Personal DataSurname: AndrianovFirstname: NikolayCountry: USSRDate of birth: 1952-10-14Birthplace : Vladimir (Russia)Died: 2011-03-21Height: 165 cmWeight: 60.0 kg
Career DataOlympic Games (15 medals - 7 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze)World Championships (13 medals - 4 gold, 9 silver)European Championships (17 medals - 9 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze)World Cup (2 medals - 2 gold)
BiographyLeading the race for gymnastics supremacyJapanese influence
Nikolay Andrianov's efforts during the 1976 Montreal Olympics ultimately allowed the Soviet team to enter the then Japanese-dominated race for gymnastics recognition.
His eventual haul of 15 Olympic medals including seven gold is the second most achieved by any Summer athlete, only bettered by the astonishing American swimmer Michael Phelps.
Andrianov was orphaned in the early years of infancy, grew up under the tutelage of coach Nikolai Tolkatschev at the Boriswiesnick club.
He was the top gymnast in his country by the age of nineteen and won his first major medals at the 1971 European championships in Madrid.
A year later at Munich, facing the favoured Japanese, he won deserved respect for his gold medal-winning performance on the floor, also winning silver and bronze medals. But it was following Munich that Andrianov truly began to shine.
Strangely enough, it was the Japanese who provided the means and Andrianov's respect for the team led by the highly respected coach Akitomo Kaneko, led to a stay in the Far East.
The result was that Andrianov left the "classicism" of the Soviet school behind to adopt what many regarded as the more spectacular and daring style of the Japanese.
A fruitful period of learning in Japan was followed by successive victories in the 1973 European championships at Grenoble, France and in Bulgaria in 1974, where he also became the first gymnast to perform a triple salto on the rings.
One year later at Berne, he became known, through his floor routine, as the Nureyev of gymnastics.
All this preceded his domination of the Olympic podium at Montreal in 1976 and his world championship title win at Strasbourg, France. The "old man" of Soviet gymnastics won a further two gold medals before bowing out after the 1980 Moscow Games.
The arrival of fresh talent on the Soviet team signalled a new era - talent that Andrianov had helped influence.
Consequently, he was given the job of coaching the national team, and was repaid with the success of two of his pupils, Youri Koroljow (1985 world champion) and Wladimir Artemov (all-around Olympic champion at Seoul in 1988).
He finished his career with 45 medals, Olympic, world and European.
Stricken in 2010 with the degenerative brain disorder multiple system atrophy, which left him both paralyzed and mute, Andrianov died one year later at the age of 58.