c o m b i n a t i o n of disciplines once again confirms Kotkas's talent for sport. In 1947, Soviet wrestlers t o o k part for the first time in the European Championships w h i c h were held in Prague that year. Johannes Kotkas was unanimously elected team captain. With him in the team was Konstantin Koberidze. A l o n g with the y o u n g middleweight Nikolai Belov they both returned home with gold medals. This was the first major success for Soviet wrestlers in the international arena: those in the higher weight categoriesmiddleweight, light-heavyweight and " h e a v y w e i g h t w o n the title of the strongest. In the final bout Johannes Kotkas sustained a broken rib w h i c h was not discovered until he left the mat as European Champion. This was f o l l o w e d by a new and brilliant success at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Kotkas had four bouts at this t o u r n a m e n t and a c c o r d i n g to the rules at that time 15 minutes were allotted to each bout. Johannes completed all four in 13 minutes ... none of them lasted longer than 4.5 minutes. An outstanding athlete! But were there defeats? Yes, there w e r e a t the 1953 World C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Naples (if the w o r d "defeat" can be applied to the winner of a silver medal). Kotkas completed the entire t o u r n a m e n t in

Soviet Sport

s p l e n d i d f o r m but in t h e last b o u t w i t h t h e S w e d e Bertil A n t o n s s o n his wrestling w a s initially t o o c o n f i d e n t a n d later t o o hasty. On the w h o l e it d i d n ' t g o well f o r h i m . A n t o n s s o n was e x u b e r a n t w h e n t h e judges declared him the winner! "The northern giant" did a forward somersault, a b a c k w a r d s o m e r s a u l t , a n o t h e r b a c k w a r d s o m e r s a u l t a n d f l e w over t h e ropes l a n d i n g in t h e arms of his t e a m - m a t e s w h o lifted h i m s h o u l d e r h i g h in t r i u m p h . A n d it was h a r d l y surprising. If anybody understood w h a t it m e a n t to s n a t c h victory f r o m Kotkas, even Kotkas at t h e age of nearly 40, it w a s A n t o n s s o n a n d his friends. After t h a t J o h a n n e s Kotkas m a d e o n l y rare a p p e a r a n c e s at m a j o r i n t e r n a t i o n al t o u r n a m e n t s , a l t h o u g h up to 1959 he invariably t o o k part in A l l - U n i o n contests. A l w a y s smartly t u r n e d o u t in t h e b l u e a n d w h i t e t r a c k suit w o r n by m e m b e r s of t h e Estonian team, always w i t h a m a n l y b e a r i n g , calmly a c c e p t ing v i c t o r y a n d sincerely c o n g r a t u l a t ing his o p p o n e n t s w h e n they w o n . Kotkas. His n a m e is very f a m i l i a r t o s p o r t s fans. B u t not everyone k n o w s perhaps that in Estonian Kotkas means " f a l c o n " .

Doctor of Sciences

M i k h a i l Botvinnik (b. 1911), c h e s s , I n t e r n a t i o n a l G r a n d m a s t e r (1950), M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1945). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e L e n i n g r a d Polytechnical Institute. USSR Champ i o n 1931, 1933, 1939, 1 9 4 4 - 1 9 4 5 , 1952, W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1948-1957, 1958-1960, 1961-1963. A s a m e m b e r o f t h e S o v i e t t e a m he w o n t h e C h e s s O l y m p i c s in 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964 a n d t h e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s in 1961 a n d 1965. D o c t o r of S c i e n c e s , f u l l p r o f e s s o r . S t u d i e s t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of chess p r o g r a m m e s for computers.

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I n 1925, when the telegraph b r o u g h t the news that the 14-year-old schoolboy Mikhail Botvinnik had beaten the invincible Jose Raul Capablanca w h o was playing a simultaneous exhibition game in Leningrad, the experts realized that an outstanding talent had made its appearance in the chess world. This was further c o n f i r m e d by the winner's s t y l e h i s d a r i n g solution of the opening, his energetic attack, his ability to put to use the slightest tactical advantage. Mikhail Botvinnik gained the title of Master of Sport when he was sixteen. Today this w o u l d surprise hardly anyone, but at that time w h e n chess maestros were respectable and well on in years, it was a sensation. 1931. The most experienced Grandmasters in the country were t a k i n g part in the seventh National Championships. When the results of the protracted struggle were published, it was the name of Mikhail Botvinnik w h i c h headed the list. From that time on victory f o l l o w e d u p o n victory and only in the odd t o u r n a m e n t did Botvinnik relinquish first prize. He drew the match w i t h Salo Flohr, at that time one of the greatest Grandmasters in the world, and w o n first prize at the international t o u r n a m e n t s held in Leningrad in 1934, M o s c o w in 1935 and Nottingham in 1936. After that everyone was ready to acknowledge that a star of the first m a g n i t u d e had appeared on the chess scene. Even Alexander Alekhine himself announced that he considered Mikhail Botvinnik to be the most likely candidate for the chess crown. Each World C h a m p i o n represents an epoch in the history of chess. His game, his views on the strategy, tactics and psychology of the chess battle always contain s o m e t h i n g new, special and hitherto unprecedented. The first World C h a m p i o n Wilhelm Steinitz introduced important positional rules w h i c h even today are still in

force. For almost a century Grandmasters and Masters have been w a g i n g chess wars based on Steinitz's teaching, developing and perfecting it. Steinitz's successor Emanuel Lasker gave a new d i m e n s i o n to the game of chess with his observations on psychology. "We not only have to fight against the chessmen," he said, " b u t above all against the man w h o manipulates these pieces. This man has his strengths and his weaknesses and our task is to force on him everything he dislikes, to put him in a situation where the positive side of his character is restricted and we can take advantage of his weaknesses..." The Cuban Jose Raul Capablanca w h o succeeded Lasker to the chess throne, astounded the w o r l d w i t h his unique technique and his ability to put to g o o d use the smallest most minimal advantage. A n d he did this with inimitable elegance and style. To say "he played the e n d g a m e like Capablanca" is to a c k n o w l e d g e the highest technical skill. After Capablanca the chess c r o w n passed to Alexander Alekhine. A spirited fighter and inexhaustible master of invention, he literally w o r s h i p p e d the game of chess, and chess, in gratitude, revealed its innermost secrets to him. In 1935 he had, it is true, to surrender the t h r o n e to the Grandmaster Max Euwe, a chess player of encyclopedic k n o w l e d g e and rare tactical skill, but in 1937 Alekhine made a t r i u m p h a n t comeback. For the present generation of chess players he epitomizes the all-round chess thinker in w h o m even the most critical of his colleagues can f i n d no shortcomings. A n d so to Mikhail Botvinnik ... the real contender for the w o r l d title. A born researcher, he is e n d o w e d with a resolute character, persistence and boldness. Botvinnik, if one can put it this way, has established the game of chess on

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a scientific basis. He has a scientific approach to the theory of chess variations, to the preparation for tournaments and even to the study of future rivals! He has perfected the system of analyzing o p e n i n g variations. The Grandmaster has often gained a decisive advantage t h r o u g h moves w h i c h had been carefully considered at home while preparing for the game. It was only left to further enhance superiority by technique. In 1935, the Austrian chess player Rudolph Spielman b r o u g h t to Moscow a very subtle innovation in the KaroKann Defence w h i c h he used in the first round of the international tournament. His o p p o n e n t Mikhail Botvinnik appeared t o be f o l l o w i n g quite happily the route on w h i c h his guest had set the trap. Acute embarrassment s h o u l d have resulted. But ... Botvinnik sidestepped at the very edge of the precipice and Spielman himself fell into the trap. At the N o t t i n g h a m t o u r n a m e n t a year later a similar situation occurred in the game against Alekhine. The W o r l d C h a m p i o n attacked boldly and decisively, having w o r k e d out a particularly dangerous strategy specially for that game. But Botvinnik replied with lightning speed as t h o u g h he had long been familiar with all the most complex variations. However hard Alekhine tried to build up his attack, it was no use, and soon after the opening he had to agree to a draw. By the end of the thirties no-one expressed any doubts about Botvinnik's right to a match against Alekhine. Alekhine himself agreed in principle, but the match did not take place. The S e c o n d World War began. Negotiations about organizing the match resumed after the war. This time again the match did not materialize as Alexander Alekhine suddenly died in 1946. In 1947, executives of the International

Chess Federation met in Amsterdam to decide what s h o u l d happen to the vacated throne. After heated discussions, it was agreed t o organize a t o u r n a m e n t for the five strongest Grandmasters: Mikhail Botvinnik, Paul Keres and Vasily Smyslov representing the Soviet Union, Samuel Reshevsky representing the United States and Max Euwe representing the Netherlands. Mikhail Botvinnik, the w i n n e r of this most difficult t o u r n a m e n t , became World Champion in 1948. The new c h a m p i o n headed a w h o l e galaxy of talented y o u n g players. From 1952 onwards the g o l d medals and the gold challenge c u p at the chess Olympics were nearly always w o n by the Soviet team. Botvinnik's role in creating a national chess school is inestimable, his chess talent is supreme. In the fifteen years of his " r u l e " he played seven matches against his most dangerous rivals. On t w o occasions he temporarily lost the crown, but both times regained it exactly a year later after a return match. It is always risky to draw parallels and make forecasts in chess, but it can nonetheless be assumed that had the International Chess Federation not w i t h d r a w n the right to a return match at that time, a more sustained fight than they put up in their 1963 match c o u l d have been expected in the repeat duel between Botvinnik and Tigran Petrosyan... Having added the prefix " e x " to his w o r l d c h a m p i o n title, Botvinnik devoted himself exclusively to his scientific work. But the d o c t o r of sciences w h o was in charge of i m p o r t a n t research w o r k did not forget about chess, and this is how the idea of creating a chess-playing computer originated. "Believe me, I nearly went out of my m i n d analyzing the t h o u g h t processes of the chess player and trying to find a true algorithm w h i c h w o u l d express the process of the chess game," he

told his colleagues later. The o u t c o m e of these years of w o r k was a book The Algorithm of the Chess Game w h i c h is highly t h o u g h t of by experts t h r o u g h o u t the world. "Whatever are you t h i n k i n g o f ? " lovers of the " h u m a n " chess play complained. "To deliver such a b l o w to the art of chess!" "On the contrary!" Botvinnik countered. "Have you not observed that young people nowadays have turned away f r o m chess to some extent and are b e c o m i n g increasingly interested in outer space and cybernetics? The c o m p u t e r will reawaken interest in chess and make it even more popular." A machine is only a machine and can never replace the e m o t i o n s engendered by a face-to-face encounter. In the end Mikhail Botvinnik returned to the chess battlefield. In a n u m b e r of major tournaments he o n c e again demonstrated the old lucidity of t h o u g h t , the same c o n f i d e n c e and vast erudition. There is one other a b s o r b i n g activity of the ex-world c h a m p i o n that s h o u l d be mentioned. Botvinnik's school for y o u n g chess players of talent has been in existence for a n u m b e r of years now. One can only envy those fortunate children w h o from an early age have had the o p p o r t u n i t y of studying under Mikhail Botvinnik! One of them, incidentally, was Garry Kasparov.

" Y o u ' v e Deceived Us A g a i n "


T h e famous Soviet pentathlete Igor Novikov did not look t o o happy before the start of the 1965 World Championships in Leipzig. This was his last appearance. He was thirty five and in top sport thirty five is old age according to the "experts". Novikov himself believed that a sportsman s h o u l d c o n t i n u e to take part in international c o m p e t i t i o n s as long as he remained at the top in his o w n country. A n d at that time he was considered to be w i t h o u t equal in modern pentathlon. Even at thirty five one w o u l d only have k n o w n his age from his passport; he had the heart of an eighteen-year-old, as a medical examination had shown. Nevertheless he had made up his mind to retire. He was tired of the sidelong glances of y o u n g athletes w h o had been led t o believe by "well-wishers" that obstinate "old m e n " were keeping them, the y o u n g ones, out of the national team... He was first attracted by sport in 1943. He started w i t h s w i m m i n g and made not a bad start at that, c o m p l e t i n g the 100 metres freestyle in one minute, w h i c h was considered a respectable result in those days. He even became c h a m p i o n of Transcaucasia and winner of the USSR Y o u t h Championships. In addition he played water polo and volleyball rather well. Then he took up skiing and gymnastics. In a word, he was an all-round sportsman w h i c h probably explains why he became the USSR M o d e r n Pentathlon Champion in 1951, excelling in riding, epee fencing, pistol shooting, swimming and cross-country running. From that time all his other sporting interests took second place. In 1952, he t o o k part in the Helsinki Olympics. Four times USSR C h a m p i o n and four times World Champion, he also w o n t w o Olympic team gold medals, one team silver and one indi-

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v i d u a l silver... In all p r o b a b i l i t y that w a s e n o u g h ! It w a s t i m e to quit. However, he d i d n ' t w a n t to settle for s i m p l e w i t h d r a w a l b u t to cover himself in g l o r y o n his f i n a l appearance. However, t h i s was easier said t h a n d o n e : he had been i n j u r e d at t h e 1964 T o k y o O l y m p i c s a n d was out of t r a i n i n g f o r several m o n t h s . It is t r u e that j u s t before t h e World Championships the following year Novikov w o n t w o c o m p e t i t i o n s w i t h q u i t e g o o d results, but it seemed t h a t he was n o l o n g e r c a p a b l e of achieving anything outstanding. T h a t is w h y Igor d i d n ' t l o o k p a r t i c u l a r ly happy at Leipzig, a l t h o u g h he t r i e d not to s h o w it a n d as always s m i l e d amicably, exchanging greetings with athletes he knew. "Well, are y o u g o i n g to s u r p r i s e us a g a i n ? " they asked. In reply Novikov s h o o k his head. " Y o u ' r e always t h e same, all m o d e s t at first, a n d t h e n out of t h e blue c o m e s a m e d a l , " they said in disbelief. "No, this t i m e I'm really not in that k i n d of f o r m . . . " Finally t h e first part of t h e progr a m m e t h e s h o w j u m p i n g got underway. T h e Soviet team c o n s i s t e d of t h r e e pentathletes: Igor Novikov, Albert M o k e e v a n d Pavel Lednev. The first t w o w e r e e x p e r i e n c e d h a v i n g taken part in i n t e r n a t i o n a l c h a m p i o n s h i p s m a n y times, but t h e t h i r d team m e m b e r was m a k i n g his first appearance at t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s . Mokeev c o m p l e t e d his r o u n d successfully. There w e r e faults, but o n t h e w h o l e t h e result w a s a g o o d o n e something in t h e order of nine h u n d r e d points. He was f o l l o w e d by five f o r e i g n c o m p e t i t o r s a n d t h e n Lednev e n t e r e d t h e ring... B u t w h a t was h a p p e n i n g ? Igor realized i m m e d i a t e l y that Lednev was having t r o u b l e w i t h his horse a n d seemed u n a b l e to cope. His s p l e n d i d m o u n t

Igor N o v i k o v (b. 1929) m o d e r n p e n t a t h l o n , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1957), M e r i t e d C o a c h of t h e U S S R (1968). U S S R C h a m p i o n 1953, 1956, 1959, 1964, W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1 9 5 7 - 1 9 5 9 , 1961 in t h e i n d i v i d u a l a n d t e a m e v e n t , 1962 in t h e t e a m e v e n t , C h a m p i o n at t h e X V I a n d XVIII O l y m p i c G a m e s (1956, M e l b o u r n e ; 1964, T o k y o ) in t h e t e a m e v e n t . N o w h e a d of a s p e c i a l i z e d children's and y o u n g people's sports s c h o o l in Y e r e v a n . C h a i r m a n of t h e U S S R Modern Pentathlon Federation. VicePresident of t h e E x e c u t i v e C o m m i t t e e of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l U n i o n of M o d e r n Pentathl o n a n d B i a t h l o n . M e m b e r of t h e U S S R National Olympic Committee.

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was playing up and refused to g o anywhere near the start. He reared up and spun round and his rider c o u l d think of n o t h i n g better to do than lay into him with the stick. "If this goes on," Igor t h o u g h t in alarm, "the worst could happen he will be disqualified." Three refusals on the part of the horse to s u b m i t to his rider meant disqualification and Lednev's horse was capable of that: he obviously hated his rider and could not wait to get rid of him. However, Lednev eventually f o r c e d his horse to go f o r w a r d and rode towards the first jump. "Perhaps he'll get round after all?" there was a faint glimmer of hope. "Perhaps Pavel will calm d o w n , the horse will settle d o w n and s o m e h o w keep g o i n g to the end of the course? It doesn't matter if he loses a few dozen or even the odd hundred points, as long as he completes the course." But these hopes were in vain. The bell rang to indicate that Lednev had been disqualified and he left the ring w i t h o u t a single point. This was a real tragedy. By t h r o w i n g away almost a t h o u s a n d points, the Soviet team had forfeited its chance not only of w i n n i n g medals but even of being in the first ten! Igor was in despair. However, this e m o t i o n expressed itself in an unusual way. He forgot about everything, even about his injury. His recent g l o o m b r o u g h t on by his i m m i n e n t retirement from top sport, his memories of past victories were wiped out. Now he had only one t h o u g h t in his m i n d as long as he was in the team he w o u l d do everything w i t h i n his powers to save the situation... His last appearance was indeed a memorable one. He gained more than a t h o u s a n d points in each of the five events. His total was second only to that of the very talented Hungarian pentathlete Andras Balczo. Both Mokeev and Lednev were then

spurred on to match Igor's performance. As a result the Soviet team w o n the silver and Novikov w o n the individual silver. "And what did you say before the start?" his f o r e i g n colleagues asked ironically. "You've deceived us again..."

Holder of the " G o l d e n " Paddle

A n t o n i n a S e r e d i n a (b. 1929), k a y a k i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1960), M e r i t e d C o a c h of t h e U S S R (1972). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e C e n t r a l M o s c o w I n s t i t u t e of P h y s i c a l C u l t u r e . U S S R C h a m p i o n 1958-1962, 19641965, 1 9 6 7 - 1 9 6 8 , W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1966, E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n 1959, 1961, 1965, 1967, w i n n e r o f t w o g o l d m e d a l s at t h e XVII O l y m p i a d (1960, R o m e ) in d i f f e r e n t classes of boats. N o w a teacher. C a n d i d a t e of P e d a g o g i c a l Sciences.

T h e E u r o p e a n c a n o e i n g a n d kayak c h a m p i o n s h i p s w h i c h w e r e held in M o s c o w in t h e s u m m e r of 1969 res u l t e d in a m a j o r v i c t o r y for t h e Soviet team. T h e Soviet c r e w s w o n all t h r e e of t h e g o l d medals which were a w a r d e d in t h e w o m e n ' s events. At t h e c l o s i n g c e r e m o n y C h a r l e s de C o q u r e m o n (France), P r e s i d e n t of t h e International Rowing Federation, congratulated t h e c o a c h e s of t h e Soviet t e a m : "I d i d not d o u b t that y o u r g i r l s w o u l d win. Was it not A n t o n i n a S e r e d i n a w h o saw t h e m off at t h e m o o r i n g line? She of all p e o p l e k n o w s h o w t o d r a w a g o l d c a t c h out of t h e water..." A d r a m a t i c c h a n g e t o o k place in t h e life of A n t o n i n a S e r e d i n a in that m e m o r a b l e year 1 9 6 9 a f t e r t h i r t e e n years of c o m p e t i n g she w a s to put herself t o t h e test in t h e role of m e n t o r . She had learnt a lot f r o m her c o a c h Maria Fadeeva a n d f r o m Alexa n d e r Silaev, s e n i o r c o a c h of t h e USSR n a t i o n a l team, a m a n of ine x h a u s t i b l e energy, a c c u r a t e in his assessment of p e o p l e a n d able to p r e d i c t t h e c o u r s e of events. Her close w o r k i n g p a r t n e r s h i p w i t h Nil Savin, M e r i t e d C o a c h of t h e USSR, w h e n they t r a i n e d t h e t e a m t o g e t h e r was also an i m p o r t a n t a n d r e w a r d i n g exp e r i e n c e f o r her. All t h e s e p e o p l e loved a n d v a l u e d A n t o n i n a in their o w n way a n d believed t h a t she w o u l d m a k e an e x c e l l e n t c o a c h . Maria Fadeeva, t h e l e a d i n g c o a c h of t h e " S p a r t a k " s p o r t s society, had a deep u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h u m a n nature a n d c o n s i d e r a b l e e x p e r i e n c e in s p o r t a n d A n t o n i n a c o n s i d e r e d it an h o n o u r t o be her pupil. Fadeeva k n e w w h a t it t o o k to master h i g h s p e e d s and, even more, h o w i m p o r t a n t it w a s to retain o n e ' s i n d i v i d u a l identity. In t h o s e y e a r s t h e m i d - f i f t i e s w h e n S e r e d i n a entered b i g - t i m e s p o r t , m u c h d i s c u s s i o n t o o k place a m o n g c o a c h e s a b o u t t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t r a i n i n g loads a n d of i n t r o d u c i n g variety into t h e t e c h n i c a l a n d p h y s i c a l p r e p a r a t i o n of t h e athlete. Most of t h e m a r g u e d that refined t e c h n i q u e d e c i d e d e v e r y t h i n g ,

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particularly in rowing w h i c h has long been considered to be a technically difficult sport. Fadeeva did not deny the importance of t e c h n i q u e but she believed that success was based on a varied p r o g r a m m e of physical training and the development of strength and stamina. At first A n t o n i n a suffered a n u m b e r of defeats in the kayak singles. She and her coach had great hopes for the 1958 season. She succeeded in getting into the national team and taking part in the World C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Prague. In the lanes of the river Vltava Seredina presented the first serious challenge to the l e a d e r t h e Olympic C h a m p i o n Elizaveta Dementeva. She was only one tenth of a second behind her in the final and came second. "Why pretend, I was terribly disappointed to have lost. It seemed to me at the time that my coach and I had done everything possible to win. But after she had t h o u g h t a b o u t it at home Maria Fadeeva reached the c o n c l u s i o n that reserves of strength c o u l d be found. A n d she f o u n d t h e m , " A n t o n i n a said later. Before the start of the 1960 Olympic season Fadeeva set her pupil the difficult task of achieving m a x i m u m loads. Their day started long before it was light with a p r o l o n g e d run and a w a r m i n g - u p session. Then Seredina, armed with a pick-axe, hacked a hole in the ice and lowered the kayak into the canal. Fadeeva stoically endured the frost and the biting w i n d , not moving f r o m her observation point on the bank. She knew very well that her presence alone was a moral support for the sportswoman. A n d A n t o n i n a was quick to react to every c o m m e n t and piece of advice. Four months later Seredina took her kayak over the Olympic Regatta course on the Italian lake of Albano. It was the usual high temperature of a Rome August plus forty and not a

breath of wind. The lake was like a mirror. In the distance the stands by the finish buzzed with activity. Maria Fadeeva sat in the front row with a stopwatch in one hand and a red cap in the other. They had discussed at length and t h o u g h t t h r o u g h the entire strategy of the race. For the first half of the 500 metres it was important to keep level with the West German c h a m p i o n Therese Zenz. T h e n a glance at the front row of the stands to see the red cap being waved. Antonina held out in the battle of nerves: she kept level with Zenz w h o put her all into the initial spurt. 150 metres before the finish Seredina saw Fadeeva waving the red cap and she put everything she had in reserve into the final strokes. Seredina's time was 2 minutes 08.0 seconds and Z e n z ' s 2 minutes 08.2 seconds. The Soviet s p o r t s w o m a n had w o n this very difficult Olympic final. Two hours after the kayak singles final A n t o n i n a Seredina once again came under starter's orders, this time with her friend Maria Shubina. She spent these t w o hours of breathing space under the a w n i n g of a slipway thinking about her next race. Shubina had caught a cold the day before and didn't feel well. Nor was it easy for A n t o n i n a herself t o get into the right frame of m i n d for the fight ahead. A misunderstanding arose at the start. The sailor w h o was h o l d i n g the boat on the starting raft did not hear the starter's signal and after the g u n had been fired held on to Seredina's and Shubina's kayak for about t w o seconds. A n t o n i n a had to shout: "Let g o ! " For almost the entire course they were c a t c h i n g up w i t h their rivals. Seredina and S h u b i n a trailed behind the West German pair Therese Zenz and Ingrid Hartmann for 450 metres. They d i d n ' t even hear the piercing whistle b l o w n f r o m the stands by the coach Yury Shubin, so engrossed

Soviet Sport w e r e they in t h e r h y m e of t h e race. A n d they had held o u t ! The Soviet girls c r o s s e d t h e f i n i s h i n g gate o n e s e c o n d ahead of all t h e o t h e r kayaks. S e r e d i n a b r o k e her paddle in R o m e a n d c o m p e t e d w i t h a new one. S h e d i d not i m a g i n e t h e n that she w o u l d have t o r e p l a c e many m o r e p a d d l e s as she h a d a l o n g road ahead of her after Rome. For e i g h t w h o l e years she h e a d e d t h e Soviet team. In 1964, Lyudmila Pinaeva, the talented sportswoman from Leningrad, w o n t h e O l y m p i c g o l d a n d t o o k over f r o m S e r e d i n a as t e a m captain. A n t o n i n a h o w e v e r f o u n d in herself t h e resolve t o r e o r g a n i z e her t r a i n i n g s c h e d u l e a n d prove that it w a s t o o early to w r i t e her off. She w a s in t h e t e a m of f o u r at t h e 1966 W o r l d Championships and w o n the gold medal, m o r e o v e r S e r e d i n a w a s in t h e same boat as Pinaeva. The f o l l o w i n g season S e r e d i n a a n d Pinaeva w e r e t o g e t h e r in t h e kayak pairs at t h e European C h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d once again they w o n ! They c o m p e t e d tog e t h e r at t h e M e x i c o O l y m p i c s a n d w o n b r o n z e medals. Fadeeva w a s t h e first to advise A n t o n i na t o t a k e a p o s t - g r a d u a t e c o u r s e at the Moscow Institute of Physical Culture: " Y o u ' l l be able t o d r a w o n t h e latest scientific developments and that means y o u ' l l g o f u r t h e r t h a n me in your coaching." A n t o n i n a ' s t r a n s i t i o n t o c o a c h i n g in 1969 c o i n c i d e d w i t h t h e start of her research w o r k . Four years later she b e c a m e a C a n d i d a t e of Sciences. O n c e she h a d b e c o m e a c o a c h A n t o n i n a w i t h her c h a r a c t e r i s t i c e n e r g y set a b o u t f o r m i n g t h e USSR n a t i o n a l t e a m a n d selected Y u l i a R y a b c h i n s kaya f r o m O d e s s a as t h e n u m b e r o n e c a n d i d a t e f o r t h e team. At that t i m e Y u l i a w a s in f i f t h place in t h e n a t i o n a l C h a m p i o n s h i p s . Few believed that in a short t i m e she w o u l d be elevated t o t e a m leader.

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This h a p p e n e d in j u s t o n e year. At that time the Olympic C h a m p i o n Alexander Shaparenko from Sumy was acknowle d g e d t o be t h e s u p r e m e kayakist a n d all t h e men strove t o m a t c h his skill. Under S e r e d i n a ' s g u i d a n c e Ryabchinskaya set a b o u t e m u l a t i n g his style. Her " h o u r of g l o r y " c a m e at t h e 1972 M u n i c h O l y m p i c Regatta. T h e r e was n o - o n e t o equal her in t h e kayak singles final: in that race Yulia a c h i e v e d t h e s t a g g e r i n g s p e e d of app r o x i m a t e l y 120 s t r o k e s a m i n u t e w i t h o u t s a c r i f i c i n g any of t h e b r i l l i a n c e of her style. S e r e d i n a ' s p u p i l s o n c e again excelled at t h e next O l y m p i a d in M o n t r e a l . In t h e kayak pairs N i n a G o p o v a a n d G a l i n a Kreft w o n t h e h i g h e s t a w a r d s of t h e O l y m p i c Regatta. A n o t h e r of her p u p i l s N e l y a Efremova w h o had Natalya K a l a s h n i k o v a as her p a r t n e r in t h e kayak p a i r s s t o o d o n t h e v i c t o r ' s p o d i u m at t h e 1983 USSR Spartakiad. A n t o n i n a said a b o u t her p u p i l : "Her p r i n c i p a l q u a l i t i e s are her sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a n d her s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e . " These s a m e qualities are t h e h a l l m a r k of S e r e d i n a h e r s e l f an individual of rare dependability a n d d e d i c a t i o n .

"Grishin is Owens on Ice"

E v g e n y G r i s h i n (b. 1931), s p e e d s k a t i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r of S p o r t (1952), M e r i t e d C o a c h o f t h e U S S R (1973). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e S m o l e n s k Institute of Physical Culture. A l l - R o u n d E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n (1956). G o l d m e d a l l i s t at t h e VII a n d VIII W i n t e r O l y m p i c s (1956, C o r t i n a d ' A m p e z z o ; 1960, S q u a w V a l l e y ) in 500 a n d 1,500 m e t r e s . H o l d e r of f i v e w o r l d r e c o r d s . O f f i c e r .

F i r s t l y about three races. 1956. The Olympic speed skating tournament. Lake Mizurina in the Dolomites near Cortina d'Ampezzo. The frozen lake high in the mountains is a natural rink. The stands are now filled to capacity. There is the s o u n d of sleigh bells and fast chat of the radio c o m m e n t a t o r s sitting high up in their boxes. The 500 metres is about to begin. The first gold medal! W h o will w i n it? The Norwegians, the Americans, the Swedes, the Finns? Or perhaps the n e w c o m e r s t h e Russians? This is their Olympic debut. Suddenly there is a hush in the stands. Evgeny Grishin, the broad-chested Russian in black tricot and the Englishman John Cronshey wearing a dark-blue sweater tense themselves on the ice. The g u n is fired. Swift as an arrow released f r o m its bow the Russian shot forward. Cronshey is hopelessly left behind after the first bend even t h o u g h he started the race in the nearside lane. Grishin tore along the last 150-170 metres like a whirlwind. The huge " O m e g a " chronometers register the staggering time of 40.2 seconds. A national, European, world and Olympic record!!! The gold medcil is w o n by the Soviet team and Evgeny Grishin is vindicated, for w h e n he registered the same time shortly before the Olympic Games, certain "eyewitnesses" maintained that Grishin started before the gun. In its a c c o u n t of the Soviet sprinter's performance, "Grishin Is Owens on Ice", the West German Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote: "On Saturday the sprinters had their say. Evgeny Grishin gave many sceptics a moral slap in the face. A week ago this 'Owens on ice' p r o d u c e d the fantastic result of 500 metres in 40.2 seconds, in other words he tore along at a speed of nearly 50 km per hour. 'A false start,' some experts were heard to mutter. This did not upset Grishin. On the Saturday he had

Soviet Sport t h e very real pleasure of g e t t i n g rid of m a n y i r r i t a t i n g flies w i t h o n e s w i p e . " It is i m p o r t a n t t h o u g h to u n d e r s t a n d the character of Grishin the s p o r t s m a n . A f t e r t h e race he c o m m e n t e d t h a t he h a d not s k a t e d as badly as o n t h i s o c c a s i o n for a l o n g time. Four years passed... A new W i n t e r O l y m p i c s , t h i s t i m e in t h e f o r m e r Indian village of S q u a w Valley in t h e f o o t h i l l s of t h e Sierra Nevada. T h e b r i g h t C a l i f o r n i a n sun s h o n e d o w n o n t h e t r a c k of t h e artificial rink. T h e f i f t e e n t h pair is o n t h e i c e Evgeny G r i s h i n a n d t h e A u s t r i a n Franz O f f e n b e r g e r . G r i s h i n is not l u c k y w i t h his d r a w . F o u r years ago his o p p o n e n t in t h e 500 metres at Lake M i z u r i n a h a d been t h e English l o n g - d i s t a n c e skater J o h n Cronshey. O f f e n b e r g e r w a s also a l o n g - d i s t a n c e racer w h i c h m e a n t t h a t t h e r e w o u l d not be a c l o s e f i g h t a n d it w o u l d be m o r e d i f f i c u l t t o p r o d u c e a g o o d result. The g u n is fired. The first 100 metres are " d e v o u r e d " in 9 seconds. N o w c o m e s t h e great b e n d w h e n t h e skater, i n c l i n i n g f o r w a r d like an a c r o b a t , covers 15-20 metres in o n e stroke, so t o speak. T o t h e roar f r o m t h e s t a n d s Evgeny a c c e l e r a t e s a n d s h o o t s forw a r d . It seems that t h e r e will be a n e w world record something around 3 9 . 7 3 9 . 8 s e c o n d s ! The final b e n d . There r e m a i n t h e last 150 metres. A n d s u d d e n l y h o r r o r ! he tripped. All t h e s p e c t a t o r s leap out of their seats. Has he f a l l e n ? No! He's still there. T o an i n d e s c r i b a b l e r u m b l e f r o m t h e stands Grishin completes the distance in 40.2 s e c o n d s . A n d t h i s in s p i t e of t h e t r i p ! T h e w o r l d record is e q u a l i z e d and the third Olympic gold medal (after t h e 500 a n d 1,500 metres in Italy in 1956) in G r i s h i n ' s career is w o n . A f t e r w a r d s Evgeny gave his a c c o u n t of t h e race: "In t h e first i n s t a n t w h e n I was t a k e n at h i g h speed far to t h e r i g h t of t h e s n o w b a n k , I leant sharply to t h e left

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a n d lost my p o i n t of balance. T h a t ' s it!' I t h o u g h t . B u t I c a u g h t s i g h t of t h e electric stopwatch a n d it flashed t h r o u g h my m i n d t h a t t h e r e w a s still time. I d e c i d e d t o put my all i n t o the final metres a n d so I m a n a g e d to ' c l i m b out of t h e grave' as they say..." T h e n came a n o t h e r v i c t o r y , t h i s t i m e in t h e 1,500 metres. Let us t u r n t h e p a g e s of f o u r m o r e s p e e d - s k a t i n g y e a r b o o k s . O n c e again it is a leap-year. O n c e a g a i n it is t h e W i n t e r O l y m p i c s a t I n n s b r u c k . Many c h a n g e s have t a k e n p l a c e s i n c e 1956 w h e n Evgeny G r i s h i n w o n his first O l y m p i c " g o l d " o n t h e ice of Lake Mizurina. G r i s h i n arrived in I n n s b r u c k t h e h o l d e r of f o u r O l y m p i c g o l d awards. It was e x p e c t e d that a f u r t h e r m e d a l w o u l d be a d d e d t o his c o l l e c t i o n there. A n d i n d e e d t h e r e w a s a f i f t h medal but of a d i f f e r e n t m e t a l s i l v e r . T h i s is w h a t happened. T h e r e were 44 c o m p e t i t o r s in t h e 500 metres. Evgeny G r i s h i n w a s in the s e c o n d pair b u t o n c e a g a i n his t h i r d O l y m p i c s h e d i d not have a g o o d m a t c h , he d i d not have a s p r i n t e r ! At t h e g u n he instantly s h o t away f r o m his o p p o n e n t , c o v e r i n g a f i f t h of t h e d i s t a n c e in 9.9 s e c o n d s . But at t h e first b e n d t h e r e w a s a barely perceptible loss of balance, a s l i g h t loss of coordination and a slightly reduced t e m p o . T h e s p r i n t e r races m o r e carefully n o w a n d a t i m e of 40.6 s e c o n d s is recorded. Not a b a d result. But t h e r e are still 20 pairs t o g o a n d the American Richard McDermott showed a better time. N o n e t h e l e s s t h e brilliant Soviet s p r i n t e r has g o n e d o w n in t h e history of t h e O l y m p i c G a m e s as t h e s p o r t s m a n w h o w o n a w a r d s at three O l y m p i c s ! This o u t s t a n d i n g speed skater has raced in R o m a n i a , Finland, Austria, J a p a n , S w i t z e r l a n d , Norway, S w e d e n , t h e U n i t e d States a n d Italy. A n d nearly e v e r y w h e r e he has set t h e h i g h e s t a c h i e v e m e n t s of t h e rinks in t h e 500- a n d 1,500-metre sprints.

