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Vera Zozuļa

Full name: Vera Zozuļa (-Pyatnizin)
Other name(s): Vera Vasilyevna Zozulya (-Pyatnishina), Вера Васильевна Зозуля (-Пятнишина)
Gender: Female
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
Weight: 152 lbs (69 kg)
Born: January 15, 1956 in Talsi, Talsu novads, Latvia
Affiliations: Vārpa, Rīga (LAT)
Country: URS Soviet Union
Sport: Luge

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Vera Zozuļa is probably the best ever Soviet luger and she was the first Latvian athlete to win gold at the Winter Olympics. As of 2009, she is the only non-German speaking winner of any Olympic luge event. Zozuļa made her first appearance at the Winter Olympics in 1976, placing ninth. Four years later at Lake Placid, Zozuļa was clearly the best slider, winning all four runs. She also competed at the 1984 Olympics, placing fifth. Zozuļa won a complete set of medals at the World Luge Championships – gold in 1978, silver in 1977, and bronze in 1981. At the European Luge Championships, she won two medals – gold in 1976 and bronze in 1978. She also won the women's singles 1981-82 Luge World Cup title. Zozuļa won Soviet titles in 1975-76 and 1978 and was selected as the 1978 Latvian Athlete of the Year. After her sporting career Zozuļa worked as a luge coach in the Soviet Union, Latvia, and Poland. She was coach of the 1998 and 2002 Latvian Olympic teams, and was inducted into the International Luge Federation Hall of Fame in 2006.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1976 Winter 20 Innsbruck Luge Women's Singles Soviet Union URS 9
1980 Winter 24 Lake Placid Luge Women's Singles Soviet Union URS 1 Gold
1984 Winter 28 Sarajevo Luge Women's Singles Soviet Union URS 5

Women's Singles

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T IT1 IR1 ST1 SR1 IT2 IR2 IT3 IR3 ST2 SR2 ST3 SR3 IT4 IR4 ST4 SR4
1976 Winter 20 Innsbruck Luge Soviet Union URS Final Standings 9 2:52.661
1976 Winter 20 Innsbruck Luge Soviet Union URS Run 1 14 44.179 20.202 24 23.977 8
1976 Winter 20 Innsbruck Luge Soviet Union URS Run 2 8 42.973 19.246 =6 23.727 9
1976 Winter 20 Innsbruck Luge Soviet Union URS Run 3 6 42.651 19.221 8 23.430 6
1976 Winter 20 Innsbruck Luge Soviet Union URS Run 4 3 42.858 19.233 5 23.625 3
1980 Winter 24 Lake Placid Luge Soviet Union URS Final Standings 1 2:36.537
1980 Winter 24 Lake Placid Luge Soviet Union URS Run 1 1 38.978 11.238 1 13.362 1 24.600 1 30.787 1 6.187 1 8.191 1
1980 Winter 24 Lake Placid Luge Soviet Union URS Run 2 1 39.167 11.270 1 13.399 2 24.669 1 30.896 1 6.227 1 8.271 1
1980 Winter 24 Lake Placid Luge Soviet Union URS Run 3 1 39.271 11.301 2 13.488 2 24.789 2 31.035 1 6.246 1 8.236 1
1980 Winter 24 Lake Placid Luge Soviet Union URS Run 4 1 39.121 11.262 1 13.452 3 24.714 1 30.924 1 6.210 1 8.197 1
1984 Winter 28 Sarajevo Luge Soviet Union URS Final Standings 5 2:48.641
1984 Winter 28 Sarajevo Luge Soviet Union URS Run 1 4 42.079 8.644 3 15.212 4 23.856 4 32.936 4 9.080 4 5.265 4 38.201 4 3.878 5
1984 Winter 28 Sarajevo Luge Soviet Union URS Run 2 5 42.169 8.658 2 15.252 5 23.910 3 33.014 4 9.104 4 5.280 7 38.294 5 3.875 9
1984 Winter 28 Sarajevo Luge Soviet Union URS Run 3 5 42.077 8.627 6 15.193 6 23.820 6 32.925 5 9.105 5 5.270 6 38.195 5 3.882 9
1984 Winter 28 Sarajevo Luge Soviet Union URS Run 4 12 42.316 8.609 5 15.128 7 23.737 6 32.898 8 9.161 11 5.422 15 38.320 12 3.996 15