Nikolay Solodukhin was one of the best half-lightweight judokas in the world in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During his career Solodukhin won Olympic gold in 1980, was World champion in 1979 and 1983, European champion in 1979, and won silver (1978) and bronze (1983) at the European Championships. Domestically Solodukhin won five Soviet titles (1975, 1977, 1979-80, 1982). After he stopped competing, when the Soviets decided to boycott the 1984 Olympics, Solodukhin worked in the Soviet and Russian police forces in Kursk, reaching the rank of colonel. In 2008 Solodukhin published his autobiography From the Heart of Kursk to the Olympics. The Way of the Fighter.