Valery Borzov

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 2
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, IOC member
Full nameValery Filippovich•Borzov
Used nameValery•Borzov
Original nameВалерий Филиппович•Борзов
Other namesValeriy Pylypovych Borzov, Валерій Пилипович Борзов
Born20 October 1949 in Sambir, Lviv (UKR)
Measurements183 cm / 80 kg
AffiliationsBurevestnik Kyiv, Kyiv (UKR) / Dynamo Kyiv, Kyiv (UKR)
NOC Soviet Union Ukraine
Nationality Ukraine


Valery Borzov first came to prominence in 1969, winning the European title in the 100 m. He repeated in 1971, also winning the 200, which made him a medal favorite at the 1972 Olympics. Two of his biggest rivals, Americans Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson, were eliminated when they missed their quarter-final heats due to an error reading the schedule. Borzov also nearly missed his quarter-final, having dozed off and arriving on the track just in time to kneel down for the start. Borzov eventually won the final with relative ease. The Americans vowed revenge for the 200 metres, but Borzov held off all contenders and won in a European Record of 20 seconds flat. Borzov again made the news at the 1976 Olympics, but not for athletic reasons. Ukrainian immigrants in Canada spread the rumour that Borzov would leave the Soviet team in Montréal and ask for political asylum. After this was widely reported in the media, Borzov received anonymous phone calls threatening he would be shot during the 100 final (in which Borzov eventually placed third). Borzov also medaled in the 4x100 at both of those Olympics, winning silver in 1972 and bronze in 1976. Borzov tried for a third Olympics in 1980, but injuries forced him to retire from sports in 1979.

At the European Championships, besides his three titles in 1969 and 1971, Borzov won another 100 title in 1974 and 4x100 silver in 1969. He won seven 60 metre titles at the European Indoors (1970-72 and 1974-77), a record that will likely never be equaled as the event is no longer held annually. He also won 100 and 4x100 relay golds at the 1975 European Cup. Borzov won 16 Soviet titles – 100 in 1969, 1971-72 and 1974-77; 200 in 1971-75 and 1977; and 4x100 relay 1974-75 and 1977.

In 1977 Borzov married the quadruple Olympic gymnastics champion Lyudmila Turishcheva and later had a successful career in politics and sport administration. From 1980-90, he was deputy chairman of the State Committee for Sports and Physical Culture of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1987 Borzov was elected to the European Athletics Association (EAA) and in 1990 he became first president of the Ukrainian NOC, serving in that position until 1998. From 1990-97 Borzov was first Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and from 1998-06, was with the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, and was the chairman of Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Youth Policy, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism from 1998-02. In 1994 Borzov was named an IOC member and in 1996, became president of the Ukrainian Track & field Federation, a position he held through 2012. He has also been a vice-president of the Ukrainian NOC.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.07 (1972); 200 – 20.00 (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics URS UKR Valery Borzov
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Soviet Union 2 Silver
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics URS UKR Valery Borzov
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
200 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Soviet Union 3 Bronze

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
President National Olympic Committee of Ukraine 1990—1998 UKR Valery Borzov
Member International Olympic Committee 1994— UKR Valery Borzov

Olympic family relations

Special Notes