Vladimir Melanin on a 2013 Russian stamp from the series "Sports Legends".
|Full name||Vladimir Mikhailovich Melanin|
1 December 1933|
Balyki, Kirov, RSFSR, Soviet Union
|Died||10 August 1994
Kirov, Russia, Russia
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Teams||2 (1960, 1964)|
|Medals||1 (1 gold)|
|Teams||5 (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966)|
|Medals||7 (6 gold)|
Life and career
He won an Olympic gold medal for the USSR in the 20 km individual in the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck ahead of his fellow Soviet Aleksandr Privalov and the Norwegian Olav Jordet. Melanin also won three individual world titles in the 20 km, in 1959, 1962 and 1963.
Melanin started as a cross-country skier, but changed to biathlon while serving in the Soviet Army. His strong skiing base helped him win all his titles, as his shooting skills were mediocre. Because of poor shooting, he finished outside of the podium at his first Olympics in 1960. He improved a lot by the next Games, where he showed not only best skiing time, but also clean shooting. He finished more than 3 minutes ahead of his rivals, which remains the largest victory margin in any Olympic biathlon event. Domestically Melanin won only two titles, in the 20 km in 1959 and 1966. After retiring from competitions Melanin worked as a biathlon coach and managed a cross-country skiing and biathlon complex in Kirov Oblast. He received posthumously the International Biathlon Union Honorary Award.
1 medal (1 gold)
|1960 Squaw Valley||4th|
7 medals (6 gold, 1 silver)
- *During Olympic seasons competitions are only held for those events not included in the Olympic program.
- **The team (time) event was removed in 1965, whilst the relay was added in 1966.
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