Olympic start of the journal «Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury» (1952–1961)


Ph.D. S.A. Pronin
St. Petersburg National State University of Physical Education, Sports and Health named after P.F. Lesgaft, St. Petersburg

In summer of 1952 the USSR national team, having taken the second team place, performed successfully in the XV Olympic Games in the capital of Finland Helsinki. The training for the Olympic Games, the first for the Soviet athletes, was conducted in strict privacy.

After the Olympic Games several articles on the course of struggle in these competitions were published in the journal "Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury" [1, 2, 3]. It provoked considerable interest in the journal and its circulation increased almost twice, like a snowball, reaching 20000 copies by 1953. However, it dropped to 12000 copies by 1957.

Personnel shifts in anticipation of and after change of the political leaders of the country (the death of I.V. Stalin in 1953) didn't avoid the journal "Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury" either. The proceeding fight against cosmopolitism led to the change of the editor-in-chief of the journal [4].

In 1951 (No. 7 — No. 9) the acting editor of the journal was Head of department of promotion and propaganda of the Committee on physical culture and sport affairs under the Council of Ministers of the USSR A.A. Volkov. Later on, till 1963 he was responsible secretary of the journal.

Since 1951 (No. 10) till 1952 (No. 6) the editorial office of the journal was headed by prominent historian of physical culture, Ph.D., associate professor F.I. Samoukov.

Since 1952 (No. 7) till 1958 (No. 5) expert in the field of age physiology, doctor of medical sciences, professor V.M. Kas’yanov was the editor-in-chief.

In 1958 A.O. Romanov was appointed the editor-in-chief of the journal.

In the USSR new methodical journals on problems of physical culture and sport start being issued: "Track and field athletics" (1955), "Sports" (1955), "Physical culture at school" (1958), "Sport abroad" (1960). On the one hand, it unloads a thematic range of the journal, reducing the share of methodical articles in it. But on the other hand the subscribers were taken away from it due to new editions. Circulation by 1957 decreased to 12000 copies.

In remarkable speeches of the Soviet athletes at the winter and summer Olympic Games of 1956 the USSR team was represented to the leaders of the country as a winner who will beat all cold. Later on, the brilliant achievements of the Olympic year 1960 only strengthened this illusion.

As a result, in the light of the future development of socialist statehood into communistic self-government, the thesis which was later recorded in the CPSU Program [5], in January, 1959 the decision on creation of a voluntary association - the Union of sports societies and organizations of the USSR was made. All functions related to management of the development of physical culture and sport in the country were assigned to it.

New organizational trends didn't level the ripened problems of the journal. At the meeting of the Editorial Board of the journal "Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury", held at the end of 1958, a large number of outdated articles were found in the editor’s papercase. Most of the printed articles were verbose and spurious. Research articles often did not have conclusions and proposals, which complicated their introduction in practice.

During the "thaw" taking place in all areas of life in the country, positive changes were seen in the activity of the journal. The number of controversial articles increased (since 1952 even the thematic heading "Discussions and Discussions" is entered). The number of scientific papers increased dramatically: their share in the total array of publications reached 50%. One-third of scientific papers published had references.

But what is most important the quality of work has improved. This primarily refers to biomedical publications. The articles by Korobkov A.V. [7], Zimkin N.V. [8], Gippenreyter B. [9] based on extensive experimental material were included into the capital of domestic sports science and in many respects predetermined the origin of its many new directions. It should be noted that research findings started to be directly related to the problems of practice of the training process more and more often.

These trends influenced directly the development of the theoretical foundations of sports training: the range of research procedures was expanding, the methodology and technique of pedagogical research in the field of sport was being formed. They started to be strictly scientific. Together all this leads to the appearance of generalizing works.

In the late 50s the research of the social aspects of physical culture and sport became increasingly important. Researches in various professional spheres were conducted mainly in this direction. It was the social order, which was determined by the policy of the country and the special section "Gymnastics on Production" was created in the journal for its implementation.


  1. Zatsiorskiy, V.M. O velichine i sisteme nagruzok v sportivnoy trenirovke (On amount and system of load in sports training) / V.M. Zatsiorskiy // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1961. – P. XXIV. – Iss. 3. P. 212–215.
  2. Zimkin N.V. Fiziologicheskaya kharakteristika sily, bystroty dvizheniy i vyinoslivosti na razlichnykh stadiyakh trenirovannosti (Physiological characteristics of strength, speed and endurance at various phases of fitness) / N.V. Zimkin // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1958. – P. XXI. – Iss. 5. – P. 335–343.
  3. Kabalov, S.I. Sovetskie strelki - pobediteli olimpiyskikh igr (Russian shooters - winners of Olympic Games) / S.I. Kabalov // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1952. – P. XV. – Iss. 12. – P. 914–919.
  4. Kargin, N.N. Issledovanie tendentsiy razvitiya i formirovaniya nauchnykh znaniy v oblasti fizicheskoy kul'tury i sporta: avtoref. dis. … kand. ped. nauk (Study of trends in the development and formation of scientific knowledge in the field of physical culture and sport: abstract of Ph.D. thesis) / N.N. Kargin. – Moscow: [s.n.], 1979. – 21 P.
  5. Korobkov, A.V. O vzaimosvyazi byistroty, sily i vynoslivosti (On the relationship between speed, strength and endurance) / A.V. Korobkov // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1954. – P. XVII. – Iss. 5. – P. 340–348
  6. Kravchenko, V.V. Opyt osushchestvleniya gosudarstvennykh funktsiy Soyuzom sportivnykh obshchestv (Experience of public functions implementation by the Union of sports associations) / V.V. Kravchenko // Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo. – 1962. – № 6. – P. 48–57.
  7. Matveev, L.P. Voprosy dinamiki nagruzok v sportivnoy trenirovke (Matters of load dynamics in sports training) / L.P. Matveev // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1960. — P. XXIII. – Iss. 9. – P. 686–690.
  8. O zasedanii redaktsionnogo soveta zhurnala "Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury" (On the meeting of the Editorial Board of the journal "Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury") // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1959. – P. XXII. – Iss. 2. – P. 157–159.
  9. Pronin, S.A. Formirovanie teorii vida sporta: (na primere grebnogo sporta): avtoref. dis. … kand. ped. nauk (Formation of theory of specific sport: (case study of rowing): abstract of Ph.D. thesis) / S.A. Pronin. – Leningrad: [s.n.], 1989. – 22 P.
  10. Ustranit' nedostatki v rabote zhurnala "Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury" (The shortcomings in the work of the journal "Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kul'tury" to be eliminated) // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1951. – P. XIV. – Iss. 8. – P. 632–633.
  11. Khomenko, L.S. Sovetskie legkoatlety na Olimpiyskikh igrakh (Soviet athletes at the Olympic Games) / L.S. Khomenko // Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kul'tury. – 1952. – P. XV. – Iss. 10. – P. 755–771.