The Most Famous

ATHLETES from Belarus

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This page contains a list of the greatest Belarusian Athletes. The pantheon dataset contains 6,025 Athletes, 50 of which were born in Belarus. This makes Belarus the birth place of the 23rd most number of Athletes behind Spain, and Cuba.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Belarusian Athletes of all time. This list of famous Belarusian Athletes is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Belarusian Athletes.

Photo of Romuald Klim

1. Romuald Klim (1933 - 2011)

With an HPI of 51.78, Romuald Klim is the most famous Belarusian Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages on wikipedia.

Romuald Iosifovich Klim (Belarusian: Рамуальд Язэпавіч Клім, Russian: Ромуальд Иосифович Клим, 25 May 1933 – 28 May 2011) was a Soviet hammer thrower. He competed at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics and won a gold and a silver medal, respectively. Klim was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor in 1965.Klim was born in a farmer's family. He started training in hammer throw around 1955, but became noticed only in 1963, after winning the Riga Cup and finishing second at the 1963 Soviet Championships. In those years Klim was lighter (ca. 90 kg) and physically weaker than elite Soviet throwers, but he had a strong mental balance and a superior throwing technique; he added weight only after joining the national team. The 1964 Olympics were his first international competitions. After three attempts he was third behind Gyula Zsivótzky and world record holder Hal Connolly, but then threw 69.74 m (228.8 ft) and won a surprising gold medal. After that Klim won the 1966 European Championships, the European Cup in 1965 and 1967, and three Soviet Championships (1966–1968). He finished second at the 1968 Games behind Zsivótzky, who had been his main rival all those years. In 1969 Klim finished second at the 1969 European Championships and set his only world record (74.52 m). He retired in 1973 to become an athletics coach and referee. From 1989 until his death he was professor at the Belorussian Academy of Physical Culture and Sports. Since 1976 a hammer throwing competition has been held in his honor in Minsk.Klim was married and had a daughter born in 1957 and two twin sons born in 1960.

Photo of Tamara Tyshkevich

2. Tamara Tyshkevich (1931 - 1997)

With an HPI of 50.13, Tamara Tyshkevich is the 2nd most famous Belarusian Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Tamara Andreevna Tyshkevich (Belarusian: Тамара Андрэеўна Тышкевіч, Russian: Тамара Андреевна Тышкевич; 31 March 1931 – 27 December 1997) was a Soviet shot putter. She won an Olympic gold medal in 1956 and placed fourth in 1952, losing to her long-term rival Galina Zybina. At the European championships she won a bronze medal in 1954 and a silver in 1958.Tyshkevich was born in Belarus. During World War II her family fled to Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she spent most of her life. She took up athletics in 1947 and retired in 1962, becoming an athletics coach.

Photo of Vasily Rudenkov

3. Vasily Rudenkov (1931 - 1982)

With an HPI of 47.98, Vasily Rudenkov is the 3rd most famous Belarusian Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Vasily Vasilyevich Rudenkov (Belarusian: Васіль Васілевіч Рудзянкоў; Russian: Василий Васильевич Руденков; 3 May 1931 – 2 November 1982) was a Soviet athlete who competed mainly in the hammer throw. He was born in Zhlobin. Rudenkov competed for the USSR in the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy in the hammer throw where he won the gold medal. It was his only Olympics appearance.He trained at Dynamo in Moscow and became an Honoured Master of Sport of the USSR in 1960, along with being awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour the same year.

Photo of Leonid Taranenko

4. Leonid Taranenko (b. 1956)

With an HPI of 46.81, Leonid Taranenko is the 4th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Leonid Arkadevich Taranenko (Russian: Леонид Аркадьевич Тараненко, born June 13, 1956) is a former Soviet/Belarusian weightlifter and coach. His 266 kg clean and jerk in 1988 was the heaviest lift in competition for 33 years, until Lasha Talakhadze exceeded it, lifting 267 at the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships.

