Melnikov was a member of the Soviet Union's men's water polo team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The Soviets easily advanced to the final round after going undefeated in the preliminaries, winning games over Italy (4-1), Japan (11-1), and West Germany (4-2). In the final group, the Soviet team went 3-0-2, including overcoming a two-goal deficit in the final quarter to tie the United States 6-6 (the U.S. team included Jewish players Peter Asch, and Barry Weitzenberg). Although Hungary had the same record as the Soviets in the final round, Melnikov and his teammates were awarded the gold medal based on goal average.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Jan. 24, 1948
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
The Jewish Almanac, edited by Richard Siegel and Carl Rheins (New York: Bantam Books, 1980)
New York Times, September 1-5, 1972