* International Gymnast Magazine reported that former Soviet champion Nikolai Andrianov has been suffering from multiple system atrophy (MSA), a disease likely to eventually take his life. MSA is a neurological disorder that affects motor skills and muscle coordination and progresses until it kills the patient.
Andrianov, 58, seems to be in the later stages; IG reports that he is bedridden in his hometown of Vladimir, Russia and his family is searching for someone or something that could help him receive better care.
MSA is a particularly cruel blow for a gymnast as talented as Andrianov.
Nikolai ANDRIANOV - a model for young generation! *Photo: 1977, on the occassion of an international Gym Show in Leipziger (GDR) Young winner of the ''Spartakiade', Udo Boettcher and Holger Zeig - later a bronze medallist at the worlds 1985 in Montreal - were happy about an autograph of the world star!
He was the face of Soviet men's gymnastics during the 1970s, winning a stunning 15 Olympic medals over three Olympiads, a record that stood as the most Olympic medals won by a man before swimmer Michael Phelps surpassed him in 2008.He was among the first to demonstrate the power and finesse Soviet men's gymnastics would come to be known for. At the 1976 Olympic Games that made Nadia Comaneci a household name and defined the course of the sport, Andrianov quietly won the men's all-around title.
The Soviet men won silver in 1976.
Andrianov: Idol also for generations of young russian gymnasts!
Andrianov, who won floor, rings and vault in addition to his all-around title, would lead them to gold in 1980 and pick up a second Olympic vault title there as well, as well as silvers on vault and floor and a bronze on high bar. Andrianov is the only gymnast ever to have won Olympic medals on every event in addition to team and all-around competitions. Andrianov set the standard as an athlete, but also as a coach, molding the younger men on the Soviet junior men's team during the 1980s and coaching in Japan at the behest of his former rival, Mitsuo Tsukahara, during the 1990s, where his most famous protegee was Tsukahara's son, 2004 Olympic team gold medalist Naoya, who has indicated that he would like to come out of retirement and compete for Australia.
Andrianov returned to Vladimir in 2002 to coach at the gym where he trained as a youth, now named after Tolkachyov.
Among his pupils was future Olympian Yuri Ryazanov, who was killed in a car accident last October, days after winning the all-around bronze medal at the world championships in London. Despite his own illness, Andrianov was able to attend Ryazanov's funeral in Vladimir.
Those wishing to send goodwill messages to Andrianov can do so through his son Sergei. ** Sergei Andrianovcan be contacted at >> email@example.com