Nikolai Panin

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Nikolai Panin
Nikolai Panin.jpg
Panin in 1908.
Personal information
Full name Nikolai Aleksandrovich Panin-Kolomenkin
Alternative names birth name: Nikolai Aleksandrovich Kolomensky
alternative spelling: Nikolay, Nicolai
Country represented  Russian Empire
Born (1872-01-08)8 January 1872
Khrenovoye, Voronezh Governorate,
Russian Empire
Died 19 January 1956(1956-01-19) (aged 83)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR,
Soviet Union

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Panin-Kolomenkin (Russian: Николай Александрович Панин-Коломенкин; 8 January 1872 [O.S. 27 December 1871] – 19 January 1956) was a Russian figure skater and coach. He won the gold medal in special figures in the 1908 Summer Olympics. Panin was Russia's first Olympic champion.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Nikolay Aleksandrovich Kolomenkin was born on (1872-01-08)8 January 1872 in Khrenovoye, Voronezh Governorate, Russian Empire.[3] He competed in figure skating under the name "Nikolay Panin",[3] though most Russian sources now hyphenate his surname to "Panin-Kolomenkin".[citation needed]

Despite having a weak constitution,[citation needed] Panin was very active and took part in rowing, cycling, athletics and gymnastics.[3] While studying mathematics at Saint Petersburg University[3] in 1897, he took part in a figure skating competition, albeit unsuccessfully.[citation needed] To improve, he developed a technique of wrapping towels around his feet to weigh them down and improve his balance, thus preventing falls.[citation needed] It was at this time that he took the nickname "Panin" on to evade the mockery of his fellow students, at a time when many athletes were adopting nicknames.[3]

Two men's skating events were contested at the 1908 Summer Olympics: single skating and special figures. Panin won the special figures event and competed, but did not finish, in the singles event.[3] 1908 was the only year in which special figures was an Olympic event.[4] Panin also competed in the 1903 World Championships,[3] placing second behind Salchow.

Panin was a prominent figure skating coach both before and after his win at the Olympics. He even helped train his rivals during his own competitive career. He wrote several biographical and reference books, the first of which appeared in 1910. He was also a judge at international competitions.[citation needed]

Panin also competed as a shooter. At the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm he placed 8th in 50 metre pistol competition.[3]

Panin was also one of the first to be ranked in a sport classification system, a precursor to the Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR. Several of his students also won ratings.[5]

Panin died on 19 January 1956(1956-01-19) (aged 83) in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.[3]

In 1993 Russia issued a 50 ruble gold coin commemorating Russia's first gold medal. Panin appears alongside the Olympic rings and flame, a laurel branch, and a winged ice skate.[6] He was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009.[7]

Competitive highlights[edit]

2008 Cup of Russia poster: "100 years since the first gold Olympic medal".
Illustration of special figures by Panin

Single skating[edit]

Event 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908
Olympic Games WD
World Championships 2nd
European Championships 3rd 2nd
Russian Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
WD = Withdrew

Special figures[edit]

Event 1908
Olympic Games 1st

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The skating philosophy of Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin". The Official Site for Evgeni Plushenko. Archived from the original on 16 June 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Athens 2004 Background". Archived from the original on 23 March 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Nikolay Kolomenkin". Sports Reference. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Figure Skating Men's Special Figures Medalists". Sports Reference. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  5. ^ The Rungs of Prowess: An Introduction to the Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR, By Nina Shkolnikova, accessed June 30, 2006.[dead link]
  6. ^ "The Series: The Olympic Century of Russia, First Gold Medal". The Central Bank of The Russian Federation. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Elliott, Helene (March 13, 2009). "Brian Orser heads list of World Figure Skating Hall of Fame inductees". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]