Stanislav Zhuk

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Stanislav Zhuk
Personal information
Full name Stanislav Alekseevich Zhuk
Country represented  Soviet Union
Born (1935-01-25)January 25, 1935
Died November 1, 1998(1998-11-01) (aged 63)
Former partner Nina Zhuk
Skating club Dynamo, Leningrad

Stanislav Alekseevich Zhuk (Russian: Станислав Алексеевич Жук, About this sound listen ) (January 25, 1935, Ulyanovsk - November 1, 1998, Moscow) was a pair skater who represented the Soviet Union. With partner and wife Nina, he won three silver medals at the European Figure Skating Championships and finished sixth at the 1960 Winter Olympics.

He later went on to a long career as a coach. Among the pairs he coached were Olympic gold medalists Irina Rodnina & Alexander Zaitsev and Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov.


Stanslav Zhuk is a native Siberian. Having finished Marine military service his father, Alexey Zhuk, returned to Ulyanovsk together with his friend Pavel Dementyev. As they were neighbors Alexey met his sister Maria. They immediately fell in love and soon got married. Stanislav Zhuk was born on 25 January 1935 into a family of the naval officer in Ulyanovsk. As a result the family had to move a lot.

In the late 1940-s there was a revival of figure skating in the after-war Leningrad. Here Stanislav started skating. Many of the most promising students of Pioneers Palace section were in the department of Dinamo physical culture and sports club. There was formed the most powerful Soviet Union figure skaters team at the head of the coach Peter Orlov, the Master of Sports. The coach Orlov met Stanislav when he was studying in the physical training college. He offered him to skate in pair with Nina Bakusheva, a ladies single skater from Leningrad.

In the late 1950-s they started to skate together. Stanislav was a very ambitious person. He always followed his motto: “If it's necessary, it’s a must!”. If he didn’t do what he had planned during the trainings, he would have never left the ice-rink. The coach trusted him with the preparation of performance programs and trainings.

In 10 years the pair won three silver medals at the European Championships and they were four-time Champions of the Soviet Union Championships . This was the start of an era of soviet figure skaters great victories worldwide. While taking part in the European Championships the pair performed the elements which were accepted illegal by judges as they considered them to be too dangerous.

"I was told that it was acrobatics. Remembering this makes me laugh. Time has passed, but the medals will never be gold." (Stanislav Zhuk)

Nobody had ever performed the move with one-handed hold before Stanislav Zhuk. The element was performed with the direct hands in comparison with the other pairs who performed it with the bent hands. Mass media made a fuss about new elements performed by the Zhuk. However a year later these dangerous elements considered to be highly professional.

They were the first soviet skating pair who took part in Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, Calif., in 1960. Nina and Stanislav Zhuk finished as high as second in later European and World championships.

1961 they claimed to be the world best skating pair as they had a unique program. But due to unforeseen circumstances the 1961 World Championship didn’t take place. US Figure Skating Team died in a plane crash as they were headed for the World Championship in Prague. Nina and Stanislav decided to finish their professional career and join the Moscow State Ballet on Ice.

1962 Stanislav Zhuk attended the World Championship in Prague as the coach of Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov. Due to his highly professional program they won a silver medal. Working in the Moscow State Ballet on Ice Zhuk sacrificed his rehearsals and performances for preparing his sister, Tatyana Zhuk, for the competitions. She skated first with Alexander Gavrilov, than with Alexander Gorelick.

Zhuk became a coach for the Central Army Sports Club. He took Alexander Gorelick in his team and 9 months later the skating pair Tatyana and Alexander was accepted into the Soviet Union national team. They were the 1965 World and European bronze medalists and than the 1966 World and European silver medalists. 1968 they won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics.

It was the start of Stanislav Zhuk great victories. He raised many world famous figure skaters in all kinds of figure skating. He was a discoverer of stars. For example, Irina Rodnina, who is one of the most successful figure skaters ever. His student, Elena Vodorezova, was the first Soviet woman to win a silver medal at the European Championships. Alexander Fadeyev is the first figure skater in the world who landed a quadruple toe-loop (though it was not ratified by the International Skating Union and thus is not credited as the first quad).

In 20 years of coaching Stanislav Zhuk trainees won 67 gold, 36 silver and 35 bronze medals at the Olympic Games and World and European Championships.

Another successive pairs trained by Zhuk were Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakhrai, Marina Pestova and Stanislav Leonovich, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. Unfortunately they were the last Zhuk pupils who made the Moscow pair skating famous worldwide.

November 1, 1998 Stanislav Zhuk died of a heart attack at the Moscow subway station “Aeroport”, not far from CSKA. Since then every year his trainees and admirers visit his grave at Vagankovskoe cemetery.

19 November 2008 there was the opening of the monument to Stanislav Zhuk, the outstanding professional figure-skating coach, on the CSKA.

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Zhuk)

Event 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961
Winter Olympic Games 6th
World Championships 8th 5th
European Championships 6th 2nd 2nd 2nd
Soviet Championships 3rd 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st