Born: January 27, 1949 - Leningrad (URS)
Galina Stepanskaya made her international debut three years before her
moment of fame in 1976. At the 1973 World Championship Allround in
Strömsund (Sweden) Stepanskaya impressed by winning the 1500 meters. In
the overall ranking she finally ranked 7th. The next year she was not
able to beat this performance and in 1975 her level was even worse. In
1975 she set the 4th best time on a 3000 meters of the Soviet women, but
on her favorite distance ,the 1500 meters, she set the 13th best time
of the Soviet skaters.
In 1976 her results improved astonishedly.
She qualified for the Olympics and at these Winter Olympics in
Innsbruck she won the 1500 meters. At the end of the season she had not
lost her level and made a succesfull attack on several world records.
First, she broke the 3-days-old world record of Nancy Swider on the 3000
meters and a week later she improved her own record with more than 9
seconds to 4:31.00. This record would stay untouched for over 5 years.
Stapanskaya skated her 3000 meters record during a mini combination
event. On this event, combining the 500, 1000, 1500 and 3000 meters,
she also set a world record, improving the old one over 2.5 points to
In two years after Stapanskaya golden year, she managed
to reach the podium of the World Championships. She finished second
behind a fellow-countrywoman in both 1977 and 1978. In 1977 she won the
1500 and 3000 meters at the championship and a year later she won silver
on both distances.
Machiel Smit, December 1, 2013
Podia at championships
|1976||1 ||Olympic Winter Games 1500 meters||Innsbruck||AUT|
|1977||2 ||World Championship Allround||Keystone||USA|
|1978||2 ||World Championship Allround||Helsinki||FIN|
|1||3000 meters||4:40.59||Mar 16, 1976||Medeo||KAZ|
|2||3000 meters||4:31.00||Mar 23, 1976||Medeo||KAZ|
|3||Mini combination||173.810||Mar 22/23, 1976||Medeo||KAZ|
|500m||0:42.44||Apr 3, 1978||Medeo||URS|
|1000m||1:24.06||Mar 22, 1976||Medeo||URS|
|1500m||2:10.12||Mar 22, 1976||Medeo||URS|
|3000m||4:31.00||Mar 23, 1976||Medeo||KAZ|