Raisa Smetanina



Ten Medals At Five Winter Olympics


Raisa Smetanina holds a prominent place in the record book of the Winter Olympics. She is the only woman to have earned ten career medals, the only person to win medals in five Winter Games and one of only three athletes to win five silver medals. Smetanina began her Olympic journey in 1976 by taking a silver medal in the 5km race, missing a gold medal by just over one second. The next day she won the 10km by less than a second over Helena Takalo. She gained a second gold medal as a member of the USSR's 4x5 km relay team. In 1980 Smetanina won the 5km race and added a silver in the relay.

In 1984, she earned two silver medals and in 1988 a silver and a bronze. At the 1992 Winter Games, Smetanina won a final gold medal in the relay. Less than two weeks shy of her 40th birthday, she became the oldest female medallist in the history of the Winter Olympics.