Alexander Alexandrovich Bolshunov (born December 31 , 1996, Podyvotye, Sevsky district, Bryansk region, Russia) is a Russian skier, two-time Olympic champion in the skiathlon and the relay (2022), the world champion in the skiathlon (2021) , four-time Olympic medalist (2018), seven-time winner of the world Championships 2019 and 2021 years, two-time winner of the Big crystal globe (2019/20, 2020/21), two-time winner of ski stage race Tour de Ski (2019/2020 and 2021), three-time winner of the Small Crystal Globe in the World Cup distance competition (2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21). Two-time winner and silver medalist of the World Championships in cross-country skiing. Honored Master of Sports of Russia (2018). Universal, successfully performs in both sprint and distance races. He is the first and only male athlete to win Olympic medals in all six Olympic disciplines.
Alexander Bolshunov is the first and so far the only Russian skier to become a World Cup overall champion (the last time Soviet athletes won this prestigious trophy was in 1991, when he wonVladimir Smirnov). In addition, Bolshunov is the record holder of the Russian national team for the number of personal victories (28) and prizes (59) at the World Cup in cross-country skiing.
Alexander Bolshunov is a serviceman of the National Guard of the Russian Federation, holds the position of instructor of the sports team under the administration of the Ural District of the National Guard troops, has the military rank of "captain".
Junior years (2013-2017): two-time world youth champion
Alexander started his sports career in Malaya rodina inPodyvotye, Sevsky district of the Bryansk region and trained under the guidance of his father Alexander Ivanovich Bolshunov. Alexander also has an older sister, Anastasia, who was also put on skis, but she chose a different path. But Alexander liked skiing. First, he began to run competitions from the school, then from the district. In 2011, Alexander Ivanovich sent his son to train under the guidance of the Honored Coach of Russia N. I. Nekhitrov in the SSHOR for cross-country skiing in Bryansk, but he continued to take part in its preparation. The first successes at all-Russian competitions came a year later: on February 6, 2013, Alexander took first place in the 10 km classic style race in the Tver region and became one of the contenders for getting into the junior Russian national team.
On March 17, 2014, at the Russian Championship, Bolshunov won the 20 km skiathlon, according to the results of which Alexander was awarded the title of Master of Sports of Russia. After the national championship, he received an invitation to the junior national team. The following year, Alexander participated in the Junior World Championship in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan), but was left without medals: in the sprint, the Russian fell and was eliminated in the semifinals.
A year later, Alexander again took part in the World Junior Championships. This time, the best result of the Russian skier was the second place in the relay.
In 2017, he rode as part of the national team to its first World Youth Championship (U-23 Cross-country Skiing Championship), which was held in Soldier Hollow (Utah, USA).Olympic Games in 2002. On January 31, 2017, Alexander became the silver medalist in the sprint,  and then won the 15 km freestyle split start race.  In the last race of the championship Russian skiers Bolshunov, Alexey Chervotkin andDenis Spitsov was remembered for his act at the finish line: the Russians finished at the same time, holding hands. In this case, the organizers decided to award athletes based on the results of the photo finish. As a result, Bolshunov took 1st place, Chervotkin — 2nd, and Spitsov-3rd. As a result of this tournament, Alexander was awarded the title of Master of Sports of Russia of international class.
2017: champion of Russia and a contender to get into the national team
After the junior championship Bolshunov received an offer to go to the adult World Championship in FinnishLahti. At the main start of the season, Alexander ran two races — a freestyle sprint and a 30 km skiathlon. In the sprint competitions, the Russian junior was one of the leaders in qualifying, qualifying with the eighth time to the final round . But a fall in the quarterfinals deprived Bolshunov of a chance to fight for getting into the next round. As a result, Alexander became the 26th in his debut race at the international adult level competitions. In skiathlon, during the first (classic) part of the race, Alexander rode in the leading group, but after changing skis, Alexander could not impose the fight on the best skiers in the world and took 15th place, showing the 3rd result among Russian athletes.
Bolshunov in the same season took part in the stageWorld Cup in Norwegian Drammen, but was eliminated in the semifinals. 
