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Faina Melnik

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameFaina Grigoryevna•Melnik (-Veleva)
Used nameFaina•Melnik
Original nameՖաինա•Մելնիկ
Other namesFaina Grigorievna Melnyk (-Veleva), Фаина Григорьевна Мельник (-Велева), Faïna Hryhorivna Melnik (-Velieva), Фаїна Григорівна Мельник (-Велєва)
Born9 June 1945 in Bakota, Khmelnytskiy (UKR)
Died16 December 2016 in Moskva (Moscow), Moskva (RUS)
Measurements174 cm / 88 kg
AffiliationsSevan Yerevan/Spartak Moskva
NOC(s) Soviet Union
Ethnic nationARM


Born in Ukraine to a Jewish family, Faina Melnik took up athletics in 1969, when she was nearly 25-years-old, but coached by Kim Bukhantsov, she quickly rose to be one of the world’s top female discus throwers in the early 1970s. The apex of Melnik’s career was winning gold at the 1972 Olympics. Dominating the women’s discus throwing scene for the next four years, Melnik also competed at the 1976 Olympics but finished a disappointing fourth. She was the 1971 and 1974 European Champion, and won gold at the 1973 Universiade, 1977 World Cup, and 1973, 1975, and 1977 European Cup. Between 1971-76, Melnik set 11 discus world records. She won 10 Soviet discus titles – in 1970, 1972-77, and 1980-81. Melnik graduated from the Moskva Medical Stomatological Institute (now Moskva State University of Medicine and Dentistry), later worked as a dentist in Moskva, and also worked as an athletics coach. Her most famous pupils were the 1988 shot put Olympic champion Nataliya Lisovskaya and the 1992 shot put Olympic champion Svetlana Krivelyova.

Personal Bests: SP – 20.03 (1976); DT – 70.50 (1976).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics Discus Throw, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Soviet Union    
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics Shot Put, Women Olympic 10 Representing Soviet Union    
  Discus Throw, Women Olympic 4
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics Discus Throw, Women Olympic 16 r1/2 Representing Soviet Union    

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1972 Summer Olympics 10 September 1972 Athletics Discus Throw, Women Final Round, Round Four 66.62 1

Olympic family relations

Special Notes