Viktor Novozhilov took up wrestling in 1966 and made the Soviet national team in 1973 after he won his first Soviet title. Wrestling in the freestyle middleweight class his entire career, Novozhilov won Olympic silver in 1976 and was World and European Champion in 1974. He also won bronze at the 1976 European Championships. At the Soviet Championships, Novozhilov won three titles (1973, 1974, 1976). After finishing his sporting career, Novozhilov worked as a children’s wrestling coach in his native Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Since 1992, an annual memorial freestyle wrestling tournament has been held in St. Petersburg.