The Phenomenal Bogdanov

Many articles have been written about Anatoly Bogdanov's shooting p r o w e s s a n d m u c h has been said a b o u t his s p e c i a l vision. He has been called a " p h e n o m e n a l m a r k s m a n " . B o g d a n o v ' s results w e r e indeed amazing. In 1952, he set an O l y m p i c r e c o r d at t h e M a l m i s h o o t i n g range near Helsinki, s c o r i n g 1123 o u t of a possible 1200 w i t h a free army rifle (at that t i m e s h o o t i n g t h e o r i s t s were discussing whether it w a s p o s s i b l e to achieve a result of 1130 points)! B o g danov very s o o n p r o v i d e d t h e ans w e r he s c o r e d 1143 a n d t h e n 1149. That w a s in 1953. At t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Caracas t h e f o l l o w ing year he a l o n e w o n m o r e g o l d medals t h a n t h e rest of t h e Soviet team put t o g e t h e r . It reached t h e p o i n t w h e r e t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n t of o n e of t h e Swiss s p o r t i n g papers (and s h o o t i n g is very p o p u l a r in S w i t z e r l a n d ) s u g g e s t e d that t h e results of t h a t p h e n o m e n o n a l B o g danov s h o u l d not be t a k e n i n t o acc o u n t w h e n assessing t h e c h a n c e s of t h e m a r k s m e n . A n d many o t h e r s i m i l a r views w e r e expressed. This s p o r t s man, they w r o t e , s t a n d s o u t f r o m ail t h e r e s t b u t t h e qualities that m a d e h i m so d i f f e r e n t w e r e i m p o s s i b l e t o define: was i t " h i s special eye? His special a i m ? In a w o r d he w a s a phenomenon. That t h e r e w e r e special qualities is b e y o n d dispute... A n a t o l y B o g d a n o v w a s an o r p h a n . He never k n e w his parents. A p p a r e n t l y he w a s o r p h a n e d as t h e result of s o m e tragedy and admitted to a children's h o m e . He r e m e m b e r e d his n a m e i t was Tolya, a n d they c o m b i n e d t h i s with an ordinary Russian patr o n y m i c Ivanovich. His date of b i r t h ? 1st January. T h e c h i l d l o o k e d a b o u t t w o , so they w r o t e 1931 on his b i r t h certificate. T o l y a started s c h o o l in S e p t e m b e r 1940... In 1941 w a r b r o k e out. The o r p h a n a g e w h e r e t h e boy w a s b r o u g h t u p w a s near L e n i n g r a d . T h e c h i l d r e n w e r e e v a c u a t e d but s o m e -

A n a t o l y B o g d a n o v (b. 1931), s h o o t i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1952). G r a d u a t e d from the Lenin Military-Political Academy. U S S R C h a m p i o n in v a r i o u s r i f l e s h o o t i n g e v e n t s 1952-1957, 1960, W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1954, E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n 1955, 1959, g o l d m e d a l w i n n e r at t h e X V a n d X V I O l y m p i c G a m e s (1952, H e l s i n k i , 1956, M e l b o u r n e ) . H o l d e r of 14 w o r l d r e c o r d s . L e c t u r e r .

Soviet Sport thing different was destined to happen t o T o l y a h e g o t lost at t h e s t a t i o n d u r i n g an air-raid. The special t r a i n w i t h t h e c h i l d r e n on b o a r d left, he stayed o n in t h e city. So b e g a n a new a n d a m a z i n g c h a p t e r in t h e life of T o l y a B o g d a n o v : L e n i n g r a d w a s b l o c k a d e d by Nazi t r o o p s a n d p e o p l e w e r e d y i n g of h u n g e r but t h e boy survived. Sailors f r o m t h e torpedo boats took him under their wing. He d i d not of c o u r s e g o w i t h t h e m o n naval o p e r a t i o n s , but sea cadet B o g d a n o v lived a m o n g t h e f i g h t e r s . He w a s g i v e n tasks w i t h i n his p o w e r s s h a r p e n i n g p e n c i l s at h e a d q u a r t e r s a n d s o m e t e c h n i c a l d r a w i n g . He w a s t h e o r d e r l i e s ' p e r m a n e n t assistant. The c a d e t ' s w o r k i n g day lasted e x a c t l y six h o u r s n o t a m i n u t e more, not a m i n u t e less. T h e n he w o u l d d o his lessons u n d e r t h e i n s t r u c t i o n of t h e o f f i c e r s . He s p e n t his free t i m e w i t h a m u s i c a l p l a t o o n . T h e men t a u g h t h i m to read a n d w r i t e music, to play t h e trumpet and the drums. A n a t o l y b e c a m e an e n t h u s i a s t i c d r u m mer a n d t r u m p e t player. He w a s part i c u l a r l y f o n d of t h e t r o m b o n e s o m u c h so t h a t in his s l e e p i n g a n d w a k i n g h o u r s he p i c t u r e d himself arriving at t h e B o l s h o i Theatre. It h a d t o be the Bolshoihe never even t h o u g h t a b o u t any o t h e r theatre. Tolya Bogdanov spent the entire war w i t h t h e d e f e n d e r s of L e n i n g r a d . T h e cadet "left s h i p " in 1947 w h e n he w a s sixteen a n d e n r o l l e d at t h e L e n i n g r a d Trade S c h o o l f o r e l e c t r i c i a n s a n d metal w o r k e r s . The head of the s c h o o l ' s s p o r t s g r o u p was a d e m o b b e d o f f i c e r w h o put B o g d a n o v as a " f o r m e r s a i l o r " in c h a r g e of t h e s h o o t ing s e c t i o n . It w a s t o be said that up to t h a t t i m e B o g d a n o v had never fired a s i n g l e s h o t , t h e sailors had never o n c e p u t a w e a p o n in his hands. B u t A n a t o l y w a s not in t h e h a b i t of refusing t o carry out tasks e n t r u s t e d t o him.

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A c c u r a c y a n d p r e c i s i o n are t h e alli m p o r t a n t q u a l i t i e s in s h o o t i n g a n d A n a t o l y possessed b o t h . It has always been c o n s i d e r e d t h a t s u c c e s s in s u c h d i f f i c u l t events as t h e free a r m y rifle is a c h i e v e d by p e o p l e of m a t u r e age m a d e w i s e by e x p e r i e n c e of life. But B o g d a n o v c o u l d h o l d his o w n w i t h anyone when it came to selfpossession. a n d c o m p o s u r e . That is h o w he had been b r o u g h t up, that was t h e t o u g h s c h o o l of life he had been t h r o u g h s i n c e his early childhood years. A n a t o l y d r e w u p a d e f i n i t e plan for each of his p e r f o r m a n c e s , d e c i d i n g o n t h e n u m b e r of p o i n t s he h a d to score. Previously this h a d not been d o n e in s h o o t i n g . It was c o n s i d e r e d that o n e h a d to s h o o t a c c u r a t e l y w i t h o u t racking o n e ' s b r a i n s a n d w o r r y i n g needlessly a b o u t t h e t o t a l n u m b e r of p o i n t s scored. M a r k s m e n set r e c o r d s w i t h o u t even t h i n k i n g a b o u t it. If o n e was s u c c e s s f u l a l l t o t h e g o o d , if n o t t h e r e was n o t h i n g t o be d o n e a b o u t it. B o g d a n o v w o r k e d o u t his system w h e n he w a s t r a i n i n g : he w o u l d stand by a m i r r o r a n d s h o o t w i t h o u t a c a r t r i d g e t o test his rifle hold, he w o u l d practice rapid-fire shooting. A n d t h e results w e r e t h e r e t o s e e v i c t o r y after v i c t o r y ! He w o n g o l d m e d a l s at t w o Olympiads, was six t i m e s W o r l d C h a m p i o n , eight times European Champion and many t i m e s w o r l d a n d E u r o p e a n record-holder. For many years A n a t o l y B o g d a n o v , an A r m y o f f i c e r a n d a g r a d u a t e of a Military A c a d e m y , l e c t u r e d in philos o p h y at a military s c h o o l . Today A n a t o l y B o g d a n o v teaches t h e s p o r t i n g skill a n d t e c h n i q u e of s h o o t i n g but not rifle s h o o t i n g . B o g d a n o v was o n e of t h e first in t h e c o u n t r y to p r o m o t e archery. T h e f a c t that s o m e Soviet archers have b e c o m e w o r l d c h a m p i o n s is entirely d u e to t h e "phenomenal marksman" Anatoly Bogdanov.

Life Begins Tomorrow

I n e s e J a u n z e m e (b. 1932), t r a c k a n d f i e l d a t h l e t i c s , M e r i t e d M a s t e r of S p o r t (1957). Graduated f r o m the Riga Medical Institute. C h a m p i o n at t h e X V I O l y m p i c G a m e s (1956, M e l b o u r n e ) . N o w a r e s e a r c h e r at t h e R i g a M e d i c a l Institute. C a n d i d a t e of M e d i cal Sciences. State p r i z e - w i n n e r of t h e Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic.

D r . Jaunzeme has w o r k e d at the Riga Scientific Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics since 1960. She became a member of staff immediately after graduating and chose t o specialize in t r a u m a t o l o g y because it seemed to her to relate directly t o sport. A n d indeed one seldom meets a sportsman w h o has not sustained injuries at some time in his career, a l t h o u g h Inese herself maintains that she had no serious injuries w h e n she was active in sport. Her present w o r k has become a vocation, an o c c u p a t i o n for life. But what about s p o r t ? Inese Jaunzeme's sporting career began in an unusual way. She played basketball at school, then, surprising even herself, she j u m p e d a height of 1 metre 30 centimetres, then, just as surprisingly, t o o k up the javelin. Her first t h r o w cleared 26 metres 20 centimetres. What was the attraction of track and field for this young s p o r t s w o m a n ? Possibly the beauty of the javelin's flight, the rare sensation of movement and speed. Possibly. But first there was the w o r k t h e training, the t e x t b o o k s on training methods that had to be read. In 1950, she t o o k part in the Trade-Union Track and Field C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Kiev and came f o u r t h setting a Latvian record for w o m e n ' s javelin throwing. T w o years later she was awarded her first medal w h e n she became C h a m p i o n of the Republic. Then there was the USSR Spartakiad w h i c h was f o l l o w e d by the Melbourne Olympics w h e n such coveted figures as 53 metres 86 centimetres flashed onto the scoreboard. This was victory! However, Inese was not in the national team for long her final examinations were d r a w i n g near and she no longer had the energy to compete for the t o p prizes. That is w h e n the Olympic Champion Inese Jaunzeme decided to quit top sport... At first she tried not to think about the past w h e n she was w o r k i n g in the Institute's clinic, but to concentrate on

Soviet Sport her c h o s e n p r o f e s s i o n a n d m a s t e r it c o m p l e t e l y . T h u s t h r e e years passed w o r k , w o r k a n d m o r e w o r k . She h a d a l m o s t f o r g o t t e n a b o u t sport. B u t suddenly she felt t h e need f o r p h y s i c a l activity, t h e n e e d t o t r a i n a n d s t r e t c h herself. It d i d not cross her m i n d t o c o m p e t e , b u t as so o f t e n h a p p e n s circumstances dictated otherwise. This w a s in 1964. She d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e Latvian t r a c k a n d field t e a m h a d no w o m e n javelin throwers. Moreover she h a d free t i m e o n her hands. It w a s c o l d o n t h e coast in her s p r i n g h o l i day, so she started g o i n g t o t h e s t a d i u m a n d t r a i n i n g in earnest. She w o n t h e Riga Cup, t h e n t h e c h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d w e n t o n t o take part in t h e All-Union competitions... " B u t I gave u p javelin t h r o w i n g I w a s f r i g h t e n e d t h a t I w o u l d tear t h e muscles in my arm, so I learned t o ski a n d s w i m instead. They say that I l o o k quite respectable among the veterans in t h e s w i m m i n g p o o l ! " Inese s m i l e d . She is o f t e n asked w h a t i n f l u e n c e s p o r t has o n t h e individual. A p a r t f r o m t h e positive e f f e c t s t h e r e are p r o b a b l y negative o n e s as w e l l ? " T h e very p u r s u i t of s p o r t itself interested me," Inese replied, "this amazing and constant struggle with t h e j a v e l i n f a s c i n a t e d me. I am not even s u r e w h i c h I liked better training or competing... And the l o n g e r I live t h e m o r e I am c o n v i n c e d that it is not only s p o r t w h i c h can m a k e an i n d i v i d u a l p u r p o s e f u l a n d s t r o n g - w i l l e d in other words d e v e l o p t h o s e qualities w h i c h are c o n s i d e r e d t o be inherently s p o r t i n g . " A n y o c c u p a t i o n can help t h e indiv i d u a l t o assert himself, as l o n g as it a b s o r b s all his interest. I d o not agree t h a t s p o r t has any advantages in t h i s respect, a l t h o u g h it does have a h e a d start..." At o n e of her a p p e a r a n c e s J a u n z e m e said that she w a s g i v i n g up s p o r t g r a d u a l l y . It is really t e r r i b l e w h e n o n e day y o u are t o l d : t h a n k you, you have

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served s p o r t l o n g a n d h o n o u r a b l y , but n o w g o o d b y e . A p e r s o n w h o is interested in n o t h i n g b u t c o m p e t i n g a n d t r a i n i n g , w h o is l o c k e d in his o w n little w o r l d , loses o u t in t h i s s i t u a t i o n . S p o r t b r i n g s fame. A h i t h e r t o unk n o w n p e r s o n can b e c o m e an idol o v e r n i g h t a n d o n e very q u i c k l y gets used t o b e i n g p o p u l a r . A certain d a n g e r is i n h e r e n t in f a m e : w h e n it goes o n e c a n be left w i t h a great emptiness. O n c e Inese J a u n z e m e w a s asked: " D o you c o n s i d e r that y o u have a c h i e v e d e v e r y t h i n g in t o p s p o r t that you were c a p a b l e o f ? " "In my o p i n i o n , " she a n s w e r e d , "every s p o r t s m a n , regardless of his v i c t o r i e s a n d r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g results, has t h e f e e l i n g that he c o u l d have achieved s o m e t h i n g more. T h i s is natural for a n y o n e w h o c o n s i d e r s that he has not realized his f u l l p o t e n t i a l . It is a n o t h e r matter w h e n t h e k n o w l e d g e a n d und e r s t a n d i n g of h o w t o achieve o n e ' s a i m s s o m e t i m e s c o m e s t o o late, w h e n it is n o l o n g e r p o s s i b l e t o realize o n e ' s intentions. T h e n it is t i m e t o quit..." B u t h o w does o n e r e c o g n i z e that the m o m e n t has c o m e w h e n it is " t o o l a t e " ? J a u n z e m e believes that k n o w ing her o w n p h y s i c a l abilities h e l p e d her in t h i s respect. S h e h a d always loved s p o r t f o r s p o r t ' s s a k e a s a f o r m of m o v e m e n t w h i c h expressed life itself, but her career in m e d i c i n e w a s also very i m p o r t a n t to her a n d that is w h y leaving t h e n a t i o n a l t e a m w a s not a t r a g e d y f o r Inese... This is p r o b a b l y her " s e c r e t " , t h e reason she was able t o retire f r o m t o p s p o r t so calmly a n d leave b e h i n d t h e t r i u m p h of t h e a r e n a a n d t h e f a m e of b e i n g a c h a m p i o n . T o tell t h e t r u t h , m u c h less is k n o w n a b o u t J a u n z e m e the doctor than about Jaunzeme the g o l d medallist at t h e M e l b o u r n e Olympics. Inese J a u n z e m e was p s y c h o l o g i cally ready t o " c h a n g e her profess i o n " . She believes t h a t every c o a c h has t h e d u t y t o p r e p a r e his p u p i l f o r a

future life when his career in sport is over. There is the view that a real sportsman is one w h o is totally dedicated, for w h o m there can be no division of loyalties. One must strive only to set new records and perfect oneself in one's chosen field. It is indeed difficult to be first all the time and simultaneously to t h i n k of the m o r r o w . But this is both necessary and important for, then the problems w h i c h so often beset people w h o leave t o p sport will not occur. There are many instances of sportsmen who, at the height of their powers and totally dedicated to their particular discipline, still f i n d the t i m e to think about their t o m o r r o w . However, it is difficult to advise how best to do this. It is Jaunzeme's view that the sportsman himself must take the first step. After all, connoisseurs of sport will always love him and remember him. He will not be f o r g o t t e n , for the title of champion always remains a very real and considerable achievement. But he himself must f i n d his place in life as Inese Jaunzeme, Olympic Champion and now doctor, has done. In her life she has successfully c o m b i n e d science and sport.

Mastering Oneself "Vlasov!"


Yury stands t o attention. "Sports day is on Sunday. You will be in the college team. T h r o w i n g the grenade." "But I c a n ' t ! " the w o r d s were on the tip of his t o n g u e . "Yes sir!" Yury said instead. He had already tried t h r o w i n g the grenade and learned the easy holds. But where was he to f i n d the strength for a long-distance t h r o w w h i c h w o u l d give his team qualifying points? Perhaps he w o u l d be lucky if he really tried? However, the miracle d i d n ' t happen. As was to be expected, the grenade did not travel very far. The silent reproach of his c o m m a n d ing officer, the bitter disappointment. How he longed to be really strong like some of the senior pupils w h o enjoyed unquestionable authority! The syllabus of the Suvorov Military School provided a w h o l e range of sporting activitiescompulsory morning exercises, cross-country walking and skiing, track and field athletics and swimm i n g a l l of w h i c h w o u l d develop the qualities necessary in a future officer. "It's not e n o u g h for me," Yury decided. He w a n t e d passionately to combine in himself the strength of the wrestler, the dexterity of the acrobat, the speed of the sprinter and the stamina of the long-distance runner. He began w i t h dumbbells. He provided himself w i t h cast iron equipment and drew up a schedule of practising for not less than 40 minutes every day, regardless of the weather, how he felt, his m o o d and a host of other factors! He copied some of the exercises from textbooks, others he t h o u g h t up himself. Yury discovered that literally any object could be used as an aid. He c o u l d sit on a stool and h o o k i n g his feet under the radiator bend backwards to strengthen his stomach muscles. With his outstretched arm he could lift a

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heavy chair by its f r o n t leg or he c o u l d use t w o stools p u s h e d c l o s e t o g e t h e r f o r p r a c t i s i n g d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of pressups. Or... Having m a d e it a rule t o practise all t h e t i m e , Vlasov c o n t i n u a l l y increased his t r a i n i n g load. A l t h o u g h he was only j u s t seventeen, he l o o k e d like a real athlete. He g r e w t o a h e i g h t of 185 c e n t i m e t r e s a n d w e i g h e d 94 kilog r a m m e s ; w h e n he b r e a t h e d in his chest m e a s u r e m e n t w a s 110 centimetres. T h e t i m e w h e n he w o u l d leave s c h o o l w a s fast a p p r o a c h i n g but t h e f o r t h coming examinations didn't worry him. The m o r e he p r a c t i s e d sport, t h e better he d i d in class, f o r t h e habit of a w e l l - r e g u l a t e d daily r o u t i n e also d e v e l o p e d his ability t o put every m i n u t e of his w o r k i n g t i m e t o g o o d use. The final e x a m i n a t i o n s were held in t h e s p r i n g of 1953. T h e silver medal he w o n f o r d i s t i n c t i o n in his studies was his first a w a r d . On his f a t h e r ' s a d v i c e Y u r y entered the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy and it was t h e r e t h a t he b e c a m e seriously interested in w e i g h t l i f t i n g . Yury t h r e w himself i n t o his new s p o r t in a frenzy of e n t h u s i a s m . He t r a i n e d w i t h s u c h zeal t h a t it s e e m e d his very e x i s t e n c e d e p e n d e d o n t h e results. T h e c o a c h had n o t so m u c h to enc o u r a g e as t o restrain his p u p i l ' s ardour. Yury Vlasov (b. 1935), weightlifting, Merited Master of Sport (1959). Graduated from the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy. USSR Champion 1959-1963, World Champion 1959, 1961-1963, European Champion 1959-1964 and gold medallist at the XVII Olympiad (1960, Rome). Holder of 31 world records. Now a writer. Chairman of the USSR Weightlifting Federation. At that t i m e e v e r y o n e w a s t a l k i n g a b o u t t h e p h e n o m e n a l s u c c e s s of t h e A m e r i c a n w e i g h t l i f t e r Paul A n d e r s o n . All sorts of stories a b o u n d e d a b o u t his incredible strength, the fantastic n u m b e r of sausages h e d e v o u r e d a n d t h e d o z e n s of p i n t s of m i l k he d r a n k at o n e sitting. This athlete f r o m t h e State of Tennessee w e i g h e d 160 k i l o g r a m mes. His s p o r t i n g a c h i e v e m e n t s were o u t s t a n d i n g , not t o say i r c r e d i b l e : a 196.5 kg clean a n d j e r k a n d a 185.5 kg press. T h e A m e r i c a n w e i g h t l i f t i n g team c a m e t o M o s c o w in t h e s u m m e r of 1955.

They Were Educated by Sport The performance of the world's s t r o n g e s t m a n left an i n d e l i b l e impression o n t h e Muscovites. T h e t w e n t y two-year-old A n d e r s o n lifted a t o t a l of 517.5 k i l o g r a m m e s in his t h r e e moves. At that t i m e n o o t h e r w e i g h t l i f t e r in t h e w o r l d c a m e a n y w h e r e near 500. Yury Vlasov was a m o n g t h e s p e c t a t o r s w h o saw A n d e r s o n ' s performance. S i n g l e - m i n d e d l y he p u r s u e d his study of t h e " i r o n g a m e " t o d i s c o v e r m o r e of its secrets. T h e c o u n t l e s s b o o k s he read o n t h e s u b j e c t a n d t h e deep t h i n k i n g he d i d d e v e l o p e d in h i m an enviable capacity f o r self-analysis. 1957 w a s a t u r n i n g - p o i n t f o r Yury Vlasov. His total in t h e t h r e e a t t e m p t s reached 477 k i l o g r a m m e s . His d r e a m of c h a l l e n g i n g Paul A n d e r s o n no l o n g e r s e e m e d so a u d a c i o u s . He beat t h e A l l - U n i o n r e c o r d in t h e clean a n d j e r k (185 k i l o g r a m m e s ) a n d t h e n in t h e s n a t c h (144.5 k i l o g r a m m e s ) . In t h e s p r i n g he a t t e m p t e d a 187.5 kg. clean a n d j e r k at t h e A r m e d Forces C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Lvov. His g o a l s e e m e d t o be in s i g h t w h e n a s e r i o u s i n j u r y put t h e w e i g h t l i f t e r o u t of a c t i o n f o r a l o n g time. T h e r e was every reason t o d e s p a i r ! A n d w h o k n o w s h o w events w o u l d have t u r n e d o u t had not fate sent Yury an intelligent and knowledgeable coach and a true and sympathetic f r i e n d in t h e p e r s o n of S u r e n Bagdasarov. Not a day passed t h a t he d i d not give his p u p i l m o r a l s u p p o r t . W h e n Yury felt that he w a s ready to start t r a i n i n g again, B a g d a s a r o v said: " W e ' l l c h a n g e t h e system. We'll app r o a c h it f r o m t h e o t h e r e n d . " Seeing his p u p i l ' s p e r p l e x e d e x p r e s s i o n he paused, t h e n g i v i n g rein t o his ent h u s i a s m he w e n t o n : " N o w y o u must d e v e l o p y o u r s t r e n g t h in every way possible. Yes, yes, o r d i n a r y m u s c u l a r s t r e n g t h . Y o u are a b o u t t o o b j e c t that i above all o t h e r s have always criticized y o u r excessive zeal f o r s t r e n g t h training and preferred t o concentrate
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o n m a s t e r i n g t e c h n i q u e ? Well, t h e r e is a t i m e f o r e v e r y t h i n g . A t i m e w h e n it is t h e p o l i s h i n g of t h e m o v e m e n t s that is all-important, and a time when what matters is n o t ' h o w ' you lift but 'at t h e cost of w h a t ' . " T h e 160 kg w e i g h t fell t o t h e d u c k b o a r d s w i t h a crash a n d o n c e a g a i n t h e b r o a d - s h o u l d e r e d f i g u r e of t h e athlete b e n t over t h e steel bar. A press, t h e n a n o t h e r . A few m i n u t e s ' rest a n d t h e n b a c k to t h e i n t e r m i n a b l e exercises. S o one, t w o a n d t h e n t h r e e h o u r s g o by. Ten, fifteen, t w e n t y - t o n w e i g h t s are lifted in o n e t r a i n i n g session. In t h e e v e n i n g s Vlasov w o r k e d o n his g r a d u a t i o n p r o j e c t , a n d if he h a d any free t i m e left he w o u l d sit d o w n t o write. M e m o r i e s , t h o u g h t s , images s w a r m e d in his head. T h e first stories, still far f r o m p e r f e c t but f u l l of a c t i o n a n d s t r o n g e m o t i o n s , were put d o w n o n paper at that t i m e . The w i n t e r of 1959 arrived. A n e w t r a i n i n g s c h e d u l e that built up t o heavy loads s o o n b r o u g h t t h e l o n g a w a i t e d results. Yury Vlasov w a s near to r e a c h i n g t h e h e i g h t of his p o w e r s . At t h e w e i g h t l i f t i n g trials he p r o d u c e d c l o s e t o r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g results. W h e n he h a d s u c c e s s f u l l y d e f e n d e d his p r o j e c t Y u r y g r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e a c a d e m y a n d w a s sent t o serve in a unit. He h a d b e f o r e h i m o n e m o r e i m p o r t a n t e x a m t h e USSR A r m e d Forces C h a m p i o n s h i p s , a n d in t h i s event t h e s p o r t s m a n w a s g e n e r o u s l y r e w a r d e d f o r all his e f f o r t s : a w o r l d r e c o r d in t h e s n a t c h (151.5 k i l o g r a m mes) a n d a n o t h e r , b e a t i n g A n d e r s o n , in the clean and jerk196.5 k i l o g r a m m e s . He set off as t h e ackn o w l e d g e d f a v o u r i t e f o r t h e 1959 W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Warsaw. There is invariably o n e year in t h e life of every t o p athlete w h e n he makes a qualitative leap f o r w a r d , not only in his o w n d e v e l o p m e n t but in t h e p u b l i c esteem. For Vlasov t h i s o c c a s i o n w a s t h e XVII O l y m p i a d in Rome. B e f o r e a

Soviet Sport s t u n n e d a u d i e n c e he p e r f o r m e d n o t h ing s h o r t of a miracle. A p p e a r i n g very early in t h e m o r n i n g (the n u m b e r of p a r t i c i p a n t s w a s e x c e p t i o n a l l y high), Yury beat A n d e r s o n ' s o f f i c i a l w o r l d r e c o r d in t h e t h r e e moves (512.5 k i l o g rammes) by 25 k i l o g r a m m e s in o n e g o ! In t h e clean a n d j e r k Y u r y lifted 202.5 k i l o g r a m m e s , b e a t i n g t h e w o r l d r e c o r d set by t h e A m e r i c a n A s h m a n w h o h a d been t h e first t o lift a 200 k i l o g r a m m e w e i g h t . Vlasov's t o t a l f o r t h e t h r e e moves was 537.5 k i l o g rammes. B u t n o t h i n g lasts f o r ever a n d n o t h i n g stays t h e same. After only a f e w m o n t h s his r e c o r d s t o o w e r e beaten. The American weightlifter Norbert S h e m a n s k y , n e a r i n g t h e e n d of his s p o r t i n g career (he w a s 37) u n e x p e c t edly b r o k e Vlasov's w o r l d r e c o r d in t h e s n a t c h . M o r e o v e r , his t o t a l in t h e t h r e e m o v e s c a m e very close t o t h e result a c h i e v e d by Yury in Rome. Vlasov t o o k up S h e m a n s k y ' s challenge. At t h e trials in K i s l o v o d s k he lifted a 2 0 5 - k i l o g r a m m e bar, b e a t i n g his o w n w o r l d record. T h r o u g h o u t 1960 he a d d e d new r e c o r d s t o t h e list of h i g h e s t a c h i e v e m e n t s a n d c o m pleted t h e year w i t h t h e title of AllRound World Champion. T h e c o n t e s t held in D n e p r o p e t r o v s k w a s also an o u t s t a n d i n g l y s u c c e s s f u l o n e f o r Y u r y Vlasov. He e x c e e d e d his R o m e O l y m p i c s t o t a l by 12.5 k i l o g r a m mes. A f t e r that t h e w o r l d r e c o r d ceili n g w a s raised t o t h e s e e m i n g l y unatt a i n a b l e l i m i t of 550 k i l o g r a m m e s . In A u g u s t 1963 t h e Finals of t h e S u m m e r S p a r t a k i a d t o o k place in M o s c o w . T h e unusually even m a t c h of p a r t i c i p a n t s m e a n t that m a x i m u m eff o r t w o u l d be needed for t h i s c o n t e s t , but Vlasov h a d s u c c u m b e d t o a k i n d of i n d i s p o s i t i o n or rather inertia. T h e most s e r i o u s c h a l l e n g e c a m e f r o m t h e Ukrainian giant Leonid Zhabotinsky. Yury, h o w e v e r , felt t h e s p o r t i n g ferv o u r of a real f i g h t e r as s o o n as he w e n t up t o t h e bar a n d sensed t h e

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t e n s i o n in the hall. He c o u l d not, d i d not have t h e r i g h t to, must not lose! A n d Vlasov f o u n d t h e s t r e n g t h to w i n ! T h e season c a m e t o a c l o s e w i t h t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in S t o c k h o l m w h e r e a w h o l e g a l a x y of celebrities g a t h e r e d . Perhaps t h e most d a n g e r o u s of t h e w e i g h t l i f t e r s w a s t h e everyoung American Norbert Shemansky. In spite of his 40 years, he was f i g h t i n g - f i t f o r t h e C h a m p i o n s h i p s . He w a s not h o w e v e r able t o prevent Vlasov f r o m t r i u m p h i n g . For t h e f o u r t h t i m e Yury w o n t h e h o n o u r e d title of World Champion. Even before t h e O l y m p i c f l a m e h a d flared u p in T o k y o t h e top-level c o m bat had r e a c h e d fever pitch. At t h e contest for the strongest weightlifters in the Soviet U n i o n w h i c h w a s held in Moscow in March 1964, Leonid Z h a b o t i n s k y , in t h e a b s e n c e of his m a i n rival w h o c o u l d not c o m p e t e because of illness, set t h r e e w o r l d r e c o r d s : he r e a c h e d 168.5 in t h e s n a t c h , 213 in t h e clean a n d jerk a n d totalled 560 k i l o g r a m m e s in his t h r e e moves. Yury Vlasov c o n g r a t u l a t e d L e o n i d o n his success. He w a s very c o m p l i m e n tary a b o u t t h e U k r a i n i a n w h e n he was asked t o c o m m e n t o n t h e contest. He a n n o u n c e d , h o w e v e r , that he did not i n t e n d t o give up. T h r e e m o n t h s later at the E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s Vlasov regained t h e t i t l e of t h e w o r l d ' s strongest man, l i f t i n g a total of 562.5 k i l o g r a m m e s in his t h r e e moves. On the eve of his d e p a r t u r e for t h e T o k y o O l y m p i c s he b r o k e t h r e e out of f o u r w o r l d records, a c h i e v i n g a total of 580 k i l o g r a m m e s . The duel w h i c h t o o k p l a c e in T o k y o between the strongest men was f r a u g h t w i t h t e n s i o n . A l t h o u g h Vlasov produced an excellent result a 162.5 kg. s n a t c h he a c h i e v e d it only in t h e f o u r t h a t t e m p t . In his t h r e e moves t o t a l L e o n i d Z h a b o t i n s k y , by a subtle calculation, was nonetheless able to beat Yury by 2.5 k i l o g r a m m e s ,

achieving a total of 572.5 kg. Even in this difficult moment of defeat Vlasov remained true to himself. He was the first to embrace and congratulate his delighted opponent. Many years have passed since the Tokyo Olympics and w r i t i n g now takes up the major part of Yury Vlasov's life. It is not fortuitous that his first collection of short stories is called Mastering Oneself.

The Coach
V a l e n t i n Mankin was not in limbo for long after he left top sport. In 1984, they started talking about him again, this time as a coach: over a short period of time he trained the crew of the Soviet national team w h i c h included G u r a m Biganishvili and Alexander Zybin and w o n three major events in one s e a s o n t h e USSR Championships, the Friendship-84 Regatta and the European Championships. All credit must of course g o t o the racing crew for this success, but at the same time it was an achievement for their coach. The question is often asked: what happens to c h a m p i o n s when they retire from sport and how well do they do in their new profession? We shall try t o answer this question t a k i n g Valentin M a n k i n as our example. His day begins at six o'clock in the m o r n i n g as it did w h e n he himself raced, and flies by w i t h the speed of an express train, so that only the o d d hour is left for w a t c h i n g television or g o i n g to the cinema. But he seldom allows himself such relaxation as he spends more and more time in the evenings w r i t i n g up his diary in w h i c h a day sometimes takes up several pages. It is normally the coach w h o is expected t o draw up a plan while the sportsman's responsibility is to keep a diary. Valentin, however, remains t r u e to his old habits: he writes d o w n his assessment of the training sessions and makes a note of any ideas w h i c h occur t o him so that they can be discussed and put into practice on the appropriate day. Where does the coach draw his ideas f r o m ? Perhaps new ideas are simply old ones w h i c h have either g o n e out of fashion or been f o r g o t t e n ? "I do not think that in any sport you find these principles as you so often do in fashion-designing," Mankin once said w h e n talking about his w o r k . "For

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V a l e n t i n M a n k i n (b. 1938), y a c h t i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1968), M e r i t e d C o a c h of t h e U S S R (1984). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e Kiev I n s t i t u t e o f C i v i l E n g i n e e r i n g . U S S R C h a m p i o n 1959, 1961-1963, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1 9 7 4 - 1 9 7 7 , 1980-1981, W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1973, E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n 1973, 1 9 7 9 a n d C h a m p i o n at t h e XIX, XX a n d XXII O l y m p i c G a m e s (1968, M e x i c o ; 1972, M u n i c h ; 1980, M o s c o w ) in d i f f e r e n t c l a s s e s o f yafchts. N a v a l o f f i c e r .

us, old ideas r e p r e s e n t valuable exp e r i e n c e w h i c h w e m a k e use of t o move f o r w a r d a n d p r o g r e s s . They say that t h e h o c k e y c o a c h V i c t o r T i k h o n o v likes to w a t c h t h e a t r e p r o d u c e r s at w o r k a n d apply s o m e of their m e t h o d s t o o u r trade. I, t o o , believe that nowadays a c o a c h m u s t interest himself in art a n d s c i e n c e as well. Discoveries are c o n s t a n t l y b e i n g m a d e in these fields, and if w e interpret their m e t h o d s a n d t h e i r a p p r o a c h to problems c o r r e c t l y , w e c a n f i n d m u c h that is of interest." M a n k i n ' s o w n t r a i n i n g m e t h o d s have b e c o m e legendary. He w o u l d , for instance, w a t c h t e l e v i s i o n in a s q u a t t i n g p o s i t i o n t o s t r e n g t h e n his leg muscles so that he h a d t h e s t a m i n a f o r t h e m a n y h o u r s of c o u n t e r b a l a n c i n g in a race. It w a s t h i s s o r t of t r a i n i n g w h i c h h e l p e d h i m t o w i n his first g o l d medal in t h e Finn class at t h e 1968 Olympics. In o n e of t h e key races it b e c a m e clear that of t h e f o u r y a c h t s m e n t h e o n e w h o c o u l d sail t h e c o u r s e as c l o s e - h a u l e d as p o s s i b l e w o u l d w i n . T o d o this, they h a d t o sit out. For a t i m e all f o u r c o n t e s t a n t s w e r e level, b u t t h e n t i r e d n e s s t o o k its t o l l a n d o n e by o n e they c l i m b e d into their boats. V a l e n t i n held o u t t o t h e e n d a n d f i n i s h e d first w i t h a b i g advantage. "At that t i m e a lot rested o n my o w n initiative," M a n k i n recalled in a c o n versation w i t h his s t u d e n t s . " F o r s o m e reason they d i d n ' t t h i n k that any special physical t r a i n i n g was necessary f o r y a c h t i n g ( n o w n o - o n e q u e s t i o n s its i m p o r t a n c e ) . We s o o n felt t h e lack of it h o w e v e r a n d set a b o u t d e s i g n i n g special s i m u l a t o r s . Incidentally, I have not c o m e across a s i n g l e advertisem e n t or article a b o u t these i m p o r t a n t t r a i n i n g aids in any of t h e specialist magazines. It s e e m s t h a t these novelties are t o be f o u n d o n l y in o u r country." He c o n v e r t e d an o r d i n a r y d i n g h y into a t r a i n i n g craft. T h e y a c h t s m a n sits in

They Were Educated by Sport the " s a i l i n g " p o s i t i o n , as w h e n c o u n t e r b a l a n c i n g , a n d paddles, u s i n g each paddle in t u r n , s i m u l a t i n g t h e w o r k w i t h t h e sheets. T h e p r i n c i p l e is an old o n e t r a i n i n g the muscles, but the m e t h o d is new. It is m a i n l y used w h e n working with children. On o n e o c c a s i o n w h e n he w a s t a l k i n g to his pupils B i g a n i s h v i l i a n d Z y b i n , w h o b e c a m e USSR a n d E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s , he t o u c h e d o n t h e p r o b lems w h i c h invariably a c c o m p a n y pres t i g i o u s titles. " D o y o u k n o w w h a t privilege t h e title of c h a m p i o n gives y o u ? If everyone else g e t s u p at 6.30 a.m. you get u p at 6 a.m. T h e n y o u can be sure that in o n e respect at least y o u remain ahead of y o u r rivals. N o w many will d o t h e i r u t m o s t t o beat you in even o n e race. T h e y w i l l try to catch you out on how well you know t h e rules, they w i l l f i n d f a u l t s w h e n they measure y o u r vessels o r y o u r sails, y o u w i l l be h i n d e r e d at t h e start a n d t h e others w i l l h a n g o n y o u r tail..." Not a s i n g l e season w e n t s m o o t h l y f o r M a n k i n himself. He w a s c o n s t a n t l y looking for something, discovering s o m e t h i n g new a n d s t r i v i n g t o overt a k e his rivals. W h e n he d i d n ' t have a m o d e r n terylene sail f o r t h e Finn event he b o u g h t a d o z e n s t e a r i n c a n d l e s in a h a r d w a r e s h o p a n d ... m e l t e d t h e m d o w n t o i m p r e g n a t e t h e sail. It t o o k a l o n g t i m e t o press t h e o r d i n a r y sailc l o t h , but t h e sail w a s of a very h i g h quality and no-one c o u l d understand w h y it kept its shape so well. As far back as 1979, G u r a m B i g a n i s h vili was m a d e aware of t h e h i g h s t a n d a r d s M a n k i n e x p e c t e d of him. V a l e n t i n was sailing t h e Star at t h e t i m e a n d s e l e c t i n g his b o a t m a n f o r t h e 1980 M o s c o w O l y m p i c s . B i g a n i s h v i l i was in t h e g r o u p w h i c h t r a i n e d w i t h M a n k i n . He h a d been t h r o u g h t h e w h o l e s c h o o l of a s a i l o r o n t h e Star, but t h e c h o i c e fell o n another A l e x a n d e r M u z y c h e n k o . T h e n Biganishvili decided to become the

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h e l m s m a n of t h e Star himself. In 1981 t h e s i t u a t i o n had c h a n g e d a n d M a n k i n was c o a c h i n g G u r a m . However, M a n k i n had not yet retired f r o m t o p s p o r t . His yacht t o o k part in t h e 1981 USSR C h a m p i o n s h i p s f o r t h e last t i m e . T h e fate of t h e g o l d m e d a l w a s d e c i d e d in t h e last race. If B i g a n i s h v i l i w o n it he w o u l d b e c o m e c h a m p i o n a n d M a n k i n w o u l d get t h e silver f o r t a k i n g part a n d t h e g o l d f o r c o a c h i n g t h e c h a m p i o n . But V a l e n t i n never a l l o w e d himself t o c o m p r o m i s e in s p o r t . T h e race was a h a r d - f o u g h t o n e a n d M a n k i n w o n it. He w a s t h e n 4 3 a n a d m i r a b l e o l d age in t o p sport. Many p e o p l e believe that a s u c c e s s f u l sportsman seldom becomes a good c o a c h . M a n y c h a m p i o n s have t u r n e d t o c o a c h i n g a n d failed. This is because t h e y have w o r k e d w i t h t h e i r p u p i l s o n t h e basis of " d o as I d o " . V a l e n t i n h a d a d i f f e r e n t a p p r o a c h . He b e g a n by m a k i n g a study of t h e l i t e r a t u r e b o t h t h e specialist literat u r e o n s a i l i n g a n d t h e literature o n t r a i n i n g m e t h o d s . He i n t r o d u c e d n e w ideas i n t o e a c h of his t r a i n i n g sessions. He not only teaches his p u p i l s w h a t he h i m s e l f k n o w s a n d has exp e r i e n c e d , b u t motivates t h e m t o t h i n k ahead a n d p r e d i c t t h e f u t u r e . This, he believes, is t h e g u a r a n t e e of s u c c e s s . W h e n he w a s y o u n g a n d o n l y j u s t b e g i n n i n g t o master t h e Finn, his c o a c h set h i m t h e task of a i m i n g t o " b e c o m e w o r l d c h a m p i o n " . A n d Mankin a c h i e v e d it. N o w w h e n he starts w o r k i n g w i t h new crews, he h i m s e l f sets t h e m t h e h i g h e s t goals in s p o r t . He has t r o d d e n t h i s d i f f i c u l t path a n d a l o n g it he n o w leads t h o s e w h o have inherited the Olympic torch.

