Boris Shilkov first rose to fame in 1952, when he skated 2:14.3 for 1,500 metres at Medeo, although he lost out to Valentin Chaykin, who broke the world record with 2:12.9. In 1953 Shilkov captured the Soviet all-round title, repeating the feat in 1954 and 1955. In addition to his three all-round Soviet titles, Shilkov won seven Soviet distance titles (1,500 m (1953-55), 5,000 m (1953-55) and 10,000 m (1955)). Shilkov made his international début at the 1953 World All-round Championships and won silver behind his compatriot Oleg Goncharenko, who would remain his closest rival throughout his career. At the 1954 World All-round Championships, Shilkov beat Goncharenko and won the world title. He also captured his only European All-round title in that year. In 1955 in Medeo, Dmitry Sakunenko became the first person to skate 5,000 metres below eight minutes, with 7:54.9. In a later pair Shilkov then improved this world record to 7:45.6, which was considered almost unbelievable at the time, but at the 1956 Olympics Shilkov proved this time was not impossible after all, when he finished only three seconds above his own World Record to win the Olympic gold. In addition to his gold and silver at the World All-round Championships, Shilkov won another silver in 1957 and bronze in 1955. He also won the following distance medals at the World Championships: 500 m – silver (1953 and 1955); 1,500 m – gold (1953-54, 1956-57) and bronze (1955); 5,000 m – silver (1954) and bronze (1957); and 10,000 m – bronze (1954). At the European Championships, Shilkov was less successful, winning, in addition to his only all-round title, the following distance medals: 500 m – gold (1958); 1,500 m – gold (1954) and silver (1957); and 5,000 m – bronze (1954). In spite of his Olympic gold and World Record at 5,000 m, Shilkov often had problems with the longest distance. Three times he led after three distances, only to lose because of a bad 10K. After his sporting career Boris Shilkov had a long and successful career as a skating coach and official. From 1959-62 he was a coach with Trud Leningrad and then from 1962-64 and 1966-68 he was the head coach of the Soviet national team. After that he worked as a skating coach in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and finished his coaching career from 1979 until his retirement in 1989 with Dynamo Leningrad. His most famous pupils were Ants Antson, Olympic champion at 1,500 m in 1964, Igor Ostashov, Stanislav Selyanin and Vladimir Sveshnikov.
Personal Bests: 500 – 41.9 (1960); 1500 – 2:10.4 (1955); 5000 – 7:45.6 (1955); 10000 – 16:50.2 (1955).