Russian female athletes are known for their beauty and elegance, as well as their unbending will and determined character which helps them to claim hard-fought victories, reverse the course of seemingly hopeless matches, and win major titles.
RT Sport takes a look at some of the Russian women who have proved that beauty and strength combined can pave the way to world and Olympic glory.
Sevastyanova is a rhythmic gymnast who retired from sport after taking gold in the group event at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Residents from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) who took part in a poll conducted during the London Olympics named Sevastyanova the most beautiful female athlete participating in the 2012 Games.
Alexander Ovechkin’s break-up with tennis star Maria Kirilenko was much attributed to Sevastyanova, as Ovi’s ex-girlfriend terminated their engagement after pictures of her fiance spending time with the retired Russian gymnast emerged on social media.
Sevastyanova also posed for men’s magazine Maxim cover shoot.
2. Anna Sidorova
Skipper of the Russian national curling team, a two-time European champion and runner-up at the 2017 World Championship.
Sidorova, who was forced to leave figure skating due to an injury, concentrated on curling where she has attained stellar results by winning medals at European and world tournaments.
At the 2017 curling worlds the Russian team, led by Sidorova, reached the final of the championship for the first time in the county’s history, but ultimately fell agonizingly short after losing to Canada.
Sidorova has stated on numerous occasions that she is striving to win all the tournaments she takes part in, adding that her ultimate goal is to win medals at the Olympics.
3. Maria Sharapova
The five-time Grand Slam holder and 2012 Olympic silver medalist is frequently named as one of the most eye-catching tennis players on the women’s tour.
Sharapova has been engaged in the past, but remains very much ingle. In 2010, NBA basketball player Sasha Vujacic proposed to Sharapova on the anniversary of their first meeting, and the tennis star said “yes.”
However, in autumn of 2012 Sharapova called off her engagement to the Slovenian basketball guard, who had moved to Istanbul, Turkey, to continue his professional career. She also dated Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov for two years, before breaking up in 2015.
Sharapova sat out a 15-month disqualification for the use of the banned drug of meldonium, before returning to the tennis court in April 2017.
4. Darya Klishina
Russian long jumper Klishina was the sole member of the Russian athletics team who was allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, following the IOC’s decision to impose a blanket ban on the national track and field squad due to alleged doping violations.
At the 2017 athletics world championships in London, Klishina finished second in the women’s long jump event, performing as a neutral athlete as the Russian Athletics Federation remained suspended.
Klishina silenced the critics who had long accused her of underwhelming performances, by demonstrating a season best result in London which brought her the silver.
5. Maria Shurochkina
The Russian synchronized swimmer is a member of the national team which has been unrivalled on the world circuit since 2000.
Apart from the Olympic gold medal which she earned at the 2016 Sumer Games in Rio, Shurochkina also possesses eight world and three European titles.
The 22-year-old “mermaid,” as synchronized swimmers are usually dubbed, is also the younger sister of the Russian famous singer Nyusha.