Irina Kalinina (URS)
Honor Diver (1990)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1980 gold (springboard); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1973 bronze (platform); 1975 gold (springboard), silver (platform); 1978 gold (springboard, platform); FINA CUP: 1979 gold (platform), bronze (springboard); 1978 Springboard & Platform Diver of the Year; 1980 Springboard Diver of the Year.
Russia’s first female Olympic Diving Champion was, and is, diminutive Irina Kalinina, who won the 3 meter springboard in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. She was even more impressive medaling in the three World Championships of 1973, 1975, and 1978 winning both the springboard and platform events in 1978 in Berlin. She won at least as many world class diving titles from the 10 meter as she did from the 3 meter springboard.
In 1978 she was named both World Springboard and World Platform Diver of the Year and again in 1980 she was voted Springboard’s Best World Diver.
Kalinina was the dominant female diver during her six year era. She came into international prominence at U.S. Diving’s Hall of Fame International Meet in Fort Lauderdale where she beat a field that included most of the world’s best divers.
She and her family now live in her hometown of Penza, where she is a diving coach. Irina Kalinina of the USSR; the world’s great female diver of the late 1970s.