Born in 1964 in the town of Shchuchinsk, Kokchetav region. His father, Mikhail Konstantinovich, is a Second World War veteran.
In Shchuchinsk, most children started to do sports by doing the skiing. And how can you avoid it when all the conditions were created for this by the nature. And Vladimir was twice lucky. The house where he lived and the school which he attended were located near the forest. And his physical education instructor at the school Bratashov Vladimir Petrovich (who is also his first coach) was a great fan of skiing. He eventually made him fall in love with skiing.
After two training sessions, Vladimir starts training with the Honored Coach of Kazakhstan, an already famous young coach Ungefuk Alexander Krustyanovich, who trained junior world champion Sergei Tishkov and number of other skiers.
Vladimir began to rapidly grow as an athlete and at the age of 16 (1981) was included in the national youth team. During the 11-year period in the national teams, V. Smirnov won the USSR championships three times, 14 times was the champion of the USSR, 4 times participated in the junior world championships (was the winner and medalist). He is a silver medalist of the 1987 World Championships in 4x10 km relay race, 3 times medalist of the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary (2nd in 30 km, 4x10 km relay and 3rd at the 15 km distance), champion and 2 times silver medalist of the 17th Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994, bronze medalist at the 18th Winter Olympics in Japan in 1998, 2 times World Cup winner, 3 times silver medalist and 3 times bronze medalist of the World Cup, 4 times world champion and winner of numerous international competitions. Participated in four Olympics in 1988, 1992, 1994 and 1998.