Vladimir Smirnov (skier)

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Vladimir Smirnov
Vladimir Smirnov (skier) 2007 Kazakhstani stamp.jpg
Personal information
Full name Vladimir Mikhaylovich Smirnov
Born (1964-03-07)7 March 1964
Shuchinsk, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Professional information
Club Stockviks SF
Skis Rossignol
World Cup
Seasons 1982–1998
Wins 30
Additional podiums 36
Total podiums 66
Overall titles 2 (1990–91, 1993–94)

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Smirnov (Russian: Влади́мир Миха́йлович Смирно́в; born 7 March 1964) is a Kazakhstani former cross-country skier who raced from the 1982 until 1991 for the USSR and, later, for Kazakhstan. First Olympic champion from independent Kazakhstan. He is also a vice president of the International Biathlon Union. Smirnov is a former member of International Olympic Committee.[1]

Early life[edit]

Smirnov was born in Shchuchinsk, Kazakh SSR. During the Soviet period, he trained at the Armed Forces sports society in Alma-Ata.

Career[edit]

Smirnov in 1994

Smirnov made his debut in the FIS Cross-Country World Cup on 18 December 1982 at Davos in a 15 km race, finishing in a 17th place. His first victory came in 1986, a classic style 15 km in Kavgolovo (URS). Smirnov gained a total of 30 victories in the World Cup, with 21 second and 15 third places. In 1994, he won the aggregate World Cup, thanks to seven victories in the course of the season.

At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships from 1987 to 1997, Smirnov totalled four gold (1989: 30 km, 1995: 10 km, 10 km + 15 km combined pursuit, 30 km), four silver (1987: 4x10 km, 1991: 30 km, 1993: 10 km, 10 km + 15 km combined pursuit) and three bronze medals (1991: 15 km, 1993: 30 km, 1995: 50 km). His best result was in Thunder Bay, Ontario (1995), when he won three events.

In 1994, he received the Holmenkollen Medal (shared with Lyubov Yegorova and Espen Bredesen). Smirnov also won twice at the Holmenkollen ski festival with a 15 km win in 1994 and a 50 km win in 1995.

A very regular and effective cross-country skier, especially in long-distance classic style races, Smirnov took part to the Winter Olympics from 1988 to 1998. His best known victory was the 50 km gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, the first Olympic gold medal for Kazakhstan. He was one of the leading characters of that Olympics, as his unending rivalry with home ever-winning Bjørn Dæhlie had gained him the affection of the Norwegian audience. He also became good friends with his rival Dæhlie, even participating with Dæhlie in several popular Norwegian TV shows.

In 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Smirnov was flag-bearer of Kazakhstan Olympic team and won the bronze medal in the 25 km pursuit event.[1]

Smirnov headed the bid committee to have Almaty, Kazakhstan, host the 2014 Winter Olympics, a bid that failed to make the short list that was announced by the International Olympic Committee on 22 June 2006.[1] In 2011, Smirnov participated at the opening ceremony of 2011 Asian Winter Games in Astana.

Personal life[edit]

In the 1990s Smirnov lived in the Swedish city of Sundsvall, where he was a co-founder and co-owner of a local brewery. He is married to Valentina Smirnova, and they have two daughters – Anna and Karolina. Smirnov speaks four languages: Russian, German, English and Swedish.[2]

Career highlights[edit]

