Speed Skating Hall of Fame

Boris Shilkov

Born: June 28, 1927 - Arkhangelsk (URS)

Boris Shilkov, born in Arkangelsk and living in Leningrad where he worked as an engineer, was a part of the Soviet Union team which dominated speed skating in the mid-50s. He made his international debut with a silver medal in the World Championships 1953, beaten only by his team mate Oleg Goncharenko. The following year he won both the European and the World Championships.

9 January 1955 he set a famous 5000 m World Record - 7.45,6 - at Medeo, after his team mate Dmitry Sakunenko became the first to skate a 5000 m under 8 minutes in a previous pair. The time was almost unbelievable at its time. He beat the current record with 18 seconds, and it would stand unbeaten for 8 years. But only one year later he proved this time was not impossible after all, when he finished only 3 seconds above his own World Record to win the Olympic gold.

In spite of his Olympic gold and World Record on 5000 m, Shilkov had often problems on the longest distance. After being in the lead after 3 distances, he lost three titles because of a bad 10000 m. He won the Soviet Allround Championships 3 times (1953 - 1955).

He reigned on top of the Adelskalender for the most part of the second half of the 1950s, first 1 day from 9 January 1955 to 10 January 1955, and then continuously from 20 January 1955 to 1 March 1959, a total of 1501 days.

After his active career Shilkov was a successful speed skating coach. From 1962 to 1964 and 1966-1968 he was the coach of the Olympic team of the USSR, coaching among others Ants Antson, who became Olympic 1500 m Champion in 1964. Later he was a coach in Leningrad.

Bjarte Hetland, December 7, 2013

Career summary


Podia at championships

yearpositionchampionshipplace
19532 World Championship AllroundHelsinkiFIN
19541 World Championship AllroundSapporoJPN
1 European Championship AllroundDavosSUI
19553 World Championship AllroundMoscowURS
19561 Olympic Winter Games 5000 metersCortina d'AmpezzoITA
19572 World Championship AllroundÖstersundSWE

World Records

#disciplinerecorddateplace
15000 meters7:45.6Jan 9, 1955MedeoKAZ

Personal Bests

distancetimedateplace
500m0:41.9Jan 30, 1960MedeoURS
1500m2:10.4Jan 20, 1955MedeoURS
3000m4:55.7Dec 26, 1960KirovURS
5000m7:45.6Jan 9, 1955MedeoKAZ
10,000m16:50.2Jan 20, 1955MedeoURS