Danilov, Olga : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Danilov, Olga

speed skating

Country Represented:

Years Competed:

Olympic Info:
The first non-figure skater to represent Israel in the history of the Winter Olympics, Danilov competed in three events as her country's lone speed skater (short track) at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. She is married to Israeli Olympian Alexander Danilov

In the 1,500-meter competition, Olga finished third in her first-round heat (2:32.458) and advanced to the semifinals. In the semifinals, she finished fifth in her heat (2:36.114), and was eliminated from the competition; she placed 15th overall. In the 500-meter, Danilov came in second in her preliminary heat (46.422), but then finished fourth in the quarterfinals (46.695), and was eliminated from the competition. Her final competition was the 1,000-meter, where she was eliminated in the first round and placed 21st overall.

Career Highlights:
Born in Ukraine, Danilov began skating at the age of three-and-a-half and moved from figure skating to speed skating as a teenager. In 1994, she emigrated to Israel and believed her skating career was over. She said, "I had finished school and was thinking about what to do next...All my friends had left Ukraine, and I had been thinking about Israel for a while." While staying with her sister in Netanya, Danilov contacted skating coach Boris Drabkin and by 1995 was living in Metulla, training with Drabkin.

Drabkin, who had previously coached the Russian National team, helped Israel gain membership in the Winter Games, and said, "We Jews have to develop our cultural side, and sports is part of culture. It's the life that we immigrants know about." Danilov trained with Drabkin in the mid-1990s and just missed qualifying for the 1998 Nagano Games; she needed to be ranked in the world's top 20 and she was No. 22.

Since 1998, Danilov was conistently ranked in the top 20. At the 2000 World Championships, she finished 14th in the 500-meter and 18th overall (she also placed 25th in the 1,500-meter and 26th in the 1,000-meter). The following year, she placed fifth in the 500-meter and seventh in the 1,000-meter at the European Championships. Then at the Worlds, Danilov placed eighth in the 500-meter and 17th overall (26th in both the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter).

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Nov. 27, 1973

Charkov, Ukraine

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