Irina Rodnina

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 3
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameIrina Konstantinovna•Rodnina (-Zaytseva, -Minkovskaya)
Used nameIrina•Rodnina
Original nameИрина Константиновна•Роднина (-Зайцева, -Миньковская)
Born12 September 1949 in Moskva (Moscow), Moskva (RUS)
Measurements152 cm / 41 kg
AffiliationsCSKA Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation


Soviet Irina Rodnina is the most successful pair skater in history. Her three Olympic victories in 1972 with Aleksey Ulanov and in 1976 and 1980 with Aleksandr Zaytsev are a record for a pairs skater. Her record at the World Championships was even more impressive. She won the title for ten successive years (1969-78), the first four with Ulanov and the next six with Zaytsev. Rodnina and Ulanov split up as a pairs team after the 1972 Olympics, when Ulanov became romantically involved with Lyudmila Smirnova, another pairs skater who won a silver medal at the 1972 Olympics behind Rodnina and Ulanov. After Rodnina and Ulanov split up as skaters, she began to skate with Zaytsev and their successes in the latter part of their partnership were as husband and wife, as they married in 1976. Rodnina won eleven European pairs championships, in 1969-78 and 1980, the first four with Ulanov, and the last seven with her husband. She also won six Soviet titles (1970, 1971, 1973-75 and 1977). After her sporting career Rodnina worked as a children’s coach in Moscow and also coached Dynamo Moskva. From 1990-2002 Rodnina worked as a figure skating coach in the United States, mainly in Los Angeles. Her most famous pupils were the 1995 World Champions in pairs Radka Kovaříková and René Novotný from the Czech Republic and she also helped Michelle Kwan and Angela Nikodinov. After returning to Russia, Rodnina was a board member with Sportivnaya Rossiya. She also has worked as an advisor to the Russian President on sports questions and has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia. Since 2005 Rodnina has had her own show named Stadion on Russian National Radio and she published a book Uneven Ice (Негладкий лед) in 1978.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1972 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) URS RUS Irina Rodnina
Pairs, Mixed (Olympic) Aleksey Ulanov 1 Gold
1976 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) URS RUS Irina Rodnina
Pairs, Mixed (Olympic) Aleksandr Zaytsev 1 Gold
1980 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) URS RUS Irina Rodnina
Pairs, Mixed (Olympic) Aleksandr Zaytsev 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC Nationality As
Other URS RUS Irina Rodnina

Olympic family relations

Special Notes