The Queen of Skates

I n February 1957, m a n y d i s t i n g u i s h e d s p o r t s w o m e n f r o m t h e Urals t o o k part in t h e C h e l y a b i n s k w o m e n ' s speed s k a t i n g c h a m p i o n s h i p s , but it was t h e n e w c o m e r L i d i y a S k o b l i k o v a , a firstyear student at the Chelyabinsk P e d a g o g i c a l Institute, w h o w o n t h e 1,000 metres. T h u s t h i s a l m o s t u n k n o w n sportsw o m a n m a d e her d e b u t . In 1959, she started c o l l e c t i n g a w a r d s at internat i o n a l c o m p e t i t i o n s a n d five years later reached h e i g h t s of a c h i e v e m e n t unatt a i n a b l e f o r m o s t s p e e d skaters. T h e qualities w h i c h she h a d possessed f r o m t h e very b e g i n n i n g gradually d e v e l o p e d a n d asserted t h e m s e l v e s d e t e r m i n a t i o n , persistence, t h e ability to g o all o u t f o r v i c t o r y , a n d p u r s u e s i n g l e - m i n d e d l y t h e g o a l s she had set herself. Qualities w h i c h , like a s e c o n d w i n d , help t h e a t h l e t e w h e n it seems he has n o m o r e s t r e n g t h left, w h e n he loses his sense of t i m e a n d his o w n body t u r n s i n t o a f e r o c i o u s enemy. 1963 was not t h e best year f o r Soviet s p e e d skaters: t h e USSR national t e a m h a d s u f f e r e d a n u m b e r of defeats o n t h e ice. Lidiya, it is true, w a s in g o o d f o r m , she h a d w o n t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s b u t she t o o felt that it was time to update the old training methods. T h e r e was not m u c h t i m e left before t h e next W i n t e r O l y m p i c s at Innsb r u c k . T h e entire system of t r a i n i n g had to be revised q u i c k l y a n d in p a r t i c u l a r t h e t r a i n i n g load h a d t o be drastically increased. "I always loved t r a i n i n g , " Lidiya o n c e said. " G o o d t r a i n i n g is t h e g u a r a n t e e of success. T h a t ' s w h y I never w o r r i e d about running up to t w o hundred metres t w e n t y times, b u t at t h e same t i m e I d o u b t e d t h a t I w o u l d be able to increase t h e load s i g n i f i c a n t l y ! " Chance intervened to dispel her d o u b t s . At that t i m e t h e t r a i n i n g centre was 20 k i l o m e t r e s o u t s i d e Irk u t s k a n d t h e athletes w e n t t h e r e by bus. One of S k o b l i k o v a ' s t e a m - m a t e s a n n o u n c e d that he h a d run t h e dis-

L i d i y a S k o b l i k o v a (b. 1939), s p e e d s k a t i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1960). G r a d u a t e d f r o m the Chelyabinsk Pedagogical Institute. All-Round Individual World Champion 1 9 6 3 - 1 9 6 4 , C h a m p i o n at t h e VIII a n d IX W i n t e r O l y m p i c G a m e s (1960, S q u a w V a l ley; 1964, I n n s b r u c k ) o n v a r i o u s d i s t a n c e s . The only s p o r t s w o m a n to have w o n 6 g o l d m e d a l s at t h e W i n t e r O l y m p i c s (in 1 9 6 4 s h e w o n all f o u r e v e n t s ) . H o l d e r o f 3 w o r l d records. N o w d e p u t y head of t h e d e p a r t m e n t of p h y s i c a l c u l t u r e a n d s p o r t o f t h e A l l - U n i o n C e n t r a l C o u n c i l of T r a d e U n i o n s . C a n d i d a t e of P e d a g o g i c a l Sciences.

They Were Educated by Sport t a n c e t o t h e centre. T h e idea interested Lidiya a n d she q u i c k l y got together a group that wanted to do t h e same on t h e way b a c k . "I'll accelerate u p all t h e hills," Lidiya announced. H o w she c a m e t o regret her rash p r o m i s e ! There w a s a hill a l m o s t every k i l o m e t r e . A n y o n e else in her place w o u l d p r o b a b l y have l a u g h e d it off a n d f o u n d an e x c u s e not t o d o it. But Lidiya w a s not that sort of p e r s o n . She ran t h e first f e w k i l o m e t r e s calmly and confidently but then the tiredness after t h e t r a i n i n g session b e g a n t o tell. Each step b e c a m e m o r e of an effort. T h e n t h e r e were t h o s e w r e t c h e d hills a n d she had b o a s t e d t h a t she w o u l d accelerate u p t h e m . N o w t h e m a i n t h i n g w e r e her heart a n d lungs. They were functioning like well-oiled m a c h i n e s a n d as l o n g as t h e y c o n t i n u e d t o d o so t h e r e w a s n o t h i n g to worry about. A c c e l e r a t e a n d o n c e a g a i n accelerate... For a l o n g t i m e s h e w e n t b a c k to t h o s e endless hills in her m i n d . But she ran o n t o t h e end, j u s t as she had p r o m i s e d . After that e x p e r i e n c e Lidya c o n v i n c e d herself that t h e w e l l - t r a i n e d b o d y is c a p a b l e of w i t h s t a n d i n g trem e n d o u s loads. T h i s was not t h e s a m e g i r l w h o in 1957 beat her d i s t i n g u i s h e d rivals in C h e l y a b i n s k . She n o w possessed t h e m o s t s u p e r b skill, t a c t i c a l alertness a n d a m a g n i f i c e n t t e c h n i q u e . She had b e h i n d her v i c t o r i e s at t h e USSR and World Championships and the Winter O l y m p i c s at S q u a w Valley w h e r e she w o n t w o g o l d m e d a l s in t h e 1,500 a n d 3,000 metres. That is w h y she probably f o u n d it harder t h a n a n y o n e else to change her normal training s c h e d u l e . B u t o n c e she h a d d o n e that, Skoblikova demonstrated that she c o u l d o v e r c o m e c i r c u m s t a n c e s b e it an u n l u c k y d r a w or adverse weather. T h r e e m o n t h s later t h i s w a s proved c o n c l u s i v e l y at t h e IX W i n t e r O l y m p i c s in I n n s b r u c k .

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In t h e 5 0 0 - m e t r e race Lidiya w a s in t h e t h i r t e e n t h pair. What d i s m a y e d her w a s not t h a t " 1 3 " is s u p p o s e d t o be an u n l u c k y n u m b e r s h e w a s not superstitiousbut something more s e r i o u s : t h e t h i r t e e n t h pair w a s t h e last t o go. In s u c h a s i t u a t i o n it was largely a q u e s t i o n of m o r a l e . On t h e o n e h a n d it is easier t o plan t h e race, but o n t h e o t h e r all her o p p o n e n t s had by that t i m e " s h a r e d o u t " t h e w i n n i n g places a m o n g t h e m s e l v e s . M o r e o v e r o n e of t h e m h a d set a t i m e of 45.4 s e c o n d s an O l y m p i c r e c o r d . At t h e g u n t h e "Urals L i g h t n i n g " as her fans h a d l o n g s i n c e c h r i s t e n e d her t o r e a l o n g t h e t r a c k . At t h e f i n i s h her t i m e w a s g r e e t e d w i t h a burst of a p p l a u s e : 45.0 s e c o n d s ! A new O l y m pic r e c o r d . T h e next race, t h e 1,500 metres, w a s the normal distance for Skoblikova w h o w a s an a c k n o w l e d g e d longd i s t a n c e skater. Nonetheless n o - o n e e x p e c t e d her t o p r o d u c e an o u t s t a n d ing result that day: t h e w e a t h e r w a s b a d a n d in t h e heavy d a m p air t h e l u n g s w e r e c h o k e d as t h o u g h w i t h c o t t o n w o o l . B u t Lidiya was t r u e t o herself. S h e t o o k only 2 m i n u t e s 22.6 s e c o n d s t o set yet a n o t h e r O l y m p i c record. Another day of competitions lay ahead. T h e 1,000 metres w a s a t r i u m p h f o r Lidiya. As t h o u g h o n w i n g s she f l e w effortlessly a l o n g t h e t r a c k t o w i n a n d set a n o t h e r O l y m p i c r e c o r d of 1 m i n u t e 33.2 s e c o n d s . There was no other sportswoman w h o had a c h i e v e d s u c h h e i g h t s of success. It w a s a feat f o r w h i c h Lidiya S k o b likova has been n a m e d " t h e Q u e e n of S k a t e s " . B u t t h e r e was still t h e 3,000 metres. So, that race h a d t o be w o n too. As so o f t e n h a p p e n s in s u c h situations, fate h a d a s u r p r i s e in s t o r e f o r Lidiya in t h i s race. The f r e e z i n g e q u i p ment had broken d o w n shortly before her heat. T h e s u n a n d t h e skates of

her rivals c o m p l e t e d t h e j o b : she h a d t o race o n m e l t i n g ice. W h a t r e c o r d s c o u l d t h e r e be n o w ! T h e m a i n t h i n g w a s not t o fall, t o keep g o i n g t o t h e end, t o stick it out... On t h e b e n d s particles of ice f l e w u p in sprays, t h e skates did not r i n g they c r u n c h e d . But t h e s c o r e b o a r d s h o w e d a t i m e of 5 m i n u t e s 14.9 s e c o n d s t h e best result of t h e d a y ! It s h o u l d be m e n t i o n e d that after t w o m o r e pairs h a d g o n e t h e i c e - f r e e z i n g e q u i p m e n t w a s repaired a n d t h e rem a i n i n g c o m p e t i t o r s raced o n a g o o d surface. B u t not o n e of t h e m w a s able t o c a t c h u p w i t h S k o b l i k o v a . At t h e I n n s b r u c k O l y m p i c s Lidiya w a s t h e first in t h e h i s t o r y of t h e s p o r t t o w i n all t h e s p e e d - s k a t i n g golds. A f t e r that she w e n t o n t o p r o d u c e m o r e outs t a n d i n g results o n t h e ice t r a c k a n d she w a s always aided by her c o u r a g e , her persistence, her d e d i c a t i o n t o w o r k a n d her c o n f i d e n c e .

The Hour of Glory

Y e l e n a P e t u s h k o v a (b. 1940), e q u e s t r i a n s p o r t , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1970). Graduated f r o m M o s c o w State University. U S S R C h a m p i o n 1966, 1968, 1971-1973, 1979, W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1970, a n d C h a m p i o n at t h e XX O l y m p i c G a m e s (1972, M u n i c h ) in d r e s s a g e . S c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h f e l l o w at M o s c o w S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y . C a n d i date of B i o l o g i c a l Sciences. V i c e - P r e s i d e n t of the USSR National O l y m p i c C o m m i t t e e . C h a i r p e r s o n of t h e Soviet Athletes f o r Peace Committee.

They Were Educated by Sport T h e b l a c k T r a k e h n e r s t a l l i o n Pepel l o o k e d s u p e r b ! S u b m i t t i n g t o his rider's will, he p e r f o r m e d miracles. Reacting t o P e t u s h k o v a ' s c o m m a n d s w h i c h were i m p e r c e p t i b l e t o t h e onlooker, Pepel e x e c u t e d t h e d i f f i c u l t steps of piaffe brilliantly. T h e o l d c l o c k in t h e castle t o w e r c h i m e d f o u r w h e n Yelena P e t u s h k o v a ' s loyal f r i e n d and p a r t n e r halted b e f o r e t h e j u d g e ' s box as t h o u g h f r o z e n i n t o i m m o b i l i t y . "Bravo!.. S u p e r b ! . . " t h e s t a n d s app l a u d e d in approval. A n d t h i s was not just a p o l i t e a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t but an e n t h u s i a s t i c t r i b u t e t o her o u t s t a n d i n g performance in t h e very difficult G r a n d Prix w h i c h was h e l d in t h e park of N y m p h e n b u r g Castle at t h e 1972 M u n i c h Olympics. The t e a m events w e r e t a k i n g place that day. The p r i n c i p a l c o n t e n d e r s were t h e West G e r m a n a n d Soviet riders a n d t h e h o s t s of t h e O l y m p i c G a m e s w e r e still in t h e lead. T h e fate of t h e g o l d m e d a l s d e p e n d e d o n Petushkova. A g o n i z i n g m o m e n t s of suspense. Finally t h e results a p p e a r e d o n t h e b o a r d . T h e Soviet t e a m had beaten t h e West G e r m a n s w h o had two previous Olympic victories behind t h e m in T o k y o a n d M e x i c o . D o c t o r P e t u s h k o v a a s she w a s usually k n o w n to s p e c t a t o r s h a d covered t h e g a p w i t h m a r k s t o spare. This meant that t h e s p l e n d i d Russian t r i o Y e l e n a P e t u s h k o v a o n Pepel, Ivan Kizimov o n Ikhor a n d Ivan Kalita o n T a r i f f h a d w o n m e d a l s of t h e highest distinction. Even t h e conservative e x p e r t s w h o b o w e d t o t h e a u t h o r i t y of t h e F r e n c h a n d G e r m a n s c h o o l s of d r e s s a g e were f o r c e d by this b r i l l i a n t v i c t o r y t o revise t h e i r o p i n i o n a b o u t t h e Soviet riders a n d t h e most k n o w l e d g e a b l e c o n n o i s s e u r s h a d t o agree t h a t their ind i v i d u a l style set t h e m in a class apart. P e p e l a son of t h e p u r e b r e d b l a c k T r a k e h n e r Piligrim, a s t a n d a r d of his b r e e d w a s f o r P e t u s h k o v a not just

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an i n t e l l i g e n t p a r t n e r in their w o r k together, but a wise and devoted friend. She c a m e t o k n o w a n d app r e c i a t e his n o b i l i t y of c h a r a c t e r over t h e m a n y years of t r a i n i n g a n d c o m p e t i n g o n h i m in c o m p e t i t i o n s at d i f f e r e n t levels. A n d their path t o t h e g o l d m e d a l s w o n at t h e N a t i o n a l and World Championships and the O l y m p i c G a m e s w a s not an easy one. In her r e m i n i s c e n c e s , My Life and My Dressage Horses, Petushkova describes s c i e n c e a n d s p o r t as t h e t w o great loves of her life: " S c i e n c e a n d s p o r t are my w h o l e life. They are t w o separate w o r l d s ; in o n e t h e i n t e l l e c t prevails, in t h e o t h e r s t r o n g passions, b u t they c o m p l i m e n t each other." A n y o n e w h o has f o l l o w e d Yelena Petushkova's academic and sporting career c a n n o t have failed t o o b s e r v e t h i s u n u s u a l c o m b i n a t i o n of t h e physical a n d t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l at all stages in her d e v e l o p m e n t . She g r a d u a t e d f r o m high school with honours and entered t h e D e p a r t m e n t of B i o l o g y at M o s c o w State University; at t h e same t i m e s h e t o o k u p dressage. She g r a d u a t e d w i t h d i s t i n c t i o n and,..went o n t o d o research a n d w h i l e w o r k i n g o n her thesis w a s selected t o j o i n t h e Soviet d r e s s a g e team. S o o n after she h a d s u c c e s s f u l l y c o m p l e t e d her p o s t - g r a d u a t e t r a i n i n g she set off f o r A a c h e n to take part in t h e 1967 E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s in w h i c h she c a m e sixth. She was m o r e o v e r t h e best of t h e w o m e n riders w h o , as is k n o w n c o m p e t e o n e q u a l t e r m s w i t h t h e men... "I w o u l d be t e l l i n g a blatant lie if I said that s p o r t d i d not interfere w i t h my work," Petushkova openly admits. " B u t t o put it a d i f f e r e n t way. If I d i d not d o s p o r t , w o u l d I have a c h i e v e d m o r e in s c i e n c e ? " S p o r t has given me c o n f i d e n c e , it has c u r e d m e of t h e fear of m a k i n g mistakes. Had I not learned t o m a s t e r myself, I w o u l d never have d a r e d

Soviet Sport u n d e r t a k e m a n y of t h e t h i n g s I n o w do, I w o u l d never have f o u n d t h e c o u r a g e t o s t a n d u p f o r my o w n opinions. " O n t h e o t h e r hand, w o u l d I have a c h i e v e d m o r e in s p o r t if I had not been ' d i s t r a c t e d ' by s c i e n c e ? "I can a n s w e r q u i t e c o n f i d e n t l y n o , I would not." Yelena Petushkova came to the M u n i c h O l y m p i c s as a research f e l l o w at M o s c o w State University, a C a n d i date of B i o l o g i c a l Sciences, m a n y times National Champion, the winner of t h e USSR S u m m e r Spartakiad, silver m e d a l w i n n e r at M e x i c o a n d 1970 W o r l d Dressage C h a m p i o n . In t h e Bavarian capital she a d d e d yet another titleperhaps the most c h e r i s h e d t o this imposing list O l y m p i c C h a m p i o n in t h e t e a m event. A n d a h e a d w a s t h e even greater s t r u g gle f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l medals! At t h i s p o i n t it is a p p r o p r i a t e t o recall t h e 1970 W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s held in A a c h e n w h e r e t h e r e is a m a g n i f i c e n t s t a d i u m w i t h a s e a t i n g c a p a c i t y of e i g h t y t h o u s a n d . For t h e Soviet riders t h i s event p r o v e d t o be r e m a r k a b l y successfulthey won both the team and the individual championships. S u m m a r i z i n g t h e results of t h e c o m p e t i t i o n s , t h e French paper L'Equipe w r o t e : " T h e Russians are t h e first t o have c h a l l e n g e d t h e s u p r e m a c y of t h e West G e r m a n s in this classical equest r i a n d i s c i p l i n e . Many have c a l l e d t h e i r d o u b l e s u c c e s s 'a m i r a c l e ' w h a t they have achieved is unbelievable p a r t i c u l a r l y in view of t h e i r p o s i t i o n t h e p r e v i o u s day." Yelena Petushkova whose accomplishm e n t it w a s to w i n t h e " g o l d d o u b l e " c o m m e n t e d o n her v i c t o r y in t h e s e words: " W h e n Pepel a n d I came s i x t h at t h e M e x i c o O l y m p i c s I d e c i d e d that I h a d r e a c h e d my ceiling. I c o u l d never have believed that I w o u l d b e c o m e W o r l d C h a m p i o n . Firstly, because I w a s o n l y s e v e n t h at t h e 1969 E u r o p e a n C h a m -

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p i o n s h i p s a n d it s e l d o m h a p p e n s in dressage that a rider 'leaps ahead' so s u d d e n l y . S e c o n d l y , because, generally s p e a k i n g , w o m e n w e r e not at t h e time 'allowed' to win." T h e stands in t h e park of N y m p h e n b u r g Castle w e r e o n c e again p a c k e d t o capacity. T w e l v e riders w e r e c o n t e n d i n g f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l title. T h e USSR, West G e r m a n y a n d S w e d e n w e r e each r e p r e s e n t e d by t h r e e riders, Canada, D e n m a r k a n d Great Britain by one. For t h e first t i m e in t h e history of t h e Olympic Games both the "gold" and t h e "silver" w e r e w o n by w o m e n . Liselotte L i n s e n h o f f of West G e r m a n y c a m e first a n d Y e l e n a P e t u s h k o v a was second. After Munich Yelena Petushkova a d d e d a f u r t h e r n u m b e r of impressive v i c t o r i e s t o her list. B u t s o r r o w w a s t o c o m e h a n d in h a n d w i t h s u c c e s s a n d happiness. In 1974, t h e r e w a s t h e t r a g i c loss of t w o p e o p l e w h o had been very c l o s e t o her: her m u c h loved father a n d t h e m a n to w h o m she was i n d e b t e d f o r all her s p o r t i n g achievementsGrigory Anastasyev, Merited C o a c h of t h e USSR. In 1976, t h e t i m e c a m e w h e n she h a d t o part w i t h Pepel. "I r o d e h i m for t h e last t i m e in t h e N a t i o n a l C h a m p i o n ships," Petushkova wrote. "After the test I d i s m o u n t e d a n d kissed his magn i f i c e n t b l a c k face a n d so w e parted. " H e has e a r n e d a h a p p y a n d peaceful retirement, my selfless a n d devoted partner in sport..." If it had been any s p o r t o t h e r t h a n dressage, Pepel's r e t i r e m e n t w o u l d p r o b a b l y have e n d e d t h e story. But t h e great a d v a n t a g e a n d d e l i g h t of dressage is that v e t e r a n s of t h e s p o r t can remain in t h e s a d d l e f o r a very l o n g time. Yelena Petushkova, s e n i o r research f e l l o w in the D e p a r t m e n t of B i o l o g y at M o s c o w State University, Vice Presid e n t of t h e USSR National O l y m p i c C o m m i t t e e has always been p r e p a r e d

to start afresh with the horses she acquired after Pepel. She k n o w s that however many titles a rider may have won, he has to " r o w u p " again with his y o u n g horse. He must be prepared to stumble, pick himself up and begin anew...

The Triumph at Sapporo


I t was incredible! No, it c o u l d n ' t be true! It was simply incredible w h e n Vyacheslav Vedenin skied d o w n the slope o n t o the flat saucer of the Makomanai stadium. First! The Norwegian Johs Harviken reeling w i t h exhaustion f o l l o w e d behind. To say that he was actually skiing w o u l d be an exaggeration. Harviken was hardly able to put one foot in front of the other. He stumbled, fell, picked himself up and shuffled on... Vedenin had w o n the relay race! No-one believed that he w o u l d . Even more amazing was how he w o n the pitched battle w i t h H a r v i k e n a battle w h i c h became the focal p o i n t of the 1972 S a p p o r o Winter Olympics. Vedenin was born in a small village in October 1941 just after his father had been killed f i g h t i n g near Smolensk. One does not need to elaborate on this single sad fact to give an idea of Vedenin's deprived and unsettled childhood. From the age of 14 the boy was obliged t o earn his o w n living: like any adult he made hay, ploughed, felled trees and did all the man's w o r k in the house. Vedenin's dedication to w o r k w h i c h is so m u c h praised today can be traced back to his c h i l d h o o d years w h e n there was e n o u g h hard w o r k for ten and certainly enough to ensure that industriousness w o u l d be one of the principal qualities of Vedenin the sportsman. It is d i f f i c u l t to say when the passion to c o m p e t e in sport was first aroused in him. The small village where he lived was remote from the major sports centres where everything was h a p p e n i n g and from the ski tracks where the big battles were f o u g h t out. All we k n o w is that one January day in 1957 the boy, on his o w n initiative, set out for Tula where the schoolchildren's regional Spartakiad was being held. He spent the night waiting for

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V y a c h e s l a v V e d e n i n (b. 1941), s k i i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1970). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e M o s c o w Regional Institute of P h y s i c a l C u l t u r e . U S S R C h a m p i o n 19661970, 1 9 7 2 - 1 9 7 3 , W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1970, O l y m p i c C h a m p i o n at t h e XI W i n t e r G a m e s (1972, S a p p o r o ) in v a r i o u s r a c i n g e v e n t s . N o w s e n i o r c o a c h at t h e c e n t r a l c o u n c i l o f the D y n a m o sports society.

the train and making the difficult j o u r n e y . He arrived in T u l a at 7 a.m. a n d t h e S p a r t a k i a d s t a r t e d at 9 a.m. T h e boy had o n e r o u b l e in his p o c k e t a n d a c e r t i f i c a t e s t a t i n g that he enj o y e d g o o d health, w e n t t o s c h o o l a n d lived in t h e v i l l a g e of S l o b o d a . They d i d n ' t w a n t t o let h i m c o m p e t e of course. But he w e n t f r o m o n e j u d g e t o t h e o t h e r t r y i n g t o p e r s u a d e each in t u r n until he h a d e i t h e r m a d e t h e m all heartily sick or m o v e d o n e of t h e m t o pity. In t h e e n d they a l l o w e d h i m t o take part. He p r o d u c e d t h e best result of t h e day, b e a t i n g his nearest rival by 3 minutes. Vedenin was invited to join the Dynamo sports society, f o u n d a job w i t h t h e T u l a fire b r i g a d e a n d put up in a hostel. His days w e r e t a k e n up w i t h t h e d e m a n d i n g w o r k of a firem a n a n d his e v e n i n g s w i t h d e m a n d i n g t r a i n i n g sessions: in t h e s u m m e r t h e r e was c y c l i n g a n d in t h e w i n t e r s k i i n g . He w o u l d c o m e h o m e e x h a u s t e d , his shirt wet t h r o u g h w i t h perspiration... S o it w e n t on, day in, day out. A n d it c o u l d n ' t be o t h e r w i s e f o r s k i i n g is first and foremost hard w o r k and victory d o e s n ' t c o m e easily. One has t o prepare for it in t h e heat of s u m m e r , in t h e s n o w , t h e rain a n d t h e slush. If V e d e n i n is asked w h a t it means t o be a skier he w i l l recall t h e 1966 W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s at H o l m e n k o l len w h e r e he w a s l e a d i n g f o r t h e first 44 k i l o m e t r e s of t h e 50-kilometre race... That year they d i d n ' t w a n t t o i n c l u d e h i m in t h e t e a m t h e y c o n s i d e r e d that he was still " g r e e n " . T h e t e a m was t o fly t o Oslo in t h e m o r n i n g a n d Vedenin d i d n ' t k n o w t h e e v e n i n g before w h e t h e r they w o u l d t a k e h i m or not. His fate was d e c i d e d at a s t o r m y m e e t i n g of t h e f e d e r a t i o n w h i c h w e n t o n until after m i d n i g h t . His c o a c h p h o n e d h i m a r o u n d 1 a.m. " G o t o bed. Everything is all r i g h t , " he heard t h e e n c o u r a g i n g v o i c e of his m e n t o r say. A n d t h e n f o l l o w e d a s e n s a t i o n ! Vede-

They Were Educated by Sport n i n t h e n e w c o m e r t o t h e USSR t e a m w a s l e a d i n g in t h e m a r a t h o n at his first W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s . He q u i c k l y n e g o t i a t e d t h e hills a n d c a m e d o w n t h e slopes as t h o u g h he w e r e weightless. A n d he s k i e d o n a n d on... The commentators mentioned his name with increasing frequency. In t h e m o r n i n g t h e r e w a s a s l i g h t frost a n d t h e sky w a s overcast. It seemed t h e r e was n o t h i n g t o presage a c h a n g e either in t h e w e a t h e r or in t h e t e m p e r a t u r e of t h e s n o w . T h e grease o n t h e skis was h i g h l y effective. Everyt h i n g was g o i n g w e l l w h e n s u d d e n l y t h e s u n appeared f r o m b e h i n d t h e c l o u d s . Its w a r m rays s h o n e d o w n o n the hill, t h e f a m o u s H o l m e n k o l l e n hill w h i c h b e g i n s at t h e 44th k i l o m e t r e a n d goes o n to t h e f i n i s h . T h e ski t r a c k began t o " f l o w " . . . Vedenin did not immediately app r e c i a t e t h e d r a m a of t h e s i t u a t i o n . He was tired. B u t his rivals w e r e t i r e d t o o . T h e r e was not m u c h f u r t h e r t o ski. He h a d t o stick it out. T h e last hill... V e d e n i n ran u p it, t o o k a step f o r w a r d , t h e n another... He felt t h a t s o m e t h i n g w a s w r o n g . He p u s h e d f o r w a r d as usual, s t r a i g h t e n i n g his leg. T h e ski, however, d i d not g o f o r w a r d as it w a s s u p p o s e d to, but s u d d e n l y s p r a n g out f r o m u n d e r his f o o t . Disaster! Had he been m o r e e x p e r i e n c e d , he w o u l d of c o u r s e have s t o p p e d a n d g r e a s e d t h e ski under his f o o t . He w o u l d not have w o r r i e d a b o u t t h e t i m e lost, k n o w i n g t h a t o t h e r w i s e he w o u l d lose even more. B u t he was still i n e x p e r i e n c e d . In despair, he t r i e d t o h o l d o n t o each of t h e 120 s e c o n d s he h a d gained. He n e g o t i a t e d t h e last hill. Each step was like a kick in t h e s t o m a c h . He g o t c r a m p in his legs a n d t h e n in his arms. T h e s e c o n d s g a i n e d at t h e cost of colossal e f f o r t had l o n g s i n c e been lost... He felt like w e e p i n g in v e x a t i o n , i m p o t e n c e a n d pain. He h a d lost... It was t h e c o a c h V i c t o r B u c h i n w h o d i s c o v e r e d V e d e n i n as a great crossc o u n t r y skier. In 1960, he saw Vya-

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cheslav at t h e c o m p e t i t i o n s in Sverdlovsk. At t h e t i m e V e d e n i n , a b e g i n n e r , was h e s i t a t i n g b e t w e e n c y c l i n g a n d s k i i n g . I n t u i t i o n t o l d B u c h i n that t h e lad w o u l d m a k e a first-rate skier a n d he w a s not w r o n g . As c o a c h B u c h i n was s u c c e e d e d by Pavel K o l c h i n a b r i l l i a n t skier in his day a n d c h a m p i o n at t h e VII W i n t e r O l y m p i c s . V e d e n i n and Kolchin were made for each other. B o t h believers in heavy t r a i n i n g loads a n d b o t h s k i i n g fanatics, they w e r e f o r t h r i g h t in t h e d e f e n c e of t h e i r views a n d i n t o l e r a n t of injustice. W h e n K o l c h i n w a s e n t r u s t e d w i t h t h e task of t r a i n i n g t h e n a t i o n a l team, V e d e n i n i m m e d i a t e l y a c c e p t e d his new c o a c h a n d h a d i m p l i c i t faith in t h e m e t h o d s he p r o p o s e d . He b e c a m e W o r l d C h a m p i o n in 1970. He w a s 29 that year. In t h e H i g h Tatras he c a m e first in t h e 30 k i l o m e t r e s . He c o u l d have w o n t h e 50 k i l o m e t r e s t o o , but b a t t l i n g against t h e East G e r m a n skier G r i m m e r , he failed t o n o t i c e t h e s p u r t m a d e by t h e Finnish c o n t e s t a n t Oikarainen. No-one else noticed either. W h e n t h e Finn a c c e l e r a t e d t o the finish, Vedenin could only wait to see w h a t t h e s t o p w a t c h said he h a d already c o m p l e t e d t h e race. In t h e e n d it w a s V e d e n i n ' s clever t a c t i c s in t h e last stage w h i c h w o n t h e g o l d m e d a l s f o r t h e t e a m in t h e relay. That w a s t w o years b e f o r e t h e XI W i n t e r O l y m p i c s a n d Vyacheslav V e d e n i n ' s t r i u m p h at Sapporo. T h e first race w a s t h e 30 k i l o m e t r e s w h i c h b r o u g h t V e d e n i n an O l y m p i c g o l d medal. A lot c o u l d be said a b o u t that event if V e d e n i n had not h a d t o undergo a m u c h more demanding t e s t i n t h e relay! He s t a r t e d o n e m i n u t e a n d t w o seco n d s later t h a n Harviken as it t u r n e d out. By rare c o i n c i d e n c e that is t h e e x a c t t i m e by w h i c h he beat t h e N o r w e g i a n in t h e 30 kilometres. N o w a stretch three times shorter was ahead of h i m . T h e s t a n d s e m p t i e d . Everyone had d e c i d e d t h a t t h e race w a s over.

