Welcome to my Russia Sports page. I'm glad to see you here. In spite of Russian have image of drinking people; sport is a big part of Russian life. Russians are in to sport a big time. Ok, let me put this way - when talking about sports, there are two kinds of Russian people - those who admire it and those who hate it. The majority of people love sports.
Let’s start our education from Russian Olympic Champions you should know:
Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin - was Russia's first Olympic gold medalist (1908) for "special figures" skating, and was also a five-time Russian champion in figure skating and 12-time champion in pistol shooting. Nikolai Andrianov – gymnast, most decorated made male athlete of the 20th century, 15 Olympic medals, including 7 gold, five silver and three bronze.
Valery Brumel – high-jumper, six world records, one gold. Valery Kharlamov – one of the greatest hockey players of all time, one of six players in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Team of the Century. Together with Vladimir Petrov and Boris Mikhailov a fearsome forward line for the legendary 1970s CSKA and Soviet national hockey teams. Yelena Isinbayeva - pole vault, two Olympic gold’s, reigning record holder. Alexander Karelin - Greco-Roman wrestling, undefeated for 13 years, 3 gold. Andrei Kirilenko - basketball, one Olympic gold, professional player for Utah Jazz. Olga Korbut - gymnastics, four gold medals, changed the shape of modern gymnastics. Larissa Latynina - gymnastics, total of 18 Olympic medals, nine gold, five silver and four bronze (most lifetime medals of any athlete prior to Beijing 2008). Alexander Medvedev - freestyle wrestling, gold in 3 consecutive Olympics. Alexei Nemov - gymnastics, four golds, 2 silvers and 6 bronzes over two Olympics. Lyudmila Pakhomova and Alexander Gorshkov - first gold in ice dancing, dominated the sport in the 1970s. Nina Ponomaryova - discus, first ever Soviet gold medalist. Irina Rodnina - figure skating, three-time gold medalist and the only pairs skater ever to win 10 successive world championships. She skated with two partner, Alexei Uvarov and Alexander Zaitsev. Boris Shakhlin - gymnastic, over three Olympics won seven golds, four silvers and two bronze. Lydia Skoblikova - speed skating, 6 gold medals (four at a single Olympics). Alexander Tikhonov - biathlon, gold medalist at four Olympiads, 13 times world champion. Vladislav Tretyak - hockey, considered to be the greatest goalie of all time. Lev Yashin - soccer, one Olympic gold, considered the greatest goalkeeper the game has known. Lyubov Yegorova - vross country skiing, 6 gold medals.
A lot of my readers were asking me what the popular sports in Russia are. Well, I think somebody would argue with me about Russian popular sports listed below. Of course it was difficult to make a choice, but this is my personal opinion and you don’t have to agree with me.
The first place takes football for sure (called a soccer in America). The Russian football team was the first European champion in the history of the game since 1960. They were also three-time finalists and Olympic champions. Football is incredibly popular in Russia. The best Russian football teams are Spartak, Lokomotiv, and CSKA.
Hockey would be number two in my list. In spite of second place I gave for the Russian Hockey, I think that hockey has even more traditions and titles in Russia than football. The famous matches with the Canadians in the1960s and 1970s brought Russia to the top of the hockey pedestal! There are three legendary offensive hockey players – Makarov, Krutov and Larionov. These players continued the Russian success in to the 1980s. The 1990s became the decade years for NHL victories for Russian superstars such as Mironov, Konstantinov, Mogilniy and Larionov. Detroit Red Wings' Sergei Fedorov and Florida's Pavel Bure were two phenomenal players. Nowadays, there are more than 70 Russians in the best World League with such leader as Ilya Kovalchuk, from Atlanta Thrashers.
Tennis in Russia became popular in the beginning of the 1990s and it is number three in my list. I can tell that tennis had never been so popular in Russia like now. Russians started playing tennis and passing the tradition on to their children. The most important player in Russian tennis was Evgeniy Kafelnikov, who was the first premiere tennis player and winner of the Davis Cup last year.
What Russian doesn't like speed racing? And number four in my hit parade is Formular One racing! There is popular saying: "In Russia there are two kinds of disasters...fools and roads." Probably that's why there were no famous racers from Russia in the history of Formula One. Formula One attracts millions of Russians viewers. Almost every adult imagines himself in the car while watching the race, and children idolize a Formula One champion like Michael Schumacher.
Also I would say that basketball is quite popular in Russia.
Beside the sports I mentioned, there are several ones I would like to talk about a little bit more. They became really popular not long time ago. They are Russia rock climbing, snowboarding in Russia and Russian Golf.