Alexander Alexandrovich Bolshunov (Russian: Александр Александрович Большунов, also tr. Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bolshunov; born 31 December 1996) is a Russian cross-country skier and two-time winner of the 14th and 15th Tour de Ski.
|Full name||Alexander Alexandrovich Bolshunov|
|Born||31 December 1996|
Podyvotye, Sevsky District, Bryansk Oblast, Russia
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Ski club||SC Vodnik|
|World Cup career|
|Seasons||6 – (2017–present)|
|Overall titles||2 – (2020, 2021)|
|Discipline titles||3 – (DI in 2019, 2020, 2021)|
|Updated on 8 April 2022.|
2013–17: Twofold U23 World ChampionEdit
Bolshunov was born in Podyvotye in the Bryansk Oblast, located just several kilometres from the Russian-Ukraine border. It was there were he started his sports career with his coach and father Alexander Ivanovich Bolshunov. In 2011, his father brought him to the Bryansk sports school for ski-cross skiing, where he was coached by Merited Coach of Russia N. I. Nekhitrov. The first victories on nationals came a year ago, when on 6 February 2013 Bolshunov took the first place in 10 km classic in a tournament taking place in the Tver Oblast.
On 17 March 2014, Bolshunov won the 20 km skiathlon event at the Russian Junior Nationals, resulting Bolshunov being bestowed the honorary Master of Sports of Russia. After the nationals he was invited to the junior team. A year later he participated in the sprint event of the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, but failed to qualify for the sprint final, leaving him without medals. In the following Youth Championships in Rasnov, Romania, his best result was 2nd, in the relay event.
In 2017, Bolshunov took part in the FIS U23 World Ski Championships in the venue Soldier Hollow, Utah, United States, where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held. He won silver in sprint, and a few days later he won the 15 km individual freestyle event. The skiathlon event was marked by a memorable performance by Bolshunov, Alexey Chervotkin and Denis Spitsov, who entered the finish line hand in hand. Bolshunov was declared the winner. As a result, Bolshunov was conferred the highest honorary sports title of Russia, "International Master of Sports".
2017–18: FIS World Cup debutEdit
Bolshunov's first major senior tournament in which he competed were the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2017 in Lahti, Finland, finishing 26th in sprint and 15th in skiatlon. In the 2016–17 season he entered his first FIS World Cup stage in Drammen, Norway, in March 2017, finishing 9th. He won his first podium in the next season in the third Stage World Cup in Ruka, Finland, on 26 November, in 15 km freestyle pursuit. In the overall standings of the three Ruka stages, the "Ruka Triple", he was placed third. He showed strong results by the year's end, finishing four times in the third places.
After the 2017–18 Tour de Ski – in the 15 km pursuit stage he reached the third-place – Bolshunov missed a handful of WC stages to prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. At the Olympics, he rebounded by winning three silver medals and one bronze medal. He won his first Olympic medal in sprint classical, losing only to Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Federico Pellegrino. Bolshunov then won medals in team sprint freestyle, 4 × 10 km relay and 50 km classical.
2018–19: Distance Cup winnerEdit
In March, Bolshunov reached the second place in a WC stage for the first time in his career, in the 15 km classical event in Lahti. He also finished third in a WC stage in Drammen, now in sprint classical. By the season's end, Bolshunov won the World Cup Final after winning the 15 km classical mass start and 15 km freestyle pursuit stages. In the overall World Cup standings he was placed 5th.
In the 2018–19 FIS Cross-Country World Cup season, Bolshunov won the first two WC stages in Ruka, in sprint classical and 15 km classical, receiving the yellow bib as a result. Bolshunov led in the overall standings after fifteen stages until being replaced by Johannes Høsflot Klæbo during the Tour de Ski.
Before the World Championships, Bolshunov clinched another stage win in Italian Cogne in 15 km classical. Bolshunov debuted at the World and won four silver medals in 30 km skiathlon, 50 km freestyle mass start, as well as in team sprint and 4 × 10 km relay. On 9 March he won another stage in 50 km classical mass start in Holmenkollen, returning the yellow bib after Klæbo's poor performance there. As a result, Bolshunov at age 22 became not only the youngest winner of the marathon stage, but also the youngest winner of the Distance Cup, claiming the Small Crystal Globe.
2019–20: Tour de Ski champion, World Cup overall winnerEdit
Bolshunov started the 2019–20 FIS Cross-Country World Cup by participating in the mini-event 2019 Nordic Opening, where he was positioned fifth in the overall ranking. He won the next stage in Lillehammer, for the first time in the 30 km skiathlon classic and freestyle event. Bolshunov entered the 2019–20 Tour de Ski by reaching the third place in 15 km mass start freestyle. He went on reaching five out of six podium places in the next stages, only failing in the first sprint stage in Lenzerheide, stopping in the semi-finals. Although he won only one stage, and five times finished third, he took the first position in the overall ranking, becoming the third Russian to do so. After this victory he received the right to wear the yellow bib previously worn by Klæbo. He went on winning three back-to-back long distance stages, doing so in Nové Město and Oberstdorf.