Soviet Sport W a v i n g f l a g s a n d s i n g i n g t h e Norw e g i a n s c a r r i e d aloft their h e r o Ivar F o r m o w h o h a d put t h e t e a m in t h e lead. V l a d i m i r Kuzin, t h e c o a c h , m e t u p w i t h V e d e n i n o n e a n d a half k i l o m e t r e s after t h e start a n d s h o u t e d : "Minus fifty!" Fifty s e c o n d s , almost o n e m i n u t e is a l o n g way b e h i n d ! B u t V e d e n i n d i d not despair. He m a d e u p 12 s e c o n d s but t h e real w o r k w a s still a h e a d o n t h e hills. He w o u l d w i n t h e relay even if he d i e d in t h e attempt! V e n e d i k t Kamensky, t h e h e a d c o a c h of t h e Soviet team, left his o b s e r v a t i o n post at t h e f i f t h k i l o m e t r e a n d w i t h a f e e l i n g of d i s a p p o i n t m e n t m a d e his w a y t o t h e finish. "In p r i n c i p l e silver m e d a l s are all r i g h t , " he t h o u g h t , " b u t they c o u l d have been g o l d . " B e h i n d h i m a roar w e n t u p i t w a s t h e N o r w e g i a n s c h e e r i n g o n Harviken. Kamensky stopped at the sixth k i l o m e t r e t o let the N o r w e g i a n pass. Beside h i m w a s t h e A m e r i c a n c o a c h . W h e n he saw K a m e n s k y he w r o t e " 3 2 " in t h e s n o w . He s h o o k his head, not g o o d . B u t K a m e n s k y s u d d e n l y realized t h a t t h i n g s w e r e not g o i n g so badly after all: V e d e n i n w o u l d c a t c h u p w i t h his o p p o n e n t , there w e r e still t h r e e hills ahead... Harviken t o r e past... T h e A m e r i c a n w r o t e " 2 5 " in t h e s n o w . A n d s u d d e n l y V e d e n i n appeared. " N o w y o u will see h i m ! " K a m e n s k y s h o u t e d , k n o w i n g that it w a s t h e s e e i n g w h i c h was i m p o r t a n t . T h e N o r w e g i a n s had s t o p p e d s i n g i n g at t h e s t a r t i n g base. S t a n d i n g at t h e s t a r t i n g line F o r m o c r a n e d his neck, looking intently into t h e distance w h e r e H a r v i k e n was d u e to appear. V e d e n i n c a u g h t s i g h t of h i m at t h e start of t h e p e n u l t i m a t e hill. " L o o k r o u n d , " he t h o u g h t . " J u s t l o o k round!" A n d Harviken d i d look r o u n d . He saw something terribleit was Vedenin. F r o m that m o m e n t he was d o o m e d .

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Vedenin breathed out: " H a ! " o n the very t o p of t h e last hill k n o w i n g h o w d i f f i c u l t it w a s t o m a k e way o n t h e t r a c k there. T h i s w a s o n e k i l o m e t r e f r o m t h e finish. At t h e start F o r m o a n g r i l y s t r u c k his palm w i t h his fist, t u r n e d o n his heel a n d w a l k e d away. V e d e n i n leapt o u t f r o m t h e w h i t e background. B e h i n d h i m Harviken, stumbling, shuffled forward.

The Goal of His Life

Victor I g u m e n o v (b. 1943), w r e s t l i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1966), M e r i t e d C o a c h o f t h e U S S R (1976). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e O m s k Institute of Physical Culture. USSR C h a m p i o n 1965, 1 9 7 0 - 1 9 7 1 , W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1966-1967, 1 9 6 9 - 1 9 7 1 , E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n 1970 in t h e l i g h t w e i g h t c a t e g o r y . S e n i o r c o a c h of t h e S o v i e t n a t i o n a l t e a m 1972-1976. P r o r e c t o r o f t h e M o s c o w C e n t r a l I n s t i t u t e of P h y s i c a l C u l t u r e . C a n d i d a t e of Pedagogical Sciences.

H e is not s u p e r s t i t i o u s , he s i m p l y d o e s n ' t like m a k i n g forecasts, l o o k i n g ahead, a n d that is w h y he prefers t o give i n t e r v i e w s after c o m p e t i t i o n s . Victor Igumenov acquired this preference after t h e 1968 M e x i c o O l y m p i c s . W h a t he e n d u r e d there, t h e deep t h i n k i n g he w a s f o r c e d to d o w o u l d have been e n o u g h f o r a n y o n e else t o last a lifetime. V i c t o r I g u m e n o v ' s fate is a c o m p l e x , i n t r i c a t e b u t n o n e t h e l e s s happy one. T h e h i s t o r y of G r e c o - R o m a n w r e s t l i n g has not k n o w n s u c h a v i r t u o s o of t h e mat, s u c h a b r i l l i a n t master w h o c o u l d e x e c u t e so effortlessly c o m b i n a t i o n s that w e r e u n i q u e l y s u b t l e in their p l a n n i n g , w h o c o u l d wrestle so inventively, cleanly a n d wittily. B u t at t h e same t i m e t h e h i s t o r y of w r e s t l i n g has not k n o w n s u c h an u n l u c k y w r e s t l e r as I g u m e n o v . T h i s s t r o n g e s t of w r e s tlers w i t h o u t equal in t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s s u f f e r e d bitter defeats at t w o O l y m p i c s a n d his d r e a m of w i n n i n g an O l y m p i c a w a r d w a s never realized. OnLy in Montreal, in his c a p a c i t y as s e n i o r c o a c h of t h e Soviet team, d i d V i c t o r I g u m e n o v e x p e r i e n c e t h e j o y of an O l y m p i c v i c t o r y : all t h e G r e c o - R o m a n style Soviet w r e s t l e r s w o n m e d a l s g n d seven of t h e m became Olympic champions! And Victor I g u m e n o v w h o h a d spent t h r e e years p r e p a r i n g t h e t e a m for t h i s event w a s a w a r d e d t h e h i g h e s t h o n o u r in t h e c o u n t r y t h e O r d e r of L e n i n f o r his daring, his innovative training m e t h o d s a n d f o r e v e r y t h i n g he h a d d o n e f o r t h e national s c h o o l of wrestling. N o - o n e h a d ever advised h i m t o t a k e u p w r e s t l i n g . In his y o u n g days V i c t o r w h o w a s tall, w i r y a n d had a g o o d j u m p in h i m b e c a m e interested in basketball. He d i d quite well, he g o t i n t o his local t e a m in O m s k w h e r e he w a s b o r n a n d b r o u g h t up a n d w a s s o o n t a k i n g part in regional c o m p e t i tions. At t h e same t i m e he t o o k u p b o x i n g a n d even got his first s p o r t s r a n k i n g . B u t V i c t o r himself a d m i t s t h a t he only d e r i v e d real satisfaction f r o m

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Soviet Sport Greco-Roman wrestling. It does not seem so l o n g a g o s o m e t i m e at t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e 1 9 6 0 s t h a t V i c t o r I g u m e n o v first app e a r e d o n t h e mat. Blue-eyed a n d of g r a c e f u l build, he w o u l d s t a n d t h e r e a n d c a l m l y size up his o p p o n e n t . He d i d not have t h e b u l g i n g m u s c l e s or t h e p o w e r f u l neck of t h e w r e s t l e r but he possessed t h e s u p p l e n e s s a n d speed of a panther. Even b e f o r e his o p p o n e n t had c o m p l e t e d t h e first m o v e m e n t , I g u m e n o v had let loose s u c h a volley of h o l d s that t h e referee o n l y j u s t m a n a g e d to c o u n t t h e p o i n t s . "I c a n ' t r e m e m b e r I g u m e n o v ever p u s h i n g o n t h e mat, w a i t i n g f o r his o p p o n e n t t o make a mistake. He never retreated, h o w e v e r d i f f i c u l t t h e situat i o n . His b o u t s never e n d e d in a d r a w , his sole aim was a clean v i c t o r y a n d all his w i n n i n g bouts were aesthetic, as t h o u g h he w e r e m a k i n g an instruct i o n a l film. If V i c t o r lost, it w a s like a bolt f r o m t h e blue. He himself d i d n ' t e x p e c t it a n d his o p p o n e n t even less so. His defeats w e r e as d r a m a t i c a n d u n f a i r as his finest v i c t o r i e s w e r e i n s p i r e d a n d noble. V i c t o r w a s always a b s o r b e d in t h e w r e s t l i n g p r o c e s s itself. He loved t h e f i g h t , not t h e title t o be w o n . He is a t r u e " p r o f e s s o r " of t h e mat, a " g a m b l e r " but w i t h a clear head, a s u b t l e strategist a n d a clever t a c t i c i a n t h i s is h o w he w a s des c r i b e d by his f r i e n d G e n n a d y Sapunov, twice World Champion and M e r i t e d Master of Sport, w h o w a s w i t h h i m in t h e n a t i o n a l t e a m f o r a n u m b e r of years. I g u m e n o v t o o k part in his first W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in 1966 a n d w o n t h e t o u r n a m e n t in brilliant style. A year later he had a similar success. T h e wrestler from Omsk achieved miracles at all t h e p r e - O l y m p i c c o n t e s t s a n d t h e authorities considered him a candidate f o r t h e O l y m p i c " g o l d " . However, something quite incomp r e h e n s i b l e h a p p e n e d at M e x i c o : all t h e c a n d i d a t e s f o r O l y m p i c titles in t h e

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Soviet team w e r e u n e x p e c t e d l y defeated. Later, after a c a r e f u l analysis had been made, t h e e x p e r t s reached t h e c o n c l u s i o n that t h e wrestlers h a d o v e r t r a i n e d a n d that t h e h i g h altitude of M e x i c o City had a f f e c t e d their c o o r d i n a t i o n a n d c a u s e d breathlessness a n d a t t a c k s of dizziness. I g u m e n o v really d i d feel ill. But his belief in his o w n p o w e r s p r o m p t e d h i m to act in his usual i m p e t u o u s fashion. In t h e f i g h t against t h e Norw e g i a n Harley B a r l e e m , he p u r s u e d his o p p o n e n t w h o w a s a v o i d i n g attack across t h e mat. At o n e p o i n t V i c t o r e m b a r k e d o n a b o d y - l o c k a n d lift t h r o w h i s opponent, tightly grasped in his arms, f l e w u p in t h e air... But suddenly Igumenov's shoulders touched the m a t h e didn't manage to fall into t h e b r i d g e . T h e referee's w h i s t l e s i g n i f i e d defeat f o r t h e Soviet wrestler. For a w e e k I g u m e n o v w e n t r o u n d in black despair, s u f f e r i n g a g o n i e s over his defeat. B u t it w a s t h e n he c a m e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t t h e m a i n t h i n g was never in any c i r c u m s t a n c e s t o lose his head or give way t o e m o t i o n . In t h r e e s u c c e s s i v e y e a r s a t the W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in A r g e n t i n a , Canada a n d BulgariaVictor Igumenov p r o v e d that his defeat at t h e O l y m p i c s h a d been a o n e - o f f t h i n g . Five t i m e s W o r l d C h a m p i o n , t h r e e t i m e s E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n a n d many times National C h a m p i o n , I g u m e n o v d o g g e d l y p u r s u e d his g o a l . He g r e w in stature not o n l y as a w r e s t l e r but as a h u m a n being. A f t e r g r a d u a t i n g f r o m t h e O m s k Institute of Physical Culture, Victor moved to Moscow and became a research s t u d e n t at t h e A i l - U n i o n Scientific Research Institute of Physical Culture. " T h e P s y c h o l o g y of t h e W r e s t l e r " was t h e title a n d s u b j e c t of his thesis. At c o m p e t i t i o n s he w a s seen not only o n t h e mat but a l o n g s i d e it as well. He would take some strange-looking e q u i p m e n t w i t h h i m a n d after a b o u t

would rush to his instruments and note d o w n the readings on the meter and his o w n sensations. One can say that he wrote his thesis on the mat, on the field of battle, and that is why it proved to be particularly relevant and useful. Igumenov was in brilliant f o r m at the 1971 World Championships. Milan Ercegan, President of the International Amateur Wrestling Federation, declared the Soviet athlete t o be the best wrestler of the t o u r n a m e n t . Three months later Igumenov successfully defended his thesis. Victor set out for the 1972 M u n i c h Olympics as one of the main candidates for a gold medal. But fate is cruel! He broke a rib in the second bout and the doctor naturally forbade him to take any further part in the Games. In 1973, Igumenov was appointed senior coach of the USSR national team. "It hurts to lose at the Olympics," Victor Igumenov said in one of his interviews, " b u t not to the extent that you lose heart. Life doesn't end there. Now that I have been a p p o i n t e d team coach, it is my duty to do everything to ensure that our athletes are the best in the world. One has to fight for one's future. When I defended my thesis I knew that I had passed the most important examination of my life. Now I must pass on my k n o w l e d g e to our wrestlers. Even t h o u g h I did not succeed in b e c o m i n g an Olympic Champion, I shall see t o it that my pupils surpass their teacher. That is the great logic of sport."

How Chizhova "Outjumped" Beamon


A f t e r the 1972 Games sports statisticians decided to work out w h i c h of the track and field athletes of recent years was the all-round individual best. They glanced at the lists of points and gasped in surprise: Nadezhda Chizhova, the athlete f r o m Leningrad, had scored more points in her w i n n i n g shot-put of 21 metres 3 centimetres than Bob Beamon in his phenomenal j u m p of 8 metres 90 centimetres. No-one, it seemed, had expected such a result, a l t h o u g h many journalists in their M u n i c h reports c o m m e n t e d on the brilliant victory of the Soviet athlete, calling her achievement fantastic and absolutely incredible. Nadezhda was the first of the w o r l d ' s w o m e n shot-putters to succeed in g o i n g beyond the then seemingly impossible limits of 19 metres, 20 metres and finally 21 metres; three times she had occasion to stand on the Olympic victor's p o d i u m and four times in succession w o n the European Championships. What is the secret of her success? The w e l l - k n o w n track and field expert Otto Grigalka, Merited Master of Sport and Merited Coach of the RSFSR, answered the question in these w o r d s : "Chizhova's talent is her ability to work. W i t h o u t this ability one c a n n o t expect real success in shot-putting or in sport in general. I have k n o w n many talented putters for w h o m a great future was predicted. They heard flattering w o r d s about themselves and believed that it was but a single step to fame. But it eluded t h e m t h e y did not have sufficient strength or will or dedication to work. Chizhova's perseverance, her sense of purpose and passion for w o r k singles her out f r o m the rest. These qualities have made her a s p o r t s w o m a n of w o r l d class." Thousands of days of training lay between Nadezhda's early career in

12*

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N a d e z h d a C h i z h o v a (b. 1945), t r a c k a n d field athletics, Merited Master of S p o r t (1968). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e L e s g a f t I n s t i t u t e of P h y s i c a l C u l t u r e in L e n i n g r a d . U S S R C h a m p i o n 1967-1970, 1972, 1974, E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n 1966, 1969, 1971, 1974, g o l d m e d a l l i s t at t h e XX O l y m p i c G a m e s (1972, M u n i c h ) in s h o t - p u t t i n g . H o l d e r of 9 w o r l d records. N o w a c o a c h .

s p o r t a n d her O l y m p i c g o l d medal. It is virtually i m p o s s i b l e t o c a l c u l a t e t h e n u m b e r of t i m e s she h a d t o put t h e shot, p e r f o r m v a r i o u s s u p p l e m e n t a r y exercises a n d g o o n c r o s s - c o u n t r y runs in that i n t e r v e n i n g period, but there is n o d o u b t that t h e f i g u r e is very high. W h e n t r a i n i n g f o r t h e 1972 O l y m p i c s a l o n e she p u t t e d t h e shot m o r e t h a n 5 t h o u s a n d times, e x e c u t e d 8 t h o u s a n d j u m p s of v a r i o u s k i n d s a n d ran h u n d r e d s of k i l o m e t r e s . On one o c c a s i o n N a d e z h d a r e m a r k e d : " T h e essence of s p o r t , like life, is s t r u g g l e : t h e f a i n t - h e a r t e d fall by t h e wayside, t h e s t r o n g g o o n ahead." C h i z h o v a has p r o v e d o n m o r e t h a n o n e o c c a s i o n t h a t she is a s t r o n g , s i n g l e - m i n d e d a n d g e n u i n e individual. As regards s p e c i a l physical qualities, Nadezhda d o e s n ' t really have any. If you met her in t h e street, you w o u l d not guess that she w a s o n e of t h e s t r o n g e s t w o m e n in t h e w o r l d . She has a p o w e r f u l a t h l e t i c physique, a g o o d - n a t u r e d f a c e a n d a relaxed, c h a r m i n g smile. B u t o n c e C h i z h o v a enters t h e s h o t - p u t t i n g circle she is t r a n s f o r m e d her e x p r e s s i o n is determ i n e d , her m o v e m e n t s p o w e r f u l a n d v i g o r o u s . It is as t h o u g h she has become another person. Nadezhda C h i z h o v a entered the " t o p s o c i e t y " of t h r o w e r s in 1964. At t h e National C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Kiev w h e r e t h e T o k y o O l y m p i c t e a m was t o be selected, t h e a l m o s t u n k n o w n y o u n g putter N a d e z h d a C h i z h o v a beat many experts of s t a n d i n g , only f i n i s h i n g b e h i n d her revered o l d e r f r i e n d s f r o m Victor Alexeyev's Leningrad school w h e r e she h a d j u s t started t r a i n i n g . She d i d not g o t o t h e T o k y o O l y m p i c s t h o u g h i t w a s still t o o early f o r that. When t h e f a m o u s T a m a r a Press left t o p s p o r t in 1966, C h i z h o v a began to live u p t o t h e h o p e s w h i c h had been placed in her. She b e c a m e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n at her first a t t e m p t , beating Margitta G u m m e l from the German D e m o c r a t i c R e p u b l i c w h o w o n the

They Were Educated by Sport silver medal. That w a s w h e n their rivalry began. The following year these two s p o r t s w o m e n c o n t i n u e d t h e i r d u e l of s t r e n g t h a n d again C h i z h o v a a c q u i t t e d herself w i t h h o n o u r , b e a t i n g G u m m e l on t w o o c c a s i o n s . H o w e v e r , all t h i s was only a prelude. T h e m a i n battles were still ahead. Nadezhda began t h e 1968 O l y m p i c year in w i n n i n g style. For a l o n g t i m e she had been a s p i r i n g t o T a m a r a Press's w o r l d r e c o r d of 18.55 metres and she finally s u c c e e d e d in beating it. But her result of " a l m o s t 19 metres" was still not g o o d e n o u g h for victory in M e x i c o . That year, w h i c h t u r n e d o u t to be an u n l u c k y one f o r Nadezhda, her principal rival was not in a h u r r y t o s h o w her h a n d t i m e a n d a g a i n she prod u c e d only very m e d i o c r e results a n d this p r o b a b l y reassured C h i z h o v a . But s u d d e n l y on t h e very eve of her d e p a r t u r e for M e x i c o c a m e t h e stagg e r i n g news: M a r g i t t a h a d beaten C h i z h o v a ' s w o r l d r e c o r d by 20 centimetres. How c o u l d she a n s w e r her rival? T i m e was desperately s h o r t ! Moreover, N a d e z h d a h a d i n j u r e d her leg w h i l e t r a i n i n g a n d f o r 15 w h o l e days was f o r c e d t o o p e r a t e at halfstrength. C h i z h o v a was not in her best f o r m in M e x i c o City: she d i d not a d a p t w e l l t o t h e c h a n g e in t h e pace of life, c o u l d not a c c l i m a t i z e a n d w a s o p p r e s s e d by t h e noisy i n t e r n a t i o n a l O l y m p i c village w h e r e it was d i f f i c u l t t o isolate herself a n d put herself in t h e r i g h t f r a m e of m i n d f o r her p e r f o r m a n c e . A n d so t o t h e event itself. Her shot cleared 18 metres 19 c e n t i m e t r e s w h i c h was only g o o d e n o u g h f o r t h e "bronze". For C h i z h o v a w h o h a d not had a single failure in t w o years, this "bronze" was a bitter defeat. It has to be a d m i t t e d t h a t her first i m p u l s e was to give u p s p o r t . W h e n she arrived back in L e n i n g r a d after t h e O l y m p i c s she i m m e r s e d herself in

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her s t u d i e s at t h e institute and for a w h i l e s e e m e d t o f o r g e t a b o u t training. However, V i c t o r Alexeyev was able t o " r e v i v e " N a d e z h d a and instil c o n f i d e n c e in her. T o g e t h e r w i t h a n u m b e r of his s t u d e n t s i n c l u d i n g Nadezhda, he left t h e f r o s t s of Leningrad for t h e w a r m t h of D u s h a n b e . He wanted t o experiment and work out a new t e c h n i q u e w h i c h w o u l d guarantee better results. A n d Alexeyev did find a new m o v e m e n t , a l t h o u g h not immediately. H o w e v e r , it was not suitable f o r Nadezhda. A n d so it was b a c k t o w o r k . In a s h o r t t i m e the c o a c h c a m e u p w i t h a f u r t h e r 12 new vers i o n s of t e c h n i q u e and finally f o u n d w h a t he w a s l o o k i n g for. Then w o r k began a g a i n f o r Nadezhda. It w a s n ' t easy. It is, of c o u r s e , always m o r e d i f f i c u l t t o relearn than t o start f r o m s c r a t c h . B u t C h i z h o v a d i d n ' t have t o be driven. T h e t h o u g h t of taking her revenge o n G u m m e l w h i p p e d her u p a n d s p u r r e d her on. Her t i t a n i c e f f o r t w a s not in vain. Just before t h e 1969 E u r o p e a n Champions h i p s N a d e z h d a t w i c e beat the w o r l d records, but M a r g i t t a regained t h e w o r l d r e c o r d o n t h e very eve of t h e event. N o w f e w p r e s u m e d to predict t h e o u t c o m e of t h e next duel between these t w o s p o r t s w o m e n , but all w e r e a g r e e d a b o u t o n e t h i n g t h e fight in A t h e n s f o r t h e title of shot-putting c h a m p i o n w o u l d be a close one. A n d it w a s indeed. In this most difficult duel w h i c h d e m a n d e d t h e total m o b i lization of the sportswomen's s t r e n g t h , C h i z h o v a set another w o r l d r e c o r d a n d b e c a m e E u r o p e a n Champion f o r t h e s e c o n d time. B u t N a d e z h d a ' s w i n n i n g result in A t h e n s (20.43 metres) was still n o g u a r a n t e e of v i c t o r y at t h e Olympics. She h a d t o clear 21 metres before she c o u l d feel c o n f i d e n t in Munich. At that t i m e s u c h a d i s t a n c e seemed unrealistic, but Alexeyev a n d Chizhova herself believed t h a t it w a s w i t h i n her powers. O n c e a g a i n Alexeyev had to change

Soviet Sport Chizhova's shot-putting technique, a n d t h e r e l e a r n i n g p r o c e s s w a s not easy. T h e o l d stereotype w a s t o o f i r m in Nadezhda. T h e n her c o a c h t h o u g h t u p 25 s u p p l e m e n t a r y exercises f o r t h e d i f f e r e n t muscles, a n d C h i z h o v a set about practising them. J u s t t w o w e e k s before t h e O l y m p i c s Alexeyev saw that c e r t a i n e l e m e n t s of t h e s e exercises were p e r f o r m e d aut o m a t i c a l l y a n d he n o w h a d t o c o o r d i nate t h e m . A l t h o u g h t i m e w a s s h o r t , N a d e z h d a c o p e d w e l l w i t h t h e task he h a d set her. The c o a c h set off f o r M u n i c h w i t h a light heart: he h a d d o n e w h a t he h a d to do, a n d n o w it w a s u p t o t h e athlete. A n d so t o t h e q u a l i f y i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s at M u n i c h . C h i z h o v a d i d not w a n t t o w a s t e unnecessary e n e r g y , d i d not w a n t t o s h o w her h a n d t o o s o o n . She p u t t h e s h o t w i t h o u t really t h r u s t i n g a n d her t h r o w d i d not g o very far. A f e w m i n u t e s later G u m m e l e n t e r e d t h e circle. A p o w e r f u l t h r u s t a n d t h e s h o t f l e w several metres b e y o n d t h e line w h i c h q u a l i f i e d her f o r t h e finals. Having d o n e so m u c h better t h a n her rivals, c o n f i d e n t in her o w n p o w e r s a n d f e e l i n g pleased w i t h herself, Marg i t t a w e n t off t o rest. It was o b v i o u s that G u m m e l w a s in a g o o d m o o d . In the w a r m - u p b e f o r e t h e finals she f o u r t i m e s p u t t h e shot m o r e t h a n 20 metres as t h o u g h t o d e m o n s t r a t e her i n t e n t i o n s a n d her potentialities. But again C h i z h o v a was in n o h u r r y t o s h o w her h a n d ; she spent a long time w a r m i n g up and o n l y put t h e shot t w i c e , a n d t h e n not f o r d i s t a n c e but to p r a c t i c e her t e c h nique. At that m o m e n t t h e Soviet t e a m c o a c h e s started t o get w o r r i e d . W h a t if t h e r e was a r e p e t i t i o n of M e x i c o ? A n d t h e r e really was cause t o w o r r y . N a d e z h d a had c a u g h t a c o l d t h e day b e f o r e a n d w e n t o u t o n t o t h e field with quite a high temperature. T h e fate of t h e g o l d medal w a s dec i d e d in seconds. N a d e z h d a p u t t h e s h o t 21 metres 3 c e n t i m e t r e s . This re-

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sult s t a g g e r e d e v e r y b o d y a n d above all G u m m e l f o r w h o m Chizhova's w o r l d r e c o r d w a s totally u n e x p e c t e d . G u m m e l was literally a n d m e t a p h o r i cally s t u n n e d . She d i d n ' t even hear her n a m e b e i n g c a l l e d a n d almost missed her t u r n . T h u s t h e s c o r e f o r t h e defeat at M e x i c o City was evened up.

Fourteen Years and Two Days

A f e w days before V l a d i m i r V a s i n ' s a p p e a r a n c e at t h e O l y m p i c s w i m m i n g p o o l in M u n i c h , a j o u r n a l i s t s h o w e d h i m t h e latest issue of t h e m a g a z i n e Stern w h i c h forecast t h e results of t h e XX O l y m p i c Games. V l a d i m i r q u i c k l y f o u n d t h e s e c t i o n on d i v i n g . His n a m e was a m o n g t h e c a n d i d a t e s for medals, but it c a m e only t h i r d o n t h e list. Apparently the organisers "planned" nothing higher than a bronze for him. "A ' b r o n z e ' isn't all that bad, y o u k n o w , " he said cheerfully, w i n k i n g at the journalist, "however, you don't c o u n t y o u r c h i c k e n s before t h e y ' r e h a t c h e d . Let's w a i t until t h e 31st August." The t e a m believed that he w a s capable of w i n n i n g a medal, a l t h o u g h p r o b a b l y not a g o l d . Only Vasin h i m self a n d his c o a c h Tatyana P e t r u k h i n a c o u l d d r e a m of that. A l t h o u g h he h a d a n u m b e r of c o n v i n c i n g w i n s t o his c r e d i t over t h e past t w o years, b e a t i n g the 1972 Olympic favouritesthe Italians Klaus Dibiasi a n d F r a n c o Cagn o t t o a n d t h e A m e r i c a n Craig L i n c o l n , his p e r f o r m a n c e was not s u f f i c i e n t l y c o n s i s t e n t . It s o m e t i m e s h a p p e n e d in i m p o r t a n t c o m p e t i t i o n s that he w o u l d a c t u a l l y be in t h e lead a n d t h e n s u d d e n l y fall behind, f l u f f i n g s o m e easy dive a n d ' f o r f e i t i n g t h e c h a n c e of v i c t o r y . It w a s well k n o w n that he l a c k e d c o n c e n t r a t i o n , but only he a n d his c o a c h k n e w that he h a d finally m a s t e r e d t h e art of w i n n i n g . A f e w days later t h e w h o l e w o r l d of sport was to discover this too. Reporting f r o m M u n i c h , t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n t of t h e A s s o c i a t e d Press referred t o Vasin as o n e of t h e outstanding s p o r t s m e n of t h e w o r l d . " T h i s f l a x e n h a i r e d Russian boy," he said in his report, " h a s been a i m i n g f o r a g o l d m e d a l f o r so l o n g that e v e r y o n e has b e c o m e t h o r o u g h l y d i s a p p o i n t e d in him. He o n c e again arrived at t h e O l y m p i c s as o n e of t h e ... but n o t h i n g m o r e . A n d w h e n he w o n , he b e c a m e a s e n s a t i o n , a new d i s c o v e r y . " Vasin w a s a sensation first a n d foremost b e c a u s e he e n d e d t h e d o m i n a -

V l a d i m i r V a s i n (b. 1947), s p r i n g b o a r d d i v i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1972). G r a d u a t e d f r o m t h e E c o n o m i c s Faculty of M o s c o w State University. USSR C h a m p i o n 1966, 1969, 1972, O l y m p i c C h a m p i o n (1972, M u n i c h ) in s p r i n g b o a r d d i v i n g . N o w C h a i r m a n of t h e U S S R D i v i n g F e d e r a t i o n . M e m b e r of the p r e s i d i u m of t h e USSR National Olympic Committee.

Soviet Sport t i o n of t h e A m e r i c a n divers w h o h a d not s u f f e r e d a single defeat o n t h e springboard in eleven successive Olympics! How did this come about? V l a d i m i r c o n s o l i d a t e d his p o s i t i o n in t h e l e a d i n g g r o u p w i t h his very first dive of t h e c o m p u l s o r y p r o g r a m m e . He d i v e d beautifully a n d w i t h great t e c h n i c a l skill. T h e marks he received w e r e c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y h i g h . He exec u t e d t h e half-twist p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l : 9-8-8-8, 5 - 9 - 9 - 9 w a s h o w t h e j u d g e s assessed his p e r f o r m a n c e . In t h e m o r n i n g event Vasin fell s l i g h t l y b e h i n d his old rival Klaus Dibiasi. In t h e e v e n i n g V l a d i m i r dived w i t h equal p r e c i s i o n a n d c o n f i d e n c e . However, his p r o g r a m m e was less c o m p l i c a t e d t h a n that of Franco C a g n o t t o w h o was in t h e lead after t h e e v e n i n g dives a n d Vyacheslav Strakhov, t h e s e c o n d diver in t h e Soviet team. But he o n l y fell a little way b e h i n d and d i d not lose his c h a n c e of w i n n i n g . In t h e finals t h e f o l l o w i n g day Vasin d i v e d b e f o r e most of his o p p o n e n t s w h i c h put t h e m in a m o r e advantageous position. They could use V a s i n ' s p e r f o r m a n c e as r e f e r e n c e and, depending on the situation, decide w h e t h e r or not t o take risks. He c o u l d o n l y c o u n t o n himself w h i c h m e a n t he h a d t o dive so that his rivals w o u l d be f o r c e d t o w o r r y and m a k e mistakes. T h e A m e r i c a n diver w a s t h e first to lose his nerve, g a i n i n g o n l y 46.02 p o i n t s f o r his first d i v e a n i n w a r d 2 1 / 2 s o m e r s a u l t . Vasin had g a i n e d 65.52 p o i n t s f o r t h e same dive, o n l y w i t h a b a c k w a r d s o m e r s a u l t . T h e n it w a s C a g n o t t o ' s t u r n . His dive was an e x a c t r e p l i c a of Vasin's. However, t h e judges were more favourably disposed t o C a g n o t t o : t h e Italian s p o r t s m a n g a i n e d 69.72 points. It n o w s e e m e d o b v i o u s that t h e Italian w o u l d w i n . But f o r e c a s t i n g results is a t r i c k y business, p a r t i c u l a r l y in d i v i n g w h e r e e a c h dive is like an e q u a t i o n w i t h m a n y variables w h i c h even t h e

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most d i s t i n g u i s h e d e x p e r t s c a n n o t always solve. The t e n t h dive. All t h e leaders are u n a n i m o u s in their c h o i c e : t h e 2 1 / 2 A u e r b a c h s o m e r s a u l t . The most diff i c u l t dive! C r a i g L i n c o l n executes it b r i l l i a n t l y 7 2 . 7 4 lights u p on t h e s c o r e b o a r d . N o w it is V a s i n ' s t u r n . A f t e r w a r d s , w h e n it was all over, Tatyana P e t r u k h i n a said that Craig had h e l p e d her p u p i l e n o r m o u s l y by p u t t i n g h i m in a f i g h t i n g f r a m e of m i n d . L i n c o l n ' s dive a c t e d as a catalyst. The Italian fans also " h e l p e d " . They w h i s t l e d a n d s h o u t e d t r y i n g t o break his c o n c e n t r a t i o n . Vasin became angry. It w a s p r o b a b l y t h e first t i m e in his life that he had been so angry before an a t t e m p t . His dive was p e r f e c t i o n : 75.86 p o i n t s ! The best mark of t h e day! N o w victory w a s w i t h i n reach. For t h e first t i m e in t h e t w o days of t h e c o m p e t i t i o n s he s h o t ahead. He only had to e x e c u t e t h e eleventh a n d final dive calmly, w i t h o u t t a k i n g risks a n d t h e g o l d m e d a l w o u l d be his. It is easy t o s a y c a l m l y , w h e n so m u c h was g o i n g on a r o u n d ! T h e r e was u p r o a r in t h e stands, t h e s p e c t a t o r s w e r e w i l l i n g Cagnotto to win. A situation fraught w i t h t e n s i o n w h e n it is easy t o make a mistake. B u t not w i t h o u t g o o d reason d o they say that " t o spare t h e rod is t o s p o i l t h e c h i l d " . Defeat h a d t a u g h t Vasin a lot. Moreover, T a t y a n a Petrukhina, his f r i e n d and c o a c h , w a s t h e r e w i t h him. K n o w i n g her p u p i l ' s i m p r e s s i o n a b l e character, it w a s she w h o advised V l a d i m i r t o sit in t h e p o o l a n d c o o l d o w n in c o l d w a t e r before t h e last dive. A n d that is e x a c t l y w h a t he did. He sat in t h e c o l d w a t e r right up to t h e m o m e n t his n a m e w a s called. Then he climbed up onto the springboard and ... earned 65.25 points. V i c t o r y ! V l a d i m i r Vasin had been t r a i n i n g f o r an O l y m p i c v i c t o r y f o r f o u r t e e n years. Everything c a m e easily t o h i m w h e n

he was training. He had excellent coordination, he was musical (which is very important for divers) and possessed a good sense of rhythm. At competitions, however, he went to pieces and c o u l d not maintain his inner discipline for long. To a certain extent this can be explained by his interest in his future career. His studies in the E c o n o m i c s Faculty of Moscow State University required just as much effort and dedication as his sport. Yes, the reasons for his failures on the springboard were quite valid. However, you can't explain that to the spectators. He was eighth at the Tokyo Olympics and even further d o w n the list at Mexico C i t y i n eleventh place. He c o u l d c o u n t on only one more Olympic attempt. Before he was ready for his third Olympics Vasin had to learn not only to conquer his rivals but above all himself. He had to acquire c o m p o s u r e and presence of mind. He had to become a fighter. In diving this means the ability to be totally concentrated, calm and self-disciplined. That is what Petrukhina believed, and both coach and pupil set out to achieve this. After the Spring Swallows International Tournament in 1970 Vladimir told his coach that his feelings before the dives were different f r o m what they had been previously. Not so long ago w h e n he was poised on the springboard he w o u l d tremble with nervous excitement and try to get the dive over with as quickly as possible. Now he had acquired calm, c o n c e n t r a t i o n and confidence. And so the new Vasin was born.

