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Yelena Nikolayeva

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameYelena Nikolayevna•Nikolayeva (Kuznetsova-)
Used nameYelena•Nikolayeva
Original nameЕлена Николаевна•Николаева (Кузнецова-)
Born1 February 1966 in Akshiki, Chuvashkaya Respublika (RUS)
Measurements164 cm / 58 kg
AffiliationsSpartak, Chelyabinsk/Dynamo, Cheboksary / Cheboksary Army
NOC Russian Federation Unified Team
Nationality Russian Federation


Yelena Nikolayeva was the world’s leading female race walker in the 1990s. She took up athletics quite late, when she was already 18-years-old and enrolled at the Chuvash State Agricultural Academy in Cheboksary. She was selected for the Soviet national team in 1986 and first competed internationally at the 1987 World Championships, where she finished fifth in the 10 km walk.

Nikolayeva won multiple international titles, including the 1996 Olympic 10 km, the 20 km at the 2003 worlds, 1993 World Indoors, and the 2003-04 World Cups, adding the 1993 World Indoors at 3 km. Individually she also won silvers in the 10 km at the 1992 Olympics and 1995 World Cup, and in the 20 km at the 2002 European Championships; adding bronzes in the 10 km at the 1993 World Cup, 1994 Europeans, and the 1995 World Championships. She also won team golds at the 1987 and 2002 World Cups. Nikolayeva set one world record in the 10 km walk in April 1996, clocking 41:04, which, as of 2014, still stands. Nikolayeva won the 1987-88 Soviet 10 km walk titles, the 1992 CIS title, and Russian 20 km walk titles in 1996 and 2001-02.

After retiring from sports, Nikolayeva worked as a children’s coach in Cheboksary. She was also active in politics with the United Russia party and since 2002 has been a member of the State Council of the Chuvash Republic, serving with the State Council’s Committee on Social Policy, Health, Physical Education and Sports since 2006.

Personal Bests: 10kmW – 41:04 (1996); 20kmW – 1-26:22 (2003).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1992 Summer Olympics Athletics EUN RUS Yelena Nikolayeva
10 kilometres Walk, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
1996 Summer Olympics Athletics RUS Yelena Nikolayeva
10 kilometres Walk, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
2004 Summer Olympics Athletics RUS Yelena Nikolayeva
20 kilometres Walk, Women (Olympic) 17

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1996 Summer Olympics 29 July 1996 Athletics 10 kilometres Walk, Women Final Standings 41:49 1

Special Notes