Russia’s Olympic eventing champion found dead

Alexander Blinov and Galzun in action at the 1980 Olympic Games.
Alexander Blinov and Galzun in action at the 1980 Olympic Games. © FEI

Russian Olympic eventer Alexander Blinov has been found dead three weeks after he was last seen in the village of Andreyevskoye in the Moscow region.

Blinov, 66, won individual silver and team gold at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, riding Galzun.

The Russian Equestrian Federation said Blinov had disappeared on February 9, and police and volunteers had been looking for him since.

On March 2, his body was found near a stable in the village of Andreyevskoye.

His daughter, Anastasia, said that on the morning of February 9, Blinov had to take a bus from Andreyevskoye to Mozhaisk to a bank to get a pension card. She said he last contacted her that night. The phone did not work the next day, and the bank said the card had not been issued.

According to a friend, Alexander Yevdokimov, who was quoted in Runews24, Blinov returned home in a taxi, but he was dropped off 500m from his home as the car could go no further because of snowdrifts. Yevdokimov said Blinov’s body was found in the snow near the house where he lived, some 150m from the stable where he worked.

The 1980 Olympic Games were disrupted by a boycott led by the US, part of a package of actions to protest against the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the end, 67 nations did not participate.

Alexander Blinov.
Alexander Blinov. © Russian Equestrian Federation

There were only 11 nations represented in the equestrian competition. The organising committee had built an impressive 45-hectare venue in the southwestern Moscow suburb of Bitsevsk, featuring a Jumping stadium for 12,000 spectators and a Dressage stadium seating 3000.

Blinov also competed at the 1982 World Championships in Luhmühlen. As well as being a successful rider, he later held an eventing steward’s role.

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