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Semyon Belits Geiman

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Nationality  Soviet
Role  Olympic athlete
Sport  Swimming
Height  1.85 m

Club  Dynamo Moscow
Weight  73 kg
Name  Semyon Belits-Geiman
Strokes  Freestyle swimming
Semyon Belits-Geiman httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Full name  Semyon Viktorovich Belits-Geiman
Born  February 16, 1945 (age 70) (1945-02-16) Moscow

Semyon Viktorovich Belits-Geiman (born 16 February 1945) is a former Soviet freestyle swimmer. He set a world record in the 800 m freestyle and won two Olympic medals.


Semyon Belits-Geiman Semyon BelitsGeiman Wikipedia

Early life

Belits-Geiman was born in Moscow, where he attended the Transport Engineering Institute, studied journalism, and worked as a journalist for the magazines Sports Life in Russia and Soviet Sport.

Swimming career

Belits-Geiman began swimming when he was eight. He was affiliated with the Moscow club Dynamo and became a member of the Soviet swimming team in 1962. He competed at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and finished in seventh place in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay and eights in the 400 meter freestyle.

At the 1965 Summer Universiade, he won the gold medal in the 400 m freestyle and three silver medals in the 1,500 m and relay races. In 1965, his time in the 1,500 m was the second-fastest in the world (17:01.90).

In 1966, he won the gold medal against three of the best American freestyle swimmers in a US vs USSR competition in Moscow. That year at the European championships, he won gold medals in the 1,500 m freestyle (16:58.5) and 4 × 200 m freestyle relay (8:00.2) and a silver medal in the 400 m freestyle (4:13.2; behind German Frank Wiegand, and ahead of Frenchman Alain Mosconi). In 1966, he was ranked number three in the world in the 1,500-meter freestyle.

On 8 March 1966, he set a world record in the 800 m freestyle, at 8:47.4, in Budapest. That was 4.1 seconds faster than the former record set by Australian Murray Rose in 1962.

At the 1967 Universiade in Tokyo, he won a silver medal in the 1,500 m freestyle, behind American Mike Burton.

He won a silver medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City in the 4×100 freestyle relay (3:34.2), swimming the lead leg, and a bronze medal in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay (8:01.6), swimming the second leg. In the 4 × 200 m relay, one of his teammates was Vladimir Bure. He also swam two individual freestyle events, finishing seventh in the 200 m freestyle, and ninth in the 400 m race. He broke 67 Soviet national freestyle records. In 1974, he was named president of the Moscow Swim Federation and vice president of the Soviet Union Federation.

Post-swimming career

Later in his life he competed in cross-country skiing and speed skating and became a Soviet Master of Sport and coach in both disciplines.

Beginning in the early 1980s, he developed training programs for figure skaters. He created a program to increase coordination and flexibility which was used by Australian ice dancing champions Natalie Buck and Trent Nelson-Bond in the early 2000s.


He met his wife, Russian ice dancing coach and former competitive ice dancer Natalia Dubova, when he covered one of her competitions as a sportswriter. In 1999, they moved to Stamford, Connecticut.


Semyon Belits-Geiman Wikipedia