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Olympic Legend Andrianov Dies at 58
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Russian Nikolai Andrianov, 15-time Olympic medalist in gymnastics, died Monday, the Russian Gymnastics Federation announced. He was 58.

Nikolai Andrianov won the all-around gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

The former gymnast had been stricken with multiple system atrophy (MSA), a degenerative disease similar to Parkinson's disease. He had been confined to his home in Vladimir for the past several months as the disease slowly paralyzed him.

From 1971-1980, Andrianov won 15 Olympic medals (seven gold, five silver, three bronze), 12 world championship medals (four gold and eight silver) and 18 European championship medals (10 gold, six silver, two bronze). His all-around titles include the 1975 European Championships, the 1976 Olympic Games and the 1978 World Championships. His 15 Olympic medals stood as the all-time men's record until swimmer Michael Phelps won his 16th medal in 2008.

He retired from competition following the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and began a long coaching career. From 1981 to 1992 he coached the Soviet junior team.

In 1994, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he accepted an invitation from former rival Mitsuo Tsukahara to coach in Japan. He stayed until 2002, when he returned to Vladimir to become head of the same gymnastics school he trained at in his youth.

Andrianov was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001.

He is survived by his wife, Olympic champion Lyubov Burda Andrianova, and sons Vladimir and Sergei.

Comments (4)add comment

Chris Young said:

RIP Nikolai Andrianov
Truly a preeminent gymnast of his times. RIP.
March 21, 2011
Votes: +4

briohnyg said:

RIP Nikolai Andrianov
This is very sad.
March 22, 2011
Votes: +1

Viktoria Ironpride said:

gymnastics fan
I was simply shocked and so, so sorry to hear this! I have been a gymnastics fan since the '68 Olympics, and the Russians have always been my favorites. Andrianov was such a great gymnast and so handsome, too! What a loss! Rest in peace, Kolyasha--
March 23, 2011
Votes: +2

Keri said:

I loved the article he wrote years ago for IG on his former coach, Tolkachov. He sounded committed to coaching the same way - which means his students would have had a wonderful mentor.

My prayers go out to Lyubov, Sergei, and Vladimir.
March 26, 2011
Votes: +0

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