02/06/2021   The 85 years of Volodymir Golubnichiy



On June 2, 1936 (85 years ago) one of the monuments of the world march was born in Sumy (then USSR) today in Ukraine.
Volodymir Stepanovic Holubnyciy (Golubnichiy) was one of the greatest walkers in the period between 1960 and 1994.
The following table shows his roll of honor in the most important events of the time.
Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Place Date
1. 20km Walk 1:33:59 Ciudad de México (MEX) 14 OCT 1968
1. 20km Walk 1:34:08 Roma (ITA) 02 SEP 1960
2. 20km Walk 1:26:56 München (GER) 31 AUG 1972
3. 20km Walk 1:32:00 Tokyo (JPN) 15 OCT 1964
7. 20km Walk 1:29:25 Montréal (CAN) 23 JUL 1976


European Champioships

Place Discipline Mark Place Date
1. 20 Km Walk 1:29:30 Roma (ITA) 03 SEP 1974
2. 20 Km Walk 1:30:06 Budapest (HUN) 30 AUG 1966
3. 20 Km Walk 1:36:38 Beograd (SRB) 12 SEP 1962


Memorable was his victory in Mexico City when, after a race spent always in the lead together with teammate Nikolay Smaga (USSR), he had to drive back the final straight on the track after almost 20km the return of José Pedraza (MEX) in front of a deliroius audience cheering ardently for the local star.
Golubnichiy and Smaga had scored the following split times:
- 5km: 23:12
- 10km: 46:55 (23:43) as they were 12 seconds ahead of Rudy Haluza (USA) and the deaf-mute Gerhard Sperling (GDR); José Pedraza (MEX) followed in another 6 seconds.
- 15Km: 1:10:19 (23:24) for the two Soviets, while Haluza was third (1:10:42) and Padraza (1:10:54) had overtaken Sperling (1:11:12) who face away followed (shoulder to shoulder) by Otto Bartch (GDR) .
Golubnichiy and Smaga entered the stadium and the crowd roared when Pedraza appeared 30m later.
The Mexican reached Smaga on the last turn and came closed to withing 4m beihind Golubnichiy who turned and forced just enough to allow him to win.
Pedraza gritted his teeth looking anger and frustration at bering so close to the winner.
Never before had anyone finished within 9 seconds for the winner, bur in Mexico City the bronze medallist was a mere five seconds back.
Golubnichiy had won the Olympic Games again after eight years of his first victory in Rome in 1960.
Golubnichiy also won two individual silver medals in the 20km of the then World Cup at:
- Bad Saarow (GDR) in 1967 in 1:28:58 behind Nikolay Smaga (USSR) (1:28:38)
- Eschborn (FGR) in 1970 in 1:27:21 behind Hans-Georg Reimann (GDR) (1:26:55)
Today, at the age of 85, Volodymir Stepanovic Holubnycyi remains a role model for all walking athletes around the world.
Happy birthday Volodymir Stepanovic.