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.
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).
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
Gold Gangwon-do 1999 15 km
Gold Gangwon-do 1999 relay race 4×10 km
Silver Gangwon-do 1999 30 km