Profile In 1972, Valeriy Borzov became the first European athlete to do the sprint double when he won the 100m and 200m at the Olympic Games in Munich, dethroning the American sprinters who had been dominating this event for three quarters of a century. With an impeccable technique, the Soviet sprinter won five Olympic medals and two European Championship gold medals.
Born on 29 October 1949 in the Ukraine, Borzov first hit the limelight as a junior when he won the European 100m title in 1968. A year later he immediately had success at senior level, winning the European 100m title and also adding a silver medal in the 4x100m relay. After winning his first of seven European indoor sprint titles in 1970, Borzov proved he was a complete sprinter by winning the 100m and 200m at the 1971 European championships.
The American sprinters were well and truly warned ahead of the 1972 Olympics in München. But the most talented American sprinters of that time, Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson, shot themselves in the foot when they arrived too late at the stadium for their quarter-final heats because of a mistake by their coach Stan Wright. Borzov subsequently won the 100m with relative ease in 10.14 seconds. Three days later, Borzov proved he was in the form of his life by beating all three Americans in the 200m final in a time of 20 seconds flat. However, the Americans did get the better of Borzov & Co. in the 4x100m relay, where the Soviets came in second.
After Munich, Borzov spent more time on his studies and at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he had to settle for bronze in the 100m and the 4x100m relay. Meanwhile, he continued to dominate European sprinting, winning his third successive 100m title at the European Championships in 1974. Borzov retired in 1979, after he had married four-time Olympic gymnastics champion Lyudmila Turischeva. Since retirement he has been a member of the IOC as well as the President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee and a cabinet minister in the Ukrainian government.