Valeri Borzov

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Valeri Filippovich Borzov (Russian: Валерий Филиппович Борзов, Ukrainian: Валерій Пилипович Борзов) (born October 20, 1949) is a Soviet athlete; an Olympic; former president of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, and the Ukrainian Minister for Youth and Sports. In 1972 he won both the 100 m and 200 m sprint events for the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games in Munich.



Born in Sambir, Drohobych Oblast, Soviet Union,[1] Borzov started his track and field career in 1968. He became a household name in the Track and Field circles after having won the sprint-double at the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki. He had already won the 100 m championship in 1969, when he equalled Armin Hary's nine year-old European record of 10.0 seconds.

At the 1972 Munich Olympics, two American sprinters (Eddie Hart and Reynaud Robinson) missed the 100 m finals due to a misunderstanding about the starting time of the heats. Their times in the trials were both 9.9 with Eddie Hart just ahead. After Borzov had won the 100 m sprint with relative ease, the Americans promised they would beat Borzov in the 200 m competition.

However, with all three Americans in the final this time, Borzov won again in a great style. The picture, featuring Valeri winning the 200 m heats at the 1972 Summer Olympics was selected for the Voyager Golden Record and later launched into space aboard two Voyager spacecraft in 1977.[2] As a consolation, the Americans won the relays with the Soviets taking second place.

Between the 1972 and the 1976 Olympics, Borzov spent more time on his studies and soccer. Still, this did not stop him from winning his third successive 100 m title at the European Championships in 1974. Rumours of a planned assassination attempt and his possible defection attempt surrounded his appearance at the Montreal Olympics. He finished third in the 100 m race, his fourth Olympic medal. In the 4 x 100 m relays, his team won another bronze.

A persisting injury forced Borzov to abandon his hopes to participate in his third Olympic Games. He ended his career in 1979. About that time, he married Ludmilla Tourischeva, a four-time Olympic champion in gymnastics.

Political career

From 1991 to 1998, Borzov served as the president of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee. He has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1994. He has also held a Youth and Sports cabinet minister position with the Government of Ukraine from 1991 till 1997.[3] From 1998 until 2006, he was a member of the Ukrainian parliament.[3] First for Rukh (1998), then for the faction "Reforms Center" (1998–1999), All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (1999–2001) and Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) (from 2001).

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