Zapolyarnik became 18th sports club in USSR
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Zapolyarnik became 18th sports club in USSR

April 15, 2021

The Norilsk citizens got organized into a sports club in April 1961.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. By that time, the Zapolyarnik stadium, a swimming pool, a ski base, a boat station on lake Dolgoye, two houses of physical culture were built in Norilsk, and there were gyms at every industrial enterprise.

Physical education and sports have been part of the northern city life from its first days. At the regional sports day in 1946, athletes from Norilsk took first places in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and shooting, and the footballers coached by the legendary Andrey Starostin returned with the edge cup.

Fifteen years later, following the results of the first All-Union Spartakiad of sports clubs, Zapolyarnik took the sixth place among the 26 best.

A year later, swimmers from Norilsk took second place in the final of the Spartakiad of the Peoples of the RSFSR. The material base played an important role in their victory: the northernmost swimming pool and a highly professional team of its trainers headed by the director Iskander Fayzullin.

In the 1960s, the first pool was the main pride of the sports club. A galaxy of excellent swimmers emerged from it, including the first champion from Norilsk, Natalya Fomina.

The country’s record-holders in swimming won not only in the Soviet Union, but also in international competitions. The Norilsk water polo players, who were in the top five of the country, also made a splash.

A newborn sports club from the Arctic region represented national teams in gymnastics, athletics, weightlifting, and cycling at the Games. More than 50 teams in various sports took part in the regional competitions.

Five years after the sports club organization, more than 25 thousand people were engaged in its sections in 27 sports. Zapolyarnik took part in the All-Union Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy of the USSR and was awarded a second degree diploma.

Read other materials of the photo project in the History spot section.

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Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

April 15, 2021

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