Photo of Nikolai Gorbachev

5. Nikolai Gorbachev (1948 - 2019)

With an HPI of 45.41, Nikolai Gorbachev is the 5th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Nikolai Stepanovich Gorbachev (Russian: Николай Степанович Горбачёв, Belarusian: Мікалай Сцяпанавіч Гарбачоў; May 15, 1948 – April 9, 2019) was a Soviet-born Belarusian sprint canoer who competed in the early to mid-1970s. He won a gold medal in the K-2 1000 m event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.Gorbachev also won three medals in the K-4 10000 m event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a gold (1974) and two bronzes (1971, 1975).

Photo of Darya Domracheva

6. Darya Domracheva (b. 1986)

With an HPI of 43.81, Darya Domracheva is the 6th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Darya Uladzimirauna Domracheva (Belarusian: Дар’я Уладзіміраўна Домрачэва; born 3 August 1986) is a retired Belarusian biathlete and coach who competed in the Biathlon World Cup from 2006 to 2018. She won a gold medal in the 4×6 km relay and a silver medal in the mass start competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics, three gold medals in the pursuit, individual, and mass start competitions at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and a bronze medal in the individual competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was a Biathlon World Cup overall winner for the 2014–15 season.

Photo of Rita Achkina

7. Rita Achkina (b. 1938)

With an HPI of 43.72, Rita Achkina is the 7th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Rita Nikolayevna Achkina (Russian: Рита Николаевна Ачкина; born 1 February 1938) is a retired Belarusian cross-country skier. In 1965 she won the 5 km, 10 km and 3 × 5 km relay events at the Soviet championships. Next year she earned two medals at the 1966 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with a gold in the 3 × 5 km relay and a bronze in the 5 km. She competed in these two events at the 1968 Winter Olympics and won a bronze medal in the relay, placing sixth individually. After retiring from competitions she worked as elementary school teacher.

Photo of Iryna Yatchenko

8. Iryna Yatchenko (b. 1965)

With an HPI of 42.09, Iryna Yatchenko is the 8th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Iryna Vasiliyevna Yatchenko (Belarusian: Ірына Ятчанка, Russian: Ирина Васильевна Ятченко; born 31 October 1965) is a Belarusian former discus thrower best known for winning two Olympic bronze medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics, although she was eventually stripped of the latter medal due to a doping offence. She also became world champion at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. Her personal best is 69.14 metres, achieved in July 2004 in Minsk.

Photo of Ivan Tsikhan

9. Ivan Tsikhan (b. 1976)

With an HPI of 41.67, Ivan Tsikhan is the 9th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Ivan Ryhoravich Tsikhan (born 24 July 1976) is a Belarusian hammer thrower. He is a two-time world champion and an Olympic medalist.

Photo of Igor Astapkovich

10. Igor Astapkovich (b. 1963)

With an HPI of 41.38, Igor Astapkovich is the 10th most famous Belarusian Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Ihar Astapkovich (also Igor Vyacheslavovich Astapkovich, Belarusian: Ігар Вячаслававіч Астапковіч; born 4 January 1963, in Navapolatsk) is a hammer thrower who won two Olympic medals, first representing the Soviet Union and later his home country of Belarus. He won silver medals at three consecutive World Championships, and became the 1990 European champion. His personal best throw of 84.62 metres, achieved in 1992, puts him 6th on the all-time performers' list. Astapkovich is married to Iryna Yatchenko, herself a Belarusian Olympic medalist, in discus thrower.

People

Pantheon has 52 people classified as Belarusian athletes born between 1931 and 1998. Of these 52, 48 (92.31%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Belarusian athletes include Leonid Taranenko, Darya Domracheva, and Rita Achkina. The most famous deceased Belarusian athletes include Romuald Klim, Tamara Tyshkevich, and Vasily Rudenkov. As of April 2024, 2 new Belarusian athletes have been added to Pantheon including Rita Achkina, and Aleksandr Karshakevich.

Living Belarusian Athletes

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Deceased Belarusian Athletes

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Newly Added Belarusian Athletes (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Athletes were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Athletes since 1700.