The Hurdle of Ambition


H e grew up in a working-class suburb of Tartu. As a child he made friends only with the older boys. When he was five they threw him in the lake to teach him to swim, when he was eight he c l i m b e d a huge chestnut-tree w i t h them, fell f r o m a high branch and broke both legs. There was a devil in him w h i c h drove him to play g a m b l i n g games with the other boys, to scale the 20-metre wall of the old c h u r c h on T o o m e hill and finally to the hockey rink where once again he had no intention of being left out by his older mates. The c o a c h of the children's hockey team said to him: "Do you k n o w why you're so small? It's because you s m o k e . " Aavo w h o was a p r o u d boy gave up s m o k i n g and over the summer grew another seven centimetres. Now his feet reached the pedals of the adult bicycle w h i c h all the boys t o o k turns t o ride around the courtyard. That's w h e n he first had the sensation of speed. Strictly speaking, it was the love of speed w h i c h prompted Aavo to g o to the Tartu sports school and t o the coach Rein Kirsipuu. This, however, did not stop him from being a "diff i c u l t " lad. He was a slow learner at school and the teachers insisted that he be expelled from the sports school. The coach knew that his colleagues were right but he also knew that the bicycle was almost the only means of escape f r o m trouble for the boy. " Y o u know what, Aavo," he said to the lad on one occasion, " a c c o r d i n g to all the rules you s h o u l d be expelled, but since you're here, you can help me in the w o r k s h o p . You can get back in the saddle w h e n you've improved on your poor marks." The " d i f f i c u l t " lad c o m m a n d e d respect for the almost frenzied effort he put into his training. On the road he always had to be restrained. Once

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K i r s i p u u sent A a v o t o T a l l i n n to collect a new bicycle. He w e n t t h e r e by bus a n d cycled b a c k , c o v e r i n g t h e 180 km w i t h o u t any e f f o r t . His c o a c h gave h i m a severe t e l l i n g off f o r o v e r e x e r t i o n , but Aavo w e n t off t o play t e n n i s for three hours. In all this t h e r e w a s s o m e t h i n g m o r e t h a n y o u t h f u l recklessness. He was b r i m m i n g over w i t h t a l e n t : w h a t f o r many was e x h a u s t i n g w o r k was for h i m a g a m e of w h i c h he never had e n o u g h . He loved t o play unlikely t r i c k s : he w o u l d b r a k e a b r u p t l y at a corner, s w i n g r o u n d o n t h e f r o n t or rear w h e e l a n d c u t t h e c o r n e r . Even at that t i m e t h e b i c y c l e was like a live horse u n d e r h i m . B u t t h e t i m e for f u n a n d g a m e s e n d e d a l m o s t as s u d d e n l y as his c h i l d h o o d . After t h e 1976 M o n t r e a l O l y m p i c s w h e n Aavo b e c a m e t h e road race c h a m p i o n , Rein K i r s i p u u said to h i m : "It's a g o o d t h i n g that I d i d n ' t allow y o u t o w i n f o r a l o n g t i m e . That is certainly w h y y o u have a taste f o r victory n o w . " A n d indeed, victory h a d l o n g e l u d e d P i k k u u s . Perhaps it was because he h a d c o m p e t e d f o r t h e o l d e r boys w h e n he w a s small a n d f o r t h e adults w h e n he w a s in his teens. He did i n d e e d lose, but he was always d r a w n t o t h e s t r o n g e r a n d m o r e experienced. C o u l d t h i s not be t h e secret of t h e early c o m i n g t o m a t u r i t y of Aavo P i k k u u s t h e r a c i n g cyclist? He already had s o m e e x p e r i e n c e in j u n i o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l events, but Aavo only tasted v i c t o r y in his first AllU n i o n adult race. It was t h e s p r i n g of 1973. T h e best r o a d r a c i n g cyclists in t h e c o u n t r y w e r e t a k i n g part in t h e Cherepovich Memorial race and a l o n g s i d e w o r l d - f a m o u s names was t h e as yet u n k n o w n nineteen-year-old Aavo Pikkuus. A n d s u d d e n l y he t h r e w d o w n a c h a l l e n g e t o t h e m all he all but b r o k e away f r o m t h e rest at t h e very b e g i n n i n g of t h e race. No-one t o o k this o d d c h a r a c t e r seriously. He nonetheless s u c c e e d e d in w i n n i n g

A a v o P i k k u u s (b. 1954), c y c l i n g , M e r i t e d M a s t e r o f S p o r t (1975). U S S R C h a m p i o n 1973, 1975-1981, W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1977, C h a m p i o n at t h e XXI O l y m p i c G a m e s (1976, M o n t r e a l ) in t h e r o a d race. W i n n e r o f t h e P e a c e R a c e in 1977 ( i n d i v i d u a l e v e n t ) a n d i n 1975, 1 9 7 7 - 1 9 7 9 ( t e a m e v e n t ) . N o w a c o a c h at t h e D y n a m o c l u b in Tallinn.

They Were Educated by Sport several i n t e r m e d i a t e finishes, a n d then w h e n the a v a l a n c h e h a d s w a l l o w e d him up and he h a d n ' t t h e s t r e n g t h to w i t h s t a n d its v i o l e n t h e a d l o n g progress, he repeated t o h i m s e l f all t h e way: "If I c o u l d o n l y h o l d o u t . " After t h e race it s e e m e d t o h i m that t h e blue sky was heavy w i t h b l a c k clouds. But n o w he h a d t h e real taste of victory w h i c h is k n o w n o n l y to t h o s e w h o are s t r o n g e r t h a n t h e i r o w n weaknesses. The f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g he w o n almost all t h e m a j o r races in t h e c o u n t r y and w a s i n v i t e d t o j o i n t h e national team. It is s u r p r i s i n g that even t h e n w h e n he was still wet b e h i n d t h e ears he u n e x p e c t e d l y led t h e Peace Race in t h e s e c o n d stage. A n d even w h e n he h a d fallen b a c k i n t o t h i r d place, he still c o n t i n u e d t o give his all f o r t h e sake of t h e y e l l o w shirt of t h e leader. A n d in that g r o u p t h e r e w e r e s u c h aces as t h e Poles S z o z d a a n d Mytnik, t h e G e r m a n s G o n s c h o r e k a n d Hartn i c k and t h e Soviet racers L i k h a c h e v a n d Gorelov. He d a r e d t o c h a l l e n g e even t h e m . A n d he c o u l d have w o n , had he had a little m o r e e x p e r i e n c e a n d a little less a m b i t i o n . This ambit i o n let him d o w n o n m o r e t h a n one o c c a s i o n . H o w he l o n g e d t o overtake t h e d i s t i n g u i s h e d a n d s h o o t ahead w i t h t h e leaders! B u t in road races he w h o is a l o n e in t h e f i e l d can not d o m u c h . It is virtually i m p o s s i b l e t o w i n w i t h o u t t h e s u p p o r t of t h e t e a m a n d A a v o s o o n c a m e t o u n d e r s t a n d that. Indeed, it w o u l d be s t r a n g e not to u n d e r s t a n d a l o n g s i d e s u c h racers as A l e x a n d e r G u s y a t n i k o v , Valery Chaplygin a n d V l a d i m i r K a m i n s k y w h o had been t h r o u g h a t o u g h s c h o o l . For w h a t is a road race? It is t o t a l self-discipline, a t o u g h f i g h t at h u r r i c a n e speeds and risk f r a u g h t not only w i t h defeat but s o m e t i m e s w i t h s e r i o u s injury. All this a n d m u c h else besides, w h e r e t h e r e is n o place for w e a k n e s s , leaves its i m p r i n t on t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e individual.

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T o be t e m p e r e d in this way is f o r m a n y a p a i n f u l process, but f o r Pikk u u s it w a s p r o b a b l y a very necessary one. Not immediately, not o v e r n i g h t , but o n l y after a w h o l e series of mist a k e s d i d t h e day arrive w h e n he w a s e n t r u s t e d w i t h a place in t h e O l y m p i c team. They t r a i n e d f o r M o n t r e a l o n t h e S o c h i - S u k h u m i h i g h w a y . T h e t e a m of fourVladimir Kaminsky, Valery Chaplygin, Anatoly Chukanov and Aavo Pikkuusfuriously pedalled their h u n d r e d k i l o m e t r e s a l m o s t daily, b u i l d i n g u p t h e i r speed a n d i m p r o v i n g their c o o r d i n a t i o n . A n d t h e r e w e r e a f u r t h e r h u n d r e d k i l o m e t r e s of r o a d in d i s t a n t M o n t r e a l w h e r e they w e r e t h e first in t h e Soviet team to w i n t h e g o l d medals. "I d i d n ' t realize it at once, o n l y after several days d i d it s i n k in that w e h a d b e c o m e c h a m p i o n s , " A a v o recalled. "It's as t h o u g h y o u ' r e t h e same p e r s o n a n d at t h e same t i m e d i f f e r e n t . T h e a t t e n t i o n p e o p l e give y o u f o r c e s y o u t o realize t h a t f o r t h e m you are n o t j u s t A a v o P i k k u u s a n d that y o u are n o w d o u b l y responsible for y o u r every action." Frankly s p e a k i n g , s o m e p e o p l e w e r e a p p r e h e n s i v e " as t o h o w Pikkuus w o u l d s t a n d u p t o t h e test of f a m e . T h e i n t o x i c a t i o n of success h a d g o n e t o t h e h e a d s of m u c h s t r o n g e r c h a r a c ters. Rein K i r s i p u u said: " A l w a y s r e m e m b e r A a v o that y o u are an o r d i n a r y boy, a n d a n y t h i n g you may have a c h i e v e d is d u e t o w o r k . It is not easy t o b e c o m e an O l y m p i c c h a m p i o n a n d it is n o easier t o w i n t h e Peace Race." T o all a p p e a r a n c e s , Aavo r e m e m b e r e d these w o r d s . In t h e t h i r t i e t h Peace Race he p r o v e d that he was not o n l y t h e m o s t p o w e r f u l racer b u t a real t e a m leader as well. Over t h e w h o l e enormous distance from Warsaw to B e r l i n a n d t h e n to Prague he never o n c e gave away the y e l l o w s h i r t of t h e leader.

It is easy to s a y d i d n ' t give away. T o w a r d s t h e e n d of t h e race his b o d y w a s all battered a n d b r u i s e d a n d t h e m e d i c a l c o m m i s s i o n nearly f o r c e d h i m to withdraw from the competition... The last stage f r o m S o k o l o v to P r a g u e w a s p a r t i c u l a r l y hard. As he c y c l e d e a c h m o v e m e n t caused s u c h b u r n i n g u n r e l e n t i n g pain that in t h e e n d he b e c a m e a c c u s t o m e d t o it. T h e n he w a r m e d u p a n d o n t h e a p p r o a c h to t h e first " f l y i n g " finish was l o o k i n g f o r a p o s i t i o n to attack w h e n s u d d e n l y disaster s t r u c k . The c h a i n w h i c h had s l i p p e d loose f r o m t h e s p r o c k e t became entangled between the gear and t h e s p o k e s . A g r o u p h a d already f l a s h e d past as he was r e v o l v i n g t h e loose pedal t r y i n g to put t h e ill-fated c h a i n back in p o s i t i o n . S u d d e n l y A a v o felt that s o m e o n e was p u s h i n g h i m f o r w a r d u n d e r t h e s a d d l e a n d after a f e w metres t h e c h a i n w a s b a c k in place. He had been helped by Valery C h a p l y g i n . In a m o m e n t they w e r e o n c e a g a i n in t h e l e a d i n g g r o u p , t h e n they f l e w f o r w a r d g a t h e r i n g t h e s p e e d w h i c h t o o k A a v o first to t h e w h i t e f i n i s h line... This was victory, t h i s w a s c o u r a g e of t h e highest order.

The Korbut Loop

Olga Korbut (b. 1955), gymnastics, Merited Master of Sport (1972). Graduated from the Grodno Pedagogical Institute. All-Round Individual Champion of the USSR 1975. USSR Champion 1974, 1976, World Champion 1974, Champion at the XX and XXI Olympic Games (1972, Munich; 1976, Montreal) in individual disciplines in the combined event and team competitions. Now an artiste with the Byelorussian Philharmonic Society.

They Were Educated by Sport E v e r y O l y m p i a d has its heroes. The h e r o i n e of t h e 1972 M u n i c h O l y m p i c s was Olga K o r b u t . She a s t o u n d e d t h e w o r l d , c o n q u e r e d it w i t h her c h a r m , w o n it over w i t h her s p o n t a n e i t y , s t u n n e d it by her fearlessness a n d forced the experts to argue about w h a t s h o u l d a n d w h a t s h o u l d not be a l l o w e d in m o d e r n g y m n a s t i c s . The M u n i c h papers w r o t e a b o u t her w i t h great t e n d e r n e s s a n d e m o t i o n , c a l l i n g her "little d a r l i n g " , she w a s seen all t h e t i m e o n television. A n d t h i s great surge of universal approbation seemed to inspire O l g a a n d carry her to new victories. But it was in M u n i c h that she lost t h e race to t h e title of A l l - R o u n d Individual C h a m p i o n to L y u d m i l a T u r i s h c h e v a . She w o n t h r e e g o l d m e d a l s b u t fell off t h e bars a n d w e p t o p e n l y in full view of t h e spectators... Olga c o u l d not c o n c e a l either her i m p e t u o u s joy, or her bitter grief, or her t r i u m p h or her d i s a p p o i n t m e n t a n d it was p e r h a p s t h i s o p e n n e s s of c h a r a c t e r w h i c h m a d e her so p o p u l a r w i t h her fans. " S h e really loves her a u d i e n c e , " t h e c o a c h e s s h o o k their heads in dismay. They believed that love of success p r e v e n t e d t h e g y m n a s t from concentrating and maintaining her inner d i s c i p l i n e w h i c h is w h y she lost to her rivals w h o w e r e able to keep t h e m s e l v e s in h a n d . But Olga w o u l d not have been t h e d a r l i n g of t h e stands if she h a d f o r c e d herself t o behave differently. After t h e M u n i c h O l y m p i c s O l g a Korb u t w a s invited t o a p p e a r in many c o u n t r i e s . She w a s p a r t i c u l a r l y w a r m l y received in N o r t h A m e r i c a where h i t h e r t o g y m n a s t i c s h a d not been all that popular. This w i s p of a girl w i t h her hair in b u n c h e s c a m e o u t o n t o t h e f l o o r and t h o u s a n d s of s p e c t a t o r s expressed their d e l i g h t q u i t e uninhibitedly. So s t o r m y w a s t h e applause that it seemed t h e w a l l s w o u l d cave in at any m o m e n t . But t h e s m a l l girl put her finger t o her lips a n d t h e r e was

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i n s t a n t silence. She was received by t h e President, f i l m s were m a d e a b o u t her a n d s p o r t s c l u b s n a m e d after her... Five years later O l g a K o r b u t retired f r o m t o p sport, saying that she had a c c o m p l i s h e d all that she w a s c a p a b l e of. W h a t w a s t h e new quality t h a t O l g a K o r b u t b r o u g h t to g y m n a s t i c s ? At t h e 1968 M e x i c o O l y m p i c s t h e Soviet g y m nasts p e r f o r m e d less w e l l t h a n usual a n d o n c e again t h e title of a l l - r o u n d i n d i v i d u a l c h a m p i o n was lost as it had been in T o k y o . Major c h a n g e s n e e d e d t o be m a d e in t h e team. S o o n after t h e M e x i c o City Games at t h e O l y m p i c Hopefulls junior competitions the fourteen-year-old Olga Korbut performed an exercise that had n o p r e c e d e n t the somersault on the balance beam. One of t h e e x p e r t s said t o her c o a c h at t h e t i m e : " A thesis c o u l d be w r i t t e n about that somersault and about how y o u a c h i e v e d it!.. This is a n e w f e a t u r e in g y m n a s t i c s ! " B u t t h e c o a c h d i d not w r i t e a thesis. He c o n t i n u e d w o r k i n g w i t h t h e g i r l : t h i s n e w f e a t u r e w a s not yet s u f f i c i e n t ly e s t a b l i s h e d . There w e r e t h e s c e p t i c s t o o . "It's p o i n t l e s s , " they s h o o k t h e i r heads. " S h e ..will never m a s t e r t h a t s o m e r s a u l t to be able t o p e r f o r m it safely at i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o m p e t i t i o n s . It is s i m p l y i m p o s s i b l e ! " Her c o a c h , however, did not give in, but persisted w i t h his w o r k . If it had c o m e r i g h t o n c e , it w o u l d c o m e r i g h t a g a i n a n d again, it had been c a u g h t a n d o n l y h a d to be held o n t o ! A n d O l g a ? S h e believed her c o a c h a n d left him to think about what could and w h a t c o u l d not be d o n e in g y m n a s t i c s . T h e secret of her success lay not only in her natural gifts. At first p e r h a p s her c o a c h was l o o k i n g f o r " m a t e r i a l " : a t i n y w i s p of a girl... Her l i g h t w e i g h t e n a b l e d her to fly in the air as t h o u g h she h a d o v e r c o m e t h e f o r c e of g r a v i t y a n d w a s s u s p e n d e d in space, w h i l e her e x c e l l e n t c o o r d i n a t i o n of movement helped the gymnast to land

Soviet Sport accurately. B u t of all t h e slender, f r a g i l e a n d m o b i l e boys a n d girls w h o c a m e to t r a i n , O l g a K o r b u t was t h e first to p e r f o r m t h e s o m e r s a u l t o n t h e beam. T o d o w h a t n o - o n e in t h e w o r l d h a d h i t h e r t o a t t e m p t e d called f o r p a r t i c u l a r d a r i n g . T h e sort of d a r i n g which w o u l d d i s m i s s t h e mean little t h o u g h t t h a t if n o - o n e had ever d o n e it, p e r h a p s it was, after all, an i m p o s s i b l e feat a n d n o t w o r t h a t t e m p t i n g ? O l g a set o u t t o achieve it, she h a d n o doubts. The somersault on the beam w a s o n l y t h e b e g i n n i n g . A f t e r it c a m e t h e " b i g d i a g o n a l " a volley of acr o b a t i c e l e m e n t s f r o m o n e e n d of t h e floor to the other w h i c h the gymnast p e r f o r m e d t o m u s i c as t h o u g h she were d a n c i n g a n d then the unique e l e m e n t o n t h e bars w h i c h w e n t into t h e t e x t b o o k s o n g y m n a s t i c s as " t h e Korbut loop". S h e was n o m o r e t h a n seventeen w h e n she b e c a m e w o r l d - f a m o u s . W h a t d o m o s t girls k n o w at that a g e ? S c h o o l , friends, a m a t e u r activities at s o m e c l u b a n d o t h e r diversions... At seventeen O l g a k n e w h a r d w o r k , inspiration, responsibility, t h e j o y of v i c t o r y a n d m a n y o t h e r t h i n g s that not every a d u l t has e x p e r i e n c e d . O l g a K o r b u t w a s o n e of t h e f e w pioneer s p o r t s w o m e n s h e was both a p i o n e e r a n d an artist. This rare a n d f o r t u n a t e c o m b i n a t i o n of t a l e n t s b o t h h e l p e d a n d h i n d e r e d her: t h e creative i m p u l s e b r i m m e d over in her, her i m p e t u o u s j o y t u r n e d into f r u s t r a t i o n , falls a n d tears. She w a n t e d so m u c h not o n l y to be t h e c h a m p i o n but t h e a l l - r o u n d c h a m p i o n , but in her m a n y duets and duels with Lyudmila T u r i s h c h e v a she played her role w i t h i n s p i r a t i o n a n d ... lost. In t h o s e years w h e n O l g a K o r b u t w a s at t h e h e i g h t of her p o w e r s t h e r e was n o athlete like her in t h e n a t i o n a l g y m n a s t i c s team. But s o m e w h e r e in t h e c o u n t r y Masha Filatova, Lena M u k h i n a , Natasha S h a p o s h n i k o v a a n d

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o t h e r s were g r o w i n g u p a n d g o i n g to t r a i n i n g sessions... A n d s o o n the s o m e r s a u l t o n t h e beam was n o longer u n i q u e , t h e " K o r b u t l o o p " was b e i n g p e r f o r m e d in a n e w way a n d t h e " b i g d i a g o n a l " a c r o b a t i c s w e r e bec o m i n g even m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d . The a r g u m e n t s a b o u t w h a t w o m e n gymnasts s h o u l d a n d s h o u l d not d o died d o w n a n d w e r e f o r g o t t e n . Because progress in s p o r t as in any other field of e n d e a v o u r c a n n o t be s t o p p e d .

Soviet athletes admitted to the Olympic Order: Medved, A l e x a n d e r wrestling Mukhina, Y e l e n a gymnastics Turishcheva, Lyudmilagymnastics Skoblikova, Lydiya skating Saneyev, Victor athletics Kulakova, G a l i n a skiing Shalibashvili, Sergei diving Smirnov, V l a d i m i r fencing Rodnina, I r i n a f i g u r e skating Yashin, L e v f o o t b a l l

The Sensation of Flying

G a l y a Chistyakova grew up in Izmail, a small t o w n on the Danube. Her father was second engineer on a steamer. For his small daughter the special treat she always looked forward to w h e n he returned to port was t o g o on ship. Her mother was in charge of a kindergarten. She had been rather g o o d at sport in her younger days and for this reason decided to send her daughter to a sports school. During those years Galya not only worked hard to improve herself as an athlete, but coached the young children w h o lived nearby. "I always wanted to teach children," she said. "That's why I rounded up all the children in the yard and began to w o r k w i t h them as soon as I started at the sports school. We were always organizing competitions t o find out w h o c o u l d run fastest, j u m p furthest and climb a tree in the shortest time. And, of course, we ourselves made the medals w h i c h we awarded the cham-

pions on our street. (Galina Chistyakova realized her ambition: she graduated f r o m the Central Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow and got her coach's diploma.) While she was studying at the sports school Galya was five times w i n n e r of the All-Union competitions for girls and in 1979 when she was 17, she set a USSR record for j u n i o r s in the long j u m p 6.43 metres. After these early successes however, t h i n g s didn't go so smoothly for a time. She had to make the difficult transition from the j u n i o r to the adult team. Galya knew that she could not expect anything higher than eighth place in the national team. She had to be patient and wait until she was able to c o m p e t e against the strongest on equal terms. The waiting was not easy. Galya got married w h e n she was 19 and a year later her daughter Irina was born. Everyone believed that Chistyakova w o u l d give up sport but she started training again only 20 days

The Victor's Podium after t h e birth of her d a u g h t e r a n d in t h r e e m o n t h s h a d r e g a i n e d her f o r m . To all a p p e a r a n c e s s h e s e e m e d t o be l e a d i n g a h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l a n d happy life: she c o m b i n e d h o m e - k e e p i n g w i t h her studies at t h e i n s t i t u t e a n d her t r a i n i n g in t r a c k a n d f i e l d a t h l e t i c s w i t h o u t any a p p a r e n t strain. She pref e r r e d not t o talk a b o u t her p r o b l e m s . Only o n c e in an i n t e r v i e w w i t h a j o u r n a l i s t d i d she a d m i t : "I am h a v i n g a very h a r d t i m e in sport..." W h e n pressed by t h e i n t e r v i e w e r she t a l k e d a b o u t s o m e of t h e d r a m a t i c incidents which had preceded the r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g j u m p s she a c h i e v e d in 1985 w i t h s u c h a p p a r e n t ease. C h i s t y a k o v a was very keen t o c o m p e t e In t h e 1983 USSR S p a r t a k i a d , but to get into t h e t e a m she h a d t o c o m e first or s e c o n d at t h e M o s c o w Spartakiad. However, she o n l y c a m e t h i r d , l o s i n g to her nearest rival by n o m o r e than a centimetre. In 1984, Galya t w i c e i m p r o v e d o n t h e USSR o u t d o o r r e c o r d , e x t e n d i n g her j u m p t o 7.29 metres. A f t e r a h a r d f i g h t she w o n a place in t h e t e a m w h i c h w a s t o take part in t h e F r i e n d s h i p - 8 4 c o m p e t i t i o n s . This w a s her internat i o n a l d e b u t as an a d u l t a n d many c o n s i d e r e d that it p r o v e d t o be somet h i n g of a d i s a p p o i n t m e n t . Her result of 7.11 metres p u t her in t h i r d place b e h i n d Heike D a u t e - D r e c h s l e r and H e l g a Radtke of East G e r m a n y . Not

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m a n y p e o p l e k n e w that C h i s t y a k o v a was forced to withdraw from the final a t t e m p t s b e c a u s e of a m u s c l e s p a s m in her leg. A f t e r t h i s it w a s o b v i o u s t h a t she w o u l d have t o t a k e a p r o p e r rest a n d c u l t i v a t e positive t h i n k i n g . B u t she c o u l d not f o r c e herself t o f o r g e t a b o u t her r e c e n t failure. W h e n she a r r i v e d in A l u s h t a o n t h e B l a c k Sea, Galya o p t e d f o r t h e s t a d i u m rather t h a n t h e b e a c h a n d t r a i n e d t h e r e t w i c e a day. In F e b r u a r y 1985, t h e USSR T r a c k a n d Field W i n t e r C h a m p i o n s h i p s w e r e held in Kishinev. Galya t u n e d herself t o w i n a n d j u m p e d 7.25 metres. T h i s result w o n C h i s t y a k o v a t h e title of w o r l d r e c o r d - h o l d e r in t h e i n d o o r l o n g j u m p . T h e f o l l o w i n g m o n t h in A t h e n s she became European Champion with a result of 7.02 metres a n d in t h e A u g u s t of t h a t year she w o n t h e E u r o p e a n C u p w h e n she j u m p e d 7.28 m e t r e s at t h e L u z h n i k i S t a d i u m in Moscow. "Can you remember your j u m p s ? " "Of c o u r s e . W h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e s my j u m p is t h e l e n g t h of t i m e I h o v e r in t h e air. T h i s is i n c o r r e c t , but I like t h e s e n s a t i o n . It is as t h o u g h I a m f l y i n g a n d I e x p e r i e n c e a f e e l i n g of rapture. V y a c h e s l a v S o k o l o v , my, c o a c h , says: ' Y o u are o n l y in c o n t r o l of y o u r s e l f as far as t h e take-off b o a r d a n d t h e n y o u leave t h e rest t o fate.' N o w I am l e a r n i n g t o c o n t r o l my j u m p f r o m t h e very first t o t h e very last m o m e n t . . . "

13-11

To Make the Shot Fly

I n 1975, Natasha Lisovskayaat that time she was in the tenth f o r m of her s c h o o l in T a s h k e n t w a s first invited t o an Olympic reserve training c a m p in the t o w n of Podolsk near Moscow. In the m o r n i n g she went o n t o the c o u r t and w i t h o u t realizing it, s t o o d in the place normally o c c u p i e d by the f a m o u s discus t h r o w e r Faina Melnik, w i n n e r of the 1972 M u n i c h Olympics. A little later Melnik herself arrived, surprised to find "her place" o c c u p i e d by an u n k n o w n girl w h o d i d n ' t in the least look like a discus t h r o w e r Natasha was then 185 cm tall and w e i g h e d 70 kg. The discus stubbornly refused to do what the girl wanted and kept landing m u c h nearer than the line she was aiming for. Faina began to feel sorry for the y o u n g girl. " Y o u ' r e not holding the discus correctly and your swing is not quite right..." By the end of the t r a i n i n g session w h e n Lisovskaya had t h r o w n the discus beyond the 45-metre line, 5

metres further than her best ever result, both were well pleased w i t h each other. The f o l l o w i n g year Natasha enrolled as a student at the Moscow Institute of Physical Culture but it wasn't until the b e g i n n i n g of the second term that she b r o u g h t herself to phone Melnik and remind her of their " j o i n t " training session at Podolsk. Faina asked her a lot of questions about the institute and her studies and then a n n o u n c e d that any day now she w o u l d be starting training. "You c o m e too. We'll train together," the Olympic C h a m p i o n invited the girl. Melnik did m u c h more than teach her 18-year-old p u p i l the technique of discus t h r o w i n g and shot-putting. She became not only her teacher-tutor, but even her dietician... Faina Melnik was succeeded by Yakov Beltser, and Natasha whose hard w o r k and quick mastery of the technique of t h r o w i n g suprised her coaches, began to make rapid progress. Her victories followed one after the other: at the

The Victor's Podium USSR C h a m p i o n s h i p s , t h e W o r l d Student Games, at t h e USSR-Great Britain a n d t h e U S S R - t h e U n i t e d States Track Meets. In May 1984, Natalya Lisovskaya b e c a m e t h e USSR o u t d o o r r e c o r d - h o l d e r a n d e x a c t l y a w e e k later set a w o r l d r e c o r d w h e n she put t h e shot 22.53 metres. L i s o v s k a y a e n d e d t h e season w i t h her v i c t o r y at t h e Friendship-84 c o n t e s t in P r a g u e w h e n she cleared 21.96 metres beating t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n Helena Fibingerova. In t h e m e a n t i m e t h e r e h a d been c h a n g e s in her " t e a m " of coaches. Faina M e l n i k w h o h a d d e c i d e d t o devote herself f u l l - t i m e t o m e d i c i n e (she was a b o u t t o g r a d u a t e f r o m t h e M e d i c a l Institute) gave u p her c o a c h ing w o r k a n d Beltser s t a r t e d training t o g e t h e r w i t h a f i n e specialist of t h e t e c h n i q u e of s h o t - p u t t i n g Lev Mileshin. Natalya Lisovskaya's first a p p e a r a n c e t h e f o l l o w i n g s e a s o n w a s at t h e I W o r l d W i n t e r G a m e s in Paris. This event w h i c h e x p e r t s refer t o as t h e u n o f f i c i a l W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s was held in J a n u a r y w h e n athletes are far f r o m b e i n g in t h e i r best f o r m . "When the trial throws started," Natasha said, "Ines M u l l e r f r o m t h e German Democratic Republic who c a m e f o u r t h in P r a g u e last year, put t h e shot f u r t h e r t h a n 18 metres. That s e e m e d a very l o n g way t o me... I even c a u g h t my breath. N o t h i n g w e n t right f o r me. M o r e o v e r t h e c i r c l e w a s as slippery as a p a r q u e t f l o o r . I r u b b e d rosin o n my s o l e s b u t t h e n they w e r e t o o sticky a n d my m o v e m e n t s b e c a m e j e r k y a n d uneven... The c o m p e t i t i o n started. M u l l e r was in t h e lead. Finally I m a n a g e d t o equalize her best r e s u l t 1 9 . 5 0 . B u t overall I h a d lost w h e r e a s she h a d a d d e d to her s c o r e h e r result s t o o d at 19.68! T h e last a t t e m p t . I w a s so n e r v o u s that

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I a l m o s t froze. I was only a w a r e that t h e s h o t w a s in t h e air: if t h e y h a d given me one more trialthe s e v e n t h I c o u l d not even have held t h e s h o t in my h a n d s I h a d n o m o r e s t r e n g t h left. W h e n I w a s b a c k in M o s c o w , f r i e n d s w h o h a d seen t h e event o n t e l e v i s i o n told me that I looked at the scoreboard and jumped for joy when I saw 20.07 l i g h t up..." T h e f u l l e x t e n t of Lisovskaya's skill b e c a m e e v i d e n t at t h e E u r o p e a n C u p w h i c h w a s held in M o s c o w ' s L u z h n i k i S t a d i u m in 1985. At her first a t t e m p t t h e s h o t f l e w b e y o n d t h e 2 0 - m e t r e line a n d e a c h of her f o l l o w i n g a t t e m p t s w a s m o r e s u c c e s s f u l t h a n t h e last. Natasha's best result was 21.10 metres. She b e c a m e t h e h o l d e r of t h e prestigious trophy. W h a t are Natalya Lisovskaya's prosp e c t s in s p o r t ? Yakov Beltser answered this question: " N a t a s h a d o e s not possess t h e great n a t u r a l s t r e n g t h of Faina M e l n i k f o r e x a m p l e . B u t she has m o r e s t r e n g t h of c h a r a c t e r t h a n most. If she is w e l l p r e p a r e d f o r a c o m p e t i t i o n she c a n c o p e w i t h any eventuality a n d w i l l give of her best. C o n s e q u e n t l y L i s o v s k a y a ' s level of a c h i e v e m e n t is in d i r e c t relat i o n t o t h e a m o u n t of t r a i n i n g she does. " S h e has o n e o t h e r q u a l i t y w h i c h we, her c o a c h e s , a d m i r e very m u c h . S u c cess has n o t s p o i l e d Natasha. T h e k n o w l e d g e that she is o n e of t h e w o r l d ' s t o p t r a c k and f i e l d athletes has not t u r n e d her head: she w o u l d not d r e a m of h o l d i n g f o r t h o n classical m u s i c let us say or g i v i n g a d v i c e o n any s u b j e c t as " s t a r s " are o f t e n i n c l i n e d t o do. She is t h e s a m e N a t a s h a Lisovskaya w h o is h a p p y w h e n she has t h e c h a n c e of i n v i t i n g friends round and getting them to s a m p l e real Uzbek pilaff."

