Raisa Petrovna Smetanina (Russian: Раи́са Петро́вна Смета́нина; born February 29, 1952 in the village of Mokhcha, Komi ASSR) is a former Soviet/Russian Nordic skiing champion. She is the first woman in history to win ten Winter Olympic medals (Stefania Belmondo being the second). Smetanina took part in five Olympics, representing the USSR team four times and the Unified Team once. In particular, Sametania won two gold and one silver medals at the 1976 Winter Olympics, becoming the most successful athlete there, along with Rosi Mittermaier of West Germany. She trained at VSS Urozhay in Syktyvkar.
In the 1992 Winter Olympics, at the age of thirty-nine, Smetanina won a further gold medal competing for the Commonwealth of Independent States in the 4x5 km, becoming the first woman to win ten Winter Olympic medals and at that time the oldest woman to win a Winter Olympic gold.
Smetanina also had successes at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, winning four golds (20 km (1982), and 4x5 km (1974, 1985, and 1991), four silvers (10 km (1978), 20 km (1978), and 4x5 km (1982, 1989)), and four bronzes (4x5 km (1978), 5 km (1974, 1978), and 20 km (1980)). She also won three times at the Holmenkollen ski festival, once in the 10 km (1975) and twice in the 5 km (1975 and 1979).
In 1979, Smetanina received the Holmenkollen medal (shared with Erik Håker and Ingemar Stenmark). She was also awarded Order of Friendship of Peoples (1984).
Added 26 June 2011, editor Nadezhda Volokitina
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