Alexei Mishin

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Alexei Mishin
2011 Rostelecom Cup - Mishin Alexey.jpg
Mishin in 2011
Personal information
Full nameAlexei Nikolayevich Mishin
Country represented Soviet Union
Born (1941-03-08) 8 March 1941 (age 81)
Sevastopol, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Former partnerTamara Moskvina
Former coachIgor Moskvin, Maya Belenkaya, Nina Lepninskaya
Began skating1956[1]

Alexei Nikolayevich Mishin (Russian: Алексей Николаевич Мишин; born 8 March 1941) is a Russian figure skating coach and former pair skater. With partner Tamara Moskvina, he is the 1969 World silver medalist and Soviet national champion.

Mishin is based in Saint Petersburg at Yubileyny Sports Palace. His former students include Olympic champions Alexei Urmanov, Alexei Yagudin, and Evgeni Plushenko. Mishin also runs summer seminars. Among the skaters who have attended those are Stéphane Lambiel and Sarah Meier.[2] He has authored several books on the biomechanics of figure skating.[2]

Early years[edit]

Born in Sevastopol, Mishin spent his childhood in Tbilisi and later moved to Leningrad with his family. He was interested in mechanics from an early age.[3] He started skating relatively late, at age 15, after his parents brought him to the rink.[1][2] His father skated with him to get him interested in the activity.[2][4] Mishin was first coached by Nina Lepninskaya,[5] a pupil of Nikolai Panin, and later by Maya Belenkaya.[1][6]

Competitive career[edit]

Mishin competed in singles within the Soviet Union and won the bronze medal at the 1964 Soviet Championships. In 1966, he took up pair skating as an experiment, teaming up with his first and only partner, Tamara Moskvina.[2] They were coached by Igor Moskvin.[7] Together they won the 1969 Soviet Championships, defeating both the two-time Olympic champions Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov, and the future champions Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov. They went on to win silver at the 1969 World Championships. At the European Championships, they won silver in 1968 and bronze in 1969. Moskvina took time off to have a baby and they decided to retire to concentrate on their coaching careers, with Mishin focusing on coaching singles while Moskvina focused on pairs. Mishin was 28 when he retired from competition and he said he was glad to start coaching when he was young.[2]

He later stated:

Tamara Moskvina and I were famous in the USSR: people recognized us in the shops, we could buy a car...[8] But from the very start I looked forward to training other people and never regretted becoming a coach.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Mishin graduated from university with a degree in mechanics and his dissertation focused on the mechanical base of figure skating technique.[2] He started with coaching junior ladies to success at national and international competitions, but later switched to men's singles.[4] He rapidly became a well-known coach, due to his training methods that made the skaters learn jumps very quickly.[2] In addition, he has authored several books on the biomechanics of figure skating and jumps which have been published in Russia, Germany, China, Japan and several other countries.[2]

Mishin with pupil Evgeni Plushenko in 2004

Mishin prefers to work with men's single skaters. The most successful students are Alexei Urmanov the 1994 Winter Olympics champion, Alexei Yagudin the 2002 Winter Olympics сhampion, a four-time World Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002), and Evgeni Plushenko the 2006 Winter Olympics champion, 2014 Winter Olympics gold medalist, two-time Olympic silver medalist, and three-time World champion. Plushenko came to Mishin without his parents when he was eleven years old. Then Mishin became Plushenko's father figure, both on and off the ice. Since that time, they have been working together for nearly twenty years.[9]

Plushenko later described Mishin as "Professor Higgins", a character from George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion:[10][11]

Mishin was like a second father, like Professor Higgins. He taught me how to behave in public. In which hand should I hold the knife, and fork. He pulled me out of the dirt, put me on my feet, and made me into a person.

His current male students include Evgeni Semenenko, Mikhail Kolyada,[12] Gleb Lutfullin and Andrei Lazukin.

On the subject of female students, Mishin said in 2009, "better one man of average talent than two super-talented ladies" because "compared with women, men are more sporty and talented and able to learn artistic elements faster" but women are "delicate material":[13]

Coaching women is dangerous – there's always probability that the story of (mythology) Pygmalion will recur periodically. My wife was a mere pupil at first. See, what has eventually happened?[3]

Mishin with pupil Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in 2010

Nevertheless, one of his current students is ladies' single skater Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2021 World Silver Medalist, the 2015 World champion, the 2015 European champion, the 2014–15 Grand Prix Final champion and the 2013 Russian national champion. On the junior level, she is the 2012 Youth Olympics champion, 2011 World Junior silver medalist, and 2010–11 JGP Final silver medalist.

