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Alina Kabaeva, 2004 Olympic rhythmic all-around champ

Great Russian women - Alina Kabaeva, one of the most decorated gymnasts in the history of rhythmic gymnastics

Alina Kabaeva

Alina Maratovna Kabaeva is Russia's most successful rhythmic gymnast to date, and is also one of the most decorated gymnasts in the history of rhythmic gymnastics with two Olympic medals, 18 world championship medals and 25 European championship medals. Kavaeva is now retired as a gymnast and has a career as politician.

Alina Kabaeva can boast many titles: she is one of the most agile and flexible gymnasts known to date, a unique in the history of rhythmic gymnastics four-time European champion, the only gymnast in the world, inscribed in the Guinness Book of Records for becoming an absolute champion of Europe among adults at 15. Her name is associated with the revolutionary changes in artistic gymnastics in the 90 years of XX century.

Alina Kabaeva was born on May 12, 1983 Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union and began training to become a gymnast at the age of 4. When she was a teenager the family moved to Russia and her mother hired Russian rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner, who immediately saw her potential. They worked together and Alina began winning many titles.

Kabaeva made her international debut in 1996 and since then her career went sharply uphill. In 1998 when Alina Kabaeva was 15 she was the youngest member on the Russian team and unexpectedly won the European Championships in Portugal. In 1999 Kabaeva became European Champion for the second consecutive time and won the World title in Osaka, Japan. She went on to win a total of 5 all-around titles at the European Championships and added another World title in 2003 in Budapest, Hungary. At the 2001 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships there was a controversy regarding Alina's use of the drug furosemide. The FIG nullified her results and named Tamara Yerofeeva the 2001 World Champion. At the 2004 Athens Olympics Kabaeva took home the gold medal in the individual all-around for rhythmic gymnastics with a score of 108.400 In October 2004, Kabaeva announced her retirement from the sport. However, in June 2005, the Russian head coach Irina Viner announced a possible comeback. Kabaeva resumed her sport career at an Italy-Russia friendly competition in Genoa, on 10 September 2005. On March 5, 2006, She won the Gazprom Moscow Grand Prix, with fellow Russians Vera Sessina and Olga Kapranova taking the second and third places.

Alina Kabaeva retired in 2005 and since then she has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia. Since 2007, Kabaeva has been a member of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, representing the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

Apart from politics, Alina Kbaeva is known to have starred in Japanese film "Red Shadow" and musical clips, was an authror of TV program "Steps to Success" on Russian TV channel. REN TV. In 2006 Alina became the winner of the national award "Woman of the Year 'Glamour' (as voted by readers of the journal), and also recognized as the most sexual in Russia among the 10 winners 'Top 10 Sexy' in the category 'Sports'. In January 2011, Alina Kabaeva appeared on the cover of Vogue Russia. In 2008 she made headlines due to the invented story of her engagement to former Russian President Vladimir Putin. Alina Kabaeva awarded the Order of Friendship (2001) and "For Service to the Fatherland 'IV degree (2005).


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