13

The Athlete from Siberia

I n 1975, thirteen-year-old Vitya Solodov j o i n e d the w e i g h t l i f t i n g class of the children's sports school in the Siberian t o w n of Myski. His natural ability immediately attracted the attent i o n of his tutors. "That one will go far," the c o a c h Victor Reinbold announced. But after only t w o months of t r a i n i n g the talented lad disappeared. "Where's Victor got t o ? " a w o r r i e d Reinbold asked the boy's friends. "His b a l l r o o m dancing timetable has been changed and he can't be everywhere at once. Solodov likes his d a n c i n g classes more than anything else," the children explained. As it t u r n e d out they were absolutely right. This boy w h o was naturally gifted w i t h exceptional strength, spent long evenings in the t o w n ' s Palace of Culture being initiated into the secrets of the waltz, the tango and the charlston. Reinbold spent t w o years trying to persuade Victor to return to weightlifting: he invited him to competitions, talked to his parents, gave him

magazine articles about c h a m p i o n s and record-holders and forced him to read b o o k s written by Arkady Vorobyov, Leonid Zhabotinsky, Yakov Kutsenko, Rudolf Plyukfelder and Yury Vlasov... Finally he got his way. On the 18th August 1977 the fifteen-year-old ballroom d a n c i n g enthusiast once again presented himself in the hall w h i c h resounded t o the clang of barbells d r o p p i n g to the floor. It took him no more than t w o years to qualify as a Master of Sport (under 75 kg weight category) and become the USSR J u n i o r C h a m p i o n . Over the next t w o years he moved up to the under 90 kg w e i g h t category and qualified as Master of Sport International Class (170+215 kg). The time of the VIII Summer USSR S p a r t a k i a d t r a d i t i o n a l l y a big festive occasion in the physical culture calend a r d r e w near and Victor Solodov was already considered to be one of the principal contenders for victory in his weight category. However, he had a number of p o w e r f u l rivals: Victor

The Victor's Podium Marusov f r o m B r y a n s k , Alexei G l u k h o v from Moscow, Vladimir Petrenko from Kazakhstan... B u t in t h e e n d it came d o w n to a duel b e t w e e n V i c t o r Solodov a n d Israil A r s a m a k o v f r o m G r o z n y w h o was t h e s a m e age, had w o n t h e title of W o r l d J u n i o r C h a m p i o n only t h e day b e f o r e a n d w a s in t o p form. S o l o d o v was u n l u c k y at t h e start: he got s t u c k at his first a t t e m p t at the s n a t c h a n d lifted o n l y 177.5 kilog r a m m e s w h e r e a s A r s a m a k o v lifted 182.5 k i l o g r a m m e s . All those who were w a t c h i n g t h i s d u e l of s t r e n g t h believed that t h e o u t c o m e h a d already been d e c i d e d . M o r e o v e r Israil was lighter t h a n V i c t o r a n d he w o u l d have t h e advantage if they b o t h had t h e same total. T h i s m e a n t that S o l o d o v not only had t o c a t c h u p w i t h but o v e r t a k e his o p p o n e n t w h o h a d f o r g e d ahead. A n d t h e g a p after t h e first m o v e m e n t w a s a b i g o n e 5 kilogrammes. It is to V i c t o r ' s c r e d i t that he d i d not falter in t h i s very d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n . He began the clean and jerk carefully 212.5 k i l o g r a m m e s a n d c o p e d w i t h t h i s e n o r m o u s w e i g h t q u i t e easily. A r s a m a k o v w e n t u p t o 215 but f i x e d t h e bar only at t h e t h i r d a t t e m p t . After t h i s it w a s q u i t e o b v i o u s w h a t t a c t i c s S o l o d o v w o u l d have t o a d o p t . Israil's total of 397.5 k i l o g r a m m e s had t o be overtaken. V i c t o r d i d not achieve t h i s i m m e d i a t e l y h o w e v e r . He c a u g h t up w i t h his rival at t h e s e c o n d a t t e m p t a n d j e r k e d 222.5 k i l o g r a m m e s at t h e deciding attempt, achieving the round s u m of 400 in t h e t w o lifts! On that m e m o r a b l e e v e n i n g he was a w a r d e d t h e g o l d medal as C h a m p i o n of t h e VIII S u m m e r S p a r t a k i a d a n d his c o a c h V i c t o r R e i n b o l d w o n a g o l d medal for t r a i n i n g the w i n n e r . The t w o S i b e r i a n s w e r e c o n g r a t u l a t e d on all sides. However, Solodov's a c h i e v e m e n t w a s not all that significant; he was still a whole 20 k i l o g r a m m e s s h o r t of t h e w o r l d

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r e c o r d . T h e r e was plenty t o t h i n k a b o u t b e f o r e t h e next c o n t e s t b e t w e e n t h e w o r l d ' s s t r o n g e s t men. W a s it w o r t h sending the Siberian to major i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o m p e t i t i o n s ? In s p i t e of e v e r y t h i n g t h e c o a c h e s of t h e n a t i o n a l t e a m h a d f a i t h in S o l o d o v a n d his great p o t e n t i a l . A n d they w e r e not wrong. At t h e 1983 W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s w h i c h w e r e held in M o s c o w , V i c t o r w a s t o meet o n e of his s t r o n g e s t opponents, the Bulgarian Blagoi B l a g o e v w h o had t w i c e w o n t h e title of W o r l d C h a m p i o n , h a d w o n t h e W o r l d C u p a n d set a l m o s t t w e n t y w o r l d records. A n d t h i s f i g h t e r c o n fronted Victor Solodov w h o was maki n g his d e b u t in top-level c o m p e t i tions. It is h a r d l y s u p r i s i n g that t h e Bulg a r i a n w o n w i t h a c o n v i n c i n g t o t a l of 417.5 kg (190+227.5). B u t Solodov w a s c l o s e o n his heels. He a c h i e v e d his best ever results in e a c h of t h e m o v e m e n t s ( 1 8 5 + 2 2 5 kg), i m p r o v i n g o n his S p a r t a k i a d p e r f o r m a n c e by 10 k i l o g r a m m e s , a n d s e t t i n g his first w o r l d r e c o r d w i t h a 230 kg c l e a n a n d j e r k at t h e f o u r t h attempt. " S o l o d o v is a s u p e r b s p o r t s m a n a n d I believe t h a t he has a great f u t u r e b e f o r e h i m . Never have I had t o p u t so m u c h e f f o r t i n t o w i n n i n g as I d i d today. I look forward to meeting him again on the platform," the thrice W o r l d C h a m p i o n Blagoi B l a g o e v said at a press c o n f e r e n c e . T h i s m e e t i n g t o o k place at t h e 1984 E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s w h e n S o l o d o v g o t his r e v e n g e a n d beat his e x p e r i e n c e d o p p o n e n t f o r t h e first t i m e . T h e s c o r e of t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l e n c o u n t e r s n o w s t o o d at 1:1, a n d w e i g h t l i f t i n g ent h u s i a s t s a w a i t e d w i t h interest t h e n e x t m e e t i n g of these t w o s t r o n g men. It t o o k p l a c e in t h e a u t u m n of t h a t year, at t h e F r i e n d s h i p - 8 4 c o n t e s t w h i c h w a s held in V a r n a in B u l g a r i a . Before the middle-heavyweight contest t h e r e w a s m u c h talk in t h e press

Soviet Sport centre about Blagoev's splendid form and unbeatable strength. Bulgarian j o u r n a l i s t s m a i n t a i n e d t h a t he w a s ready to lift 200 k i l o g r a m m e s in t h e s n a t c h a n d set a w o r l d r e c o r d in t h e c l e a n a n d jerk. All t h i s talk r e a c h e d V i c t o r ' s ears of course, b u t he behaved as t h o u g h it d i d n o t c o n c e r n h i m . A l w a y s c a l m , u n r u f f l e d a n d spari n g of w o r d s , he literally w i t h d r e w i n t o h i m s e l f a n d d i d not react t o o u t s i d e irritations. Finally t h e day of t h e d u e l arrived. T h e Soviet athlete had a s u r p r i s e in s t o r e f o r his o p p o n e n t even b e f o r e they w e n t o n t o t h e p l a t f o r m . At t h e w e i g h ing B l a g o e v t i p p e d t h e scales at 89.4 k i l o g r a m m e s and Solodov at 89.3. T h e d r a w f a v o u r e d V i c t o r t o o : he w e n t o n t o t h e p l a t f o r m after Blagoev. B l a g o e v started w i t h 180 k i l o g r a m m e s . After him Solodov stabilized the same w e i g h t . T h e bar was t h e n i n c r e a s e d to 190 k i l o g r a m m e s . The B u l g a r i a n s k i p p e d t h i s w e i g h t a n d t h e Soviet a t h l e t e c a m e o n t o t h e p l a t f o r m . At t h e s e c o n d attempt Victor made a technical error b u t s u c c e e d e d brilliantly at t h e t h i r d . N o w it w a s u p t o his rival. B l a g o e v still h a d t w o a t t e m p t s . He a s k e d f o r 195 k i l o g r a m m e s . As an a c k n o w l e d g e d master of t h e s n a t c h he had more than once had occasion to lift t h i s w e i g h t , but t h i s t i m e t h e B u l g a r i a n c o u l d n ' t m a n a g e it. He w a s

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o b v i o u s l y u n a b l e t o c o n t r o l his nervousness. Having seized t h e lead, S o l o d o v w a s master of t h e s i t u a t i o n . His great s t r e n g t h w a s t h e c l e a n a n d jerk a n d S o l o d o v c o n f i r m e d t h i s yet again in brilliant style, l i f t i n g 233 k i l o g r a m m e s at his third attemptan unprec e d e n t e d a c h i e v e m e n t for an athlete in this w e i g h t c a t e g o r y . His t w o lifts t o t a l w a s an o u t s t a n d i n g 422.5! T h u s , in o n e e v e n i n g , V i c t o r S o l o d o v set t w o w o r l d records. T h e s p e c t a t o r s gave h i m a s t a n d i n g o v a t i o n . The B u l g a r i a n n e w s p a p e r Naroden Sport w r o t e n e x t day that t h e Soviet athlete S o l o d o v had w o n over t h e a u d i e n c e w i t h his demonstration of s u p e r l a t i v e skill, courage and the will to win. Not w i t h o u t reason d o they say that h o w e v e r d i f f i c u l t it is t o achieve a w o r l d r e c o r d , it is even m o r e d i f f i c u l t to h o l d o n t o it. T h i s requires c o u r a g e a n d d e t e r m i n a t i o n . V i c t o r S o l o d o v was to f i n d t h i s o u t f o r h i m s e l f in 1985. On two occasionsat the European C h a m p i o n s h i p s in K a t o w i c e in P o l a n d a n d at t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Sodertalje in S w e d e n he proved conclusively that there was no stronger athlete in the middleh e a v y w e i g h t c a t e g o r y . At neither event c o u l d any of his o p p o n e n t s lift a heavier w e i g h t . V i c t o r S o l o d o v has many a w a r d s in his c o l l e c t i o n but not as yet an O l y m p i c one.

The Hearts of Four

The brilliant p e r f o r m a n c e of the Soviet relay team of " t h e snow snipers" at the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo was not in itself a sensation. The four biathletes were only continuing the tradition started in 1968 when the 4 x 7 . 5 - k i l o m e t r e biathlon relay was first included in the Winter Olympics programme. All the f o u r Olympic rac e s G r e n o b l e (1968), S a p p o r o (1972), Innsbruck (1976) and Lake Placid (1980) w e r e w o n by the USSR skiers and one of t h e m A l e x a n d e r T i k h o n o v t o o k part on each occasion. But in Sarajevo it was a new team of y o u n g Olympic sportsmen making their debut: it was their h o n o u r and privilege to carry on the tradition started by their f a m o u s predecessors. The relay race was held on the 17th February 1984. The main rivals of the Soviet biathletes were the Norwegians

and the East G e r m a n s a t r a d i t i o n w h i c h w e n t back several years. The coaches ..decided t o let Dmitry Vasilyev f r o m Leningrad start and he acquitted himself extremely well. He tore along the ski-track like a true sprinter, shot like an experienced hunter and gave Yury Kashkarov f r o m Sverdlovsk more than a m i n u t e in hand w h e n he set off on the second stage! Yury tore along to the first f i r i n g line, lay d o w n in the snow, checked his breathing and took aim... The first shot was dead on target and the second too. The black spot remained intact after the third and f o u r t h shots but the fifth hit the target. But Yury was on the verge of trouble: he had to use the three extra cartridges w i t h o u t m a k i n g a mistake otherwise he incurred the penalty of one or possibly t w o 150-metre detours.

Soviet Sport But the newcomer did not falter. He showed great strength of will and presence of mind and continued the course without having to make the penalty detour. The East German Frank-Peter Roetsch had, however, closed the gap by half a minute. At the second firing line where the skier shoots in the standing position, Kashkarov was quite composed and fired five cartridges as t h o u g h from a submachine-gun. The first to move off at the third stage was Algis Salna the biathlete from Vilnius with a 30-second lead over the East German Matthias Jakob. Salna is an outstanding skier but sometimes makes mistakes in the shooting. This time too he had to use an extra cartridge at the first firing line and at the second (the standing position) three targets remained intact after five shots! Three extra cartridges can be used at the second firing line and Salna w h o hit only one target incurred two penalty detours at once. He tore along the track trying to make amends. Victory which in the early stages of the race seemed within sight, was about to slip from the grasp of the Soviet team. Jakob and behind him the Norwegian Storsveen w h o had done their shooting, were flying on ahead to the finishing line of their stage. Gathering all his strength, Salna threw himself in pursuit and actually managed to overtake Storsveen. However, he finished 20 seconds behind the East German. The Siberian Sergei Bulygin entered the fight at the last stage of the race. He had a difficult task ahead of him he had to measure his strength against Frank Ullrich himself, the famous East German biathlete, Olympic and World Championships gold medallist. The two opponents reached the shooting range at the same time. Sergei's shots were all on target, but Ullrich had to use an extra cartridge and the situation altered very slightly

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in favour of the Soviet team. Bulygin arrived at the next firing line 30 seconds ahead of Soebak. Ullrich was now hopelessly behind. Sergei fired like a sniper and flew along the ski-track as t h o u g h on wings. For the fifth time in succession the Soviet biathletes celebrated an Olympic victory. The tradition which began in the far-off sixties was continued at Sarajevo. For one and a half hours these four racing skiers, so different in character, age and fighting tactics, became a single e n t i t y a team. Their hearts beat in the same rhythm and that is why no-one could overtake them. Nevertheless a team is made up of people. One, two, three, four individuals. Let us get to know them better. Yury Kashkarov was born in the Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiisk where he took his first steps on the ski-track. His coach, Nikolai Bondarev, who saw that this obstinate lad possessed exceptional talent, advised him to continue his studies in Sverdlovsk, a large industrial town in the Urals which has all the facilities for a sportsman to improve his skills. His coach was not mistaken: today Kashkarov, Merited Master of Sport, is USSR Champion, World Champion and Olympic gold medallist. And he won all these titles at the age of twenty. Yury is a man of few words. He does not like talking about himself and whenever he has to speak anywhere, he always starts his interview by discussing his coaches. "I have several teachers: there is the national team coach and the coach with the Dynamo club in Sverdlovsk. My very first coach was Nikolai Bondarev and he is the most important of all. In six years I have never missed a single training session with him. He has always been my best adviser and what is m o r e a real friend. He is

The Victor's Podium always a welcome guest of the family." Kashkarov's coach in Sverdlovsk was Vladimir Putrov, a teacher at the sports boarding-school where Yury studied. The boy quickly grasped the normal school subjects and quickly mastered the skills of the biathlete. Twice, in 1982 and 1983, he won the Junior World Championships. In 1983, as a member of the adult team, he also became World Champion in the relay race. Yury commands considerable authority among his team-mates. He is always reliable. His modesty never prevents him from acting according to his principles in all situations. His principles even dictated the choice of the future profession Kashkarov graduated from a college where firemen are trained. "The profession of fireman," he explained, "is one of the noblest and most honourable. I am proud that I shall be entrusted with the responsibility of saving the lives of people w h o are in danger and of saving the nation's property. Firemen are always in action, even on quiet days. They are called fighters on the fire front with good reason. To win on this front requires fortitude and great physical fitnessthe very qualities which are essential in the biathlon and which the biathlon helps to develop..." Dmitry Vasilyev is from Leningrad and a year older than Kashkarov. He considers that he became a biathlete purely by chance. When he was little he was mad about skiing, just like his elder brother. His brother "also took him to a sports school. He would probably have remained a "pure" racing skier had he not one day been sent to a training camp where he got to know "the shooting skiers". They liked the newcomer's light, skilful skiing technique. "Now try and shoot," they suggested. Dmitry hit all
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five targets at the first attempt. Vasilyev's fate was decided there and then. That was in 1981. Only three years later, in 1984, Dmitry Vasilyev, student at the Lasgaft Institute of Physical Culture, became Champion at the Olympic Games... Sergei Bulygin was born and brought up in a small village in Siberia. There were three brothers. The boys grew up to be independent, they learned the meaning of work at an early age and knew the value of being physically fit. In Siberia, particularly in the villages, skis are part of the everyday equipment of the local people, to say nothing of the boys. The Bulygin brothers became first-rate skiers and w o n prizes at district and regional competitions. Sergei first discovered what the biathlon was when his elder brother Leonid was called up for military service. Leonid wrote what a fascinating sport it was and how it helped to develop a real manly character. Following in Leonid's footsteps, the middle brother Victor put his strength to the test and with a fair,.degree of success: he is now a Master of Sport, International Class. For Sergei, as he himself says, there was no option he had to uphold the family tradition. And he was highly successful. At the 1983 World Championships at Anterselva in the Italian Alps he w o n the gold medal in the team relay race. At the Sarajevo Winter Olympics the twenty-year-old officer Sergei Bulygin saved the situation and brought his team to the victory they had very nearly lost. Algis Salna became a devoted skier when he was a small child in the village of Vinciskes in Lithuania. He became one of the best racing skiers in Lithuania. In 1979, his coach Algirdas Jonkubauskas advised him to go

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in for the biathlon and in less than t w o years Algis was c o n t e n d i n g for a place in the national team. Salna became Champion in the relay at the 1983 World Championships. A year later he was at Sarajevo.

For the present that is all there is to say about these y o u n g men who carried on the tradition of their famous predecessors. For the present. Because they are y o u n g and the career of a biathlete is often a long one.

T h e world record set by the discus thrower Yury Dumchev came as a surprise to everyone, or to be more exact, to almost everyone. For many years Yury and his coach Alexei Ivanov had w o r k e d t o w a r d s this event, planned it and believed that it w o u l d eventually happen. Nevertheless his record came like a bolt f r o m the blue. It happened on the 29th May 1983 at the Moscow Spartakiad in the Luzhniki Stadium. Dumchev's discus flew 71 metres 86 c e n t i m e t r e s m o r e than half a metre further than the previous w o r l d record held for five years by the East German athlete Wolfgang Schmidt. The long duration of the previous record is another indication of Dumchev's significant achievement. That summer Yury completed his fourth year at the Institute of Physical Culture and in August he celebrated his twenty-fifth b i r t h d a y t h e age at w h i c h a discus t h r o w e r is at the height of his powers. The account of his principal victory at the Friendship84 tournament comes later, meanwhile
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let us do back several years t o the time w h e n Yury was still a teenager and just e m b a r k i n g on sport. He lived in a small village. In winter the boys w o u l d flood the rink in front of the school and start chasing the p u c k as soon as the water froze over. Recalling those years Yury j o k e d : T h e y always put me at the goalposts because I covered the goal completely." He might have gone on playing ice-hockey had he not one day seen a television programme about boys putt i n g the shot. "I t h o u g h t to myself: I o u g h t to try that. After all, I'm taller than they are." He arrived in Moscow in 1974 having read an a n n o u n c e m e n t in the paper Sovetsky sport that the entrance examinations to the c h i l d r e n ' s and y o u n g people's sports school were being held. Yura's performance in the various tests was not impressive. He ran 60 metres in 8.5 seconds and even the girls beat him in the triple j u m p . He only managed to t h r o w the 5-kg shot 10 metres. All in all he was

Soviet Sport r e j e c t e d by t h e s e l e c t i o n b o a r d . For s o m e reason, however, he t o o k t h e f a n c y of t h e s c h o o l ' s c o a c h e s a n d they p e r s u a d e d t h e b o a r d m e m b e r s t o a c c e p t t h e lad. Yura d i d not let t h e teachers down, w h o had put their faith in him, a n d he very s o o n b e c a m e t h e best in his g r o u p . By t o d a y ' s s t a n d a r d s D u m c h e v at t h e age of 16 was late in c o m i n g to t r a c k a n d field athletics. B u t n a t u r e h a d e n d o w e d h i m g e n e r o u s l y a n d t h i s is p e r h a p s t h e reason f o r his s u c c e s s as a s p o r t s m a n . S t a n d i n g at a h e i g h t of t w o metres a n d w e i g h i n g m o r e t h a n 130 k i l o g r a m m e s , he can still r u n t h e 100 metres in 11.0 s e c o n d s , j u m p a h e i g h t of 1 metre 85 c e n t i m e t r e s a n d a l e n g t h of six a n d a half metres. H o w ever, his a l l - r o u n d p h y s i c a l t r a i n i n g w a s only t h e f o u n d a t i o n o n w h i c h he a n d his c o a c h built t h e e d i f i c e of f u t u r e v i c t o r i e s a n d records. Yury b e g a n w i t h s h o t - p u t t i n g but in 1976 he t r i e d t h e d i s c u s f o r t h e first t i m e a n d s t r a i g h t off it f l e w b e y o n d t h e f i f t y - m e t r e line! F r o m that t i m e t h r o w i n g the discus became Dumc h e v ' s "star t u r n " a l t h o u g h he d o e s not n e g l e c t t h e shot as a t r a i n i n g t o o l : his i n d i v i d u a l r e c o r d 1 8 metres 38 c e n t i m e t r e s w o u l d not d i s g r a c e a s t r o n g putter. Less t h a n a year after his d i s c u s t h r o w i n g d e b u t , Yury b e c a m e t h e leader of t h e j u n i o r n a t i o n a l t e a m : at t h e j u n i o r t r a c k meets b e t w e e n t h e USSR a n d t h e G e r m a n D e m o c r a t i c R e p u b l i c a n d t h e USSR a n d t h e U n i t e d States he t h r e w t h e d i s c u s f u r t h e r t h a n a n y o n e else. At t h e European C h a m p i o n s h i p s at D o n e t s k t h e r e was no-one to compare with Dumchev. In 1980, he s e c u r e d t h e r i g h t to c o m p e t e in t h e USSR t e a m at t h e G a m e s of t h e XXII O l y m p i a d . Hardw o r k i n g by nature, he d i d not spare himself in t r a i n i n g a n d a p p a r e n t l y o v e r d i d i t h e i n j u r e d his a r m a n d c a m e only fifth in t h e 1980 O l y m p i c s .

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Yury d i d not lose heart, however. S o o n after t h e O l y m p i c s he w o n t h e National C h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d set his first A l l - U n i o n r e c o r d 6 8 metres 16 c e n t i m e t r e s (the best 1980 O l y m p i c discus t h r o w i n g result was 66 metres 64 centimetres). As t i m e w e n t o n t h e athlete a c q u i r e d greater s t r e n g t h a n d m o r e e x p e r i e n c e of c o m p e t i t i o n s . In t h e s p r i n g of 1982 he b r o k e t h e A l l - U n i o n record a seco n d time. He n o w cleared 69 metres 16 c e n t i m e t r e s a n d his d i s c u s landed very close t o t h e flag m a r k i n g t h e w o r l d r e c o r d d i s t a n c e , shortly afterw a r d s it c l e a r e d 69 metres 30 centimetres. T h i s result m o v e d t h e y o u n g t h r o w e r u p t o f o u r t h place in t h e w o r l d r a n k i n g . T h a t was w h e n he a n d his c o a c h gave s e r i o u s t h o u g h t a b o u t h o w best to set a b o u t a c h i e v i n g a w o r l d r e c o r d . They sat d o w n t o g e t h e r a n d w o r k e d o u t that D u m c h e v c o u l d realize his f u l l p o t e n t i a l if he built u p his s t r e n g t h a n d p o w e r a n d a c q u i r e d a m o r e rational t h r o w i n g t e c h n i q u e . His training programme was radically reorganized. Yury w o r k e d u n c e a s i n g l y at w e i g h t l i f t i n g . He lifted 210 k i l o g r a m mes in t h e b e n c h press a n d 220 k i l o g r a m m e s in t h e b a c k squat. Yury also s u f f e r e d f r o m t h e " d i s e a s e " , c o m m o n a m o n g d i s c u s t h r o w e r s , of c l e a r i n g great d i s t a n c e s w h e n he w a s t r a i n i n g . In t h e 1982 season his best result in t r a i n i n g e x c e e d e d 73 metres! But w h e n t h e c o m p e t i t i o n s started t h e d i s c u s c a m e n o w h e r e near t h i s distance. T h e c o a c h a n d his p u p i l solved this difficult problem, however: Yury learned t o h o l d himself in c h e c k a n d in t h e 1983 season d i d not o n c e t h r o w t h e d i s c u s f u r t h e r at a t r a i n i n g session than at a t o u r n a m e n t . This was p r o o f that he h a d m a t u r e d a n d a c q u i r e d valuable e x p e r i e n c e w i t h o u t which one cannot become a world recordholder. Yury D u m c h e v ' s p e r f o r m a n c e in t h e 1984 season w a s very c o n s i s t e n t a n d w h e n t h e day of t h e F r i e n d s h i p t o u r -

The Victor's Podium n a m e n t at t h e C e n t r a l L e n i n S t a d i u m arrived, Yury w e n t o u t o n t o t h e pitch, d e m o n s t r a t e d his s u p e r i o r fighting qualities a n d deservedly w o n . He not only beat s u c h f a m o u s t h r o w e r s as t h e C u b a n J u a n Martinez, t h e East German J u r g e n S c h u l t , t h e W o r l d C h a m pion from Czechoslovakia Imrich

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B u g a r a n d t h e C u b a n Luis M a r i a n o Delis, silver medallist at t h e H e l s i n k i W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s . W h e n he t h r e w t h e d i s c u s 66 metres 70 c e n t i m e t r e s in t h i s rival event w i t h t h e Los A n g e l e s O l y m p i c s , he beat their c h a m p i o n Rolf D a n n e n b e r g f r o m West G e r m a n y by 10 c e n t i m e t r e s .

I n 1980, Oleg Protsenko's name appeared on the lists of the best athletes in the triple j u m p . He was t h i r d in the under-eighteen g r o u p and sixth in the j u n i o r group. Protsenko's result of 15.94 m was not outstanding. Jumpers in the 17-18 age g r o u p usually achieve more. Yet just one year later Oleg p r o d u c e d the best under-twenty-three result not only in the USSR but in the w o r l d ! The then coach of the USSR j u n i o r and youth teams Felix Suslov, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, recalls: "After the All-Union s p r i n g competitions, when he j u m p e d 15.97, OlegProtsenko burst into the under-twentythree national team like a meteor. He was a very independent, happy and I w o u l d g o so far as to say reckless boy. Training and c o m p e t i n g came easily to him, although he was not a consistent performer: g o o d j u m p s alternated with humiliating failures. Nonetheless we decided to give him the privilege of taking part in the

Friendship contest for y o u n g people under 18 f r o m socialist countries. In 1981, this event was held in Debrecen in Hungary. I will not pretend that I did not have certain misgivings about how he w o u l d perform there. However, Oleg's first j u m p proved that they were groundless. It was a remarkable featfast, light and even elegant. It was immediately obvious that the boy had cleared more than 16 metres. But we coaches c o u l d not believe our eyes when the result appeared on the scoreboard 16.68! In other w o r d s Oleg had improved on his individual record by more than 70 centimetres. And this in his first ever international competition. Only an athlete of exceptional talent is capable of that." So, Oleg's success at the symbolically named Friendship competitions was his i n t r o d u c t i o n to t o p sport. Could he have imagined then that three years later he w o u l d celebrate his greatest victory at the contest of the same n a m e a victory w h i c h was to b r i n g

The Victor's Podium yesterday's j u n i o r t h e h i g h e s t s p o r t i n g title in t h e USSR M e r i t e d Master of


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Oleg t o o k up s p o r t in t h e a u t u m n of 1977 w h e n his class-mates persuaded h i m t o j o i n t h e t r a c k a n d field athletics g r o u p run by Vyacheslav L i k h u s h i n , now Merited C o a c h of t h e USSR. If a n y t h i n g d i s t i n g u i s h e d P r o t s e n k o in this g r o u p , it was, by his o w n admission, the fact t h a t he w a s t h e skinniest. It was a p p a r e n t l y his p h y s i q u e which, from the beginning, marked h i m o u t for t h e j u m p e r s ' g r o u p . At first it was t h e h i g h j u m p w h i c h c a u g h t his i m a g i n a t i o n a n d he very s o o n achieved s o m e q u i t e g o o d results. The c o a c h d i d not d i s c o u r a g e t h e boy but made u p his m i n d that later he w o u l d try h i m in t h e t r i p l e j u m p . D e v e l o p i n g his s p e e d a n d s t r e n g t h concurrently, Protsenko, in 1980, cleared 2 metres in t h e h i g h j u m p a n d 15.94 in the t r i p l e j u m p . It was t h e n that his c h o i c e of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n was finally m a d e t h e t r i p l e j u m p . In 1982, Oleg p r o d u c e d c o n s i s t e n t l y h i g h r e s u l t s i n t h e o r d e r of 16.301 6 . 6 0 a n d w o n a n u m b e r of m a j o r c o m p e t i t i o n s a l t h o u g h he also suffered s o m e defeats. B o t h c o a c h and p u p i l were n o w g r a d u a l l y b u i l d i n g up t o a new level of a c h i e v e m e n t , cherishing t h e secret h o p e of t a k i n g part in t h e Games of t h e XXIII O l y m p i a d at Los Angeles. Oleg c e l e b r a t e d 1 9 8 3 t h e year of his t w e n t y - f i f t h b i r t h d a y b y setting an individual r e c o r d . On t h e 7th A u g u s t he cleared 17.27 metres in Kishinev. This result t o o k even t h e e x p e r t s by surprise. T h e r e w e r e of c o u r s e t h e s c e p t i c s w h o w e r e q u i c k to put his a c h i e v e m e n t d o w n t o c h a n c e , but the evidence was incontrovertiblein 1983 P r o t s e n k o w a s f i f t h o n t h e list of the world's top jumpers. B o t h for Oleg himself a n d f o r his c o a c h his 17.27-metre j u m p was not u n e x p e c t e d . It s i m p l y c o n f i r m e d that the t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m m e they had

w o r k e d o u t to prepare f o r t h e O l y m p i c year w a s t h e c o r r e c t one. M o r e o v e r , j u d g i n g by t h e ease w i t h w h i c h he c l e a r e d 17.27 metres, Oleg c o u l d exp e c t t o i m p r o v e f u r t h e r his i n d i v i d u a l r e c o r d in t h e 1983 season. B u t s u d d e n l y he was h e l d u p by i n j u r y : he d a m a g e d t h e l i g a m e n t s of his knee j o i n t w h e n he w a s t r a i n i n g . N o r m a l p h y s i o t h e r a p y d i d n ' t help a n d an o p e r a t i o n proved necessary. Prots e n k o w a s only able t o start t r a i n i n g a g a i n t h r e e a n d a half m o n t h s b e f o r e t h e s e l e c t i o n trials f o r t h e O l y m p i c t e a m . In s u c h a short t i m e it w a s i n c o n c e i v a b l e that he c o u l d m a k e a c o m p l e t e recovery, carry o u t t h e diff i c u l t extensive t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m m e a n d achieve t h e level of his i n d i v i d u a l records. In s u c h s i t u a t i o n s it is usually said t h a t t h e fate of t h e i n d i v i d u a l is in his o w n hands. Fortunately t h e h a n d s of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l w e r e pretty s t r o n g . S t r i v i n g to m a k e u p f o r lost t i m e , Oleg t r a i n e d every day a n d s o m e t i m e s t w i c e a day. He n o t o n l y h a d t o b u i l d up t h e m u s c l e s of his i n j u r e d leg, but develop t o a n e w a n d h i g h e r level t h e physical q u a l i t i e s w h i c h are necessary in a j u m p e r a n d w h i c h had been lost d u r i n g his p e r i o d of e n f o r c e d rest. As a result Oleg had a l m o s t c o m p l e t e ly o v e r c o m e t h e effects of his i n j u r y by t h e t i m e of t h e s p r i n g i n s t r u c t i o n a l t r a i n i n g c a m p . There w a s a h o p e that he w o u l d be able t o take part (and n o m o r e t h a n that!) in t h e s e l e c t i o n trials. T h e t i m e of t h e first c o m p e t i t i o n arrived. In t h e Z n a m e n s k y Brothers Memorial qualifying competitions w h i c h t o o k place in S o c h i at t h e b e g i n n i n g of June, P r o t s e n k o c l e a r e d 16.83 metres. His leg s t o o d t h e s t r a i n ! T h e r e w e r e only t w o w e e k s b e f o r e t h e n e x t s e l e c t i o n trials, but that w a s l o n g e n o u g h f o r Oleg to i m p r o v e his f o r m . T h e p r o v o c a t i v e a c t i o n s of A m e r i c a n p o l i t i c a l i n t r i g u e r s resulted in t h e w i t h d r a w a l f r o m t h e Los A n g e l e s O l y m p i c s

Soviet Sport of s p o r t s m e n f r o m t h e s o c i a l i s t c o u n tries. They d e c i d e d instead t o d e m o n strate t h e i r skills at t h e F r i e n d s h i p - 8 4 competitions. S h o r t l y before t h e m a i n event of t h e season Soviet s p o r t s m e n a n d their c o l l e a g u e s f r o m t h e o t h e r socialist c o u n t r i e s p r o d u c e d a n u m b e r of outs t a n d i n g results. Three w o r l d a n d f o u r USSR r e c o r d s were set in Kiev w h e r e t h e final s e l e c t i o n s w e r e m a d e f o r t h e F r i e n d s h i p - 8 4 t o u r n a m e n t . A n d these w e r e not just t h e a c h i e v e m e n t s of a f e w i n d i v i d u a l s b u t of large n u m b e r s of athletes. Even in t h o s e s p o r t s w h e r e n o r e c o r d s had been set t h e results w e r e of a h i g h s t a n d a r d . G o o d results were also p r o d u c e d in t h e t r i p l e j u m p . Three athletes c l e a r e d m o r e t h a n 17 metres w h i c h is t h e international class threshold. The favourite was the Ukrainian Alexander Yakovlev w h o e x e c u t e d a j u m p of 17.32 metres. Oleg's j u m p s d i d not g o r i g h t at first. The a p p r o a c h r u n was fast but his first a t t e m p t s w e r e t o o c a r e f u l a n d he c o u l d not e x e c u t e t h e j u m p at f u l l s t r e n g t h . It w a s o n l y at o n e of t h e last a t t e m p t s that his a c t i o n b e c a m e fast a n d s m o o t h . One c o u l d even see that t h e athlete h a d " f l o w n " b e y o n d 17.50. After t h e m e a s u r e m e n t s h a d been m a d e t h e j u d g e s a n n o u n c e d the result17.52. Protsenko was o n l y 2 c m short of t h e USSR r e c o r d a n d 5 c m short of t h e E u r o p e a n record! S o he w o n t h e right to t a k e part in t h e Friendship-84 tournament w h i c h was less t h a n t w o m o n t h s away. Fate, however, d e c i d e d t o set Oleg o n e m o r e test: w h e n he t o o k part in t h e " d r e s s rehearsal" at t h e b e g i n n i n g of J u l y he i n j u r e d t h e m u s c l e s of his a n k l e j o i n t . This injury is p a r t i c u l a r l y d a n g e r o u s f o r a t r i p l e j u m p athlete. W h e n he lands after t h e first j u m p t h e h o p h e puts t r e m e n d o u s pressure o n t h e f o o t muscles, a pressure that is equal ten t i m e s t h e w e i g h t of t h e athlete.

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O n c e a g a i n t h e r e was t h e endless m e d i c a l t r e a t m e n t . T h i s t i m e Protsenko d i d not s t o p t r a i n i n g , but instead of t h e special t e c h n i c a l exercises w h i c h are of s u c h vital i m p o r t a n c e before a m a j o r event, he h a d t o c o n t e n t himself with light limbering-up exercises, c r o s s - c o u n t r y runs a n d barbell exercises. The USSR n a t i o n a l t e a m c o a c h e s h a d serious doubts about Protsenko taking part in t h e c o m p e t i t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y in view of t h e fact that t h e r e s e r v e Gennady Valyukevich from M i n s k w a s in e x c e l l e n t f o r m a n d h a d c l e a r e d m o r e t h a n 17.40. However, assured by t h e t e a m ' s d o c t o r s a n d by Oleg h i m self, t h e c o a c h e s a l l o w e d P r o t s e n k o t o remain in t h e team. T h e injury healed literally a f e w days before t h e m a i n event... A p a r t f r o m P r o t s e n k o , t h e Soviet t e a m c o n s i s t e d of A l e x a n d e r Yakovlev a n d G r i g o r y Yemets, w i n n e r of t h e E u r o pean W i n t e r C h a m p i o n s h i p s . Their o p p o n e n t s w e r e t h e B u l g a r i a n s Hristo Markov a n d S t o i t s a lliev, t h e C z e c h s Vlastimil M a r i n e c a n d Jan Cado, t h e C u b a n s Lazaro B e t a n c o u r t a n d J o r g e Reina, t h e Polish W o r l d C h a m p i o n Zdzistaw H o f f m a n a n d t h e H u n g a r i a n Bela Bakosi, o n e of E u r o p e ' s best triple j u m p e r s . A n x i o u s t o a v e n g e his defeat in Kiev, Yakovlev c l e a r e d 17.41 at t h e first attempt. T h i s w a s a b i d f o r victory a n d a serious one at that. Vlastimil M a r i n e c also j u m p e d f u r t h e r t h a n 17 metres at the first attempthe cleared 17.06. Oleg P r o t s e n k o o n l y m a n a g e d 16.48. At t h e s e c o n d a t t e m p t n o - o n e c o u l d i m p r o v e on Yakovlev's result a n d O l e g ' s j u m p w a s even w o r s e 1 6 . 3 9 . T h e t h o u g h t of his inj u r e d leg p r e v e n t e d h i m f r o m e x e c u t ing t h e j u m p w i t h m a x i m u m effort a n d t h e fear of i n j u r i n g himself a g a i n m a d e h i m c a u t i o u s b o t h in the app r o a c h r u n a n d t h e j u m p s . The situat i o n was tense: P r o t s e n k o c o u l d w e l l not be o n e of t h e best e i g h t to get

The Victor's Podium into t h e finals. Oleg w a s o n l y in t e n t h place before t h e t h i r d j u m p . The threat of defeat f o r c e d h i m t o pull himself t o g e t h e r , c o n c e n t r a t e his m i n d a n d spare n o e f f o r t . It w a s i m p o r t a n t not only to m a k e a l o n g j u m p , but at the same t i m e not t o g o b e y o n d t h e board. So P r o t s e n k o started his app r o a c h run several c e n t i m e t r e s f u r t h e r back. F r o m t h e t e c h n i c a l p o i n t of view O l e g ' s t h i r d j u m p w a s not perfect. He

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w a s 10 c e n t i m e t r e s short of t h e b o a r d a n d m a d e u p that d i s t a n c e in t h e j u m p s themselves, e n d e a v o u r i n g t o use e a c h take-off t o m a x i m u m effect. T h i s t i m e he was s u c c e s s f u l . 17.46 flashed onto the electronic scoreboard! A f t e r P r o t s e n k o b o t h Lazaro B e t a n c o u r t a n d Hristo Markov c l e a r e d m o r e t h a n 17 metres b u t they c o u l d not o v e r t a k e Oleg. T h u s he w o n t h e greatest v i c t o r y of his life.

Vyacheslav Zaitsev's Five Sets

T o w i n a volleyball match a team only has to w i n three out of five sets. At major international events it is extremely rare to c o m e across a score of 3:0 in the matches w h i c h are played for the gold medals. Generally speaking, the m a x i m u m n u m b e r of sets allowed by the rules of the game has t o be played before a team can win. By analogy with this situation in volleyball we shall attempt to follow Vyacheslav Zaitsev's career in sport. Four times European Champion, W o r l d Champion, Olympic C h a m p i o n and medal-winner, Zaitsev is now captain of the Leningrad Avtomobilist team and the USSR national team.

not dampen his y o u t h f u l high spirits. His parents decided that their son's time w o u l d be better occupied at a sports school. The nearest was the hall where the j u n i o r volleyball players of the Spartak club trained. Valentina Gladkova, in w h o s e preparatory g r o u p y o u n g Zaitsev turned up, was a demanding but fair-minded coach. She knew how t o interest the boys and her classes kept them happy and absorbed, w h i c h is why they always looked f o r w a r d t o each new session with their coach. Two years w e n t by and the real training began under the direction of a new teacher, the experienced specialist Igor Igumnov w h o soon cast Vyacheslav in the role of corner attacker. The boy was tall, had a g o o d physique and successfully played the part assigned to him in the team. Several years later Zaitsev was invited to join the Leningrad junior team. It was being trained for the 1969 AllUnion Schools' Spartakiad in Erevan by the w e l l - k n o w n coach Lev Leon-

The First Set


H e was eight years old. Together with his friends he lavished his boundless energy on chasing stray cats and breaking windows. The punishments w h i c h ensued did

The Victor's Podium tyev. After o n e of t h e t r a i n i n g sessions he asked Vyacheslav w h a t he t h o u g h t a b o u t t h e idea of t e s t i n g his t a l e n t as a setter. "I admit, I was very s u r p r i s e d at first," Zaitsev recalled. "At t h a t t i m e I was q u i t e a g o o d attacker. I also played c o n f i d e n t l y in t h e b l o c k . It d i d n ' t seem that there w e r e any o b v i o u s reasons f o r me t o c h a n g e my p o s i t i o n o n t h e c o u r t . However, my c o a c h discreetly advised me t o d o j u s t that. He c o n sidered that my p o t e n t i a l as an att a c k e r was not g o o d e n o u g h f o r t o p level volleyball, b u t that I c o u l d get into t h e t e a m of t o p players as a set pass specialist." Leontyev had set t h e boy a d i f f i c u l t task. After p l a y i n g m a i n attacker for so l o n g it was not easy t o d e c i d e t o b e g i n l e a r n i n g a n e w part w i t h o u t k n o w i n g w h a t w o u l d c o m e of it in t h e end. B u t o p t i m i s m is an a t t r i b u t e of y o u t h a n d Zaitsev agreed. At t h e S p a r t a k i a d he a t t a c k e d w h e n he w a s at t h e net a n d set t h e ball w h e n he w a s at t h e b a c k line.