Alexander finished the ski season with a victory at the Russian Championship in the 50 km classic marathon, where he overtook the leaders of the national team (Sergey Ustyugov — the leader of the national team-missed this race). Alexander was second for most of the race, and the leader was Alexey Chervotkin, who made a tactical mistake by not changing skis at one of the equipment change points. Alexander did something different and later won back the gap, and when he caught up with Alexey, he passed him a few meters before the finish line.
Alexander spent the entire summer training under the guidance of the Honored coach of Russia Yu. V. Borodavko. In August, Bolshunov took part in the World Roller Ski Championships, where he first took 2nd place in the "cutting", and then won the gold medal in the mass start.
2017/2018 season: first wins and Olympic record
The start of the first full season at the adult level was made at competitions under the auspices of the FIS in Finland and Sweden. At these starts, Alexander won two races, and also more than once got into the top three and thus secured a trip to the first stagesThe World Cup. Bolshunov immediately managed to establish himself as one of the leaders of the national team, becoming the third in the overall standings of the mini-tour Nordic Opening. At the next World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway, Bolshunov won a bronze medal in the classic sprint,  and a week later in Switzerland. In Davos, the Russian became the third in the sprint and in the 15 km separate start race "skate" .
The next start for the Russian skier was a prestigious multi-day raceTour de Ski. In the first race of this tour, Alexander finished 9th in the sprint. Then Bolshunov stopped a step away from medals in the individual 15 km classic style race, and a day later he rose to the third step of the podium in the pursuit race. At the end of the first stage, the athletes moved to German Oberstdorf, which is known for its changeable weather. Due to the weather conditions (heavy rain and strong wind), the organizers canceled the sprint, and the next day they held a mass start for 15 km freestyle.. The poor condition of the track greatly affected the results of the race: Alexander, like many other participants, fell and fell into massive rubble. As a result, Bolshunov failed to prove himself in this race, and he took only the fortieth place. Then the skiers covered 15 km of the classic with a mass start before the final ascent of the mountain, and at this start Bolshunov took 5th place. In the final race, Alexander started 5th, but the young Russian did not have enough strength and experience to get into the top three of the general classification. As a result, Bolshunov took sixth place, which was the best result among Russian athletes. After the Tour de Ski, Alexander was going to take part in the World Youth Championship, but fell ill and could not go.
Due to illness, Bolshunov had to come toPyeongchang (South Korea) to participate in theAt the 2018 Olympic Games only on February 15, having missed 2 races. But Alexander decided that he would compete in the sprint.
On February 13, Bolshunov went to the start of the sprint race and qualified for the quarterfinals stage with the third result. Further, in the first round, Alexander won with the best time among all quarterfinal races. In the semifinals Bolshunov got into the race, where two recognized leaders of the world sprint participated - the winners of the sprint standings of the World Cup of different years NorwegianJohannes Klebo and Italy 's Federico Pellegrino. Alexander finished third and, since the race was fast enough, went to the final, qualifying for the time limit. In the final, the Russian set a fast pace from the first meters to avoid a showdown in the last meters of the race. Until the last climb, he was in the group of leaders, but in the climb he lost first place to Klebo. The Norwegian skier entered the stadium with a large gap from the competition, and for the second place there was a fight between Bolshunov and Pellegrino. As a result, the title-winning athlete from Italy won the photo finish, and Alexander won his first Olympic bronze medal. Later, he will say in an interview that he went to this start just to "catch his breath".
After the success in the sprint, Alexander made a significant contribution to winning silver medals in team disciplines: Bolshunov competed in the relay at the second stage, where he managed to create a 30-second reserve for his teammates. However, this advantage was not enough for the gold medal: the Russians became silver medalists. In the next race, Alexander together with Denis Spitsov took part in the team sprint. This time Bolshunov was the finisher and perfectly coped with his task, finishing second.
2018 February 24th Alexander won a silver medal in the 50 km classic style race. This race was one of the most dramatic events of the Olympic ski tournament. Olympic championIivo Niskanen and two-time world bronze medalistAlexey Poltoranin by the middle of the race went into the gap, which, as it turned out later, predetermined the fate of the race. After a few kilometers, the Finn became the sole leader, and the Kazakh skier tried to keep up with him. The group of pursuers was led by Alexander, who first beat Poltoranin, and then caught up with Niskanen 14 km before the finish. Before the last lap, the Finnish skier decided to change his equipment, and Bolshunov made a tactical mistake by driving past the ski change point. The Finn caught up with the Russian due to the best slide, and then beat him in the fight for the gold medal. Alexander finished second and became the first skier in the country's history to win four medals in one Olympic Games.
