Stanislav Zhuk

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Stanislav Zhuk
Personal information
Full name Stanislav Alekseevich Zhuk
Country represented  Soviet Union
Born (1935-01-25)January 25, 1935
Died November 1, 1998(1998-11-01) (aged 63)
Former partner Nina Zhuk
Skating club Dynamo, Leningrad

Stanislav Alekseevich Zhuk (Russian: Станислав Алексеевич Жук, About this sound listen ) (January 25, 1935, Ulyanovsk – November 1, 1998, Moscow) was a pair skater who represented the Soviet Union. With partner and wife Nina, he won three silver medals at the European Figure Skating Championships and finished sixth at the 1960 Winter Olympics.

He later went on to a long career as a coach. Among the pairs he coached were Olympic gold medalists Irina Rodnina & Alexander Zaitsev and Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov.


Stanslav Zhuk is a native Siberian. His father, Alexey Zhuk, returned to Ulyanovsk together with his friend Pavel Dementyev after he finished Marine military service. They were neighbors, and Alexey met Pavel's sister Maria. They immediately fell in love and soon married. Stanislav Zhuk was born on 25 January 1935 into a family of naval officers in Ulyanovsk. This military life caused the family to move a lot.

The sport of figure skating underwent a revival in late-1940s Leningrad, and Stanislav started skating. Many of the most promising students of the Pioneers Palace section were in the department of Dinamo physical culture and sports club. The most powerful Soviet Union figure skating team formed there under the leadership of coach Peter Orlov, the Master of Sports. Orlov met Stanislav while he was studying in the physical training college. He offered him a skating partnership with Nina Bakusheva, a ladies singles skater from Leningrad.

They began their partnership in the late 1950s. Stanislav was a very ambitious skater, whose motto was “If it's necessary, it’s a must!” He wouldn't leave the ice rink if he didn’t accomplish what he had planned during his training sessions. The coach trusted him with preparation of performance programs and training.

In 10 years the pair won three silver medals at the European Championships and were four-time Champions of the Soviet Union. This began an era of Soviet figure skating victories worldwide.

The pair performed elements during the European Championships which were deemed illegal by judges because they considered them too dangerous. "I was told that it was acrobatics. Remembering this makes me laugh. Time has passed, but the medals will never be gold," Stanislav responded. No skating team had ever performed moves with a one-handed hold before. This element is performed with direct hands in comparison with other pairs who performed it with bent hands. Mass media made a fuss about the new elements Zhuk and his partner performed, but these "dangerous" elements were considered highly professional only a year later.

They were the first Soviet skating pair to participate in the Winter Olympics, in the Games in Squaw Valley, California, in 1960. Nina and Stanislav Zhuk's best finishes were second in later European and World championships.

They claimed to be the world best skating pair in 1961 because of their unique program, but never got the chance to compete that year. The 1961 World Championships were cancelled after the United States National Skating Team was killed in a plane crash en route to the competition in Prague. Nina and Stanislav decided to finish their professional career and join the Moscow State Ballet on Ice.

Zhuk attended the 1962 World Championship in Prague as Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov's coach. His choreography helped them win a silver medal. Zhuk also sacrificed his own rehearsals and performances in the Moscow State Ballet on Ice to help prepare his sister Tatyana for competition. She skated first with Alexander Gavrilov, then Alexander Gorelick.

Zhuk became a coach for the Central Army Sports Club. He took Alexander Gorelick and Tatyana onto his team and they were accepted onto the Soviet Union national team nine months later. They were the 1965 World and European bronze medalists and the 1966 silver medalists. They won a silver medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics.

This was the beginning of Stanislav Zhuk's many great victories. His training produced world famous figure skaters in all the different disciplines of figure skating. He discovered many stars, including Irina Rodnina, winner of the most world and Olympic championships in history, and Elena Vodorezova, the first Soviet woman to win a silver medal at the European Championships.

Stanislav Zhuk trainees won 67 gold, 36 silver and 35 bronze medals at the Olympic Games and World and European Championships. Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakhrai, Marina Pestova and Stanislav Leonovich, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were among the last of many notable Zhuk pupils. Zhuk caused controversy in his later years, particularly with Gordeeva and Grinkov, and was eventually quietly deposed at the Soviet skating club.[1]

Stanislav Zhuk died of a heart attack on November 1, 1998 at the Moscow subway station “Aeroport.” This is not far from CSKA, where he produced so many champions. Trainees and admirers visit his grave at Vagankovskoe cemetery every year.

19 November 2008 there was the opening of the monument to Stanislav Zhuk, the outstanding professional figure-skating coach, on the CSKA.

Competitive highlights

(with Zhuk)

Event 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961
Winter Olympic Games 6th
World Championships 8th 5th
European Championships 6th 2nd 2nd 2nd
Soviet Championships 3rd 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st


  1. as related in "My Sergei: A Love Story" by Ekaterina Gordeeva