History of Krasnoyarsk sport

Athletic Krasnoyarsk

Devoted to 100 years anniversary of Krasnoyarsk sport

The official history of sport in Krasnoyarsk began in April 1912, when young people from just founded Sokolskaya hobby group showed their sport achievements to inhabitants of Krasnoyarsk. Evening of “Muscle demonstration and original gymnastics”, as it was called by local press, took place in the club of Volno-Pozharskoye association. It supported the hobby group by giving funds for buying gymnastics gear and presenting them a room for exercises. On the 16 of February 1912 a governor of Yenisei Guberniya (region) Jacob Bologovskiy and a head of Krasnoyarsk Pavel Smirnov established the first official P.E. association in Krasnoyarsk – “Sokol”.

Although unofficial history of physical education and sport in Krasnoyarsk land begun much earlier. It happened thanks to unique various landscapes, which fit well for active recreation, and thanks to exceptionally agile and competitive spirit of Siberian people. Active games and different competition have always been an important part of folk festivals in Krasnoyarsk. One of the traditional games was immortalized by a great Krasnoyarsk a Snow Town”.

In the last years of XIX century physical education penetrated step by step into lives of city dwellers because of enthusiasts of Volno-Pozharskoye association. They created football teams, often held athletes’ and gymnasts’ exhibition performances and made skating rinks in winters for all citizens.

As soon as the “Sokol” association was found, these activities gained official recognition and support. Fridtjof Nansen, a renowned traveler and Arctic explorer from Norway, who visited Krasnoyarsk in 1913, described the football game in his honor by the local sport association in his book, “we were welcomed n the field by young people of Krasnoyarsk in bright beautiful clothes. It was a great pleasure to watch their lively and skillful play”.

The nature around the city and first of all peculiar rocks, the north part of West Sayan Mountains, inevitably provoked the young energy to splash out the football fields and gymnasiums. In the beginning of XX century young people of Krasnoyarsk already developed passion for rock-climbing, which was the start for Krasnoyarsk alpinism tradition and the tradition for less reckless citizens to spend free time by their favorite rocks. This is exactly why numerous tourists visit “Stolby” national reserve in every weekend, despite of its reservation status. “Stolby” serve as a nature park on the majority of its space.

Even people of Krasnoyarsk enjoyed rock-climbing for quite a long time; the first climbing competition took place only in October 1947. Starting from 1950 the competition has been taking place regularly. “Stolby” still serve as a base for Krasnoyarsk sportsmen, it gives them unique possibilities for preparing.

In spite of all difficulties, social upheavals and wars, sport movement in Krasnoyarsk has been developing since the beginning of XX century. In 1934 a hockey team was founded by Krasmaschvagonstroy factory, in 1960 it was turned into a hockey club named Yenisei, which has got numerous victories on the country, Europe and World championships.

However indisputable recognition of Krasnoyarsk sport had taken place a little bit earlier, when a homesman from Dodonovo village of Krasnoyarsk region, Ivan Semionov became the first of all Krasnoyarsk participator of XV Olympics in Helsinki. Ivan Semionov, a prominent Soviet athlete, master of sports, two-time USSR marathon race champion (5 and 10 thousand meters), a prize-winner of L'Humanité newspaper’s international competition, a participant of the fight for Berlin, 1st class Order of Glory and numerous medals awarded was the man who was in charge for physical education of soviet militaries in the South group, in Hungary.

12 years later in 1964 weight-lifter Vladimir Kaplunov won a silver-medal on the XVIII Oplympic Games in Tokyo. He was born in Krukovo village, Balahtinskiy district, Krasnoyarsk region. Eduard Guschin from Motygino village participated in XIX Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968, and won the bronze prize in shot-put.

The real triumph for Krasnoyarsk was when the legendary wrestler Ivan Yarygin took part in Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976. His trainer Dmitry Mindiashvily educated numerous athletes during his career.

In 1976 Krasnoyarsk athletes got three gold medals on Olympics: Yarygin for freestyle wrestling, A.V. Shumakov for Greco-Roman wrestling, L.I. Odinokova (Berezhnaya) for handball. Since then sportsmen from Krasnoyarsk have become constant participants and often winners of the Olympic Games. 32 years later Krasnoyarsk sportsmen gained three gold medals again: Nazyr Mankiev and Aslanbek Hushtov for Greco-Roman wrestling and Buvaisar Saitiev for freestyle. It was the third time he proved to be the strongest freestyle wrestler of the world.

In 2010 two of three gold medals, won by Russian sportsmen, were gained by people from Krasnoyarsk. Olga Medvedtseva came back from Vancouver as a two-time biathlon champion.  A debutant Evgeniy Ustugov was another one who brought a gold prize back to the homeland, though it was not the first time he gained gold medal; the first one was won by him on teenage sport competition in Krasnoyarsk.

Athletes representing the Krasnoyarsk region, won eight medals, five of which - gold at the Winter Olympics Games in Sochi 2014. Alexander Tretyakov in skeleton, Evgeniy Ustyugov in biathlon (a relay team), bobsledder Dmitry Trunenkov (in the "Four") and twice - snowboarder Victor Wild (in parallel and parallel giant slalom) became Olympic champions.

Silver medals were won by lugers Alexander Denisov and Vladislav Antonov (in the relay team) and snowboarder Nikolai Olyunin. Snowboarder Alena Zavarzina won a bronze medal. In total 14 athletes from Krasnoyarsk were within the Russian team.