Whatever Happened to
1969 Junior Friendship Tournament: 1st
Team, 1st AA
1969 USSR Schools Spartakiade: 1st AA
1970 Junior Friendship Tournament: 1st Team, 1st AA
1971 European Championships: 3rd AA, 1st PH, 1st V, 2nd RG, 2nd PB, 3rd
1971 USSR Championships: 1st AA
1972 Olympic Games: 1st FX, 2nd T, 3rd VT, 4th AA, 6th PB, 6th HB
1972 USSR Championships: 1st AA
1972 USSR Cup: 1st AA
1973 Chunichi Cup: 6th AA
1973 European Championships: 2nd AA, 1st FX, 1st V, 2nd RG, 2nd PB, 4th
PH, 6th HB
1973 University Games: 1st AA, 1st FX, 1st PH, 1st VT, 4th RG, 5th HB
1974 Chunichi Cup: 2nd AA
1974 World Championships: 2nd Team, 2nd AA, 1st RG, 2nd PH, 2nd VT, 2nd
1975 European Championships: 1st AA, 1st FX, 1st V, 1st PB, 1st HB, 2nd
PH, 5th RG
1975 World Cup: 1st AA, 1st PB, 2nd FX, 2nd PH, 6th RG, 6th HB
1976 Olympic Games: 1st AA, 1st FX, 1st RG, 1st VT, 2nd Team, 2nd PB,
1976 USSR Cup: 4th AA
1977 World Cup: 1st AA, 1st FX, 1st RG, 1st PB, 2nd V, 7th PH
1978 World Championships: 1st AA, 1st RG, 2nd Team, 2nd V, 2nd PB, 4th
1979 Pre-Olympics: 6th PH
1979 USSR Spartakiade: 4th AA
1979 World Championships: 1st Team, 2nd VT, 4th FX, 7th PH
1980 Olympic Games: 1st Team, 1st V, 2nd AA, 2nd FX, 3rd HB
1980 USSR Championships: 3rd AA
Results courtesy of Gymn Forum,
in particular Gymn
Forum's Andrianov biography
A photo of Andrianov can be found at
the homepage of the Italian
A strong contender for international success during the
Soviet's quests for reign of the sport, Nikolai earned a total of 15 Olympic and
13 World Championship medals. His strong contributions
to his team's success led the beginning of Soviet dominance in the sport from
what previously belonged to the Japanese. Nikolai was known
not only for his winning results, but also for his innovativeness (he was the
first man to compete a triple back off the high bar) and technical mastery of the
Andrianov was born in
1953, in the Russian town of Vladimir. Nikolai's father left the family when the
children (Nikolai and his three sisters) were young. Nikolai responded by
becoming a bit of a "wild" child: he skipped school, failed to hand in
assignments, fought with his peers, and got into much trouble with his teachers.
Fortunately, when he was 11, Nikolai's best friend, Zhenya Skurlov, convinced
Nikolai to accompany him to the local gymnastics school.
instructor, Nikolai Tolkachev, agreed to coach the young Andrianov. Tolkachev
soon learned of Andrianov's bad behaviour. He decided that Andrianov needed a
stronger figure in his life, soon after Andrianov found himself living with
Tolkachev. Under Tolkachev's guidance, Andrianov's attitude improved. Tolkachev
was clearly more than just a coach to young "Kolasha, " he was mentor
and father figure as well.
Five years after
beginning gymnastics, Andrianov made his competitive debut at the 1969 Junior
Spartakiade (aka Schoolchildren's Spartakiade) in Yerevan, USSR. Tolkachev took
note of what the specialists said about Andrianov, and after the competition the
pair returned to Vladimir to refine Andrianov's program. One year later,
Andrianov earned a spot on the 1970 Worlds team (albeit as an alternate).
Andrianov continued to improve, and the following year he competed in the 1971
European Championships. Andrianov brought home six medals, two of which were
gold. Andrianov had clearly made a name for himself internationally.
As the 1972 USSR
Champion, Andrianov was the Soviet's best hope for gold at the 1972 Munich
Olympics. After compulsories, Andrianov was a close second behind Japan's Sawao
Kato. Unfortunately, a mistake on the pommel horse led him to finish out of the
medal standings (4th AA). Although the Japanese had once again dominated the
sport of men's gymnastics, the event finals saw the beginnings of the Soviet
domination - Andrianov beat four of Japan's top gymnasts to earn gold on the
Over the next four
years, Andrianov amassed numerous awards. He also married fellow gymnast Lyubov
Burda, a member of the Soviet's gold medal winning 1968 and 1972 Olympic
teams. The two
originally met at the 1969 Junior Spartakiade. In 1975, the couple's first son
was born. They named him Seryozha (Sergei). The later years the couple welcomed
a second son, Dmitri.
Andrianov's big moment
came in 1976 when he battled Japan's Sawao Kato one more time. In Montreal,
Andrianov crushed the Japanese by collecting 7 medals: four golds (including the
AA crown), two silvers, and one bronze. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and
Soviet journalists named him Sportsman of the Year. Despite the impressive
results, Andrianov was not finished. In 1980 he made his third (!) Olympic
appearance, amassing another five medals.
Nikolai retired from
the competitive aspect of the sport in 1980, replacing the retired Tolkachev as
the head of the Vladimir gymnastics school. One of his pupils was his son Sergei.
Sergei did compete international (I remember hearing that he finished second in
a meet in South America), though nowhere to the extent of his father.
Andrianov also coached Russian superstars Vladimir
Artemov, Vitaly Scherbo, Alexei Nemov, and Dmitri
Vassilenko - all whom went on to win Olympic gold. Artemov won the
1988 Olympic AA, Scherbo captured six of eight possible gold medals in
Barcelona, and Nemov and Vassilenko won team gold and more in Atlanta.
collapse of the Soviet Union, Andrianov left Russia for Japan. He coaches Naoya
Tsukahara, who placed second overall at the recent 1999 World Championships in
Tianjin, China. Oddly, one of Andrianov's biggest rivals during his competitive
years was Naoya's father, the great Mitsiuo Tsukhara.
(April 14, 2001). Andrianov and Burda have apparently separated, Burda returning
to Russia last year and Andrianov choosing to remain in Japan as Tsukahara's
personal coach. Thanks to W. Sakata for this
(June, 2001). Andrianov was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
(March 2011). Andrianov passed away in his hometown of Vladimir, Russia on
March 21, 2011 after suffering from multiple systems atrophy, a rare
neurological disorder. In his final few months, the disease robbed him of his
speech and use of his limbs. He was 58.
© 2000-2002. This page was created on January 21,
2000 and last updated June, 2001.
Andrianov was born in