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Vladimir Smirnov


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Vladimir Mikhailovich Smirnov was born on March 7, 1964 in Shchuchinsk, Kokchetav region, Kazakh SSR in a working-class family. Since his early childhood, Vladimir had a desire to go in for sports. Soon Ungefug Alexander Khristianovich turned his attetion to a capable young skier. Unlike many coaches, he knew in detail how to train children and to find a common language with each of them.  Hard trainings during many years led to the birth of the Champion. At the age of 15, Vladimir took the second and fourth places in the USSR Championship among young men in 1979. According to the results of these competitions, he was included in the youth team of the USSR in ski racing.

During his sports career, he has achieved outstanding results. Vladimir participated in four Olympic Games: XV Olympic winter games, Calgary, 1988, 30 km – silver medal, 15 km – bronze medal, 4×10 km relay race – silver medal; XVI Olympic winter games, Alberville, 1992; XVII Olympic winter games, Lillehammer, 1994: 50 km classic style – gold medal, 10 km classic – silver medal, 15 km pursuit race – silver medal; XVIII Olympic winter games, Nagano, 1998: 15 km – bronze medal. He took part in seven World Championsios and won a gold medal four times (1987, 1989, 1993, 1995), and also 4 silver and 3 bronze medals. He won the World Cup twice: in the 1991-1992 and 1993-1994 seasons. He was the champion of the Soviet Union many times. In 1996 Vladimir was recognized as the best athlete of the year by the Congress of Asian journalists.

From 1980 to 1992 he was the member of the USSR national team, representing Kazakhstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, while living and training abroad he always took part in all important competitions under the flag of Kazakhstan (1992-1998). He became the Olympic champion in 1994, representing the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From 1979 to 1989, sport destiny closely connected him with his countryman, the great friend and rival on the track Vladimir Sakhnov.

His professional sport career was finished in 1999. At the 110th extraordinary session of the International Olympic Committee, held in December 1999 in Lausanne, he was elected a full member.

Nowadays, he resides in Sweden, retaining Kazakh citizenship. Married. Raises two daughters. Organizes the youth ski school in his hometown of Shchuchinsk.


Recognition, awards:

He was awarded the order of Friendship of Peoples (1988) and the order of Kazakhstan “Dank”.

Medal “20 years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan”.

Awarded the highest Norwegian skiing award — Holmenkollen medal.

Honorary citizen of Kokshetau (Kokchetav).


Olympic games

Silver           Calgary 1988                  30 km

Silver           Calgary 1988                  relay race 4×10 km

Bronze         Calgary 1988                 15 km

Silver           Lillehammer 1994         10 km

Silver           Lillehammer 1994         15 km

Gold             Lillehammer 1994         50 km

Bronze         Nagano 1998                 15 km

World ski Championships

Silver           Oberstdorf 1987             relay race 4×10 km

Gold             Lahti 1989                     30 km

Silver           Val di Fiemme 1991      30 km

Bronze         Val di Fiemme 1991      15 km

Silver           Falun 1993                     10 km

Silver           Falun 1993                     15 km

Bronze         Falun 1993                     30 km

Gold            Thunder Bay 1995          30 km

Gold            Thunder Bay 1995          10 km

Gold            Thunder Bay 1995          15 km

Bronze        Thunder Bay 1995          50 km

Asian game

Gold            Gangwon-do 1999          15 km

Gold            Gangwon-do 1999          relay race 4×10 km

Silver          Gangwon-do 1999          30 km