Nearing 100th anniversary of GTSOLIFK, leading Russia sport university


PhD, Professor T.V. Mikhaylova
Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow

Keywords: physical education and sports, anniversary, university, academy, institute, physical education, sport elite training service, bachelor, master, postgraduate.

Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE) solemnly celebrates its 100th anniversary! Many of its former graduates respect it as their alma mater and a launching pad for their successful careers in teams of like-minded people, and it is a second home for many others. In historical perspective, it may be a start up for a new fantastic project.

The idea to establish a new higher physical education establishment was advanced soon after the 1917 revolution by the School Sanitary Division of the People’s Commissariat for Education chaired by V.M. Bonch-Bruevich (Velichkina). It was supported by A.V. Lunacharsky, the first Education Commissar of the newborn Soviet Republic, who recommended to have the new Institute deployed in the former Count Razumovsky’s Palace on the former Gorokhova (now Kazakova) Street in Moscow. The Institute run its operations in the Palace till 1970. 

There was nothing pompous in the establishment procedure in fact. In June 1918, a six-month physical education instructor training course was launched. And it was as soon as on August 24, 1918 that newspaper ‘Izvestiya Vserossiyskogo tsentralnogo ispolnitelnogo komiteta’ (Bulletin of All-Russian Central Executive Committee) posted an announcement of the first admission to a new yearly Physical Education Institute. A year later, in August 1919, the People’s Health Commissariat Board endorsed a Statute of the Physical Education Institute, with Professor V.Y. Ignatyev, a leading specialist in school hygiene and physical education, nominated its first rector. The new Institute launched its operations in the challenging period of the foreign invasion and civil war in the country.

It was on December 1, 1920 that V.I. Lenin, People’s Commissars Council Chairman, signed a decree to establish the State Physical Education Institute qualified as a ‘higher education establishment reporting to the People’s Health Commissariat’.

Prior to the Great Patriotic War, the Institute took the lead in the initiatives to lay a theoretical and methodological groundwork for the Soviet physical education system with the great contributions made by the-then leading scientists including V.V. Gorinevskiy, M.M. Kontorovich, M.F. Ivanitskiy, I.M. Sarkizov-Serazini, A.A. Zhemchuzhnikov, P.A. Rudik, N.N. Pashkevich and others who deeply and successfully analyzed and designed academic physical education and sport methods, models and tools.

On July 28, 1934, the Institute was awarded with the Lenin Order for the great accomplishments in the academic educational process and acknowledged as the leading special higher education establishment.

In the last years prior to the Great Patriotic War, the Institute reformed its educational services as was required in the war period to give a special priority to the short-time combat physical training models for pre-conscripts. Upon the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Institute has taken persistent actions to contribute to the progress of the national physical education and sport sector, with a special emphasis on the high-quality human resource training for the sector and the initiatives to increase the number of students and postgraduates. Generally, in every period in the University history, its faculty has always strived to respond to the public demand for the academic educational service and national physical education and sport sector challenges.

The priority sectors for research were driven by the pre-, post-war and modern accomplishments of the academic researchers in the most topical domains of the physical education and sport sector, with the research prioritization decisions and policies geared to advance the most promising research thrusts in the national sport science.

Medical biology was one of the first research sectors formed in the University history based on the contributions by many researchers in dynamic anatomy, sport morphology, physical training and sports, sport medicine, sport hygiene, biochemistry, exercise therapy, and therapeutic and sport massage. Most important for the academic medical biology progress in the University were the contributions by V.V. Gorinevsky, V.E. Ignatiev, B.A. Ivanovsky, P.I. Karuzin, M.F. Ivanitsky, I.M. Sarkisov-Serazini, M.E. Marshak, V.S. Farfel, A.A. Gladysheva, V.L. Karpman, Ya.M. Kots, A.A. Minkh, B.A. Nikityuk, A.P. Laptev, N.I. Volkov, V.I. Tkhorevsky, S.N. Popov and their students.

Of high importance and promise for the physical training and sport biomechanics sector were the research accomplishments of O.N. Bernstein, V.K. Bal’sevich, D.D. Donskoy, V.M. Zatsiorsky, M.A. Godik, V.N. Seluyanov, A.A. Shalmanov and their followers.