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rest. A b o v e all it is p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y d i f f i c u l t . W h a t p a t i e n c e is n e e d e d t o do the same thing for two hours on e n d pass, pass a n d pass a g a i n ! A setter also has c o n s i d e r a b l e physical loads. Zaitsev a c c e p t e d his fate w i t h o u t a m u r m u r . His persistence a n d c a p a c i t y f o r h a r d w o r k helped h i m t o g r a s p t h e s u b t l e t i e s of t h e g a m e a n d b e c o m e an e x p e r t in his field.

The Third Set


T h e day w h i c h is eagerly a w a i t e d by every y o u n g s p o r t s m a n finally arrived. T h e day w h e n he b e c o m e s a player in t h e first t e a m of t h e t o p league. At t h e e n d of 1970, Vyacheslav P l a t o n o v t h e p l a y e r - c o a c h of t h e A v t o m o b i l i s t t e a m retired f r o m t h e c o u r t a n d gave his s p o r t s shirt to t h e 18-year-old Zaitsev. E v e r y t h i n g that had g o n e b e f o r e t h e c h i l d r e n ' s s p o r t s s c h o o l , p l a y i n g in t h e city's under-eighteen team was now w e l l a n d t r u l y in t h e past. T h e r e b e g a n a n e w c h a p t e r of his life in w h i c h r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r his a c t i o n s a n d f o r t h e g a m e w o u l d be m o r e c r i t i c a l l y assessed. It is d i f f i c u l t t o recall a s i m i l a r situat i o n in t h e history of Soviet v o l l e y b a l l w h e n a y o u n g player w a s e n t r u s t e d w i t h s u c h a responsible a n d d i f f i c u l t t a s k t h a t of b e i n g a setter a n d w h a t is m o r e in s u c h a p r e s t i g i o u s c l u b as A v t o m o b i l i s t . It was a c h a l l e n g e that h a d t o be met. There w a s t h e a d d e d d i f f i c u l t y that in t h o s e years Avt o m o b i l i s t w a s o n e of t h e f e w t e a m s w h i c h a d h e r e d t o a style of play a b o u n d i n g in speed c o m b i n a t i o n s . As a rule t h e L e n i n g r a d t e a m a t t a c k e d at h i g h speed w h i c h was p o s s i b l e only w h e n t h e passes were w o r k e d o u t d o w n t o t h e last finest detail. T h i s Zaitsev learned to d o t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e experienced player Anatoly Fedotov.

The Second Set


At t h e e n d of 1969, Vyacheslav was invited to j o i n t h e A v t o m o b i l i s t team w h i c h at that t i m e w a s c a p t a i n e d by Vyacheslav Platonov. They have been t o g e t h e r ever since. " H e was a pretty t a l e n t e d setter," Platonov recalled. " M o r e o v e r , in my o p i n i o n t h e boy had t h e qualities necessary for a player in this p o s i t i o n : calmness, g o o d sense a n d at t h e same t i m e t h e ability t o be i n s p i r e d a n d inspire o t h e r s . " A l t h o u g h t h e r e is s o m e diversity in t h e m e t h o d s of t r a i n i n g volleyball players, they all have m a n y of t h e same type of repetitive exercises w h i c h have t o be d o n e up to a h u n d r e d t i m e s a day. Everyone has t o t r a i n , b u t it is perhaps m o r e d i f f i c u l t f o r a setter t h a n t h e

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The Fourth Set


He j u s t i f i e d t h e h o p e s that h a d been p l a c e d o n him. He a c q u i r e d experie n c e w i t h t h e assistance of o l d e r c o l l e a g u e s w h o h e l p e d t h e y o u n g man in every way possible b o t h at t r a i n i n g sessions a n d in m a t c h e s . In 1971, w h e n he was in t h e y o u t h t e a m Vyacheslav b e c a m e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i on. Next season he w a s invited t o a t r a i n i n g c a m p w i t h t h e " a d u l t " team, but he was not selected f o r t h e 1972 O l y m p i a d . He m a d e his d e b u t a year l a t e r a t the S t u d e n t G a m e s in Mosc o w . Since that t i m e h e has played f o r t h e t o p t e a m in t h e Soviet U n i o n a n d b e c a m e its c a p t a i n in 1977. That same year, 1977, Vyacheslav P l a t o n o v was a p p o i n t e d c o a c h of t h e USSR national t e a m w h i c h u n d e r his

d i r e c t i o n has d o n e well at o f f i c i a l c h a m p i o n s h i p s . For this m u c h c r e d i t is d u e to t h e c a p t a i n a n d " c o n d u c t o r " of t h e v o l l e y b a l l ensembleVyacheslav Zaitsev.

The Fifth Set


Vyacheslav is n o w l o n g past thirty. He has g i v e n m o r e t h a n t w e n t y years of his life t o s p o r t . He has a g o o d p r o f e s s i o n t h a t of e n g i n e e r i n g econ o m i c adviser. W h e n w i l l Zaitsev give u p v o l l e y b a l l ? Perhaps it is w r o n g to speculate a b o u t this. T h e a u t h o r i t i e s m a i n t a i n that if he is n o t h a m p e r e d by injury, Zaitsev w i l l r e m a i n No. I setter in world volleyball for a long time to come.

Moments of Free Flight

T h e world of gymnastics discovered Olga Mostepanova in November 1983 at the World Championships in Budapest. The interesting fact is that she had been in the USSR national team since 1981, performed at international t o u r n a m e n t s and w o n on more than one occasion, but only in Budapest did it b e c o m e obvious that a new star w o u l d soon appear in the Soviet team. In the Hungarian capital Mostepanova came second to Natalya Yurchenko (already a sensation!), in the individual all-round championships, w o n gold medals along with the other members of the w i n n i n g team and became C h a m p i o n on the balance beam. A year later Olga w o n five gold medals at the Friendship-84 t o u r n a m e n t w h i c h was held at O l o m o u c in Czechoslovakia. Only four of her sixteen marks were under ten, something

w h i c h had never before happened at any tournament. However, it was not -only a question of "tens". At this t o u r n a m e n t Olga Mostepanova became the w o r l d ' s No. 1 w o m a n gymnast. Experts maintain that in its purity, complexity and aesthetic quality, her p r o g r a m m e was far superior to that of the American gymnast Mary Lou Retton, Champion of the XXIII Los Angeles Olympics. Mostepanova's career is inextricably b o u n d up with that of her c o a c h Vladimir Aksenov, in so far as the one started thanks to the other. Aksenov moved to Moscow f r o m Tashkent in 1975. He was forty at the time. This experienced coach had been invited to w o r k in the capital and offered the position of head of the Dynamo sports school. That same year six-year-old Olga Mostepanova was b r o u g h t to the school by her parents.

Soviet Sport Their plans, however, very nearly c a m e to n o t h i n g : t h e c o a c h e s t o o k o n e l o o k at t h e t i n y w i s p of a g i r l a n d s u g g e s t e d that she c a m e b a c k t h e f o l l o w i n g year. Her f a t h e r a n d m o t h e r p l e a d e d that their d a u g h t e r s h o u l d at least be given a c h a n c e t o s h o w w h a t she c o u l d do. The c o a c h Yury D a n s h i n t o o k her up t o t h e h o r i z o n t a l bar. She b e g a n her c h i n - u p s a n d d i d e i g h t of t h e m . T h e n she w e n t into t h e half lever p o s i t i o n . All right, t h e c o a c h agreed, let her r u n a r o u n d t h e hall for s o m e m o n t h s a n d t h e n w e ' l l see... It w a s n o secret that Elvira Saadi p l a n n e d t o retire f r o m t o p s p o r t after t h e M o n t r e a l O l y m p i c s . A k s e n o v had t o l o o k f o r s o m e o n e t o replace her. In t h e a u t u m n of 1975, he t o o k o n five little g i r l s w h o had j u s t s t a r t e d at D y n a m o . M o s t e p a n o v a w a s o n e of t h e m . For a t i m e , w h e n he w a s still w o r k i n g w i t h Saadi, t h i s little q u i n t e t w a s t a u g h t its first steps in g y m n a s t i c s by A n n a A n i k i n a . A k s e n o v ' s e x p e r i e n c e d eye s i n g l e d o u t Mostepanova immediately. Outwardly t h e little girl m a d e n o p a r t i c u l a r impress i o n s h e h a d l o n g a r m s a n d a big head. W h a t m a d e o n e n o t i c e w a s t h e g r a c e of her leg moves. T h e n t h e w h o l e p r o p o r t i o n of her b o d y c h a n g e d instantly: she was t r a n s f o r m e d f r o m an a w k w a r d " d u c k l i n g " i n t o a little p r i n c e s s a n d o n e c o u l d see immediately that she w o u l d g r o w i n t o a beauty. When training with Aksenov began the g a m e s in t h e hall s t o p p e d a n d s e r i o u s w o r k started. It w a s n ' t easy f o r t h e c o a c h either: he h a d w o r k e d w i t h a d u l t g y m n a s t s f o r f i f t e e n years a n d s u d d e n l y he was p r e s e n t e d w i t h little g i r l s of five and six. H o w t o talk to t h e m ? How to explain things to them? W o u l d they u n d e r s t a n d t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h e t o u g h t r a i n i n g he was t o insist on, w i t h o u t w h i c h t o p - c l a s s athletes c a n n o t d e v e l o p ? A f t e r several m o n t h s A k s e n o v c a m e to t h e c o n c l u s i o n that he h a d t o talk to

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his s m a l l p u p i l s j u s t as he d i d to t h e adults. T h e i r eagerness t o learn t h e secrets of g y m n a s t i c s was n o less intense t h a n that of t r a i n e d s p o r t s w o men. O l g a M o s t e p a n o v a was p a r t i c u larly keen. T h e c o a c h noted w i t h great s a t i s f a c t i o n that her muscles w e r e elastic, s u p p l e a n d s t r o n g for her age. W h e n she was only 9, O l g a s t a r t e d c o m p e t i n g in a d u l t t o u r n a m e n t s a n d w h e n she w a s 13 t o o k part in t h e USSR Championships, demonstrating the "Delchev somersault" on the b a r s a m e n ' s exercise w h i c h is perf o r m e d o n t h e h o r i z o n t a l bar. At that t i m e t h i s w a s her " u l t r a - C " exercise a n d she w a s very p r o u d of it. She followed this with the "Tkachev flight"an extraordinarily difficult m e n ' s e x e r c i s e w h i c h is rarely d e m o n strated. O l g a ' s p e r f o r m a n c e s h o w e d stability even t h o u g h it w a s n ' t always a h u n d r e d per c e n t accurate. But, literally o n t h e eve of her first W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s , she shot up, put o n w e i g h t a n d h a d t o give up " t h e f l i g h t " . A k s e n o v w a n t e d t o r e i n t r o d u c e it in t h e F r i e n d s h i p - 8 4 event, but O l g a c o n t i n u e d t o g r o w . W h e n w i l l she m a n a g e to p e r f o r m it a g a i n ? Perhaps in t i m e f o r t h e 1988 O l y m p i c s ? People love t o c o m p a r e c h a m p i o n s . In w o r l d g y m n a s t i c s t h e r e are t w o great and diametrically opposed talents Olga K o r b u t a n d L y u d m i l a T u r i s h c h e va. Here is n o t t h e place to d i s c u s s h o w they d i f f e r e d f r o m each o t h e r g y m n a s t i c s e n t h u s i a s t s still r e m e m b e r t h e m well. W i t h w h o m is O l g a M o s t e p a n o v a m o r e in s y m p a t h y a n d w h o m does she resemble m o r e T u r i s h c h e v a or Korb u t ? " M o s t e p a n o v a is like herself a n d n o - o n e else," A k s e n o v assures us a n d quotes the well-known sportswoman Larisa L a t y n i n a w h o keeps a k i n d of " d o s s i e r " o n all t h e f a m o u s w o m e n gymnasts. At o n e t i m e Latynina gave m u c h t h o u g h t to t h e q u e s t i o n t o w h i c h type of g y m n a s t does O l g a b e l o n g ? H a v i n g c o n v i n c e d herself that

The Victor's Podium M o s t e p a n o v a has all t h e best qualities w h i c h w o m e n g y m n a s t s of f o r m e r years possessed, L a t y n i n a c o n c l u d e d that at t h e p r e s e n t t i m e M o s t e p a n o v a is t h e ideal g y m n a s t of t h e last t w o decades. " S h e has a s p l e n d i d s t r o n g p h y s i q u e , " Aksenov said. " S h e p e r f o r m s all her e x c e p t i o n a l l y d i f f i c u l t exercises easily a n d elegantly. I d i d n ' t get e x c i t e d a b o u t all these " t e n s " they talk so m u c h about. Even if they had not been t e n s t h a t ' s not w h a t is i m p o r tant. The f a c t that her h i g h marks s i n g l e d her o u t f r o m t h e rest is absolutely justified. S h e pleased me m o r e as a f i g h t e r a n d an athlete w i t h a g o o d s t r o n g psyche. In t h e f o u r days of t h e c o m p e t i t i o n she d i d not make a s i n g l e mistake in her sixteen exercises on t h e apparatus. On t h e s e c o n d day she b l o t t e d her c o p y b o o k o n l y o n c e o n t h e bars. She c a u g h t her heel on t h e bar just as she d i d at t h e W o r l d Championships." A k s e n o v and his p u p i l h a d their ups a n d d o w n but o n t h e w h o l e they w o r k t o g e t h e r well. They w o r k t o a s t r i c t plan. A k s e n o v not o n l y d r a w s u p t h e s c h e d u l e for years a h e a d b u t decides on the n u m b e r of exercises to be d o n e in each t r a i n i n g session. Olga loves precise plans. W h e n she arrives f o r t r a i n i n g her c o a c h tells her: you must d o t h i s five t i m e s , that five t i m e s a n d t h i s t w i c e m o r e t h e necessary m i n i m u m w h i c h has t o be a c c o m plished. A n d O l g a t o o k it u p o n herself t o measure her s t r e n g t h . A k s e n o v e x p e c t e d that O l g a w o u l d give a c o n f i d e n t w i n n i n g p e r f o r m a n c e at t h e USSR C u p s h o r t l y before t h e Friendship-84 t o u r n a m e n t . But she suddenly began making mistakes: o n c e again she c a u g h t her heel o n t h e bar in t h e ill-starred bars exercises, in the floor e x e r c i s e s she suddenly o p e n e d out in m i d - f l i g h t t o w a r d s t h e c e i l i n g a n d s p o i l e d her j u m p . After t h e event her c o a c h sat her d o w n beside h i m : "Tell me h o n e s t l y w h a t hap-

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pened? I won't scold you, I just want t o u n d e r s t a n d . Y o u s h o u l d have w o n all f o u r events." Olga h u m m e d and hawed for a long time before admitting: "You know, V l a d i m i r Filippych, I w a s n ' t interested, I w a s in a bad m o o d . " " Y o u r m o m e n t has c o m e a n d if y o u miss it because of s o m e m o o d , y o u ' l l be left w i t h n o t h i n g . Y o u ' v e g r o w n up n o w a n d y o u haven't w o r k e d f o r e i g h t years t o be b o r e d at t h e c r i t i c a l m o m e n t , " her c o a c h a n s w e r e d her. M a n y c o a c h e s say that they have a t e l e p a t h i c link w i t h their p u p i l s d u r i n g a p e r f o r m a n c e . A k s e n o v is o n e of t h e m . He believes that t h e invisible t h r e a d s c o n n e c t i n g him t o O l g a are t h e o u t c o m e of their l o n g a n d u n i n t e r r u p t e d w o r k i n g relationship. " S h e w i l l t u r n her h e a d slightly," A k s e n o v says, "I w i l l n o d a n d we are b o t h calm, e v e r y t h i n g is g o i n g well. B u t if s o m e t h i n g is w r o n g I only have t o sit w i t h a f r o w n o n my face for O l g a t o feel w i t h o u t l o o k i n g at me that I a m not satisfied." Y o u w o u l d not call t h e i r w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p ideal it h a d its g o o d m o m e n t s a n d its bad m o m e n t s . O n c e A k s e n o v drove~Olga o u t of t h e hall a d m i t t e d l y that was a l o n g t i m e a g o w h e n she was still a c h i l d . N o w t h e w o r s t p u n i s h m e n t for her is an ins t r u c t i o n a l d i s c u s s i o n w i t h e n d l e s s exa m p l e s of w h a t t o d o a n d w h a t not to d o a n d h o w to d o a n d h o w n o t t o d o it. In e i g h t years they have never been apart l o n g e r than a m o n t h i n 1978 w h e n A k s e n o v w e t i t t o w o r k in Ind o n e s i a . On o t h e r o c c a s i o n s it w a s a m a t t e r of weeks. A k s e n o v s p e n t a w e e k in hospital a n d O l g a w a s away at a t o u r n a m e n t in L o n d o n f o r a week. O l g a is reserved a n d s e r i o u s in A k s e n o v ' s presence, but t h e c o a c h adm i t s that he can s p e n d h o u r s l o o k i n g at a p h o t o of Olga lying o n t h e bala n c e beam w i t h a smile. " T h e r e it is, t h e real face of a c h i l d , " he w i l l say.

He Loves the Music of Attack

T h e y call him a lucky person, they say that everything comes easily to him. Why easily? Simply because everything that Sanasar Oganisyan has done or is now d o i n g interests him. He studied at a music s c h o o l t h a t was sheer pleasure. He plays the p i a n o s h e e r delight. He went to a school w h i c h specializes in physics and m a t h e m a t i c s h e was an enthusiastic pupil. He became interested in c h e s s a n d it absorbed him totally. In wrestling he decided that he w o u l d definitely become Olympic Champ i o n a n d he did. Why did Oganisyan enter the Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering? Because civil engineering is interesting too. Mathematics and technical drawing are greatly to his liking. He says that the builder sees the w o r k of his o w n hands: he lays bricks and erects w a l l s a n d all that is there to see. It gives a feeling of achievement... Yes, in many respects Sanasar Oganisyan w h o celebrated his twen-

tieth birthday on the 5th February 1980 and five months later became one of the youngest Olympic champions in the history of wrestling, is a happy individual. And the secret of Sanasar's happiness is his total involvement in whatever he does. The Oganisyans are a splendid family and ardent supporters of their oldest son. Sanasar's father, Razmik Oganisyan is a Candidate of E c o n o m i c Sciences and enjoys skiing and singing. His mother, Tamara, w h o was a gymnast in her younger years graduated f r o m the Institute of Forestry and Forest Industries and now w o r k s as an engineer at a project design institute. Besides Sanasar they have three sons Vardan, Ovanes and Gor and a daughter loanna. The family lives in a large flat in the centre of Moscow. Sanasar was introduced to sport by his parents. Initially his mother t o o k him to a gymnastics school, but the coaches w o u l d not accept the tall, well-developed 11-year-old boy and

The Victor's Podium advised h i m to try his s t r e n g t h at wrestling. S o m e t i m e later Razmik Oganisyan saw an a n n o u n c e m e n t in the paper that t h e S p a r t a k c l u b was taking o n c h i l d r e n in their freestyle wrestling s c h o o l . Sanasar j o i n e d t h e g r o u p c o a c h e d by Mikhail M a k s i m c h e n k o w h o r e c r u i t e d his first b e g i n n e r s in 1971. As so o f t e n happens, it t o o k a b o u t f o u r years before t h e lively lad g o t a n y w h e r e . He d e m o n s t r a t e d s u r p r i s i n g p o w e r s of ima g i n a t i o n at t r a i n i n g sessions: t h e coach would show him one hold and Sanasar i m m e d i a t e l y t h o u g h t up a c o m b i n a t i o n of t w o - t h r e e holds. B u t at c o m p e t i t i o n s he b e c a m e so heated that he lost c o n t r o l of himself a n d was often beaten by w e a k o p p o n e n t s . Maks i m c h e n k o was p h i l o s o p h i c a l a b o u t Sanasar's defeats: f o r t h e t i m e b e i n g the result was not so i m p o r t a n t , he said, t h e main t h i n g w a s to derive pleasure f r o m w r e s t l i n g a n d study y o u r rivals. In 1976, O g a n i s y a n w o n t h e undere i g h t e e n National C h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d the f o l l o w i n g s e a s o n M a k s i m c h e n k o asked Yury S h a k h m u r a d o v , t h e senior c o a c h of t h e n a t i o n a l t e a m , to let Sanasar take part in t h e Tbilisi Intern a t i o n a l W r e s t l i n g T o u r n a m e n t . That w a s h o w 17-year-old O g a n i s y a n got to t h e t o u r n a m e n t w h i c h in t h e s t r e n g t h a n d quality of its c o n t e s t a n t s is in no way inferior t o t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n ships! T h e y o u n g man g o t o n w e l l in Tbilisi. A m o n t h later, h o w e v e r , he s u f f e r e d a s e t b a c k : he o n l y c a m e f o u r t h at t h e y o u t h W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in t h e United States. In freestyle w r e s t l i n g such a setback can damage a s p o r t s m a n ' s career p r o s p e c t s for a l o n g time. But w h e n he t a l k e d it over w i t h Sanasar o n his return f r o m t h e States, M i k h a i l M a k s i m c h e n k o realized

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that his p u p i l w a s not depressed, q u i t e t h e c o n t r a r y , he s o r t e d out his beh a v i o u r , analyzed his t w o defeats a n d was ready f o r f u r t h e r bouts. S i n c e t h a t m e m o r a b l e t o u r n a m e n t in t h e U n i t e d States Sanasar has learned t o d i s c i p l i n e himself o n t h e mat. He still g e t s heated, but it is n o w a calculated tactic. T h e s e n i o r c o a c h of t h e n a t i o n a l y o u t h t e a m gave Sanasar t h e o p p o r t u n i t y of t a k i n g part in t h e j u n i o r E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s t h e f o l l o w i n g year. His d e c i s i o n w a s t h e right o n e S a n a s a r w o n . A n d in 1979, Oganisyan c a m e first in t h e y o u t h W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s as w e l l ! In s p i t e of t h e advice of c o l l e a g u e s not t o o v e r d o it w i t h t r a i n i n g l o a d s a n d c o m p e t i t i o n s , M a k s i m c h e n k o prep a r e d Sanasar f o r victory at t h e 1980 t o u r n a m e n t in Tbilisi. The w i n n e r s of t h i s t o u r n a m e n t usually g o o n t o t a k e part in t h e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s w h i c h , if they d i s t i n g u i s h t h e m s e l v e s , is t h e i r r o u t e t o t h e O l y m p i c t e a m . A p a r t f r o m Oganisyan, A n a t o l y Prok o p c h u k t h e 1977 W o r l d C h a m p i o n a n d Hasan Ortsuev t h e 1979 W o r l d Champion were contenders for this place in t h e team,. Oganisyan w o n both the t o u r n a m e n t in Tbilisi a n d t h e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n ships, a n d as a result t h i s s k i l l e d y o u n g a t h l e t e was i n c l u d e d in t h e O l y m p i c team. His s t r e n g t h , d e f t n e s s a n d ability w o n h i m t h e g o l d medal, t h e s a m e a w a r d w e n t to his c o a c h e s f o r t h e i r d a r i n g a n d a c c u r a t e assessm e n t of his ability. A f t e r t h e O l y m p i c s Sanasar t r i e d t o f o r g e t that he had b e c o m e a c h a m p i o n a n d look ahead. He h a d set himself t h e task of a d d i n g t o his c o l l e c t i o n of O l y m p i c m e d a l s a n d he is not likely t o give u p t h i s a m b i t i o n yet.

15-11

"Salnikov's Phenomenal Quality is His Absolute Calm"

N u m b e r one sportsman of the Games of the XXII Olympiad in Moscow, holder of three Olympic medals, World Champion and record-holder, the s w i m m e r Vladimir Salnikov w h o was nominated the w o r l d ' s best sportsman in 1980 by the Union of Spanish Sports Journalists, is frequently asked the same question a l t h o u g h it is put fn different ways: " D o n ' t you ever get fed up w i t h the hours of training you have to do every day? Don't you sometimes have to force yourself to go t o the s w i m m i n g pool?" But the same answer is always given: "Our coach knows h o w to make each training session so interesting that there is never time to be bored..." All the swimmers trained by Igor Koshkin, Merited Coach of the U S S R a n d there are many of t h e m w i l l certainly agree with that. Four of his pupils t o o k part in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and seven in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. All seven were in the finals. Igor Koshkin became interested in

gymnastics while he was still at school, and he c o n t i n u e d to appear on the floor w h e n he was doing his army service. A serious injury put paid to any further training and the d o c t o r s were adamant that he should give up gymnastics. By way of consolation, the y o u n g soldier w h o was so keen on sport was sent on a s w i m m i n g instructors' course. Igor literally fell in love with his new sport. He dreamed of b e c o m i n g a coach, of training champions and record-holders and even starting his o w n school of s w i m m i n g . When he returned to Leningrad after his army service, Koshkin w o r k e d at his main t r a d e t h a t of radio fitter at one of the city's scientific-research institutes. But his dream of b e c o m i n g a coach gave him no peace. This dream came true in 1954: as unpaid social w o r k he undertook to train a small g r o u p of children. At that time the institute rented various s w i m m i n g pools in the city and together with his first pupils the new coach had to travel r o u n d Leningrad from one pool

The Victor's Podium to another. Several years later t h e s c h o o l got its o w n p o o l called Ekran that had five 2 5 - m e t r e lanes. Every m o r n i n g K o s h k i n g o t u p at t h e c r a c k of d a w n a n d t o o k t h e first t r a m to t h e pool. He d i d not return h o m e until after m i d n i g h t . No d o u b t it was at that t i m e that w o r d g o t a r o u n d t h e city about the three eccentrics from Ekran Igor K o s h k i n , Evgeny G u b e n ko and Gleb P e t r o v w h o spent day and n i g h t at t h e i r p o o l , f i r m l y conv i n c e d that o n e day their p u p i l s w o u l d s w i m faster t h a n a n y o n e else in t h e world... In t h e m e a n t i m e t h e y o u n g s w i m m e r s f r o m Ekran beat o t h e r s in their age g r o u p in c o n v i n c i n g style w h e t h e r it was in t h e t r a d i t i o n a l races of t h e All-Union Happy D o l p h i n t o u r n a m e n t or in c o m p e t i t i o n s o r g a n i z e d f o r children's sports schools from different cities of t h e c o u n t r y . Koshkin and his colleagues exp e r i m e n t e d b o l d l y , t r y i n g out new ways of s e l e c t i n g c h i l d r e n , new t e a c h ing methods and new training schedules. Firstly, Ekran t o o k eightyear-old b o y s a n d g i r l s w h o lived w i t h i n easy reach of t h e pool. T h e young coaches imposed this condition because t h e y felt s t r o n g l y that t h e journey from h o m e to the pool and b a c k s h o u l d not take u p t o o m u c h time. S e c o n d l y , they w a r n e d t h e parents that intensive t r a i n i n g in t h e p o o l required a h i g h - c a l o r y diet. And, t h i r d ly, they i m p o s e d t h e f u r t h e r c o n d i t i o n that only t h o s e w h o d i d w e l l at s c h o o l c o u l d train at Ekran. W i t h s u c h strict rules of a d m i s s i o n it was of c o u r s e inevitable that m a n y w o u l d fall by t h e wayside. Only t h e m o s t persistent a n d d e d i c a t e d c h i l d r e n stayed o n at Ekran. At t h e e n d of 1973, K o s h k i n t o o k o n only o n e p u p i l f r o m Gleb Petrov's g r o u p 1 3 - y e a r - o l d V o l o d y a Salnikov. Why? "I d o n ' t k n o w , " t h e c o a c h s h r u g g e d his s h o u l d e r s . "I liked t h e boy a n d t h a t ' s all t h e r e w a s t o it..."
15"

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B u t s u c h was Igor K o s h k i n ' s p e d a g o g ical t a l e n t that he instantly r e c o g n i z e d t h e c h a r a c t e r in the boy. A n d even t o d a y t h e c o a c h is c o n v i n c e d that m a n y o t h e r s w i m m e r s have g r e a t e r n a t u r a l physical ability, a n d m o v e m e n t c o o r d i n a t i o n t h a n S a l n i k o v . B u t already at that t i m e V o l o d y a h a d s o m e t h i n g w h i c h set h i m apart f r o m t h e o t h e r boys w h o were l e a r n i n g t o s w i m at Ekran a t r e m e n d o u s c a p a c i t y f o r w o r k a n d great self-discipline. " S a l n i k o v is i n d i s p u t a b l y t a l e n t e d , " his c o a c h said. " O t h e r w i s e he w o u l d never have achieved s u c h h e i g h t s in t h e s p o r t . But t h e t a l e n t of a s w i m m e r a c c o u n t s f o r r o u g h l y ten per c e n t of his success. The o t h e r n i n e t y is w o r k and more work!" In 1976, f o u r of K o s h k i n ' s p u p i l s V l a d i m i r Salnikov, M i k h a i l Gorelik, Evgeny Seredin a n d A n a t o l y S m i r n o v w e r e selected t o t a k e part in t h e Montreal Olympics. They swam their d i s t a n c e s w i t h varying d e g r e e s of success... Only S a l n i k o v s u c c e e d e d in r e a c h i n g t h e 1.500 metres freestyle f i n a l s w h e r e he c a m e f i f t h o u t of e i g h t c o n t e s t a n t s . He lost by a little over 27 seconds to the American winner Brian Goodell who'set the then phenomenal r e c o r d of 15 m i n u t e s 02.40 s e c o n d s . T h i s r e c o r d was u n b r o k e n f o r f o u r y e a r s u n t i l t h e 1980 M o s c o w O l y m pics. B u t even at M o n t r e a l t h e m o s t k n o w l e d g e a b l e e x p e r t s n o t i c e d t h e 16y e a r - o l d boy w h o t r i e d t o assert himself against t h e e m i n e n t s w i m m e r . T h e i r lack of success in t h e M o n t r e a l O l y m p i c p o o l acted as an i n c e n t i v e f o r t h e Soviet s w i m m e r s . Each year they p e r f o r m e d w i t h greater c o n f i d e n c e . In 1978, they w o n medals at t h e European C h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d t h e n at t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in West Berlin. V l a d i m i r S a l n i k o v w o n t w o g o l d medals s t r a i g h t o f f i n t h e 400 metres a n d t h e 1,500 metres. The A m e r i c a n t e a m lost its " p e r m a n e n t p l a c e " at t h e t o p of t h e v i c t o r ' s p o d i u m in t h e " s w i m m i n g m a r a t h o n " (as t h e o n e - a n d - a -

Soviet Sport h a l f - k i l o m e t r e race is called). True, t h e w o r l d r e c o r d - h o l d e r B r i a n G o o d e l l had not c o m e t o Berlin. He sent t h e new Champion a greetings telegram cong r a t u l a t i n g h i m o n his v i c t o r y a n d r e m i n d i n g h i m that t h e i r O l y m p i c duel w o u l d take place in M o s c o w in t w o years' t i m e . The t w o already k n e w e a c h o t h e r : on m o r e t h a n o n e o c c a s i o n t h e Soviet team h a d f l o w n across t h e A t l a n t i c to t r a i n w i t h a n d c o m p e t e against the American swimmers. Brian G o o d e l l c o u l d not of c o u r s e have foreseen that President Carter's b o y c o t t of t h e M o s c o w Olympics w o u l d deny him t h e o p p o r t u n i t y of m e e t i n g S a l n i k o v in t h e lanes of Mosc o w ' s O l y m p i c pool. S a l n i k o v ' s brilliant p e r f o r m a n c e at t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in West B e r l i n d i d not pass u n n o t i c e d by t h e s p o r t s press. The authoritative American m a g a z i n e The World of Swimming for t h e first t i m e n o m i n a t e d t h e Soviet sportsman Vladimir Salnikov best s w i m m e r of t h e year. " A m a n w i t h o u t nerves", " S a l n i k o v ' s p h e n o m e n a l quality is his a b s o l u t e c a l m " a n n o u n c e d t h e headlines of t h e n e w s p a p e r s a n d magazines! A n d t h i s likeable boy really d i d look a m a z i n g l y calm w h e n he s t o o d o n t h e s t a r t i n g block. Perhaps o n l y he a n d his c o a c h k n e w at w h a t cost t h i s o u t e r c a l m w a s achieved! " A r e y o u nervous b e f o r e a r a c e ? " V l a d i m i r w a s asked at t h e t r a d i t i o n a l match between swimmers from the USSR a n d t h e GDR. "Of course. Particularly w h e n I am s w i m m i n g in f r o n t of p e o p l e I k n o w in my h o m e t o w n w h e r e relatives, f r i e n d s and colleagues from the school and t h e institute are r o o t i n g f o r me. B u t it's a lot easier t o h i d e y o u r nervousness w h e n you feel c o n f i d e n t in y o u r o w n powers..." Eye-witnesses a n d all s w i m m i n g ent h u s i a s t s will never f o r g e t t h e 2 2 n d J u l y 1980 w h e n t h e 1,500-metre finals took place a n d V l a d i m i r Salnikov

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broke Brian Goodell's world record f i n i s h i n g first w i t h a t i m e of less t h a n 15 m i n u t e s ! M i l l i o n s of p e o p l e saw this moment on their television screens. T o u c h i n g t h e side of t h e p o o l t h e w i n n e r g l a n c e d r o u n d at t h e illuminated scoreboard on w h i c h the f i g u r e s 14.58.27 lit up! H u n d r e d s of lens f o c u s s e d o n t h e happy s m i l e w h i c h lit u p t h e s w i m m e r ' s face a n d o n his a r m s t h r o w n up in t r i u m p h ! Everyone in t h e p a c k e d stands s p o n taneously rose t o their feet and c h e e r e d t h e n e w c h a m p i o n a n d record-holder! At t h e press c o n f e r e n c e a f t e r w a r d s t h e q u e s t i o n s c a m e t h i c k a n d fast: " W h e n d i d y o u realize that t h e r e c o r d would fall?" "A 100 m e t r e s b e f o r e t h e finish. It w a s very hard, but I t h o u g h t n o w or never!" " D o you have any regrets a b o u t t h e boycott?" " O n l y o n e : t h a t Brian G o o d e l l isn't here. We w e r e b o t h p r e p a r i n g f o r o u r duel that c o u l d have p r o d u c e d an even better result..." The a n s w e r w a s very honest. A n d h o n e s t y is p e r h a p s t h e main feature of S a l n i k o v ' s d e l i g h t f u l personality. He is a top-class sportsman with the character of a real f i g h t e r . The f o l l o w i n g day t h e azure-blue s w i m m i n g p o o l w a s literally f o a m i n g at t h e start of t h e 4 x 2 0 0 freestyle relay finals. A l o n g w i t h Sergei Koplyakov, Ivar S t u k o l k i n a n d A n d r e i Krylov, V l a d i m i r S a l n i k o v m a d e u p t h e USSR n a t i o n a l team. M a k i n g a c o n certed e f f o r t t h i s c l o s e - k n i t q u a r t e t o v e r t o o k all t h e i r o p p o n e n t s . On t h e 24th J u l y fans saw V l a d i m i r S a l n i k o v give yet a n o t h e r b r i l l i a n t perf o r m a n c e in t h e 400 metres freestyle w h i c h w o n h i m his t h i r d O l y m p i c g o l d medal. A f t e r w a r d s V l a d i m i r a n d his c o a c h w e r e asked t h e same q u e s t i o n t i m e and again: " C o u l d t h e r e have been a w o r l d re-

The Victor's Podium c o r d at t h i s d i s t a n c e t o o ? " "At the O l y m p i c s t h e m a i n t h i n g is not t h e r e c o r d b u t t h e v i c t o r y , " was Koshkin's reply. " T h e 400 metres final was Salnikov's fourth Olympic race, m o r e o v e r he s w a m t h e d i s t a n c e virtually w i t h o u t c o m p e t i t i o n . Everything at its right time..." W h e n t h e Soviet National T e a m b e g a n p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e 1988 O l y m p i c s Igor K o s h k i n said t o his c h a r g e s : " Y o u must m o d e l y o u r s e l v e s o n V l a d i m i r Salnikov a n d t r a i n as he d o e s . " What does it m e a n t o t r a i n as V l a d i m i r Salnikov d o e s ? K o s h k i n e x p l a i n s : "It means t o have t h e same s t r e n g t h of will. Y o u c o u l d say that it k n o w s n o limit. E x p e r i e n c e in c o m p e t i n g is s o m e t h i n g that c o m e s w i t h time. B u t I as a c o a c h have n o p o w e r over my p u p i l ' s state of m i n d , I c a n n o t motivate h i m f o r t h e d i f f i c u l t w o r k of t r a i n i n g . T h e class a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y of a s p o r t s m a n s h o w less in his a c h i e v i n g r e c o r d levels t h a n in his ability t o m a i n t a i n these levels a n d at t h e same t i m e t o p r o g r e s s w i t h each

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year. For many s p o r t s m e n w h o set w o r l d r e c o r d s f o r t h e first t i m e , their a c h i e v e m e n t s u b c o n s c i o u s l y acts as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l barrier. In t h e first place it has an adverse e f f e c t o n their t r a i n i n g w h e r e n o detail c a n be overl o o k e d . Each s u c h detail that is overl o o k e d w i l l s o o n t u r n into an irrep l a c e a b l e loss. T h e e n d result is that t h e s p o r t s m a n c a n n o t p u l l himself together, cannot make the effort to master himself even m o r e . S a l n i k o v is p e r h a p s t h e only s w i m m e r over w h o s e t r a i n i n g I c o u l d have a l l o w e d t o have n o c o n t r o l altogether, either w h e n he embarked on his career in s p o r t or after he b e c a m e so successful." T h e G o o d w i l l Games, a p r e s t i g e o u s t o u r n a m e n t , w e r e held t w o years bef o r e t h e 1988 O l y m p i c s . V l a d i m i r Saln i k o v b r o k e a w o r l d r e c o r d o n t h e first day of t h e Games in t h e 800 m freestyle w i t h a t i m e of 7 m i n u t e s 50.64 s e c o n d s . The first w o r l d r e c o r d of t h e G a m e s was t h e athlete's t h i r t e e n t h w o r l d record.

