List of flag bearers for the Soviet Union at the Olympics

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Soviet Union team at the opening ceremony of the 1964 Olympics, led by Yury Vlasov
Soviet Union at the Olympic Games

Flag of the Soviet Union
IOC code  URS
NOC Soviet Olympic Committee
Olympic history
Summer Games
Winter Games
Other related appearances
Russian Empire (1900–1912)
Estonia (1920–1936, 1992–)
Latvia (1924–1936, 1992–)
Lithuania (1924–1928, 1992–)
Unified Team (1992)
Armenia (1994–)
Belarus (1994–)
Georgia (1994–)
Kazakhstan (1994–)
Kyrgyzstan (1994–)
Moldova (1994–)
Russia (1994–)
Ukraine (1994–)
Uzbekistan (1994–)
Azerbaijan (1996–)
Tajikistan (1996–)
Turkmenistan (1996–)

Flag bearers carry the national flag of their country at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Soviet officials expected the flag bearer to show an example of an attractive, physically strong person and a distinguished athlete. He was expected to carry the flag through the Olympic ceremony in one hand unsupported by a harness. This presented a formidable physical task as the flag weighed 16 kilograms (35 lb) in the 1960s, and a sudden wind might further increase the physical load. Hence the Soviet flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics were selected from among heavyweight weightlifters or wrestlers, who did not have to compete the next day.[1]

Soviet officials also expected the flag bearer to win a gold medal at the given Olympics. This resulted in absurd situations at the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics, when the selected flag bearers, Yakov Kutsenko and Aleksey Medvedev respectively, were not allowed to compete because the officials did not believe they would win a gold medal. Both were top-level heavyweight weightlifters. Kutsenko placed second at the 1950 World Championships and Medvedev won the world title in 1956 and 1957.[1]

Below is a list of flag bearers who have represented the Soviet Union at the Olympics.[2]

# Event year Season Flag bearer Sport
18 1988 Summer Karelin, AleksandrAleksandr Karelin Wrestling
17 1988 Winter Bukin, AndreyAndrey Bukin Figure skating
16 1984 Winter Tretyak, VladislavVladislav Tretyak Ice hockey
15 1980 Summer Balboshin, NikolayNikolay Balboshin Wrestling
14 1980 Winter Tikhonov, AlexanderAlexander Tikhonov Biathlon
13 1976 Summer Alekseyev, VasilyVasily Alekseyev Weightlifting
12 1976 Winter Tretyak, VladislavVladislav Tretyak Ice hockey
11 1972 Summer Medved, AleksandrAleksandr Medved Wrestling
10 1972 Winter Vedenin, VyacheslavVyacheslav Vedenin Cross-country skiing
9 1968 Summer Zhabotinsky, LeonidLeonid Zhabotinsky Weightlifting
8 1968 Winter Mamatov, ViktorViktor Mamatov Biathlon
7 1964 Summer Vlasov, YuryYury Vlasov Weightlifting
6 1964 Winter Grishin, YevgenyYevgeny Grishin Speed skating
5 1960 Summer Vlasov, YuryYury Vlasov Weightlifting
4 1960 Winter Sologubov, NikolaiNikolai Sologubov Ice hockey
3 1956 Summer Medvedev, AlekseyAleksey Medvedev Weightlifting
2 1956 Winter Goncharenko, OlegOleg Goncharenko Speed skating
1 1952 Summer Kucenko, YakovYakov Kucenko Weightlifting

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kochetkov, Aleksandr (8 August 2008) Флагманы сборной. newizv.ru
  2. ^ Soviet Union. Olympics at Sport-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Accessed 25 October 2011.