Valentin Kalika has dedicated his entire life to the sport of wrestling who has been appointed as the 2016 coach of the Women’s Olympic USA Wrestling team in Rio. He hails from Ukraine and graduated from the famous Kiev Sport University, known for producing both Olympic and World Champions, with a Master’s Degree in professional coaching and sports education. Kalika was a National Champion in the USSR, and a National Ukrainian Champion in Greco-Roman Wrestling. In 1977, he earned the title of “USSR Master of Sports” in Greco-Roman Wrestling, and until 1991 he was head coach at one of the biggest sport clubs in Ukraine, as well as one of the coaches of the Junior National Team. He is also a FILA certified international referee.
Kalika took two of his students, Helen Maroulis and Elena Pirozhkova to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Maroulis made history at the Games, becoming the first woman to win the Olympic Gold medal in women's wrestling for the United States. Elena Pirozhkova placed 5th in her division.
In 1991 Kalika moved to Israel, where he coached at HaPoel Wrestling Club and participated in Israel’s Government National Self-Defense Program. Since moving to California in 1994, Kalika has coached in many wrestling clubs in California, including the famous wrestling program at Calvary Chapel. He started VK Wrestling, his own wrestling academy, and organized a successful international camp where students had the opportunity to practice with the world team in Ukraine. He was also part of the Serbian cadet coaching staff in 2013, Junior World Croatian and World Uzbekistan staff of the US Women’s National Team in 2014, coaching staff on Junior World for Freestyle in 2015 Brazil Junior World and Senior Women’s National Team coach in Vegas, and he was part of the National Team staff for the World Cup in LA for Freestyle. In 2009, he won the gold at US Nationals in Las Vegas in the Veterans Division, and he also took home the title of 2009 World Champion Greco-Roman Wrestling in the Veterans Division.
Among his students are 2x Junior World placer, Cadet World Freestyle Champion and Olympic runner-up Aaron Pico, World Champions and multiple-time World Placers Elena Pirozhkova and Helen Maroulis, and No. 2 Team USA ranker Victoria Anthony. Kalika also trained 2013 Greco Roman Cadet World 2013 Bronze Medalist Cade Olivas, All-American Greco and Freestyle Wrestling and 2003 H.S. State Champ Yuri Kalika, All-American Freestyle and Greco and National Greco and 2x H.S. State Champ Joe Williams, All-American, Five Counties Champion, High School State Placer, Reno champ David Jauregui, and Canadian World Placer Jennifer Reez, as well as other national champions.