Igor Ter-OvanesyanMonday, July 27, 2020
Igor Aramovich Ter-Ovanesyan (born 19 May 1938) is a retired Soviet competitor and coach in the long jump. He is a five-time European and two-time Olympic medalist in this event. In 1985 he was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honour.
Ter-Ovanesyan was born in Kiev to an Armenian discus thrower, Aram Avetisovich Ter-Ovanesyan, and a Ukrainian volleyball player, Valentina Ilinskaya. His parents met at the Kiev State Institute of Physical Education, where they both taught sports-related topics.
Ter-Ovanesyan took up athletics when he was 15, and within two years was included to the Soviet national team. Ter-Ovanesyan trained at Burevestnik, first in Kiev, later in Lviv, and then in Moscow. He holds a PhD and a title of Professor at the Department of Athletics, Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture. He published several sports-related books in Russian.
Ter-Ovanesyan won Olympic bronze medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome – with a jump of 8.04 meters – and at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo – with a jump of 7.99 meters. He also competed at the 1956, 1968 and 1972 Olympics and finished fourth in 1968. At the European Championships he won outdoor gold medals in 1958, 1962 and 1969, and an indoor silver medal in 1971. Ter-Ovanesyan became the first European long jumper to break the 8 meter barrier. He broke the European long jump record eight times and the world long jump record twice. In 1963, he won the United States Indoor Championships. Ter-Ovanesyan had the annual world's best long jumps in 1962, 1966, 1967 and 1969.
After retiring from competitions, Ter-Ovanesyan became a national coach. His pupils included Ineta Radēviča, Valery Podluzhny, Vilma Bardauskienė and Tatyana Kolpakova. In 1983–1989 he headed the Soviet track and field team (with a help of state-sponsored steroid program).
In February 2017, Ter-Ovanesyan held a press conference in Moscow, during which he said that East German successes due to state-sponsored doping are legitimate results of "good pharmacology" and should not be condemned.