Profile Born on 14 April 1942 in Tolbusino, Soviet Union, Valeriy Brumel is one of the best high jumpers of all time, breaking the world record six times in the early 1960s.
At the 1960 Olympic Games, in Rome, Brumel won a silver medal by clearing 2.16m. The gold went to countryman Robert Shavlakadze who jumped the same height, but needed fewer attempts. Four years later, in Tokyo, Brumel jumped two centimetres higher, a performance that gave him the Olympic gold medal. Brumel was only 22 years old yet held a firm grip on the high jump events. He was an immediate favourite to repeat his win in Mexico City, but a devastating motorcycle accident in 1965, a season in which he was undefeated, shattered his dreams of another gold. Brumel frantically attempted a comeback but never jumped higher than 2.10m ever again.
Earlier, in June 1961, he first broke the world record by clearing the bar at 2.23m. From June 1961 to July 1963 he broke the world record six times. No other athlete in history has improved the best mark in this event on so many occasions. His record of 2.28m would finally be overtaken in 1971, several years after Dick Fosbury had revolutionised the high jump by using a completely new technique. Valeriy Brumel passed away aged 60 on 26 January 2003.