Strunnikov, Nikolai Vasil’evich
Born Dec. 4 (16), 1886, in the village of Skniatino, in what is now Kaliazin Raion, Kalinin Oblast; died Jan. 12,1940, in Moscow. The first Russian world and European speed-skating champion (1910–11).
Strunnikov, a four-time champion of Russia in speed skating (1908–10) and bicycle racing (1909), went down in the history of world skating as the “Russian wonder.” In 1912 he stopped competing in protest against the tyrannical policies of Russian sports backers. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, after the October Revolution (1917), Strunnikov worked as a coach and then as a design engineer in construction enterprises in Moscow.