After the Olympics, the Russian skier consolidated his position in the world elite of cross-country skiing. At the World Cup stage in Lahti, Alexander finished second in the 15 km classic split-start race, losing out to Alexey Poltoranin, a specialist in "cutting" classics, in the fight for first place. The following week, Bolshunov was on the third step of the podium in the sprint. And then, in the World Cup final, Alexander won the race for the first time in his career at the highest level of adult competitions: he won the mass start in the 15 km classic style. A day later, Bolshunov again became the first, ahead of all competitors in the pursuit race, and won the mini-tour standings. This victory allowed the Russian to move up to fifth place in the overall World Cup standings in the first full season for him .
According to the results of 2018, Alexander Bolshunov was awarded the Silver Doe Award, awarded by the Federation of Sports Journalists of Russia to the best athletes.
The post-Olympic season began with a win in the Finnish Arm in both the sprint and individual 15 km classic races. On March 9, 2019, Russian skier Alexander Bolshunov won the 50 km race at the World Cup in Oslo, Norway. In the fight for the gold award Bolshunov was ahead of two other Russians. Maxim Vylegzhanin was one second behind the winner, and Andrey Larkov was 1.6 seconds behind.
World Cup 2019: Four silvers
Bolshunov in the 15 km race at the World Cup 2019
At the 2019 World Championships in Seefeld, Austria, in the individual sprint freestyle on February 21, Bolshunov barely qualified, showing only 29th time (the top 30 reached the quarterfinals). In his quarterfinals, Alexander took only the third place (afterFrancesco De Fabiani andLuca Shanava), but was able to reach the semifinals in the best time as a lucky loser. However, in the semifinals, he took the last, sixth place and did not reach the final, eventually taking 11th place.
Two days later, Bolshunov performed in skiathlon. Alexander led the race for a long time, his rivals preferred to follow the Russian. Shortly before the finish Bolshunov and the Norwegians took the leadShur Rete andMartin Jonsrud Sundby. At the finish line, the Norwegians were in the lead, but Bolshunov managed to pass Sundby with a powerful jerk, but Rete was slightly faster, beating Bolshunov by 0.1 seconds.
On February 24, Bolshunov competed in the team sprint classic style together withGleb Retivykh. The Russians took second place in the final, losing 1.88 seconds to the Norwegian pair.Johannes Hesflot Klebo and Emil Iversen.
Bolshunov with a silver medal after the 50 km race at the World Cup 2019
Bolshunov was considered as one of the main favorites of the 15 km classic style race with a separate start, held on February 27, but in very warm weather (the air temperature exceeded +10°C) Bolshunov showed only the 8th result, almost a minute behind the champion Sundby.
On March 1, Bolshunov competed in the relay, where he ran freestyle on the third stage. Bolshunov ran his stage at the same time as Norwegian Schur Rete and passed the baton to Sergey Ustyugov in the lead along with the Norwegians. However, Ustyugov at the last stage failed to impose the fight on Klebo, as a result, the Russians took second place.
Before the final race of the championship, the 50 km freestyle mass start, it was reported that Bolshunov would not compete at this distance due to accumulated fatigue and very warm weather, which makes it more difficult for such powerful skiers as Bolshunov to compete with lighter ones. However, then Bolshunov was announced in the Russian national team, the reason was called the illness of Alexey Chervotkin, who was supposed to run initially. In the Norwegian raceHans Christer Holund broke away from the general group already on the 22nd kilometer, at times his advantage reached almost 1.5 minutes. 10 km before the finish Bolshunov alone tried to catch up with the Norwegian and managed to significantly reduce the gap, but in the end still lost 27 seconds. Bronze medalist Rete lost 30 seconds to Bolshunov. Thus, Bolshunov won his 4th silver medal at the World Championships, performing in all six disciplines.
On March 9, 2019, Bolshunov won the Maly Crystal Globe ahead of schedule, winning the distance competition. The Russian was ahead of Norwegian Schur Rete.
