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Nikolai Andrianov
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    (October 14, 1952-March 21, 2011)
    Born in Vladimir, Russian Federation
    Won 15 Olympic medals (7 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze) from 1972 to 1980
    Coached the Japanese Olympic gymnastics team (1994-2002)
    Inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (2001)
    Growing up, he skipped school and fought with classmates.
    He quit gymnastics after a month because he was the oldest boy in the beginner class, but was talked into returning by a coach.
    He smoked.
    At the time of his death, he was the Olympian with the third highest medal count, after fellow gymnast Larissa Latynina (18) and swimmer Michael Phelps (16).
    He won at least one medal in each gymnastic event: floor exercises, rings, vault, pommel horse, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
    He was known for pushing the envelope, such as performing triple back flip dismounts from the rings when everyone else was doing doubles.
    Bart Conner said, 'He was one of the toughest gymnasts I’ve ever seen.'
    He developed multiple system atrophy, a nerve disease that in his final months left him unable to speak or move his arms or legs.

Credit: C. Fishel

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