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Bolotnikor, Pyotor



Pyotr Grigoryevich Bolotnikov (Russian: Пётр Григо́рьевич Боло́тников; born 8 March 1930) is a former Soviet athlete, one of the world's best stayers of the early 1960s, winner of 10,000 m at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Autograph Card Signed, n.d.  3 1/2 x 2 written in blue ink pen with personal stamped name in gold on back of  Arthur J. Lesser, M.D. Vascular Surgery business card overall, very fine condition. 

"Born in Zinovkino, Krasnoslobodsky District, Mordovian ASSR (now the Republic of Mordovia), Bolotnikov started athletics only at age twenty, when he joined the Soviet Army. He trained at VSS Spartak, coached by Grigory Nikiforov.

Bolotnikov won his first national championship title in 10,000 m in 1957, when he surprisingly beat the great Vladimir Kuts in a finishing straight by 0.2 seconds. He became the double Soviet champion in 5,000 m and 10,000 m from 1958 to 1962. He also won the national 10,000 m title in 1964 and national cross country title in 1958. In 1959 he became the Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR.

Bolotnikov participated already at the 1956 Summer Olympics, but without any success. At the Rome Olympics in 1960, Bolotnikov controlled the 10,000 m race from the start to end, beating the main favourites Hans Grodotzki from East Germany and Murray Halberg from New Zealand by five seconds. On October 5 of that year, in Kiev, Bolotnikov lowered the 10,000 m world record by almost twelve seconds to 28:18.8.

Just two weeks before the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade, on August 11, 1962 in Moscow, Bolotnikov lowered his own 10,000 m world record by 0.6 seconds to 28:18.2, thus becoming the main favourite at long distances at the Championships. He easily won the 10,000 m run, but was surprisingly beaten to third in 5,000 m.

After the unsuccessful 1964 Summer Olympics, Bolotnikov decided to retire from athletics in 1965. He received the Order of Lenin in 1960."