Vladimir Smirnov (skier)

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Vladimir Smirnov
Vladimir Smirnov (skier) 2007 Kazakhstani stamp.jpg
Full name Vladimir Mikhaylovich Smirnov
Born (1964-03-07)7 March 1964
Shuchinsk, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Ski club Stockviks SF
World Cup career
Seasons 1982–1998
Individual wins 30
Indiv. podiums 66
Overall titles 2 (1990–91, 1993–94)

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Smirnov (Russian: Влади́мир Миха́йлович Смирно́в; born 7 March 1964) is a Kazakhstani former cross-country skier who raced from the 1982 until 1991 for the USSR and, later, for Kazakhstan. He is the first Olympic champion from independent Kazakhstan. He is also a vice president of the International Biathlon Union. Smirnov is a former member of International Olympic Committee.[1]

Early life[edit]

Smirnov was born in Shchuchinsk, Kazakh SSR. During the Soviet period, he trained at the Armed Forces sports society in Alma-Ata.

Career[edit]

Smirnov in 1994

Smirnov made his debut in the FIS Cross-Country World Cup on 18 December 1982 at Davos in a 15 km race, finishing in a 17th place. His first victory came in 1986, a classic style 15 km in Kavgolovo (URS). Smirnov gained a total of 30 victories in the World Cup, with 21 second and 15 third places. In 1994, he won the aggregate World Cup, thanks to seven victories in the course of the season.

At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships from 1987 to 1997, Smirnov totalled four gold (1989: 30 km, 1995: 10 km, 10 km + 15 km combined pursuit, 30 km), four silver (1987: 4x10 km, 1991: 30 km, 1993: 10 km, 10 km + 15 km combined pursuit) and three bronze medals (1991: 15 km, 1993: 30 km, 1995: 50 km). His best result was in Thunder Bay, Ontario (1995), when he won three events.

In 1994, he received the Holmenkollen Medal (shared with Lyubov Yegorova and Espen Bredesen). Smirnov also won twice at the Holmenkollen ski festival with a 15 km win in 1994 and a 50 km win in 1995.

A very regular and effective cross-country skier, especially in long-distance classic style races, Smirnov took part to the Winter Olympics from 1988 to 1998. His best known victory was the 50 km gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, the first Olympic gold medal for Kazakhstan. He was one of the leading characters of that Olympics, as his unending rivalry with home ever-winning Bjørn Dæhlie had gained him the affection of the Norwegian audience. He also became good friends with his rival Dæhlie, even participating with Dæhlie in several popular Norwegian TV shows.

In 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Smirnov was flag-bearer of Kazakhstan Olympic team and won the bronze medal in the 25 km pursuit event.[1]

Smirnov headed the bid committee to have Almaty, Kazakhstan, host the 2014 Winter Olympics, a bid that failed to make the short list that was announced by the International Olympic Committee on 22 June 2006.[1] In 2011, Smirnov participated at the opening ceremony of 2011 Asian Winter Games in Astana.

Personal life[edit]

In the 1990s Smirnov lived in the Swedish city of Sundsvall, where he was a co-founder and co-owner of a local brewery. He is married to Valentina Smirnova, and they have two daughters – Anna and Karolina. Smirnov speaks four languages: Russian, German, English and Swedish.[2]

Career highlights[edit]

Olympic Games
1988 – Canada Calgary Silver medal.svg 2nd, 30 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary Bronze medal.svg 3rd, 15 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary Silver medal.svg 2nd, 4x10 km relay
1994 – Norway Lillehammer Silver medal.svg 2nd, 10 km C
1994 – Norway Lillehammer Silver medal.svg 2nd, 25 km M pursuit
1994 – Norway Lillehammer Gold medal.svg 1st, 50 km C
1998 – Japan Nagano Bronze medal.svg 3rd, 25 km M pursuit
World Ski Championships
1987 – Germany Oberstdorf 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 4x10 km relay
1989 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km C
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km F
1993 – Sweden Falun 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, 25 km M pursuit
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 10 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 25 km M pursuit
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 50 km F
Asian Winter Games
1999 – South Korea Gangwon 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1999 – South Korea Gangwon 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 4×10 km relay
1999 – South Korea Gangwon 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km F
World Cup overall
1985/86 – 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd
1990/91 – 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st
1991/92 – 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd
1992/93 – 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd
1993/94 – 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st
1994/95 – 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd
1995/96 – 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd
1997/98 – 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd
World Cup podiums
1984 – Soviet Union Murmansk 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 15 km C
1985 – Canada Labrador City 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 15 km C
1986 – France La Bresse 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km C
1986 – Soviet Union Kavgolovo 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1986 – Italy Cogne 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km F
1986 – Switzerland Davos 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km C
1988 – Soviet Union Kavgolovo 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km C
1988 – Canada Calgary 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km C
1989 – Soviet Union Kavgolovo 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 15 km C
1989 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1990 – Germany Reit im Winkl 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km F
1990 – Sweden Örnsköldsvik 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km C
1990 – Austria Tauplitz 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 25 km M pursuit
1990 – Switzerland Davos 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1990 – France Les Saisies 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1991 – Soviet Union Minsk 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km F
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km C
1991 – Italy Val di Fiemme 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km F
1991 – Finland Lahti 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km F
1991 – Canada Silver Star 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1992 – Russia Kavgolovo 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km C
1992 – Sweden Funäsdalen 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km F
1992 – Austria Ramsau 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km F
1992 – Austria Ramsau 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km C
1992 – Italy Val di Fiemme 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km F
1993 – Slovenia Bohinj 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km F
1993 – Sweden Falun 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1993 – Sweden Falun 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, 25 km M pursuit
1993 – Finland Lahti 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km F
1993 – Italy Santa Caterina 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1993 – Italy Toblach 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 10 km C
1993 – Italy Toblach 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km F
1994 – Russia Kavgolovo 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1994 – Norway Oslo 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km F
1994 – Norway Lillehammer 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1994 – Norway Lillehammer 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 25 km M pursuit
1994 – Norway Lillehammer 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 50 km C
1994 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km F
1994 – Sweden Kiruna 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1994 – Italy Sappada 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 10 km F
1995 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km F
1995 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1995 – Sweden Falun 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 30 km C
1995 – Norway Oslo 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 50 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 10 km C
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st 25 km M pursuit
1995 – Canada Thunder Bay 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 50 km F
1995 – Japan Sapporo 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 15 km F
1995 – Finland Vuokatti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 10 km C
1995 – Switzerland Davos 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 30 km C
1995 – Italy Brusson 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km F
1995 – Italy Santa Caterina 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1995 – Italy Santa Caterina 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 15 km F
1996 – Slovakia Strbske Pleso 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 50 km F
1996 – Czech Republic Nove Mesto 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1996 – Russia Kavgolovo 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 15 km C
1996 – Norway Trondheim 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km F
1996 – Sweden Falun 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 10 km F
1996 – Sweden Falun 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 15 km C
1997 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C
1997 – Norway Beitostoelen 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, 10 km C
1997 – Italy Val di Fiemme 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, 10 km C
1998 – Finland Lahti 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, 30 km C

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Henry, Notaker (1994). Lillehammer 1994: A Fairy-Tale of Images. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag. ISBN 82-504-2145-0. 

External links[edit]