Vladimir Salnikov

Mason 19 Feb,2024

Facts of Vladimir Salnikov

Full Name
Vladimir Valeryevich Salnikov
Last Name
First Name
Birth Date


Career & Net worth

Net Worth
$3 million

Vladimir Salnikov is one of the greatest swimmers of all time, who dominated the distance events in the late 1970s and 1980s. He was the first person to swim under 15 minutes in the 1500 m freestyle and under 8 minutes in the 800 m freestyle, earning him the nicknames “Tsar of the Pool”, “Monster of the Waves” and “Leningrad Express”.

Vladimir also won four Olympic gold medals, two world championships and six European championships, becoming a national hero in the Soviet Union and a legend in the swimming world.

Early life and career

Salnikov was born on May 21, 1960, in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Russia. He was the son of a sea captain and started swimming at the age of seven, joining a local swimming team. He soon showed his talent and potential and began training under the guidance of his coach, Gleb Petrov. He later switched to another coach, Igor Koshkin, who helped him develop his endurance and technique.

Vladimir-SalnikovVladimir-Salnikov is an Olympic Gold MedalistImage Source: Pinterest 

Salnikov made his international debut at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, at the age of 16. He broke the European record in the 1500 m freestyle but finished fifth, missing the medal by less than a second. He was disappointed, but determined to improve and achieve his goals.

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Rise to fame and glory

Salnikov’s breakthrough came in 1977, when he won the European championship in the 1500 m freestyle, beating the defending champion, Brian Goodell of the United States. He also set a new world record in the event, becoming the first person to swim under 15 minutes.

Vladimir repeated his feat at the 1978 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, where he also won the 400 m freestyle and set another world record. He was named the Male World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World magazine.

Olympics & Global Recognitions

In 1980, Salnikov competed at the Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, in front of his home crowd. He was the overwhelming favorite in the distance events, and he did not disappoint. He won the 1500 m freestyle in a world-record time of 14:58.27, becoming the first person to swim under 15 minutes at the Olympics.

Vladimir-SalnikovVladimir-Salnikov was a world record holderImage Source: Pinterest 

Salnikov also won the 400 m freestyle and the 4x200 m freestyle relay, completing a hat-trick of gold medals. He was the most successful swimmer of the Games and a national hero in the Soviet Union.

Setbacks and comebacks

Salnikov’s career was interrupted by the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, United States, which prevented him from defending his titles and challenging his rivals. He continued to compete at other international events, such as the 1982 World Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Where he won the 400 m and 1500 m freestyle, and the 1983 Universiade in Edmonton, Canada, where he won the same events. He also set six world records in the 400 m, four in the 800 m, and three in the 1500 m between 1979 and 1986.

However, Salnikov faced some difficulties in the mid-1980s, as he suffered from injuries, illnesses, and personal problems. He also faced new challengers, such as Michael Gross of Germany and Uwe Daßler of East Germany, who threatened his dominance in the distance events. He lost his world records and his titles, and some doubted his ability to compete at the highest level.

Salnikov proved his critics wrong at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, where he made a remarkable comeback. At the age of 28, he won the 1500 m freestyle for the second time, becoming the oldest Olympic swimmer in 56 years to win a gold medal. He also became the third swimmer in history to win gold medals eight years apart, joining Johnny Weissmuller and Dawn Fraser. He finished fourth in the 400 m freestyle, missing the bronze medal by 0.03 seconds. He was named the Male World Swimmer of the Year for the second time by Swimming World magazine.

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Is Vladimir Salnikov Married?

Vladimir Salnikov is wedded to Marina Salnikova, who served as his coach from 1985 to 1988. Together, they have two children: Dmitry, their son, who pursued swimming like his father and participated in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and Anastasia, their daughter, who is now a journalist and TV presenter.

Legacy and achievements

Salnikov retired from competitive swimming after the 1988 Olympics but remained involved in the sport as a coach, administrator, and commentator. He was the president of the Russian Swimming Federation from 1992 to 1997, and the vice-president of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) from 2009 to 2017. He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1994 to 2016. He received many awards and honors for his contributions to swimming and the Olympic movement, such as the Olympic Order, the FINA Gold Pin, and the Russian Order of Friendship.

Vladimir-SalnikovVladimir-Salnikov is a retired swimmerImage Source: Pinterest 

Salnikov is widely regarded as one of the greatest swimmers of all time and the greatest distance swimmer ever. He set 20 world records in the 400 m, 800 m, and 1500 m freestyle, and won four Olympic gold medals, two world championships, and six European championships.

Vladimir was the first person to swim under 15 minutes in the 1500 m freestyle and under 8 minutes in the 800 m freestyle, breaking the barriers that many thought were impossible. He inspired generations of swimmers, especially in Russia and the former Soviet Union, with his determination, perseverance, and excellence. He is a legend in the swimming world and a true Tsar of the Pool.

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