Death of cross country skiing Olympic medalist Nikolai Anikin

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 18, 2009 6:00 am

Rest in peace, Nikolai Anikin. The 77-year-old Olympic medalist in cross country skiing passed away at his home in Duluth, Minnesota last Saturday. He lost his battle with cancer.

Nikolai was a three-time Olympic medalist, winning a gold medal for the Soviet Union team in the 1956 Games. He was born in Siberia, and after his athletic career, spent 27 years coaching the Russian National Cross Country Ski Team. After that, he and wife Antonina moved to Duluth where he spent several years coaching the U.S. Ski Team. He later helped found the Gitchi Gumi Sports Association.

Nikolai was well known for his sense of humor and his kindness. He is survived by his wife, son (Nikolai Jr.) and daughter (Irina). He will be greatly missed. A celebration in honor of his life is scheduled to be held at the Snowflake Ski Center in Duluth on December 6th.


photo courtesy of