His current female students also include: Sofia Samodurova, Anastasiia Guliakova and Maria Dmitrieva.

His notable former students include: Yuri Ovchinnikov, Vitali Egorov, Anna Antonova, Tatiana Oleneva, Oleg Tataurov, Ruslan Novoseltsev, Elena Sokolova, Ksenia Doronina, Tatiana Basova, Andrei Lutai, Sergei Dobrin, Katarina Gerboldt, Artur Gachinski, Maria Stavitskaya, Artur Dmitriev Jr., Petr Gumennik, Elizaveta Nugumanova, Alisa Fedichkina, Alexander Petrov etc.

Mishin is a professor at the Lesgaft School of Sports Science and Physical Education and gives seminars all over the world.[2][14] He is taking part in the development of a figure skating device which measures the number of revolutions in jumps when attached to the skater's body. According to Mishin, this device has already been patented.[13]

Mishin is based at Saint Petersburg's Yubileyny Sports Palace for most of the season but has annual summer training camps in various locations, such as Jaca (Spain), Tartu (Estonia), Courchevel (France) and Pinzolo (Italy). Additionally, Alexei is surrounded by many talented choreographers such as Lori Nichol, David Wilson, Jeffrey Buttle, Emanuel Sandhu or Benoit Richaud. [2][15]

Personal life[edit]

Mishin is married to Tatiana Mishina[2] (née Oleneva), a former figure skater. They coach together and separately. They have two sons, Andrei Alexeevich Mishin, born in 1977, and Nikolai Alexeevich Mishin, born in 1983.

Competitive highlights[edit]

Pairs with Tamara Moskvina[edit]

Event 1965–66 1966–67 1967–68 1968–69
Winter Olympics 5th
World Championships 6th 4th 2nd
European Championships 6th 2nd 3rd
Prize of Moscow News 1st 1st
Winter Universiade 3rd
Soviet Championships 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st

Men's singles[edit]

Event 1964
Soviet Championships 3rd

Orders and rewards[edit]


  • Mishin, Alexei (1976). Figure skating jumps (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 104.
  • Mishin, Alexei (1979). School in figure skating (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 175.
  • Mishin, Alexei (1981). Biomechanics of figure skaters' moves (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 144.
  • Mishin, Alexei, ed. (1985). Figure skating: A study manual for sports colleges (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 271.


  1. ^ a b c Ermolina, Olga (11 March 2014). Алексей Мишин: "У меня не было комплекса неполноценности" [Alexei Mishin: "I never had an inferiority complex"]. Russian Figure Skating Federation (in Russian). Archived from the original on 11 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mittan, Barry (26 December 2004). "Russia's Mishin Is Dean of Coaches". Skate Today. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Kuznetsova, Valeria. "Interview with Alexei Mishin" (in Russian). TV-Park magazine. Archived from the original on 18 April 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b "The skating philosophy of Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin". The Official Site for Evgeni Plushenko. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Biography at Olympic encyclopedia" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  6. ^ Легендарная фигуристка М.П.Беленькая [Legendary figure skater M. P. Belenkaya] (in Russian). Ledyanaya Fabrika. 2009. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010.
  7. ^ Vaytsekhovskaya, Elena (25 August 2009). "Igor Moskvin: I have never thought that wife and me are rivals". Sport Express (in Russian). Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  8. ^ Buying a car in the Soviet Union was difficult due to the shortages of several goods. See Economy of the Soviet Union.
  9. ^ "International Figure Skating" May 2006
  10. ^ "Blades on Ice" November/December 2003
  11. ^ Russian Magazine "Sportclub"
  12. ^ International Figure Skating [@ifsmagazine] (27 June 2020). "Mikhail Kolyada's coaching change has been confirmed" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ a b Mironova, Valeria (25 March 2009). "A revival will begin after Vancouver Olympics". Kommersant (in Russian). Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  14. ^ "Alexei Mishin and "Mishin's Magic Vest"". Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  15. ^ Remmel, Ia (4 November 2011). "The story behind success: Mishin' s and Gachinski 's season preparation". Absolute Skating. Retrieved 8 November 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Alexei Mishin at Wikimedia Commons