Igor Zhelezovski in 1994
|Birth name||Igor Nikolayevich Zhelezovski|
|Nickname(s)||Bear from Minsk|
1 July 1963 |
Orša, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||95 kg (209 lb)|
|Country|| Soviet Union
|Club||SK VS Minsk|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||500 m: 36.49 (1988)
1000 m: 1:12.58 (1989)
1500 m: 1:52.50 (1987)
3000 m: 4:12.85 (1988)
5000 m: 7:09.84 (1983)
10 000 m: 14:40.82 (1983)
Igor Nikolayevich Zhelezovski or Ihar Mikalayevich Zhalazoŭski (Russian: Игорь Николаевич Железовский; Belarusian: Ігар Мікалаевіч Жалязоўскі; born 1 July 1963) is a former speed skater, considered to be one of the best sprinters ever. His imposing physical appearance resulted in the nicknames "Igor the Terrible" and "The bear from Minsk". Originally competing for the Soviet Union, then for the Commonwealth of Independent States, and finally for Belarus, he became World Sprint Champion a record number of six times, a record still unequalled as of 2015[update]. In Soviet times, he trained at Armed Forces sports society in Minsk.
Igor Zhelezovski won silver at the World Junior Allround Championships in 1982. Specialising in the sprint, he became World Sprint Champion in 1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993. He finished eighth in the 1987 edition, having just recovered from an illness, and decided to skip the 1988 edition in favour of preparing for the Winter Olympics in Calgary that same year. These, however, turned out to be a disappointment for him, finishing sixth on the 500 m, "only" third on his favourite 1000 m, and fourth on the 1500 m. The remaining two World Sprint Championships he participated in, in 1990 and 1994, he finished third and sixth, respectively.
His final two seasons, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Zhelezovski skated for Belarus. After ending his skating career in 1994, Zhelezovski became president of the skating union of Belarus, a position he held for several years.
An overview of medals won by Zhelezovski at important championships he participated in, listing the years in which he won each:
|Championships||Gold medal||Silver medal||Bronze medal|
|Winter Olympics||–||1994 (1000 m)||1988 (1000 m)|
|World Cup||1991 (1000 m)
1992 (1000 m)
1993 (1000 m)
|–||1993 (500 m)
1994 (1000 m)
|World Junior Allround||–||1982||–|
|1500 m||1:54.26||26 March 1983||Medeo|
|1500 m||1:52.50||5 December 1987||Calgary|
|1000 m||1:12.58||25 February 1989||Heerenveen|
|Sprint combination||145.945||26 February 1989||Heerenveen|
To put these personal records in perspective, the WR column lists the official world records on the dates that Zhelezovski skated his personal records.
|500 m||36.49||21 December 1985||Medeo||36.57|
|1000 m||1:12.58||25 February 1989||Heerenveen||1:12.58|
|1500 m||1:52.50||5 December 1987||Calgary||1:52.70|
|3000 m||4:12.85||9 January 1988||Davos||3:59.27|
|5000 m||7:09.84||25 March 1983||Medeo||6:54.66|
|10000 m||15:40.82||26 March 1983||Medeo||14:23.59|
|Big combination||166.201||26 March 1983||Medeo||162.973|
Note that Zhelezovski's personal record on the 500 m was not a recognised as a world record by the International Skating Union (ISU).
Zhelezovski has an Adelskalender score of 164.015 points.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Igor Zhelezovski.|
- Igor Zhelezovski at SpeedSkatingStats.com
- Igor Zhelezovski. Deutsche Eisschnelllauf Gemeinschaft e.V. (German Skating Association).
- Personal records from Jakub Majerski's Speedskating Database
- Evert Stenlund's Adelskalender pages
- Results of Championships of Russia and the USSR from SpeedSkating.ru
- Historical World Records. International Skating Union.