The Music of Speed

F a n s at the Krylatsky have already become used to this picture: the figure of a cyclist races r o u n d the g o l d e n track, the figures flash onto the electronic scoreboard... The s p o r t s w o m a n crosses the finishing line and once again the recordbreaking seconds freeze on the scoreboard. The t r i u m p h a n t voice of the commentator announces that Erika Salumae has yet again w o n her fight against time. Another w o r l d rec o r d to add to her long list. ...Erika was born in the health resort of Pyarnu in Estonia. Later the family moved to Elva. Her father died at an early age and her mother was left to bring up the girl alone. She had no real problems with her daughter w h o was hard-working, affectionate and obedient. Things went well at school too. Erika herself recalls her school days with pleasure: "I loved music (I studied piano at a music school) and literature, particularly Pushkin. There is music in every

w o r d and line of his poetry. You want to sing his poems. I had another great love t o o t h e theatre. I acted in school plays. My friends said I was g o o d and I was pleased with my performances too. I felt that I was doing rather well. "I didn't even dream about fame in sport at that time, although I was better at g y m than many of the boys." After she left school Erika went to Tallinn where she became a plasterer. It was there that she met her present coach Stanislav Solovyov whose great interests were cycling and speed. His enthusiasm inspired his pupil as well. "I didn't imagine then that I could achieve real results," Erika said. "It was simply that my coach genuinely loved his w o r k , the sport of cycling. He gave everything of himself to us, his pupils. I was immediately struck by this quality of his. It w o u l d be shameful to w o r k half-heartedly alongside such a man." And Erika really did try. Success was

The Victor's Podium not l o n g in c o m i n g : National j u n i o r C h a m p i o n (girls) in t h e sprint, t h e individual p u r s u i t race a n d t h e g r o u p race, w i n n e r of t h e 1983 S t u d e n t Games w h e n she w o n t w o g o l d medals, a n d N a t i o n a l C h a m p i o n (adults). And finallya number of world records. " F o r me a r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g result is not an e n d in itself. T h a t is not t h e most i m p o r t a n t t h i n g after all. V i c t o r y is w h a t o n e s h o u l d a i m f o r , " Erika admits. " S a v i n g s e c o n d s does not reassure me. A l t h o u g h t i m e is a serio u s rival it is at least a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d one. It is not c a p a b l e of t a c t i c a l manoeuvres." In everyday life E r i k a is a s u r p r i s i n g l y sweet, g e n t l e a n d w a r m , b u t before a c o m p e t i t i o n she b e c o m e s a d i f f e r e n t p e r s o n p u r p o s e f u l a n d intent o n t h e u n c o m p r o m i s i n g f i g h t t o w i n . It is a m a z i n g h o w m u c h inner s t r e n g t h a n d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e t h i s small delicatel o o k i n g girl possesses. The most s e r i o u s test in Erika's career in sport c a m e at t h e 1984 W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s in Spain. A l t h o u g h she has b r o k e n r e c o r d s in all t h e t r a c k disciplines, her great s t r e n g t h is t h e s p r i n t a n d it w a s in t h e s p r i n t that she c o m p e t e d at t h e 1984 C h a m p i o n s h i p s . Before they left f o r S p a i n s o m e o n e said t o S o l o v y o v that t h i r d place w o u l d be a great a c h i e v e m e n t f o r Erika. The c o a c h d i d not tell his p u p i l h o w her p r o s p e c t s h a d been assessed and set her t h e task of " g o i n g f o r t h e gold". Contrary t o t h e o p i n i o n of c e r t a i n s c e p t i c s she g o t t h r o u g h to t h e finals w i t h o u t any d i f f i c u l t y a n d c o n v i n c i n g l y beat the American girl Connie Paraskevin there. A happy, radiant Erika was a b o u t t o p u t o n t h e c h a m p i o n ' s shirt w h e n t h e j u d g e s s u d d e n l y stopped the presentation ceremony w h i c h had already b e g u n : the A m e r i can c o a c h e s h a d p r o t e s t e d against o n e of t h e heats a n d t h e r e was a

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r e r u n w h i c h Erika lost. Everyone w h o h a d seen t h e finals of t h e w o m e n ' s s p r i n t in Spain believed t h a t t h e g o l d m e d a l was simply t a k e n away f r o m Erika. A n d a l t h o u g h t h e " s i l v e r " w a s an h o n o u r f o r t h i s n e w c o m e r t o t h e W o r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p s , she c o u l d not s t o p t h e tears of f r u s t r a t i o n w h i c h w e l l e d u p in her eyes... She repeatedly p r o v e d her s u p e r i o r i t y over her o p p o n e n t s a n d p r e v i o u s rec o r d s . In July 1986 she w o n t h e s p r i n t at t h e G o o d w i l l Games h e l d in Mosc o w a n d set a w o r l d r e c o r d of 11.489 s e c o n d s in t h e 200 m race. J o u r n a l i s t s are great s t i c k l e r s f o r detail a n d a m o n g t h e q u e s t i o n s they asked her at press conferences there were some quite unexpected ones: " E r i k a , d o n ' t you regret g i v i n g u p y o u r s c h o o l i n t e r e s t s m u s i c , poetry, t h e theatre?" S h e t h o u g h t for a m o m e n t a n d t h e n r e p l i e d w i t h a smile: " N o , I d o n ' t regret it. I derive enorm o u s satisfaction f r o m w h a t I d o in c y c l i n g . After all, you have t o give u p m a n y t h i n g s if y o u w a n t t o achieve results. Anyway, I still have my w h o l e life in f r o n t o i me." A n d t h e n , after a pause, she a d d e d : " T o be q u i t e honest, I d o regret it a little, a l t h o u g h I have not g i v e n u p my interests, they are still w i t h me. It's easy t o i m a g i n e that t h e c y c l i n g t r a c k is t h e stage a n d t h e f a n s t h e audience... T h e m u s i c ? It r e m a i n s inside me. Only n o w it's a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t k i n d of m u s i c t h e m u s i c of speed. Honestly, I can hear it! M a y b e t h a t ' s w h y I love racing so m u c h a n d w h y it c o m e s so easily t o me." T h e f a m i l i a r f i g u r e of t h e r a c i n g cyclist is p o i s e d at t h e start. Beside her is her c o a c h . His s t r o n g c o n f i d e n t hand steadies t h e bicycle. For t h e s e t w o c o a c h a n d p u p i l t h e e n e m y is t i m e a n d t h e ally is m u s i c t h e m u s i c of speed.

The Third Champion

A f t e r he had completed the last Olympic cycle, the American " k i n g of singles figure skating" Scott Hamilton W o r l d C h a m p i o n 1981-1984 and gold medallist at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics retired from t o p sport. Who w o u l d occupy the vacated " t h r o n e " ? "I^he World Figure Skating Championships held in Tokyo in the spring of 1985 revealed w h o was next in line of succession. In the brightly lit banqueting-hall of Tokyo's Prince Hotel Alexander Fadeev presented the organizers of the Championships with a commemorative pennant on behalf of the Soviet team. At that reception the organizers expressed their admiration of the performances given by the Soviet figure skaters and c o m m e n t e d in particular on Fadeev's flawless t e c h n i q u e and brilliant artistry. It was not difficult to see why they were so enthusiastic. Alexander had achieved the unique result of w i n n i n g all the events in the programme. The

Japanese papers lavished their praise on Fadeev. Mainichi wrote: "When he performed the truly brilliant free skating programme to Russian folk melodies, the Soviet sportsman began the "Fadeev e p o c h " in men's singles figure skating." Even before the Tokyo Championships the w o r l d press held Fadeev's skill in high esteem. Long before the events described here the famous American figure skaters Carol Heiss and Alan Jenkins said to the coach Stanislav Zhuk that in the near future his pupil w o u l d set the t o n e in men's singles figure skating. A l t h o u g h he very quickly became popular, Fadeev needed a victory w h i c h w o u l d establish his leading position and gain him world recognition. Alexander required official confirmation so to speak. In this respect the bronze medal he w o n at the 1984 World Championships in Ottawa did not reflect the class of a figure skater such as Fadeev. Before the Tokyo Championships

The Victor's Podium A n n a A l b e r g t h e S w e d i s h a d m i r e r of f i g u r e s k a t i n g sent a letter addressed to: " A l e x a n d e r Fadeev, USSR". The message read s i m p l y : "I w i s h y o u victory w i t h all my heart." Fadeev w e n t t o T o k y o as t h e t e a m leader. S u c h a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y can affect a n d even i n h i b i t an artist's perform a n c e a n d Fadeev had t o be totally relaxed o n t h e ice, o t h e r w i s e a g o l d medal w o u l d have been out of t h e q u e s t i o n . T h a t is w h y t h e o u t w a r d ease w i t h w h i c h he p e r f o r m e d t h e very difficult j u m p s and combinations on t h e ice of t h e J o j o g i s t a d i u m was applauded with even greater enthusiasm... Stanislav Z h u k a d m i t t e d that t h e small g o l d medal w h i c h A l e x a n d e r w o n in T o k y o f o r his p e r f o r m a n c e of t h e c o m p u l s o r y p r o g r a m m e meant a great deal to h i m . " W h e n I w o r k e d w i t h Sergei Chetverukhin the freestyle programme d i d n ' t always g o right f o r h i m at first," Z h u k said. " I w a s h a p p y w h e n Sergei w o n this event at t h e S a p p o r o Olympics. W i t h Fadeev it w a s t h e o t h e r way r o u n d . For a l o n g t i m e it was t h e c o m p u l s o r y p r o g r a m m e that d i d n ' t g o right f o r h i m . T h a t ' s w h y it was so i m p o r t a n t f o r us t o w i n t h i s event." Fadeev u n d e r s t o o d t h i s t o o . In an interview w i t h t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n t of t h e paper Sovetsky sport he said: "In my o p i n i o n t h o s e w h o d o n ' t like t h e c o m p u l s o r y p r o g r a m m e d o n ' t like figure s k a t i n g . " At first Fadeev was criticized f o r his lack of artistry to w h i c h Z h u k always s t r o n g l y o b j e c t e d : "At o n e t i m e Irina R o d n i n a w a s c r i t i c i z e d for the same reason. Everything c o m e s in t i m e . " A n d it d i d c o m e in t i m e . A l e x a n d e r Fadeev's " m o m e n t of g l o r y " was at T o k y o w h e n t h e A m e r i c a n a n d Canadian j u d g e s a w a r d e d him higher marks f o r artistic m e r i t t h a n their c o m p a t r i o t s Orser a n d B o i t a n o w h o

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were serious challengers for the C h a m p i o n s h i p s . Is t h i s n o t real recognition? Stanislav Z h u k believes in i n c l u d i n g as m a n y d i f f i c u l t e l e m e n t s as p o s s i b l e in t h e free s k a t i n g p r o g r a m m e . Talent a l o n e is not e n o u g h t o learn these j u m p s a n d c o m b i n a t i o n s . It r e q u i r e s a s t r o n g c h a r a c t e r to p r a c t i c e these j u m p s day after day a h u n d r e d , even a t h o u s a n d times, and a b o v e all not to falter in a c o m p e t i t i o n . At t h e Sarajevo W i n t e r Olympics Fadeev s p o i l e d his t h r e e a n d a half r e v o l u t i o n j u m p . T h o s e w h o k n e w his p r o g r a m m e said a f t e r w a r d s t h a t they w e r e c o n v i n c e d he w o u l d not a t t e m p t the four revolution toe loopbut he did. M o r e o v e r he w a s t h e first in t h e history of f i g u r e s k a t i n g t o e x e c u t e t h i s j u m p at s u c h a m a j o r event. Even n o w Z h u k m a i n t a i n s t h a t at that m o m e n t t h e j u d g e s d i d not realize w h a t h a d h a p p e n e d o n t h e ice. They r e d u c e d his m a r k s f o r t h e fault but a d d e d n o t h i n g f o r t h i s rare j u m p . It w a s t h e n that Z h u k started t o have faith in his pupil's strength of character. In T o k y o Fadeev w o u l d have perf o r m e d t h e f o u r - t u r n j u m p , h a d not injury prevented him. T w o m o n t h s earlier he had h u r t his leg at t h e USSR Championships in Dnepropetrovsk, w h i c h s t o p p e d h i m f r o m t a k i n g part in t h e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s . B u t in T o k y o n o - o n e realized that Fadeev w a s p e r f o r m i n g w i t h an i n j u r e d leg, so c o o l l y a n d c o n f i d e n t l y d i d he skate in his events. A f t e r Kovalev a n d V o l k o v A l e x a n d e r Fadeev is t h e t h i r d W o r l d C h a m p i o n in t h e history of Soviet m e n ' s s i n g l e s f i g u r e skating. B o t h of t h e f o r m e r champions contributed new and original ideas t o f i g u r e s k a t i n g . Fadeev's skates t o o are t r a c i n g t h e i r u n i q u e p a t t e r n o n t h e ice...

An Audacious Headlong Flight

T h e event that took place on the evening of 13th July 1985 in the small Jean Boin Stadium in Paris became the talking point of the w h o l e w o r l d of sport the f o l l o w i n g day. The French themselves reacted in a frenzy of enthusiasm. The front pages of the Paris newspapers carried the headlines: " B u b k a flies over Paris" (Le Matin), " B u b k a t h e s u p e r m a n of the pole!" (Le Parisien), " B u b k a the cosm o n a u t " (Le Figaro), " B u b k a in the six-metre heaven" (France Soir). These headlines were a c c o m p a n i e d by n u m e r o u s photographs of the Soviet athlete Sergei Bubka w h o set a w o r l d pole-vaulting record w h e n he cleared the bar at 6 metres. But even more sensational was the headline carried by the leading French sports paper L'Equipe. Reminding its readers that this event took place on the eve of France's national holiday commemorating the s t o r m i n g of the Bastille, it announced: "Six metres! Bubka has taken the Bastille!"

The French of course are particularly interested in pole vaulting. Over recent years they have produced a large g r o u p of strong pole vaulters w h o together w i t h the Soviet athletes lead the world. They love pole vaulting in France and appreciate the finer points of this technically difficult track and field event. At least t w o French vaulte r s t h e Olympic Champion Pierre Quinon and the former world recordholder Thierry V i g n e r o n s e t out to clear the six-metre limit, but Sergei Bubka was the first to make "the leap into the XXI century" as the Swiss newspapers put it. The new c h a m p i o n was besieged by reporters immediately after his recordbreaking vault. "Of course I am delighted," the record-holder said with an embarrassed smile. "I have realized a longcherished a m b i t i o n in being the first to clear the six-metre limit. I could probably have cleared this height last year, but I was a little unlucky, and

The Victor's Podium you can't set r e c o r d s w i t h o u t an elem e n t of luck. T h a n k y o u , P a r i s ! T h a n k you, Parisian fans! "I d o not t h i n k that my recordb r e a k i n g vault w a s ideal f r o m t h e t e c h n i c a l p o i n t of view. But at that m o m e n t t h e m a i n t h i n g was to clear t h e height. N o w my next aim is t o vault even h i g h e r . " A n d so it h a p p e n e d that o n the 13th July 1985 Paris gave an e n t h u s i a s t i c r e c e p t i o n to Sergei B u b k a w h o h a d set a new w o r l d r e c o r d at t h e internat i o n a l event held in t h e Jean B o i n S t a d i u m . In a c t u a l fact he d i d not even plan o n t a k i n g part at first. Several days later t h e r e w a s t h e G r a n d Prix in Nice w h e r e he w a s to meet t h e best pole vaulters of France, a n d it w a s in Nice that he a n d his c o a c h Vitaly Petrov had d e c i d e d to m a k e an att e m p t to break t h e w o r l d record. A c c o r d i n g t o G r a n d Prix rules addit i o n a l p r e m i u m p o i n t s are a d d e d f o r a w o r l d record w h i c h c o u l d make all t h e d i f f e r e n c e t o t h e overall result of t h i s prestigious competition. On t h e way to Nice Sergei s t o p p e d over in Paris, a n d h e a r i n g a b o u t t h e c o m p e t i t i o n w h i c h w a s b e i n g held there, he p h o n e d his c o a c h . Petrov realized that t h e u n s c h e d u l e d event in Paris c o u l d a f f e c t B u b k a ' s perform a n c e in Nice, but o n e c o u l d not d i s r e g a r d t h e e m o t i o n a l uplift that Sergei had felt over t h e last few days. They d e c i d e d t o c o m p e t e in Paris. It was w a r m a n d s u n n y w i t h a light breeze. Despite t h e f a c t that t h e r e were s o m e very s t r o n g pole vaulters headed by t h e E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n A l e x a n d e r K r u p s k y a n d t h e f o r m e r US r e c o r d - h o l d e r Bill Olson, B u b k a dec i d e d to take his t u r n w h e n t h e o t h e r s had c o m p l e t e d theirs. K r u p s k y a n d t h e Frenchman Philippe Colle vaulted h i g h e r t h a n t h e others, clearing 5 m 70 cm. Sergei started at that height. At t h e first a t t e m p t he cleared t h e bar w i t h r o o m t o spare a n d asked for it t o be raised t o 5 m 96 c m t w o cen-

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timetres higher than the w o r l d record he h a d set in A u g u s t 1984. W h i l e t h e j u d g e s w e r e raising t h e bar a n d adj u s t i n g t h e stands B u b k a h a d s e c o n d t h o u g h t s a n d asked t h e m t o p u t it up another four centimetres. When the figure "600" appeared on the scoreboard the applause from the s t a n d s was d e a f e n i n g . T h e bar w a s o n a level w i t h t h e last row of t h e m a i n s t a n d in t h e s t a d i u m so that B u b k a s e e m e d t o fly over it w h e n he vaulted. T h e first a t t e m p t was u n s u c c e s s f u l . T h e s e c o n d , as Sergei h i m s e l f said, w e n t well, but w h e n he c l e a r e d t h e bar he w a s u n a b l e to d i s t a n c e himself f r o m it a n d t o u c h e d it as h e w a s l a n d i n g . T h e six-metre l i m i t he a s p i r e d t o w a s cleared at t h e t h i r d a t t e m p t . T h e c o r r e s p o n d e n t of L'Equipe gave a graphic account of this recordb r e a k i n g vault: " S e r g e i B u b k a s o a r e d u p t o his El D o r a d o of 6 m e t r e s as t h o u g h o n w i n g s . It was a m a g n i f i c e n t r u n up a n d his m o v e m e n t s w e r e absolutely faultless. The vault w a s successful. B u b k a s t o o d u p p r o u d l y a n d saluted his p u b l i c w i t h great d i g n i t y . It w a s a s p l e n d i d lesson in beauty, p o w e r a n d s e l f - c o n t r o l ! " Sergei himself, however, was less e n t h u s i a s t i c e n t h u s i a s t i c his r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g vault, c o n s i d e r i n g that his s u c c e s s w a s d u e m o r e t o t h e a n i m a t i o n he felt a n d his w i l l - p o w e r t h a n to great t e c h n i c a l skill. T h e s e c o n d a t t e m p t , he t h o u g h t , w a s b e t t e r f r o m a t e c h n i c a l p o i n t of view. B u b k a possesses o n e q u a l i t y w h i c h is e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t for an athlete: he has a very fine f e e l i n g f o r all t h e n u a n c e s of m o v e m e n t . He masters new a n d d i f f i c u l t t e c h n i q u e s w i t h c o n s i d e r a b l e ease a n d c a n a c c u r a t e l y p i n p o i n t any mistake. W h e n he has e x e c u t e d a vault, Sergei analyzes it d o w n to t h e last detail, b r e a k i n g it d o w n into its c o m p o n e n t parts a n d d e c i d i n g w h a t he has d o n e c o r r e c t l y a n d w h a t not. S u c h ability usually c o m e s w i t h experience, it is d e v e l o p e d over years of t r a i n i n g , b u t w i t h B u b k a

Soviet Sport it appears t o be i n b o r n . W h e n he was still in his teens a n d o n l y j u s t beginn i n g t o master t h e d i f f i c u l t t e c h n i q u e of pole v a u l t i n g , Sergei a m a z e d Petrov by t h e speed w i t h w h i c h he assimilated new m o v e m e n t s . U n d o u b t e d l y , t h i s has a lot to d o w i t h his rapid p r o g r e s s t o r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g results. The w o r l d of sport d i s c o v e r e d h i m in 1983 w h e n 19-year-old S e r g e i b e c a m e t h e first W o r l d P o l e - V a u l t i n g C h a m p i o n . Incidentally, you nearly always have t o a d d " f i r s t " or " f o r t h e first t i m e " w h e n you list B u b k a ' s achievements. T h e r e is not a s i n g l e pole vaulter w h o has ever s u c c e e d e d in s e t t i n g f o u r w o r l d r e c o r d s in t h e c o u r s e of a season. B u b k a d i d it in j u s t f o u r m o n t h s : in May 1984 he set t h e scene f o r his w o r l d r e c o r d s by c l e a r i n g 5 m 85 c m in Bratislava, in J u n e he cleared 5 m 88 c m in Paris a n d 5 m 90 c m in L o n d o n , a n d finally, in A u g u s t , he a c h i e v e d t h e h e i g h t of 5 m 94 c m in Rome. In these f o u r m o n t h s t h e w o r l d r e c o r d s h o t u p by 11 c e n t i m e t r e s a n d S e r g e i B u b k a ' s ind i v i d u a l r e c o r d by 22 c e n t i m e t r e s . T o c o m p l e t e t h e p i c t u r e it s h o u l d be a d d e d that B u b k a b e g a n t o s m a s h r e c o r d s as far b a c k as J a n u a r y 1984 w h e n he cleared 5 m 81 c m in t h e V i l n i u s i n d o o r s t a d i u m t h e greatest w o r l d a c h i e v e m e n t f o r i n d o o r events. That same w i n t e r he t w i c e i m p r o v e d o n this p e r f o r m a n c e . T h u s , in 1984, Sergei B u b k a a c h i e v e d a g r a n d total of seven w o r l d r e c o r d s in i n d o o r a n d o u t d o o r events. Sergei set his f i f t h w o r l d r e c o r d in o u t d o o r events w h e n he c l e a r e d six metres in 1985 ( w h i c h , i n c i d e n t a l l y , no o t h e r pole vaulter has done) a n d b e g a n a new c h a p t e r in t h e history of t r a c k a n d field athletics. In July 1986 at t h e G o o d w i l l Games held in M o s c o w t h e m o s t o u t s t a n d i n g athlete in his first a t t e m p t cleared t h e bar at a h e i g h t yet u n c o n q u e r e d 6 m 01 cm. W h a t is t h e reason f o r S e r g e i B u b k a ' s

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impressive list of a c h i e v e m e n t s ? W h a t is t h e secret of his r e c o r d - b r e a k i n g v a u l t s ? Indeed, is t h e r e actually a secret? O n c e a w e l l - k n o w n expert w a s asked w h a t you had t o d o t o vault h i g h w i t h t h e pole. He e x p l a i n e d that it w a s all very s i m p l e y o u had t o g r i p t h e pole h i g h e r up, r u n up m o r e q u i c k l y a n d put m o r e p o w e r i n t o t h e take-off. B u b k a ' s c o a c h , Vitaly Petrov, believes that t h e ideal pole vaulter is an athlete w h o can r u n 100 metres in 10 seco n d s , j u m p a h e i g h t of m o r e t h a n t w o metres a n d a l e n g t h of m o r e t h a n e i g h t metres. B u t s u c h an athlete does not as yet exist, nor is o n e likely t o a p p e a r a m o n g pole vaulters in t h e near f u t u r e . A n athlete w i t h s u c h t a l e n t s can b e c o m e a m a g n i f i c e n t sprinter, h u r d l e r or decathlete. Sergei B u b k a is c l o s e r t h a n a n y o n e t o t h e ideal d e s c r i b e d by his c o a c h . Tall a n d w i t h an athletic p h y s i q u e , B u b k a has t h e speed of t h e real sprinter. In his r u n up Sergei accelerates t o a speed of 9.54 metres a s e c o n d . A n d t h i s w i t h a five-metrel o n g pole in his h a n d s ! W i t h o u t t h e pole B u b k a can r u n a h u n d r e d m e t r e s in 10.2-10.3 s e c o n d s . A n o t h e r u n i q u e t e c h n i q u e of B u b k a ' s is t h e h e i g h t of his grip. W h a t c o u l d be s i m p l e r y o u m i g h t t h i n k : t h e h i g h e r you g r i p t h e pole, t h e h i g h e r it carries you up, t h e l o w e r you g r i p t h e less h e i g h t y o u clear. However, t o o h i g h a g r i p can s t o p y o u f r o m c l e a r i n g t h e bar at a l l t h e pole w i l l simply not d o its w o r k a n d all t h e f o r c e of t h e elastic c a t a p u l t is wasted. B u b k a n o t o n l y has a very h i g h g r i p he h o l d s t h e pole at a h e i g h t of 5 m 15 cm-5 m 20 c m but a very r i g i d pole. Each pole is d e s i g n e d t o c o p e w i t h a s p e c i f i c w e i g h t a n d only t h e n can it o p e r a t e w i t h m a x i m u m e f f i c i e n cy. T h e m o r e rigid poles, i.e. t h o s e d e s i g n e d f o r t h e heavier w e i g h t s , are of c o u r s e s t r o n g e r . The p r o b l e m is, however, that t h e vaulters c a n n o t

The Victor's Podium b e n d t h e m , c a n n o t " l o a d " t h e m in t h e preparatory phase of t h e j u m p . A n d as a pole is " l o a d e d " , so it w i l l " f i r e " . B u b k a learned t o " l o a d " t h e most rigid poles that are made. As if that were not e n o u g h f o r h i m , f o r he used t h i s t e c h n i q u e t o set so many r e c o r d s as he w o n c o m p e t i t i o n s in 1984. It w a s o b v i o u s that s u c h poles w e r e just right f o r h i m . S e e i n g that Sergei had b e c o m e even s t r o n g e r a n d faster over t h e last year, his c o a c h s u g g e s t e d that he try an even m o r e r i g i d pole a n d use a higher g r i p . T h e w i n t e r , s p r i n g a n d part of t h e s u m m e r w e r e spent mastering the new pole w h i c h turned out t o be m o r e o b s t i n a t e t h a n c o u l d have been e x p e c t e d . W h e n t h i n g s started t o g o well, t h e c o a c h a n d his p u p i l realized that t h e p r o b l e m of t h e sixmetre limit h a d been solved a n d that they n o w h a d t o t h i n k a b o u t h e i g h t s of t h e o r d e r of 6 m 20 c m a n d 6 m 30 cm. The r e a d a p t a t i o n of his t e c h n i q u e a n d t h e m a s t e r i n g of t h e n e w pole d i d not prevent B u b k a f r o m a c q u i t t i n g himself brilliantly in t h e very d i f f i c u l t 12 m o n t h s of 1985 w h e n he was n o m i nated best s p o r t s m a n of t h e year. W h y s h o u l d 1985 have been s u c h a d i f f i c u l t year? Because t h e r e had not been a longer season in t h e entire history of t r a c k and f i e l d athletics. T h e I W o r l d W i n t e r G a m e s w e r e held in Paris in t h e m i d d l e of J a n u a r y . They w e r e in effect t h e first W o r l d W i n t e r C h a m p i o n s h i p s w h i c h p r o v e d so s u c c e s s f u l that t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l A m a t e u r Athlet i c s Federation d e c i d e d to h o l d o f f i c i a l world championships. The b r o t h e r s Sergei a n d Vasily B u b k a had s o m e t h i n g t o d o w i t h this decision. Their rivalry w i t h Thierry Vigneron, the d a r l i n g of t h e Paris p u b l i c gave an e d g e t o t h e c o n t e s t in Paris a n d kept t h e w h o l e of t h e h u g e S p o r t s C o m p l e x Palace at Paris Bercy in suspense. T h e o u t c o m e was that all three stood on the victor's podium. Sergei B u b k a w o n t h e g o l d medal,

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T h i e r r y V i g n e r o n t h e silver a n d Vasily B u b k a t h e bronze. This t r a c k a n d field m a r a t h o n lasted f o r n i n e m o n t h s . In O c t o b e r the s t r o n g e s t teams c o m p e t e d f o r t h e W o r l d C u p in Canberra. S e r g e i B u b k a was in e x c e l l e n t f o r m f o r t h e e n t i r e p e r i o d : in M a r c h he w o n t h e W i n t e r E u r o p e a n C h a m p i o n s h i p s in A t h e n s , he t h e n w e n t on t o w i n t h e E u r o p e a n Cup and the World Cup, the Grand Prix, t h e m a t c h against A m e r i c a n athletes a n d a w h o l e n u m b e r of o t h e r competitions. T h e only event he was u n a b l e t o t a k e part in was t h e National C h a m p i o n s h i p s t o d e f e n d his title w h i c h he had w o n a year a g o at h o m e in t h e m i n i n g t o w n of Donetsk. However, B u b k a still b e c a m e t h e 1985 USSR C h a m p i o n , o n l y not Sergei but his elder b r o t h e r Vasily. Yes, 1985 proved t o be not only a d i f f i c u l t year but also a h i g h l y successful one for both brothers. It j u s t so h a p p e n e d that t h e y o u n g e r b r o t h e r Sergei was t h e first t o g a i n r e c o g n i t i o n . He also b e g a n v a u l t i n g at an earlier age. It all s t a r t e d in Voro s h i l o v g r a d . In t h e a u t u m n of 1973, Vitaly Petrov, t h e c o a c h of t h e local c h i l d r e n ' s s p o r t s s c h o o l , m a d e his periodic selection of new talent. A m o n g t h o s e he r e c r u i t e d f o r his y o u n g e s t g r o u p was S e r g e i B u b k a w h o w a s g o i n g o n for 10 at t h e t i m e . Petrov was in n o h u r r y t o i n t r o d u c e t h e c h i l d r e n to pole v a u l t i n g . They d i d a lot of r u n n i n g a n d j u m p i n g , played d i f f e r e n t games and t o o k part in all k i n d s of relays. Each t r a i n i n g session w a s sheer pleasure f o r t h e c h i l d r e n but Petrov was w a t c h i n g t h e m c a r e f u l ly w i t h o u t their realizing it. Sergei first d r e w a t t e n t i o n to himself w h e n t h e c h i l d r e n were c o m p e t i n g in t h e c h i n ups. T h e boy did fifteen. S e r g e i ' s t r a i n i n g w o u l d s o o n have c o m e to an e n d had it not been f o r his e l d e r b r o t h e r . T o get t o t h e s p o r t s s c h o o l t h e ten-year-old boy h a d to travel t o t h e o t h e r e n d of t h e t o w n a n d

Soviet Sport c h a n g e twice. His p a r e n t s w a n t e d t o p u t an e n d t o all t h i s t r a v e l l i n g a n d w o u l d have d o n e so h a d not Vasily s t e p p e d in a n d p r o m i s e d that he w o u l d take Sergei t o t h e s c h o o l . So t h e p r o b l e m w a s solved. S o o n t h e elder b r o t h e r t o o b e c a m e interested in pole v a u l t i n g a n d w a s c o a c h e d by Petrov. Vasily's p r o g r e s s w a s slower, but o n c e he had t a k e n t h e next step up, he never fell back. Sergei, however, c l i m b e d t h e ladder of s u c c e s s m o r e q u i c k l y a n d in his seco n d year of t r a i n i n g literally a s t o u n d e d his t u t o r . By t h i s t i m e Petrov's p u p i l s h a d b e g u n to master t h e e l e m e n t s of t h e vault. On o n e o c c a s i o n Sergei c l e a r e d 3 m 50 c m w i t h an a l u m i n i u m pole. A n d it w a s n o t even a p r o p e r p o l e b u t simply a metal s t i c k w h i c h d i d n ' t even bend. W h a t a m a z e d Petrov w a s not so m u c h t h e h e i g h t as t h e fact that t h e boy c l e a r e d t h e bar w h i c h w a s set half a m e t r e h i g h e r t h a n t h e level of his g r i p o n t h e pole. The a s t o u n d e d c o a c h praised S e r g e i say-

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ing t h a t o n e day he w o u l d clear 5 m 80 cm. T h e w o r l d r e c o r d was 5 m 65 c m at that t i m e . Eight years later Sergei b e c a m e W o r l d C h a m p i o n a n d t h e year after thatworld r e c o r d - h o l d e r w i t h his 6 m vault. T h e l i m i t w h i c h Petrov had p r e d i c t e d w a s past history. His d r e a m h a d c o m e t r u e ! Or h a d it? After h e h a d set his w o r l d r e c o r d , B u b k a w a s invited t o a c e r e m o n y at t h e T o w n Hall w h e r e he was a w a r d e d t h e Grande medaille d'or de Paris f o r his o u t s t a n d i n g a c h i e v e m e n t in s p o r t . R e p l y i n g t o q u e s t i o n s after t h e .cerem o n y , B u b k a said o n e t h i n g in particular: " F o r t h e rest of my life Paris w i l l rem a i n in my m e m o r y as t h e city w h e r e part of my d r e a m has c o m e t r u e . " "Part of y o u r d r e a m ? " "Of c o u r s e , t h e r e are still so m a n y c h a m p i o n s h i p s a n d O l y m p i c s ahead. I d o not believe that six metres is t h e limit. Real p o l e vaults only b e g i n at that height..."

Dear Reader, You have turned the last page of SOVIET SPORT. The Success Story. We hope that this book has given you some idea about Soviet sport in general and about the road it has travelled over the last 70 years. It was a difficult and thorny path f r o m the first governmental decrees of 1917 to the state plans for developing sport and raising the physical fitness level of the population. The sports movement in the Soviet Union has taken on a truly mass character. More than 80 million people, or about a third of the country's population, are involved in it. It is these millions that have p r o d u c e d outstanding athletes f r o m their ranks, and it is these millions that will p r o d u c e more c h a m p i o n s w h o m sports fans the w o r l d over will admire. We hope that this book increased your love of sport and enriched your knowledge and emotions. Raduga Publishers w o u l d appreciate your c o m m e n t s on the book, its translation and design. Our address is: 17, Zubovsky Boulevard, Moscow, USSR.

The reader may see testimony from the many examples in this book to the noble mission of immense state importance that is being pursued in the USSR. For the first time in the history of humanity sport has become the privilege of the millions, and physical culture has become part and parcel of the socialist way of life. As is testified to by Soviet and overseas experts, it is a progressive system of physical education of a new tvne with no historical precedent.

ISBN 5-05-001188-4