On May 15, 2019, he signed an agreement with ULK Group CEO Vladimir Butorin that from June 1, 2019, he will represent the Arkhangelsk Region at all-Russian competitions.
2019/20 season: Russia's first World Cup winner, Tour de Ski winner
The 2019/20 season was a triumph for the Russian. Despite its difficult start (on the first mini-tour of the Nordic Opening Alexander performed with a back injury and was unable to fully express himself, taking fifth place in the multi-day race), Bolshunov achieved a number of achievements that became a record for the Russian national team. Just like a year ago, the 23-year-old native of Podyvotye won the Small Crystal Globe in the distance event, scoring eight wins and winning four of the five starts at a distance of 30 km or more.  Bolshunov became the fourth skier in history to win the World Cup distance event more than twice (previously it was possible).Dario Colognier, Martin Jonsrud Sundby andTobias Angerer).
Alexander's special achievement in the 2019/2020 season is winning theThe Tour de Ski, which was the first major trophy in his collection. In a hard fight, he beat two previous winners of the race — compatriot Sergey Ustyugov (2016/17) and Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klebo (2018/19) — and became the third winner of the multi-day race from Russia. During the tour, Bolshunov showed very high stability, getting on the podium in six races out of seven held (Alexander has one victory (in the 15 km pursuit in Toblach) and five third places). In addition, the Russian greatly improved his mountain climbing skills, climbing the Alpe de Cermis with the third time, which largely predetermined the outcome of the fight for victory in the general classification. At the end of the stage race, Bolshunov took the yellow jersey of the World Cup leader from Klebo and kept it until the end of the season.
At the end of the Tour de Ski, Alexander continued a series of successful performances, winning four consecutive victories in distance races: in Nove Mesto, Bolshunov won the freestyle cutting and the classic pursuit; in Oberstdorf, he won the second skiathlon in a row (for the first time the Russian won in Lillehammer); and on one of his favorite tracks, in Falun, he left no chance for rivals in the "skating" mass start. The secret of Bolshunov's success was not only his excellent physical fitness, but also his tactical competence, in which, according to experts, the Russian added in the off-season.
The next important start was the multi-day race of the new Ski Tour format, held in Sweden and Norway. Alexander, despite a series of failures (two falls in the sprint, a broken stick in the 34 km race), continued to confirm his highest level and after the fourth stage — the mass start at 34 freestyle, where Bolshunov won a convincing victory-confidently seized the lead. However, Alexander's victory in the tour was prevented by an unsuccessful preparation of equipment, which caused Bolshunov, who was ahead of his closest pursuer, the NorwegianPaul Golberg finished only seventh by 35 seconds in the decisive 30 km pursuit classic. 
After the tour in Scandinavia, Bolshunov continued to perform successfully at the remaining stages of the World Cup and on March 8 won the second victory at the most prestigious marathon in Holmenkollen and became the first non-Norwegian skier in 39 years to win the race twice in a row (previously this achievement belonged to an East German skierGerhard Grimmer).
The World Cup season was prematurely ended due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the cancellation of the competition did not play a big role in the fight for the main trophy of the year. Bolshunov was ahead of his closest pursuerJohannes Klebo scored 495 points and became the first winner of the Grand Crystal Globe from Russia. 
Thus, Bolshunov set several records among Russian skiers.:
the highest number of points scored in a season — 2221 (second place in the history of the World Cup);
highest number of wins in a season — 9 (fifth place in history);
highest number of prize-winning places in a season — 17 (third place in history)
In January, he won a second consecutive victory in the general classification of the Tour de Ski, having a record advantage over the 2nd-placed Maurice Manifesta. Already on February 5, 2021, he became the winner of the overall standings of the 2020/21 World Cup ahead of schedule. At the World Championships on February 27 in skiathlon at a distance of 30 km Bolshunov won a strong-willed victory in the fight against five Norwegians and became the first world champion.
Olympic Games 2022
February 6 inBolshunov won his first Olympic gold medal at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Center in Skiathlon (15 km classic and 15 km freestyle).
On February 11, Bolshunov won a silver medal in the 15 km classic.
February 13 inNational Ski Center men's Relay race, together withAlexey Chervotkin, By Denis Spitsov andSergey Ustyugov won the Olympic gold medal.