Vladimir Melanin

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameVladimir Mikhaylovich•Melanin
Used nameVladimir•Melanin
Original nameВладимир Михайлович•Меланьин
Born1 December 1933 in Balyki, Kirov (RUS)
Died10 August 1994 in Kirov, Kirov (RUS)
Measurements172 cm / 74 kg
AffiliationsVS Kirov, Kirov (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Vladimir Melanin was the first Soviet biathlete to win an Olympic and World Championships. He started his sporting career as a cross-country skier, but switched to biathlon while serving in the Soviet Army. As a mediocre shooter, he won most of his titles thanks to strong skiing. Melanin made his international début at the 1959 World Championships, where he won gold medals in the 20 km and relay. At the 1960 Olympics, Melanin had one of the best skiing times, but managed only fourth place because of poor shooting. Melanin missed the 1961 World Championships, but again won both the 20 km and relay at the 1962 and 1963 World Championships. At the 1964 Olympics, Melanin had a very strong skiing time, but this time he surprised everyone with clean shooting rounds to win a gold medal, nearly 3½ minutes ahead of his teammate, Aleksandr Privalov. This is still the largest victory margin in any Olympic biathlon event. Melanin made his last international appearance at the 1965 World championships, where he won a silver as a member of the Soviet relay team and was seventh in 20 km. Domestically Melanin won only two Soviet titles, in 1959 and 1966, both in the 20 km race. After his competitive career Melanin worked as a biathlon coach and managed a cross-country skiing and biathlon complex in his native Kirov Oblast. After his death in 1995 Vladimir Melanin received posthumously the International Biathlon Union Honorary Award.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1960 Winter Olympics Biathlon URS RUS Vladimir Melanin
20 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 4
1964 Winter Olympics Biathlon URS RUS Vladimir Melanin
20 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes