Vladimir Kovalyov

Vladimir Nikolayevich Kovalyov (Russian: Владимир Николаевич Ковалёв; born 2 February 1953) is a retired figure skater who competed internationally for the USSR. He is an Olympic silver medalist and 2-time World champion. He trained at VSS Trud in Moscow.

Vladimir Nikolayevich Kovalyov
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H1115-0015-001, Jahn Hoffmann, Günter Zöller, Wladimir Kowalew (cropped) - Vladimir Kovalev.jpg
Vladimir Kovalyov at the 1969 Blue Swords
Personal information
Country represented Soviet Union
Born (1953-02-02) 2 February 1953 (age 68)
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[1]
Skating clubVSS Trud
Medal record
Figure skating: Men's singles
Representing the  Soviet Union
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1976 Innsbruck Men's singles
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1979 Vienna Men's singles
Gold medal – first place 1977 Tokyo Men's singles
Silver medal – second place 1976 Gothenburg Men's singles
Silver medal – second place 1975 Colorado Springs Men's singles
Bronze medal – third place 1972 Calgary Men's singles
European Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1980 Gothenburg Men's singles
Silver medal – second place 1979 Zagreb Men's singles
Silver medal – second place 1978 Strasbourg Men's singles
Silver medal – second place 1977 Helsinki Men's singles
Silver medal – second place 1976 Geneva Men's singles
Gold medal – first place 1975 Copenhagen Men's singles


Kovalyov placed second behind his British rival John Curry at the 1976 Winter Olympics. However, Kovalyov's short and free programs were filled with mistakes and the audience was displeased when the results were announced that he had placed ahead of such skaters as Toller Cranston and Jan Hoffmann. Kovalyov went on to win the gold at the World Championships in 1977 and 1979, and he was also the winner of the European Championships in 1975.

While Kovalyov entered the 1980 season as a top contender for the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics title, he was clearly poorly trained, overweight and uninspired.[citation needed] As a result, his jumps had become too inconsistent. For example, weeks prior to the Olympics, Kovalyov had placed 3rd at the 1980 European Championships with poor short and free programs, far behind his chief rivals, Robin Cousins and Jan Hoffmann. Once in Lake Placid, skating officials and news reporters took note of the fact that Kovalyov, perhaps unmotivated and skeptical of his chances, missed most of the practice sessions. When he did show up, he was even unable to complete basic jumps. After observing his practices, an American reporter asked Kovalyov at the pre-competition press conference, "Aside from the fact that you are the best-looking male skater in the competition, do you think you have what it takes to win here?"[citation needed], Kovalyov burst out of the conference, never to be seen in public again as a competitor. The Soviet officials soon withdrew him from the competition after placing 5th in compulsory figures.[2] Kovalyov retired from competitive skating, and began his career as a skating coach.

Kovalyov, along with his chief student, Kira Ivanova, were both considered high risks for defecting to the West.[citation needed] Kovalyov also coached Natalia Lebedeva and Maria Butyrskaya, when her first coach, Sergei Volkov, died of cancer.


Event 69–70 70–71 71–72 72–73 73–74 74–75 75–76 76–77 77–78 78–79 79–80
Winter Olympics 8th 2nd WD
World Champ. 3rd 4th 2nd 2nd 1st 4th 1st
European Champ. 6th 4th 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd
Moscow News 2nd 3rd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
Prague Skate 2nd
Soviet Champ. 5th 4th 1st 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd
WD = Withdrew

External linksEdit

  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Vladimir Kovalyov". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-04-18.
  2. ^ Vladmire Kovalyov