Pavel Kolchin was the most successful male Soviet cross country skier in the 1950s and 60s. With his wife Alevtina Kolchina, they still are the most successful cross-country skiing husband and wife pair. They are also the only husband and wife pair to ever win the Holmenkollen Medal (1963). Pavel Kolchin began to ski as a schoolboy, but at first he was not very successful in local youth competitions and championships. With hard training, Kolchin worked himself up slowly and in 1952 he won his first medals (bronzes in 18 km and 4×10 km relay) at the Soviet Championships. In the next year, Kolchin won his first Soviet title in the 4×10 km relay and he eventually won a total of 13 Soviet titles (1956, 1957 and 1963 in both 15 and 30 km, in 1963 over 70 km and in 1953-55, 1957, 1958 and 1964 in the 4×10 km relay). Internationally, Kolchin first competed at the 1956 Olympics, earning two bronzes in the 15 and 30 km and helping the Soviet 4×10 km relay team to a gold medal. His bronze in the 30 km was the first ever Olympic medal awarded to a non-Scandinavian (Finland, Norway, and Sweden) in cross-country skiing. At the 1958 World Championships, Kolchin won three silvers (15 km, 30 km and 4×10 km relay) and later that year at Holmenkollen, he won both the 15 and 50 km events. Kolchin was also selected to the 1960 Soviet Olympic team, but did not compete due to illness. At the 1962 World Championships, Kolchin won a bronze medal as a member of the Soviet 4×10 km relay team, which he repeated at the 1964 Olympics. After his sporting career, Kolchin was a coach of Soviet cross-country team from 1968 to 1972. In 1973, the Kolchins moved to Otepää, Estonia and have worked as cross-country ski coaches in Estonia. They have also worked with the Estonian cross-country ski team in various positions, most recently as consultants. Kolchin also published a book Лыжи на всю жизнь: советы начинающим (Skis for Life: Advice to the Young) in 1969. Pavel Kolchin's son Fjodor competed at the Olympics, placing 15th in Nordic combined in 1980.