Prior to the FIS Ski Tour 2020, Bolshunov finished third in the sprint and first in 15 km mass start stage, both in Falun. In the inaugural Ski Tour, Bolshunov led in the overall standings after the 5th stage, but in the 6th stage following an ill-conceived preparation of the skies by the team staff, who hoped the snowfall would stop soon and so decided not to use the no wax anti-ice method, Bolshunov finished 7th. In the same month, in February, Bolshunov took the second position in 15 km classic in Lahti. He finished the season by winning the 50 km classic mass start event in Oslo and went on winning the overall World Cup ahead of schedule after the remaining stages did not take place due to the coronavirus outbreak. He became the first post-Soviet Russian male ski-cross skier to win the World Cup and the first Russian since Soviet Vladimir Smirnov, who won the 1991 edition. Beside that, Bolshunov won his second consecutive Distance Cup title. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was postponed indefinitely and the Crystal Globe was presented to the Russian only three months later.
2020–21: Back-to-back Tour de Ski, World Cup overall champion, World ChampionEdit
Bolshunov started the new season finishing overall second in the Ruka Triple after only Klæbo. Before the 2021 Tour de Ski, he claimed a distance title in Swiss Davos and his first team title in team sprint with Retivykh, in a sprint tournament traditionally taking place in Dresden, Germany, this time without Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish skiers, after their federations decided to quit sending skiers due to concerns over COVID-19. As a result of the withdrawal, Bolshunov was awarded the yellow bib. The Tour de Ski saw a return of Swedish and Finnish, but not of Norwegian skiers.
After the first, sprint stage, where Bolshunov finished second, the Russian won five consecutive stages, repeating the World Cup tour record of Ustiugov and Dæhlie, but failed to update the record as he came third in the following sprint stage in Val di Fiemme. In the 10 km Final Climb Mass Start stage he finished 2nd. But this secured him winning the Tour de Ski for a second time, finishing by a record margin of three minutes twenty-three seconds ahead of other skiers. During the final stage of the ski race in Lahti Bolshunov attempted twice to slash Finnish skier Joni Mäki, and towards the finish rammed Mäki and knocked him down, resulting Bolshunov being disqualified. Bolshunov officially apologized for his behaviour after the competition.
Bolshunov participated at the 2021 World Championships, where he won four medals. In the 30 km skiathlon he got his first gold medal at this event. At the 50 km classical event, Bolshunov initially finished third, but following Klaebo's disqualification, which happened after the Norwegian broke one of Bolshunov's pole, the Russian earned the silver medal at the end. Bolshunov won further medals in team sprint and 4 × 10 kilometre relay. However, he finished fourth in sprint and 15 km freestyle.
Cross-country skiing resultsEdit
- 9 medals – (3 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze)
|Year||Age|| 15 km
| 30 km
| 50 km
|Sprint|| 4 × 10 km
| Team |
a Distance reduced to 30 km due to weather conditions.