Research in the educational psychology was established and advanced by the valuable contributions from A.P. Rudik, V.M. Melnikov, S.D. Neverkovich and their students.

Progress in the physical education and sport theory and practice at the University was secured by L.V. Gerkan, A.A. Zikmund, A.D. Novikov, V.V. Belinovich, V.G. Yakovlev, N.N. Efremov, L.P. Matveyev, V.P. Filin, F.P. Suslov and their followers.

Research in the national physical education and sport history was established and advanced by A.G. Ittin, A.D. Kradman, F.I. Samoukov, I.G. Chudinov, V.V. Stolbov, N.N. Bugrov, L.A. Finogenova and their multiple and enthusiastic students.

The sociological research sector has been particularly successful at the University due to the efforts of G.I. Kukushkin, O.A. Milstein, V.I. Stolyarov, N.G. Valentinova, I.M. Bykhovskaya and their followers.

Foundation for the sport management science and sport economy has been largely built up at the University by I.N. Petukhov, A.A. Afanasyev, I.I. Nikiforov, I.I. Pereverzin, G.I. Kukushkin, V.V. Kuzin and M.Y. Kutepov.

It should be mentioned that the University has had a high research and methodological resource in theory and practice of every sport education discipline at its every progress stage, and this foundation made it possible to design and secure progress of the sport elite training system.

It is the due succession in the academic research and education that has always been critical for the progress in every of the academic disciplines. The research and educational efforts of the University faculty in the above research sectors made it possible to attain high standards of the national physical education and sport elite training system to secure wins for the national athletes in the World and European championships and Olympic Games [1, 2].

The University sport system gives a special priority and is particularly proud of the University athletes’ qualifications for and accomplishments in the Olympic Games. As of today, about 180 gold medals have been won by the University students and graduates in the 1952-2016 Summer Olympics and 1956-2014 Winter Olympics. Most successful in this pool were the following athletes: A. Davydova, five-times Olympic Champion in synchronized swimming; four-times Olympic Champions Y. Grishin in skating; V. Krovopuskov in fencing; S. Pozdnyakov in fencing; and A. Yermakova in synchronized swimming. Three Olympic gold medals were won by I. Rodnina in figure skating; G. Gorokhova in fencing; A. Reztsova in cross country skiing and biathlon; O. Brusnikina and M. Kiseleva in synchronized swimming. Two Olympic gold medals were won by V. Kuts in long-distance running; M. Midler in fencing; B. Lagutin in boxing; M. Voronin in artistic gymnastics; A. Zaytsev in figure skating; L. Buldakova in volleyball; V. Kharlamov in ice hockey; A. Tishchenko in boxing; A. Mustafina in artistic gymnastics et al.

We should also mention last but not least the six medals (two gold, three silver and one bronze) won by the University students and graduates (I. Kovalchuk, I. Shesterkin, E. Medvedeva, A. Anbert and S. Ridzik) in the last 2018 (XXIII) Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Presently the University takes the efforts to expand and advance the national and international cooperation in bachelor, master and postgraduate training for the national physical education and sport sector, particularly in the following top priority disciplines (as provided by the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation): physical education; adaptive physical education; sports; recreation and sport/ health tourism; and physical culture and sports.

GTSOLIFK graduates are highly successful both in every sector of the Russian physical education and sport system and movements and abroad in close and distant countries the world over. Many of them are renowned and successful education specialists, coaches, experts, elite national and world class referees; physical education system researchers and managers.

Presently SCOLIPE is a globally acknowledged leader of the Russian academic physical education that secures the top quality bachelor and master training in the academic Physical Education and Sport discipline as required by the valid Federal State Higher Education Standards 3+ and is proud of its reputation of alma mater of the Russian physical education system.


  1. Bleer A.N. RGUFKSMiT – 90 let! [90th anniversary of RSUPESYT]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2008, no. 5, pp. 3-4.
  2. Available at:

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Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (GTSOLIFK) solemnly celebrates its 100th anniversary. For its century-long service history, the University has trained many leading specialists and top managers for the national physical education and sports sector. The university is commonly acknowledged a leader and alma mater of the national physical education system that meets every requirement of the valid Federal State Higher Education Standards (FSHES 3+) and provides high-quality bachelor and master training services in the academic physical education and sport discipline. The University takes persistent and effective efforts to secure high quality education service in its role of the national leader of the physical education sector.