Olympic Games
1988 – Canada Calgary Silver medal.svg 2nd, 30 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary Bronze medal.svg 3rd, 15 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary Silver medal.svg 2nd, 4x10 km relay
1994 – Norway Lillehammer Silver medal.svg 2nd, 10 km C
1994 – Norway Lillehammer Silver medal.svg 2nd, 25 km M pursuit
1994 – Norway Lillehammer Gold medal.svg 1st, 50 km C
1998 – Japan Nagano Bronze medal.svg 3rd, 25 km M pursuit
World Ski Championships
1987 – Germany Oberstdorf 2nd 2nd, 4x10 km relay
1989 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 30 km C
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 2nd 2nd, 30 km C
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 3rd 3rd, 15 km F
1993 – Sweden Falun 3rd 3rd, 30 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 1st 1st, 25 km M pursuit
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st 1st, 30 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st 1st, 10 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st 1st, 25 km M pursuit
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 3rd 3rd, 50 km F
Asian Winter Games
1999 – South Korea Gangwon 1st 1st, 15 km C
1999 – South Korea Gangwon 1st 1st, 4×10 km relay
1999 – South Korea Gangwon 3rd 3rd, 30 km F
World Cup overall
1985/86 – 3rd 3rd
1990/91 – 1st 1st
1991/92 – 3rd 3rd
1992/93 – 2nd 2nd
1993/94 – 1st 1st
1994/95 – 2nd 2nd
1995/96 – 2nd 2nd
1997/98 – 3rd 3rd
World Cup podiums
1984 – Soviet Union Murmansk 2nd 2nd, 15 km C
1985 – Canada Labrador City 2nd 2nd, 15 km C
1986 – France La Bresse 2nd 2nd, 30 km C
1986 – Soviet Union Kavgolovo 1st 1st, 15 km C
1986 – Italy Cogne 3rd 3rd, 15 km F
1986 – Switzerland Davos 2nd 2nd, 30 km C
1988 – Soviet Union Kavgolovo 1st 1st, 30 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary 2nd 2nd, 30 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary 3rd 3rd, 15 km C
1989 – Soviet Union Kavgolovo 2nd 2nd, 15 km C
1989 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 30 km C
1990 – Germany Reit im Winkl 1st 1st, 30 km F
1990 – Sweden Örnsköldsvik 3rd 3rd, 30 km C
1990 – Austria Tauplitz 3rd 3rd, 25 km M pursuit
1990 – Switzerland Davos 1st 1st, 15 km C
1990 – France Les Saisies 1st 1st, 30 km C
1991 – Soviet Union Minsk 1st 1st, 15 km F
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 2nd 2nd, 30 km C
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 3rd 3rd, 15 km F
1991 – Finland Lahti 2nd 2nd, 30 km F
1991 – Canada Silver Star 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1992 – Russia Kavgolovo 3rd 3rd, 30 km C
1992 – Sweden Funäsdalen 3rd 3rd, 30 km F
1992 – Austria Ramsau 2nd 2nd, 10 km F
1992 – Austria Ramsau 3rd 3rd, 15 km C
1992 – Italy Val di Fiemme 1st 1st, 30 km F
1993 – Slovenia Bohinj 1st 1st, 15 km F
1993 – Sweden Falun 3rd 3rd, 30 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 1st 1st, 25 km M pursuit
1993 – Finland Lahti 2nd 2nd, 30 km F
1993 – Italy Santa Caterina 1st 1st, 30 km C
1993 – Italy Toblach 1st 1st, 10 km C
1993 – Italy Toblach 1st 1st, 15 km F
1994 – Russia Kavgolovo 1st 1st, 15 km C
1994 – Norway Oslo 1st 1st, 15 km F
1994 – Norway Lillehammer 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1994 – Norway Lillehammer 2nd 2nd, 25 km M pursuit
1994 – Norway Lillehammer 1st 1st, 50 km C
1994 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 15 km F
1994 – Sweden Kiruna 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1994 – Italy Sappada 3rd 3rd, 10 km F
1995 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 15 km F
1995 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 15 km C
1995 – Sweden Falun 3rd 3rd, 30 km C
1995 – Norway Oslo 1st 1st, 50 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st 1st, 30 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st 1st, 10 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st 1st, 25 km M pursuit
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 3rd 3rd, 50 km F
1995 – Japan Sapporo 2nd 2nd, 15 km F
1995 – Finland Vuokatti 1st 1st, 10 km C
1995 – Switzerland Davos 2nd 2nd, 30 km C
1995 – Italy Brusson 3rd 3rd, 15 km F
1995 – Italy Santa Caterina 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1995 – Italy Santa Caterina 3rd 3rd, 15 km F
1996 – Slovakia Strbske Pleso 1st 1st, 50 km F
1996 – Czech Republic Nove Mesto 1st 1st, 15 km C
1996 – Russia Kavgolovo 2nd 2nd, 15 km C
1996 – Norway Trondheim 1st 1st, 30 km F
1996 – Sweden Falun 1st 1st, 10 km F
1996 – Sweden Falun 1st 1st, 15 km C
1997 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 30 km C
1997 – Norway Beitostoelen 2nd 2nd, 10 km C
1997 – Italy Val di Fiemme 3rd 3rd, 10 km C
1998 – Finland Lahti 1st 1st, 30 km C

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Henry, Notaker (1994). Lillehammer 1994: A Fairy-Tale of Images. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag. ISBN 82-504-2145-0. 

External links[edit]