- Biography Facts
- What is the taste of victory?
- First place
- New heights
- "Instead of gold bronze"
- And again the triumph
- Nogano Olympics
- Regalia and awards
- Outside the profession
Her name forever entered the history of national sport. She won the Olympics three times, and many people can envy the regalia and awards of this strong-willed and purposeful woman. Who is she? The famous skier Elena Vyalbe, who is considered the best of the best in her profession. She was able to achieve dizzying career success, and her name was forever inscribed in the pages of the Guinness Book of Records. Thanks to her perseverance, hard work, dedication and the will to win, Elena Vyalbe was able to win many awards in sports competitions in skiing. Was the path of the future Olympic champion to the top of Olympus easy? Of course not.
Vyalbe Elena Valerievna - a native of the city of Magadan. Athlete was born April 20, 1968. From a young age, the girl began to show an increased interest in cross-country skiing.
With undisguised admiration, she watched as adult uncles and aunts made their way along the snow-covered road that ran alongside the house where the girl lived. When she was eight years old, she enrolled in the junior school section to learn the basics of this popular sport. Gennady Popkov and Viktor Tkachenko became mentors of the future Olympic champion. It was they who did everything possible to ensure that Elena Vyalbe, whose biography says that her life was in the best possible way, became a great athlete. They turned it into a “Magadan nugget” - the whole country then called the three-time Olympic champion.
What is the taste of victory?
At the age of eleven, Elena Vyalbe became a member of the cross-country skiing team of the Magadan region. Three years later, the girl will be given the title of Master of Sports, and the path to the main team of the adult USSR national team is provided to her.
But the first victory in the skiing race of Vyalbe Elena Valerievna, whose biography is a solid sporting achievement, won at an early age, when she took part in the championship of the Central Council of the DSO "Trud". And despite the fact that the rival girls were older than her, she was able to win second place. Even then it became clear which components would help Elena to achieve high results in sports: she gave herself to the future profession one hundred percent and worked on herself 24 hours a day.
A real triumph was the participation of a girl from Magadan in the junior championship in 1987, which was held in Italy. On it Vyalbe Elena Valeryevna gets her first gold medal. After a little time, the young athlete arranges his personal life, becoming the wife of a skier from Estonia - Urmas Vyalbe.
Soon she gives birth to a son and after some interruption returns to the profession.
In 1989, the world championship was held in Lahti, and our country was represented on it by the highest level athletes: Tikhonova and Smetanina. A serious competition to the Soviet girls were the Finns - Kirvesniemi and Matikainen. However, no one could become a worthy contender of Elena Vyalbe, who demonstrated “aerobatics” at freestyle 10 and 30 kilometers. After that, some experts predicted that the peak of the Magadan Nugget's sports career would decline. And the girl proved the fallacy of such a point of view, brilliantly speaking at the next Italian Championship: she not only became the best in freestyle, but also won first place in the 15 km race in the classical style. So Elena Vyalbe, whose photos were often decorated with bands of sports newspapers, became the property and pride of our country.
"Instead of gold bronze"
In 1992, the Olympics started in Albertville, France.
Our fans were full of hopes that the first place will surely submit to a skier from Magadan. But fate made its own adjustments … Instead of the first place, it won the third place four times. However, the fact that in the team competition the girl managed to demonstrate good results was able to “sweeten the bitterness of the pill”, and the “golden” Russian relay race did take place. One way or another, but not entirely successful performance did not upset the skier. “I still have a lot of victories ahead. I am full of strength and energy, ”Vyalba stated.
However, the subsequent Olympics in Lillehammer was also not very successful for the athlete. A few weeks before the start of the competition, she felt a serious malaise, so she could not fight on equal terms. Then only participation in the relay brought our team gold.
And again the triumph
Yes, unsuccessful performances at international championships did not undermine the morale of the Magadan athlete, but she understood that it was necessary to analyze the situation and, possibly, make adjustments to the work. Elena decided to change her mentor, choosing Alexander Grushin as the one.
And this innovation has yielded positive results. The championship of 1997 turned out to be simply enchanting in Elena Valerievna’s sports career. She won as many as five gold medals, leaving no chance for her rivals. Once again, journalists began to say that the best skier is Elena Vyalbe. Photos of the winner began to appear on the first pages of sports newspapers and magazines.
“What stage was the most difficult and most benign?” Asked “feather sharks”. The skier replied: “The most difficult was the finish in the pursuit. Only with the help of special photographic equipment was it possible to determine the winner between me and Italian Stefania Belmondo, with whom we went “one to one”. And yet I managed to win. If we talk about the easiest distance in the race, then it is the segment of the path at the finish stage of the relay. The final 150 meters to the finish line were victorious for our team. ”
The Norwegian king, congratulating Vyalbe on the fifth gold medal, noted that Helen is very similar to the ancient Greek goddess of victory. To a certain extent, his words were prophetic.
In 1998, Elena Vyalbe took part in the Olympics, which started in Japanese Nogano. Then the Russian women managed to win the first place in the 4x5 km relay race. On the first and second stretches of the way, the competition for our skiers was made up of Norwegian sportswomen.
At the third stage, Elena Vyalbe picked up the baton, and later handed it over to Larisa Lazutkina, breaking away from her rivals for 23 seconds. With this performance, an athlete from Magadan ended her career.
Regalia and awards
During the years of hard work, Elena Valerievna Vyalbe received the highest awards and regalia. She is not only Honored Master of Sports of the USSR, but also Russia. She was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples, the Order for Services to the State and Outstanding Athletic Achievements, the Order for Services to the Fatherland, 3rd Degree, the Order for High Athletic Achievements at the XVII Winter Olympics of 1994. In addition, the Magadan skier was awarded an honorary sign "For the development of physical culture and sports."
Since 2010, she is president of the Federation of ski racing.
Outside the profession
Elena Vyalbe, whose personal life was one hundred percent successful, today lives in the Moscow region (Istra district). She is surrounded by the closest and dearest people to her: husband Maxim, son Franz, daughter Polina and mother. Elena is very interested in how fate will be with her children, and she keeps to strict rules in bringing them up.