The Most Famous

SKATERS from Russia

Icon of occuation in country

This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Skaters. The pantheon dataset contains 313 Skaters, 43 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 2nd most number of Skaters.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Skaters of all time. This list of famous Russian Skaters 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 Russian Skaters.

Photo of Lidiya Skoblikova

1. Lidiya Skoblikova (1939 - )

With an HPI of 62.47, Lidiya Skoblikova is the most famous Russian Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 29 different languages on wikipedia.

Lidiya Pavlovna Skoblikova (Russian: Лидия Павловна Скобликова; born 8 March 1939) is a retired Russian speed skater and coach. She represented the USSR Olympic team during the Olympic Winter Games in 1960, 1964 and 1968, and won a total of six gold medals, which is still a record for a speed skater. She also won 25 gold medals at the world championships and 15 gold medals at the USSR National Championships in several distances. She was also the first athlete to earn six gold medals in the Winter Olympics and the first to earn four gold medals at a single Olympic Winter Games. She was the most successful athlete at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics, sharing the honour for 1960 Games with her compatriot Yevgeny Grishin.

Photo of Ludmila Belousova

2. Ludmila Belousova (1935 - 2017)

With an HPI of 62.43, Ludmila Belousova is the 2nd most famous Russian Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Ludmila Yevgenyevna Belousova (Russian: Людмила Евгеньевна Белоусова; 22 November 1935 – 26 September 2017) was a Russian pair skater who represented the Soviet Union. With her partner and husband Oleg Protopopov she was a two-time Olympic champion (1964, 1968) and four-time World champion (1965–1968). In 1979, the pair defected to Switzerland and became Swiss citizens in 1995. They continued to skate at ice shows and exhibitions through their seventies.

Photo of Oleg Protopopov

3. Oleg Protopopov (1932 - )

With an HPI of 62.18, Oleg Protopopov is the 3rd most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Oleg Alekseyevich Protopopov (Russian: Оле́г Алексе́евич Протопо́пов; born 16 July 1932) is a former Russian pair skater who represented the Soviet Union. With his wife Ludmila Belousova he is a two-time Olympic champion (1964, 1968) and four-time World champion (1965–1968). In 1979, the pair defected to Switzerland and became Swiss citizens in 1995. They continued to skate at ice shows and exhibitions through their seventies.

Photo of Klara Guseva

4. Klara Guseva (1937 - 2019)

With an HPI of 60.25, Klara Guseva is the 4th most famous Russian Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Klara Ivanovna Guseva (Russian: Кла́ра Ива́новна Гу́сева; 8 March 1937 in Tambov Oblast – 12 May 2019) was a Russian speed skater. After her marriage, she was also known as Klara Nesterova (Russian: Не́стерова). Born in the Russian SFSR, Klara Guseva competed for the Soviet Union. She trained at Spartak in Ryazan. She won a silver medal at the Soviet Allround Championships in 1960 and participated one month later in the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. These were the first Winter Olympics where speed skating for women was on the programme. Guseva participated in the 500 m and finished 6th. The next day, she finished 4th on the 1,500 m. The day after that, she started in the first pair on the 1,000 m and skated a new Olympic record time of 1:34.1. Nobody was able to beat that time and Guseva was Olympic Champion on the 1,000 m, ahead of silver medallist Helga Haase, who had become the first female Olympic Champion in speed skating when she won the 500 m two days earlier. After that, Guseva participated in the World Allround Championships once, the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, and a few more Soviet Allround Championships, but she did not win any more medals. Guseva died in a car accident on 12 May 2019 in Moscow.

Photo of Boris Shilkov

5. Boris Shilkov (1927 - 2015)

With an HPI of 59.51, Boris Shilkov is the 5th most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Boris Arsenyevich Shilkov (Russian: Борис Арсеньевич Шилков; 28 June 1927 – 29 June 2015) was a speed skater.

Photo of Nikolai Panin

6. Nikolai Panin (1872 - 1956)

With an HPI of 58.36, Nikolai Panin is the 6th most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Panin-Kolomenkin (Russian: Николай Александрович Панин-Коломенкин; 8 January 1872 [O.S. 27 December 1871] – 19 January 1956) was a Russian figure skater and coach. He won the gold medal in special figures in the 1908 Summer Olympics, became one of the oldest figure skating Olympic champions. Panin was Russia's first Olympic champion.

Photo of Evgeni Plushenko

7. Evgeni Plushenko (1982 - )

With an HPI of 58.24, Evgeni Plushenko is the 7th most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Evgeni Viktorovich Plushenko (Russian: Евгений Викторович Плющенко​ , born 3 November 1982) is a Russian former figure skater. He is a four-time Olympic medalist (2006 gold, 2014 team gold, 2002 & 2010 silver), a three-time World champion (2001, 2003, 2004), a seven-time European champion (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012), a four-time Grand Prix Final champion (1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05), and a ten-time Russian national champion (1999–2002, 2004–2006, 2010, 2012–2013). Plushenko's four Olympic medals once tied with Sweden's Gillis Grafström's record for most Olympic medals in figure skating, which has since been surpassed by Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. He also won a record total of 22 titles on the Grand Prix circuit. He is considered one of the greatest figure skaters in history.

Photo of Alexei Ulanov

8. Alexei Ulanov (1947 - )

With an HPI of 55.30, Alexei Ulanov is the 8th most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Alexei Nikolaevich Ulanov (Russian: Алексей Николаевич Уланов; born 4 November 1947) is a retired pair skater who represented the Soviet Union. With Irina Rodnina, he is the 1972 Olympic champion and a four-time (1969–1972) world champion. With his then-wife Lyudmila Smirnova, he is a two-time world silver medalist.

Photo of Sergei Grinkov

9. Sergei Grinkov (1967 - 1995)

With an HPI of 55.10, Sergei Grinkov is the 9th most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Sergei Mikhailovich Grinkov (Russian: Сергей Михайлович Гриньков; 4 February 1967 — 20 November 1995) was a Russian pair skater. Together with his wife Ekaterina Gordeeva, he was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion and a four-time World Champion (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990).

Photo of Alexander Gennadiyevich Zaitsev

10. Alexander Gennadiyevich Zaitsev (1952 - )

With an HPI of 54.88, Alexander Gennadiyevich Zaitsev is the 10th most famous Russian Skater.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Alexander Gennadiyevich Zaitsev (Russian: Александр Геннадиевич Зайцев, born 16 June 1952 in Leningrad) is a retired pair skater who represented the Soviet Union. With partner Irina Rodnina, he is a two-time (1976, 1980) Olympic champion, six-time World champion and seven-time European champion. From 1973 to 1980 they won every event they entered. They were coached by Stanislav Zhuk and later Tatiana Tarasova in Moscow.

Pantheon has 43 people classified as skaters born between 1872 and 2004. Of these 43, 37 (86.05%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living skaters include Lidiya Skoblikova, Oleg Protopopov, and Evgeni Plushenko. The most famous deceased skaters include Ludmila Belousova, Klara Guseva, and Boris Shilkov. As of October 2020, 14 new skaters have been added to Pantheon including Klara Guseva, Boris Shilkov, and Alexei Ulanov.

Living Skaters

Go to all Rankings

Deceased Skaters

Go to all Rankings

Newly Added Skaters (2020)

Go to all Rankings

Which Skaters were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 6 most globally memorable Skaters since 1700.