Russian biathlon star Malinovsky: From high hopes to six feet under

Igor Malinovsky was one of the biggest stars of Russian biathlon five or six years ago. On July 17, 25-year-old Igor Malinovsky was killed in a helicopter crash in Kamchatka.

Malinovsky won five gold medals at World Junior Championships. No Russian biathlon athlete has ever been able to achieve that. He performed on equal footing and often defeated young Norwegian stars Sturla Legrade and Johannes Dalle.

Unfortunately, Igor's transition from youth to adult sports came very difficult for him. He made his debut at the World Cup before he turned 20. That was a unique story in Russian biathlon. They tried to give him chances, but, unfortunately, Malinovsky could no longer win. By the age of 24, Igor Malinovsky had had only five top level races that he all failed. It was clear that he was less and less interested in biathlon.

Igor developed passion for aviation and dreamed of piloting a helicopter. In April of this year, he completed his studies at the Omsk Flight Technical College of Civil Aviation. Malinovsky boasted of his achievements in this field, while emphasizing that he had not yet completed his final race in biathlon. He planned to compete at a regional level and did not rule out a comeback.

On July 16, everything changed. Igor went on another private flight, which he announced on his page on social networks. There was a video of him taking off in a helicopter with passengers on board.

Some time later, it was reported that the connection with the Robinson helicopter that Malinovsky was piloting was lost in Kamchatka. The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kamchatka said that the missing helicopter was flying along the route "the caldera of the Uzon volcano — the village of Milkovo."

It was later confirmed that Malinovsky was indeed piloting the Robinson helicopter and had two passengers on board. At 2 p. m. local time, the crew stopped communicating. The search for the missing chopper was interrupted overnight and resumed in daylight hours.

On July 17, the wreckage of the helicopter was found near the Semyachkov Pass, 13 kilometers from the Uzon volcano. The crash left no survivors, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported.

It was a private flight, the group was not registered as tourists, Vladimir Solodov, the Governor of the Kamchatka region said.

The crashed Robinson belonged private company Vzlyot owned by Vladimir Malinovsky, the athlete's father.

Igor Malinovsky was a five-time world champion in biathlon among juniors. In 2017 he made his debut in the World Cup. His best achievement was 61th place in the 2018 competition.

In 2021, Malinovsky announced his retirement from sports. In April he announced that he had become a helicopter pilot. He was 25 years old.

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Author`s name Editorial Team
Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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