Russian sports overview
Sport in Russia is one of the most popular types of activity. There are such terms as professional sports and amateur sports closely connected with an idea of general physical training. Both ways of sports are being developed and popularized but not very actively. A lot of Russian children are going in for sports by visiting specialized sports groups.
There are also such mass sports contests as “The Cross-Country of Nations” and “The Ski Track of Russia”. Several Russian sports schools are still among the world leaders (free standing exercises, track and field athletics, boxing, Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, tennis and others).
Among the most popular Russian sports are:
- Ice Hockey
- Figure skating
Major events in Russian sports in the coming years
Summer Universiade 2013
27th World Summer Universiade will be held in Kazan. More than 300 sets of medals will be played at the Universiade, which will be a record.
Winter Olympics 2014
22nd Winter Olympic Games - the international sporting event to be held from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi. In addition to the main event Paralympic Winter Games 2014 will be held. The Games will be held in two clusters - Olympic Park of Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana.
Formula One Grand Prix of Russia in 2014
In 2010, the administration of the Krasnodar krai and the management of Formula One contracted to carry out stages of the championship of Formula One at the racetrack that is scheduled for construction in Sochi Olympic Park. The first Grand Prix of Russia will take place in autumn 2014.
FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018 will be the 21st FIFA World Cup. The final of the tournament will be held in 2018 in Russia. For the first time in its history Russia became the host country. Also for the first time the World Cup will be held in Eastern Europe.
Achievements of the Russian sports in recent years
In 2008, the Russian Tennis Federation celebrated its 100-year anniversary, and on sports results at the same anniversary year, took a leading place among the world’s 205 national tennis federations that are members of the International Tennis Federation.
In recent years, the Russians won 10 Grand Slams, 3 Fed Cup and one Davis Cup. Also Russian women’s team won at the Olympic Games in Beijing, where the Russian tennis players showed a unique result, taking the entire podium.
The main names of Russian tennis in recent years
Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Marat Safin, Dmitry Tursunov, Igor Andreev, Igor Kunitsyn, Teimuraz Gabashvili, Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Anastasia Myskina, Vera Zvonareva, Maria Kirilenko, Maria Sharapova, Anna Chakvetadze, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Elena Lihovtseva, Nadia Petrova, Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Russian football (soccer)
Football in Russia is one of the most popular sports. The highest achievement of Russian national team was the third place in the European Championship 2008. This success was brought by the coach from Netherlands Guus Hiddink.
Russian football clubs won the UEFA Cup (now called UEFA Europa League) in 2007/2008 (FC Zenit from Saint Petersburg) and in 2004/2005 (FC CSKA from Moscow). Several Russian footballers play in the world’s leading football clubs: Andrei Arshavin in Arsenal, Yuri Zhirkov in Chelsea.
Russian beach soccer
Russians beat the team of Brazil 12:8 in the final match of Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy in 2011 and won the world championship for the first time in history.
Russian free callisthenics
Russia is the birthplace of rhythmic gymnastics. As for the British - football, for Canadians - hockey, so for the Russian rhythmic gymnastics is the subject of national pride.
The main names:
Eugenia Kanaeva. The winner of the 29th Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing; absolute world champion in 2009; absolute Champion of Europe 2008 and 2010; absolute world champion in 2010.
Alina Kabaeva. The winner of the 28th Olympic Games 2004 in Athens.
Yulia Barsukova. The winner of the 27th Olympic Games 2000 in Sydney.
Great achievements of Russian gymnastics are associated with the names of Olympic champions Alexei Nemov and Svetlana Khorkina.
Russian synchronized swimming
Starting with the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, the Russian team had not been given a single gold medal to the teams from other countries. Today the legends of world synchronized swimming are: four-time Olympic champions, multiple World and European champions, winners of the World Cup and Europe, Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova, triple Olympic champions Olga Brusnikina and Maria Kiseleva.
Russian school of skiing produced 72 Olympic champions (41 in cross-country skiing and 31 in biathlon) and 103 World Champions (48 skiers and 55 biathlonists). Skiers Lyubov Yegorova, and Larissa Lazutina awarded the title Hero of Russia.
Russian track and field athletics
Pole-vaulting. Yelena Isinbayeva is a famous Russian pole-vaulter. She is two-time Olympic champion (2004, 2008), winner of dozens of world records in pole vault for women.
Walking. Denis Nizhegorodov is the world record holder in race walking for 50 km, two-time Olympic medalist. Sergei Morozov is the world record holder in race walking for 20 km.
High jump. Andrei Silnov is Russian high-jumper, Olympic Champion 2008. Yaroslav Rybakov is three times World Championship silver medalist, world champion in 2009.
In 2008, the Russian national team became world champion in hockey. During the championship in 2009, the Russian national team confirmed its title. Russian hockey is known for high level of development of regional clubs. There are a lot of strong economically and organizationally hockey centers on the map of Russia: Omsk, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets, Yaroslavl, Ufa, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, etc.
Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is developing. KHL is an open international ice hockey league in Eurasia, established in 2008. KHL is based on the Russian Hockey Super League. The League includes 20 clubs from Russia and one club from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Latvia, and there are plans to eventually expand the number of participants.
Most known hockey players from Russia today:
Alexander Ovechkin, Alexei Morozov, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Zinoviev, Sergei Fedorov, Ilya Kovalchuk.
Russian chess school is known all over the world. The most famous names of recent decades are the chess champions Vladimir Kramnik, Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov.
Russian Formula One
Since 2010, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov performs for the Renault team. As a result of the 2010 season he took 13th place. In the first race in 2011 (Grand Prix of Australia) he took the third place for the first time in history.
Virgin Racing team became known as the Russian one in November 2010, a manufacturer of sports cars Marussia Motors has become a shareholder of the company.
Russian mixed martial arts (MMA)
Currently, MMA sports is developing in Russia. The growth of interest is associated with the name of the famous Russian MMA and sambo fighter Fedor Emelianenko. Between 2003 and 2010, Emelianenko was recognized worldwide as one of the best MMA fighters in the heavyweight division.