Mordovia is a small Russian republic located 600 kilometers south-east of Moscow. Today the Mordvins are a part of the Finno-Ugric people scattered over half of Europe, but they value their traditions very much. Pagan symbols are everywhere, and the girls are taught embroidery from early childhood. Mordovia boasts 22 world champions in race walking, the most famous of which is Olga Kaniskina. Former WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev is also a Mordvin.