Valeriy Nikolayevich Brumel (Russian: Валерий Николаевич Брумель; 14 April 1942 – 26 January 2003) was a Soviet Olympic athlete. The 1964 Olympic champion in the Men's High Jump, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes ever to compete in the high jump. Brumel set records in the early 1960s. His jumping career was ended by a motorcycle accident in 1965.
Brumel was the son of a miner. He began going in for sports at age 12 in Lugansk, coached by P. S. Shtein. At age 16 he cleared 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in the high jump, using the then dominant straight-leg straddle technique. From the age of 17, he improved his skills under the coaching of V. M. Dyachkov in Moscow. In 1960 he broke the USSR record, 2.17 metres (7 ft 1 in), and made the Olympic Team. At the 1960 Summer Olympics, he scored the same result as the winner Robert Shavlakadze but made more attempts and won the silver (2nd place). He broke the world record for the high jump six times from 1961 to 1963, from 2.23 metres (7 ft 4 in) to 2.28 metres (7 ft 6 in). He won gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics.
After going undefeated during the 1965 season, Brumel injured his right leg in a motorcycle accident. He was operated on successfully by professor Gavriil Ilizarov with a new leg-lengthening procedure using his external fixator. Even after undergoing 29 surgeries, though, he could never get his career back on track, though he jumped 2.06 metres (6 ft 9 in) in 1970.