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A Soviet skier was killed by a Viennese tram. The tragedy of domestic sports.

Date: March 1, 2024 Time: 22:59:51

It is now that skiing is underdeveloped in Russia, if we talk about the professional level and badges at various world outlets. In the 80s of the last century, everything was different, Soviet athletes claimed high places and even achieved victories in various European and world races. We had homegrown nuggets encroaching on the position of the best skiers in the world.

Elena Panchenko was considered one of these rising stars. A girl was born in 1966 in the city of Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovo region. The girl’s father was a great lover of skiing, which caused the girl to become even more passionate about this extreme sport. Dad took the future champion to the local mountain Yugus, after which skiing became the meaning of his life.

Elena Panchenko Archive

Since that time, Elena did not leave the slopes of the mountains, conquering one by one slopes of various heights and complexity: the Caucasus, the Sayans, the Urals. In 1971, Panchenko arrived at a sports school with the firm intention of taking up ski mountaineering at a serious level. The first coach of the talented and stubborn skier was Valentina Zakharchenko, who was in no hurry to overload the young athlete with exhausting training. Throughout the winter season, Elena studied the basics of skating technique, the loads were dosed.

After a short time, Elena Panchenko moved to another coach – the husband of her coach, Valery Zakharchenko, who later managed to fully reveal the enormous potential of the young skier. It was to him that Panchenko owed the development of mobility, flexibility and reaction speed necessary during endless descents from dangerous slopes.

Elena Panchenko Archive

In 1973, Elena, who was 11 years old, challenged the best skier in the USSR, Alla Askarova. Competitions were held in Tashtagol, Kemerovo region. Naturally, the future star lost to a skilled opponent, but from that moment she gave herself the word that there would be no more defeats in her career. Since 1974, Panchenko has constantly participated in republican and union contests, she won the union championship among girls.

Elena Panchenko Archive

At the age of 13, Panchenko received the title of a candidate for master of sports, and at 14 she was already a teacher. Already in this state, in 1978, she won the Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR among girls at that very time, becoming a member of the USSR national ski team. Her first international success was not long in coming. In the Bulgarian Socialist States Cup, the Kemerovo resident did not give her most eminent rivals a single chance. Three times Elena climbed to the top step, winning absolutely all the starts. After that, domestic and European experts began to consider Panchenko the most promising skier in the world.

Elena Panchenko Archive

In 1980, Elena went to the training camp in Austrian Vienna. Joint training and events of Soviet and Austrian skiers were planned there. After one of the planned conferences, Panchenko returned to the hotel in a minibus carrying athletes from the USSR. The athlete sat next to the interpreter in the front seats. Minutes after the start of traffic, a tram collided with a minibus. Of all those who were inside, Elena Panchenko and the translator died. The rest of the athletes escaped with various injuries.

Elena Panchenko Archive

In 1981, the USSR State Committee for Sports approved the status of all-Russian competitions – “In memory of the Master of Sports of International Class Elena Panchenko.”

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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