Oleg Goncharenko

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Oleg Goncharenko
Oleg Goncharenko 1953.jpg
Personal information
Birth name Oleg Georgievich Goncharenko
Nationality Ukrainian
Born August 18, 1931
Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Died December 16, 1986(1986-12-16) (aged 55)
Country Soviet Union
Sport Speed skating
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 500 m: 42.2 (1960)
1500 m: 2:11.6 (1960)
5000 m: 7:57.6 (1956)
10 000 m: 16:36.4 (1956)

Oleg Georgievich Goncharenko (Russian: Олег Георгиевич Гончаренко) (18 August 1931 – 16 December 1986), Distinguished Master of Sports of the USSR, was the first male Soviet speed skater to become World Allround Champion.

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Oleg Goncharenko made his international debut in 1953 and promptly became World Allround Champion. He would win two more World Allround Championships after that, as well as two European Allround Championships. In 1958, he actually managed to win the "triple", becoming World, European, and Soviet Allround Champion. At the 1956 Winter Olympics of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Goncharenko won bronze on the 5,000 m and on the 10,000 m. He also participated in the 5,000 m at the 1960 Winter Olympics of Squaw Valley, but finished only sixth.

Both at home at abroad, Goncharenko was unusually popular for many years, even long after he had retired from speed skating. After winning his first World Championship in 1953 in Helsinki, he received dozens of telegrams in his hotel room there from all over the Soviet Union and from abroad. One of those telegrams he kept until the end of his life because it was particularly dear to him. It was a short message from the legendary Norwegian speed skater Oscar Mathisen, reading "Congratulations. Oscar Mathisen." – written just one year before Mathisen's death. Goncharenko's achievements also prompted two cities, Denver and Oslo, to name him an honorary citizen.[1] He also was awarded the Order of Lenin.[2]

Goncharenko retired from speed skating in 1962. He died in 1986, at the age of 55, after a painful illness.


An overview of medals won by Goncharenko at important championships he participated in, listing the years in which he won each:

Championships Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal
Winter Olympics 1956 (5,000 m)
1956 (10,000 m)
World Allround 1953
European Allround 1957
Soviet Allround 1956

Personal records[edit]

To put these personal records in perspective, the WR column lists the official world records on the dates that Goncharenko skated his personal records.

Event Result Date Venue WR
500 m 42.2 4 January 1960 Medeo 40.2
1,500 m 2:11.6 28 February 1960 Squaw Valley 2:06.3
5,000 m 7:57.5 29 January 1956 Misurina 7:45.6
10,000 m 16:36.4 21 January 1956 Davos 16:32.6

Goncharenko has an Adelskalender score of 183.636 points. His highest ranking on the Adelskalender was a third place.


  1. ^ Legends of the Soviet sports – Goncharenko (in Russian). Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  2. ^ This Day – 16 December (in Russian). Retrieved on 2007-08-24.