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Published: Wednesday, 5/14/2008

Sylvania resident, 75, earns gold medal at national ski event

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

While most senior citizens would be leisurely enjoying their golden years, Sylvania resident Vladimir Goldin is winning gold medals.

Mr. Goldin, a 75-year-old Russian immigrant and avid skier, maintains an impressive daily exercise routine. His extensive workout habits enabled him to win a gold medal at the National Standard Race National Championship at Steamboat Springs, Colo., in March.

Mr. Goldin said his weekly routine, which features bicycling, in-line skating, running, and weightlifting, help him continue to be a world class skier.

It was the second time in five years that Mr. Goldin, who represented the Toledo Ski Club at the national event, won the gold.

"This year I won easier than five years ago," he said. "I can't understand why."

Mr. Goldin, a gregarious man who is in terrific shape, moved to the United States in 1991 with his wife, Inna; daughter, Irina; son-in-law, Alex, and his two granddaughters, Anna and Maria.

Mr. Goldin excelled at speed-skating when he was in his late teens in Russia and has been competitive in sports all of his life.

About 1,200 skiers participated at the NASTAR National Championships, which uses a handicap system that allows racers of all ages and abilities to compare results. NASTAR, which is in its 40th season, has an estimated 100,000 skiers.

Mr. Goldin beat out about 40 competitors in his 75-79 age group.

"When I checked who I was skiing against, they were all from mountain areas," Mr. Goldin said. "They were from places like Colorado and Lake Tahoe, Calif."

Mr. Goldin, who joined the Toledo Ski Club in 1996, said many of his opponents have skied for more than 50 years.

"One guy said he skis 210 days a year," Mr. Goldin said. "I ski maybe 35 to 40 times per year."

His chief competitor participated in 71 races last year, while Mr. Goldin competed in 24. But Mr. Goldin said he was not intimidated.

"It's just big fun," he said. "I am pro sportsman. I am not nervous."

Mr. Goldin said he did not have a great start to the two-day event. "It was very foggy and snowy," he said. "There were eight inches of new snow. I did not ski the first course very well. The next day it was sunny, and I beat him easily."

Mr. Goldin said former Olympic gold medalist Phil Mahre set the handicap average at the event.

Mr. Goldin said he has moved up from NASTAR's Class D to Class B, which comprises veteran skiers.

"I am one of the older skiers," he said.

To achieve such a level of success, Mr. Goldin follows an extraordinary exercise routine.

He works out daily. He will run 10 miles twice a week. He in-line skates 10 miles twice a week. On Sundays, he rides between 40 to 60 miles on his mountain bike.

His regimen starts at 6 a.m. each day.

On top of that, Mr. Goldin works out on weight machines at 21st Century Super Fitness Center five evenings per week.

"I do weight lifting for my upper body and I do special back and stomach exercises," Mr. Goldin said.

Mr. Goldin said the reason he puts in so much effort is simple.

"Skiing, I am crazy for it," Mr. Goldin said. "Everything is for the skiing."

He said he feels guilty if he fails to work out on any given day.

"At my age, if I'm not running or biking, the next three days my heart feels bad," Mr. Goldin said. "I feel very bad if I take a day off."

In the summer months, Mr. Goldin's main sporting activity is windsurfing. He said he started windsurfing eight years ago at Maumee Bay State Park.

"At first it was like a joke," he said. "Now on Saturdays I teach people from the Toledo Ski Club."

Joe Connelly, who also is a member of the Toledo Ski Club, said he considers Mr. Goldin to be his "coach, mentor, and very good friend."

"He is a terrific inspiration to his family and to all of us in the Toledo Ski Club," Mr. Connelly said. "I am proud of the hard work and discipline that he brings to his life, as well as all of his sports. Vladimir has skied with and become close to some of the top skiers in America."

Mr. Goldin said he relishes his ability to keep up with skiers who are much younger.

"It's much cheaper to work out than to pay for doctor or Medicare," Mr. Goldin said, joking. "A lot of my friends have a lot of medical problems. I can still ski with guys that are 25 years younger."

Contact Mark Monroe at:

mmonroe@theblade.com

or 419-304-4760.



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