Break or retirement? Russia’s ‘Angelina Jolie’ of curling Anastasia Bryzgalova puts competitive career on hold
The 27-year-old curling star who is taking a break from competitions will focus on training mixed-double duets serving as a second team coach in the Russian national team.
“I wanted to take a break right after the Winter Olympics,” Bryzgalova said. “This season I made a decision to put competitive practice on hold.
Right now my top priority is to help the Russian national team to achieve the highest results. Of course I can come back, but now I’m taking a break. I won’t deny the possibility of returning to professional sport as an athlete.”
President of the Russian Curling Federation Dmitry Svishev hailed Bryzgalova’s decision to switch to coaching stressing that her experience will help to raise top class athletes.
“Bryzgalova has a huge experience of competing at international level and cooperating with athletes around the world,” he said.
“Having new coaching staff members is always good. Let’s wish them good luck, I hope they will succeed”
Bryzgalova shot to fame at the 2018 Winter Games winning bronze in the mixed doubles together with her husband Alexander Krushelnitsky.
The curler became an internet sensation after sports commentators and fans found undeniable likeness between her and Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie.
The Russian star was bombarded with compliments from fans with many social media users revealing they became interested in curling thanks to Bryzgalova’s look.
However, Bryzgalova’s rise to the Olympic top was suddenly marred by a doping scandal after her partner Krushelnitsky tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
The couple was stripped of the Olympic bronze with Bryzgalova concentrating on team curling after her husband received a four-year ban.