- 8 medals – (1 gold, 6 silver, 1 bronze)
|Year||Age|| 15 km
| 30 km
| 50 km
|Sprint|| 4 × 10 km
| Team |
- 5 titles – (2 Overall, 3 Distance)
|Season||Age||Discipline standings||Ski Tour standings|
- 28 victories – (20 WC, 8 SWC)
- 59 podiums – (34 WC, 25 SWC)
|1||2017–18||24–26 November 2017||Nordic Opening||Overall Standings||World Cup||3rd|
|2||2 December 2017||Lillehammer, Norway||1.5 km Sprint C||World Cup||3rd|
|3||9 December 2017||Davos, Switzerland||1.5 km Sprint F||World Cup||3rd|
|4||10 December 2017||15 km Individual F||World Cup||3rd|
|5||1 January 2018||Lenzerheide, Switzerland||15 km Pursuit F||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|6||4 March 2018||Lahti, Finland||15 km Individual C||World Cup||1st|
|7||7 March 2018||Drammen, Norway||1.2 km Sprint C||World Cup||3rd|
|8||17 March 2018||Falun, Sweden||15 km Mass Start C||Stage World Cup||1st|
|9||16–18 March 2018||World Cup Final||Overall Standings||World Cup||1st|
|10||2018–19||24 November 2018||Rukatunturi, Finland||1.5 km Sprint C||World Cup||1st|
|11||25 November 2018||15 km Individual C||World Cup||1st|
|12||30 December 2018||Toblach, Italy||15 km Individual F||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|13||3 January 2019||Oberstdorf, Germany||15 km Pursuit F||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|14||5 January 2019||Val di Fiemme, Italy||15 km Mass Start C||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|15||19 January 2019||Otepää, Estonia||1.6 km Sprint C||World Cup||2nd|
|16||20 January 2019||15 km Individual C||World Cup||2nd|
|17||17 February 2019||Cogne, Italy||15 km Individual C||World Cup||1st|
|18||9 March 2019||Oslo, Norway||50 km Mass Start C||World Cup||1st|
|19||17 March 2019||Falun, Sweden||15 km Individual F||World Cup||1st|
|20||24 March 2019||Quebec City, Canada||15 km Pursuit F||Stage World Cup||2nd|
|21||22–24 March 2019||World Cup Final||Overall Standings||World Cup||3rd|
|22||2019–20||7 December 2019||Lillehammer, Norway||15 km + 15 km Skiathlon C/F||World Cup||1st|
|23||28 December 2019||Lenzerheide, Switzerland||15 km Mass Start F||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|24||31 December 2019||Toblach, Italy||15 km Individual F||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|25||1 January 2020||15 km Pursuit C||Stage World Cup||1st|
|26||3 January 2020||Val di Fiemme, Italy||15 km Mass Start C||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|27||4 January 2020||1.5 km Sprint C||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|28||5 January 2020||10 km Mass Start F||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|29||28 December 2019
– 5 January 2020
|Tour de Ski||Overall Standings||World Cup||1st|
|30||18 January 2020||Nové Město, Czech Republic||15 km Individual F||World Cup||1st|
|31||19 January 2020||15 km Pursuit C||World Cup||1st|
|32||25 January 2020||Oberstdorf, Germany||15 km + 15 km Skiathlon C/F||World Cup||1st|
|33||8 February 2020||Falun, Sweden||1.4 km Sprint C||World Cup||3rd|
|34||9 February 2020||15 km Mass Start F||World Cup||1st|
|35||16 February 2020||Östersund, Sweden||15 km Pursuit C||Stage World Cup||2nd|
|36||20 February 2020||Meråker, Norway||34 km Mass Start F||Stage World Cup||1st|
|37||29 February 2020||Lahti, Finland||15 km Individual C||World Cup||2nd|
|38||8 March 2020||Oslo, Norway||50 km Mass Start C||World Cup||1st|
|39||2020–21||28 November 2020||Rukatunturi, Finland||15 km Individual C||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|40||27–29 November 2020||Nordic Opening||Overall Standings||World Cup||2nd|
|41||12 December 2020||Davos, Switzerland||1.5 km Sprint F||World Cup||2nd|
|42||13 December 2020||15 km Individual F||World Cup||1st|
|43||1 January 2021||Val Müstair, Switzerland||1.4 km Sprint F||Stage World Cup||2nd|
|44||2 January 2021||15 km Mass Start C||Stage World Cup||1st|
|45||3 January 2021||15 km Pursuit F||Stage World Cup||1st|
|46||5 January 2021||Toblach, Italy||15 km Individual F||Stage World Cup||1st|
|47||6 January 2021||15 km Pursuit C||Stage World Cup||1st|
|48||8 January 2021||Val di Fiemme, Italy||15 km Mass Start C||Stage World Cup||1st|
|49||9 January 2021||1.5 km Sprint C||Stage World Cup||3rd|
|50||10 January 2020||10 km Mass Start F||Stage World Cup||2nd|
|51||1–10 January 2021||Tour de Ski||Overall Standings||World Cup||1st|
|52||29 January 2021||Falun, Sweden||15 km Individual F||World Cup||1st|
|53||30 January 2021||15 km Mass Start C||World Cup||1st|
|54||13 March 2021||Engadin, Switzerland||15 km Mass Start C||World Cup||1st|
|55||2021–22||27 November 2021||Rukatunturi, Finland||15 km Individual C||World Cup||3rd|
|56||28 November 2021||15 km Pursuit F||World Cup||1st|
|57||29 December 2021||Lenzerheide, Switzerland||15 km Individual C||Stage World Cup||2nd|
