Sergey Khlebnikov

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SergeyKhlebnikovWKSprint1982Alkmaar 931-9596.jpg
Sergey Khlebnikov in 1982
Personal information
Born 28 August 1955
Sortavala, Russia
Died 12 June 1999 (aged 43)
Moscow, Russia
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 90 kg (200 lb)
Sport
Sport Speed skating
Club Spartak Moscow

Sergey Anatolevich Khlebnikov (Russian: Серге́й Анатольевич Хлебников, 28 August 1955 – 12 June 1999) was a Russian speed skater who competed for the Soviet Union in the 1980 and the 1984 Winter Olympics.

He was born in Sortavala and died in Moscow by drowning in the Mitinskoe pond. "An oak of a man,"[1] the Western press described him as a "tank" and a typical product of communism.[2]

Career[edit]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Khlebnikov was one of the perennial favorites in the sprint events, battling often with fellow Soviet sprinter Yevgeny Kulikov,[3] Japanese sprinter Akira Kuroiwa,[4] and American all-rounder Eric Heiden. Throughout his career, his biggest rival, even his "archrival,"[5] was Canadian skater Gaétan Boucher.[6][7][8]

World championships[edit]

Khlebnikov's first medal as a sprinter came in 1981, when he finished second in the world sprint championship in Grenoble, after Boucher fell in the 500 meters.[9] He won his only world sprint championship in Alkmaar in 1982. The next year, in Helsinki, a fall in the 500 meter race meant he lost the crown to Akira Kuroiwa.[4] In 1984, he finished second in the world sprint championship in Trondheim after leading on the first day,[10] but the next year, his career as the strongest Soviet sprinter was over, Igor Zhelezovski ("Igor the Terrible") having become world sprint champion in 1985.

Olympic participation[edit]

In 1980 Khlebnikov finished ninth in the 1000 meters and 15th in the 500 meters competition; the speed skating competition was dominated by Eric Heiden.

Four years later, at the Olympics in Sarajevo, Khlebnikov was outmatched by Gaétan Boucher, who dominated the short events with gold in the 1000 and the 1500 meters;[11] Khlebnikov won the silver medal in the 1000 meters[12] and the 1500 meters. In Sarajevo he competed in the 500 meters event as well, but a false start cost him the chance at a medal.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Farber, Michael (6 March 1984). "Boucher refused to accept excuses". The Montreal Gazette. pp. F3. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Durocher, Pierre (15 February 2010). "L’oubli de Boucher: un affront irréparable" (in French). Rue Frontenac. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Heiden out of Norwegian Skating Meet". Schenectady Gazette. 30 December 1979. p. 18. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "SPORTS NEWS BRIEFS; Champions Beaten In Skate Sprints". The New York Times. 28 February 1983. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "1984 Sarajevo, Bosnia: The Olympics that captivated the world". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Foisy, Paul (1 January 1991). "Gaétan Boucher, patinage de vitesse". Panthéon des sports du Québec. Réseau des sports. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Starkman, Randy (24 November 1984). "Boucher sets sights on more Olympic skating medals". The Montreal Gazette. pp. B7. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Local Skater Betters Soviets". The Montreal Gazette. 3 December 1979. p. 49. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Fall Robs Boucher of Sprint Crown". Ottawa Citizen. 23 February 1981. p. 20. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Karin Enke Captures 2 Races in Title Skating". The New York Times. 4 March 1984. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  11. ^ Chase, Sean (18 February 2010). "Some remarkable Canadians at the Winter Olympic Games". The Daily Observer (Ottawa). Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Kupper, Mike (14 February 1984). "Thometz, fit to be tied, skates to a 4th". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 3.1. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  13. ^ Schaap, Dick (1984). The 1984 Olympic Games: Sarajevo/Los Angeles. Random House. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-394-53678-1. 

External links[edit]