|58||31 December 2021||Oberstdorf, Germany||15 km Mass Start F||Stage World Cup||2nd|
|59||28 December 2021
– 4 January 2022
|Tour de Ski||Overall Standings||World Cup||2nd|
- 1 victory – (1 TS)
- 4 podiums – (3 RL, 2 TS)
|1||2018–19||9 December 2018||Beitostølen, Norway||4 × 7.5 km Relay C/F||World Cup||2nd||Belov / Spitsov / Melnichenko|
|2||27 January 2019||Ulricehamn, Sweden||4 × 7.5 km Relay C/F||World Cup||2nd||Larkov / Melnichenko / Ustiugov|
|3||2020–21||20 December 2020||Dresden, Germany||12 × 0.65 km Team Sprint F||World Cup||1st||Retivykh|
|4||2021–22||19 December 2021||Dresden, Germany||12 × 0.65 km Team Sprint F||World Cup||3rd||Retivykh|
- Bolshunov, Alexander at the International Ski Federation
- "Биография российского лыжника Александра Большунова" [Biography of Russian skier Alexander Bolshunov] (in Russian). TASS. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "Тренер: на лыжи бронзового призера Олимпийских игр Большунова поставил его отец" [Coach: Olympic Bronze Medalist Bolshunov Was Put on Skis by His Father] (in Russian). TASS. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "Результаты – д. Гришкино (Тверская область) – ЭСПУ – 10 км КЛ" [Results – village Grishkino (Tver Oblast) – 10 km C] (in Russian). Cross Country Ski Federation of Russia. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "Первенство России по лыжным гонкам среди юниоров и юниорок 1994/1995 г.р. – Официальный итоговый протокол – Скиатлон, юниоры, 10 км КЛ + 10 км СВ" [Russian Junior Championships for Sportspeople Born in 1994–95] (PDF) (in Russian). Cross Country Ski Federation of Russia. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "Приказ "О присвоении спортивного звания "Мастер спорта России"" [Order "On Awarding the Sports Honorary Title "Master of Sports of Russia"] (in Russian). Ministry of Sport of Russia. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "2015 FIS Junior World Ski Championships – Men's SP C Final Official results". FIS. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "2016 FIS Junior World Ski Championships – Men's Rel 4x5 km F Official results". FIS. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "2017 FIS U23 World Ski Championships – Men's SP C Final Official results". FIS. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "2017 FIS U23 World Ski Championships – Men's 15 km F Official results". FIS. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "2017 FIS U23 World Ski Championships – Men's Skiathlon 15km/15km C/F Official results". FIS. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "Приказ "О присвоении спортивного звания "Мастер спорта России международного класса"" [Order "On Awarding the Honorary Sports Title "International Master of Sports"] (in Russian). Ministry of Sport of Russia. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "Stage World Cup Ruka (FIN)". fis-ski.com.
- "Ruka Triple – Stage 3 of 3" (PDF).
- "WORLD CUP FINAL MEN" (PDF).
- "Cup standings". fis-ski.com.
- "Большунов – самый молодой победитель дистанционного зачёта Кубка мира в истории". championat.com.
- "Alexander Bolshunov wins the Tour de Ski". fis-ski.com.
- Сакун, Никита. ""Ски Тур": Норвегия выбрала лыжи для сильного снегопада, Россия – для более хорошей погоды". championat.com.
- "Golberg stunned about Ski Tour 2020 victory". fis-ski.com.
- "Alexander Bolshunov becomes first Russian skier to win World Cup". russkiymir.ru.
- "FIS sends 'Big Crystal Globe' to Bolshunov | tellerreport.com". tellerreport.com.
- "Sweden and Finland Follow Norway and Withdraw from December World Cups (Updated) – FasterSkier.com". fasterskier.com.
- "Bolshunov claimed a fifth consecutive Tour de Ski win that equaled a record in Italy | Instant News". 9 January 2021.
- "sasha-is-a-world-leader-by-a-wide-margin"--bolshunov-is-tipped-for-the-"crystal-globe"-after-the-second-triumph-at-the-"tour-de-ski"%0A--.BygOZgDYCw.html "Sasha is a world leader by a wide margin": Bolshunov is tipped for the "Crystal Globe" after the second triumph at the "Tour de Ski"
- "Финишем Александра Большунова заинтересовалась полиция" – via Kommersant.
- Alexander Bolshunov apologizes for unsportmanslike behavior
- "Alexander Bolshunov". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "Russian and Belarusian Athletes not to take part in FIS Competitions". FIS. 1 March 2022.
- Биография Александра Большунова на сайте Пензенского государственного университета
- Лыжники готовятся к Кубку мира-2020/21
- Свадьба самой красивой пары лыжников: Большунов и Жеребятьева зажгли в Барвихе
-  Глава Росгвардии присвоил Большунову и Спицову новые воинские звания за медали ОИ-2022]
- "Большунов, Рылов, сестры Аверины, Тарасова и Морозов, Синицина и Кацалапов участвуют в митинге "Za мир без нацизма! Zа Россию! Zа Президентa!" в Лужниках". sports.ru (in Russian). 18 March 2022.