Russian sports

Sport in Russia - 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 general physical training. Both ways of sports are being developed and popularized. A lot of children in Russia get acquainted with sports by attending specialized sports sections. After 2012, there is a sharp rise in amateur sports.

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).

Some of the most popular sports in Russia:

  • Soccer
  • Ice Hockey
  • Biathlon
  • Figure skating
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Chess
Russia Sport

Major sporting events in Russia

Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi

The 22nd Winter Olympic Games were the international sporting event held on February 7-23, 2014 in Sochi. In addition to the main event Paralympic Winter Games 2014 were held.

The Games were held in two clusters - the Coastal Cluster (the Olympic Park) and the Mountain Cluster (Krasnaya Polyana).

Our page about the Winter Games 2014 in Sochi

Formula One Grand Prix of Russia in the Olympic Park of Sochi

In 2010, the administration of the Krasnodar krai and the management of Formula One signed a contract to hold the Grand Prix of Russia at the racetrack constructed in the Sochi Olympic Park. The first Grand Prix of Russia took place in 2014.

FIFA World Cup 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018 will be the 21st FIFA World Cup. The final part of the tournament will be held in Russia in 2018. For the first time in its history Russia became the host country of the World Cup. Also for the first time the World Cup will be held in Eastern Europe.

Our page about the World Cup 2018 in Russia

The latest achievements of athletes from Russia

Russian tennis

In 2008, the Russian Tennis Federation celebrated its 100-year anniversary. In recent years, tennis players from Russia won 10 Grand Slams, 3 Fed Cup and one Davis Cup. Also the 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 the 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 football players played in the world’s leading football clubs, for example, 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.

Russian gymnastics

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 won all gold medals. 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 skiing

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 the most famous Russian pole-vaulter. She is a two-time Olympic champion (2004, 2008), who set dozens of world records for pole vaulting among 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 a Russian high-jumper, Olympic Champion 2008. Yaroslav Rybakov is three times World Championship silver medalist, world champion in 2009.

Russian hockey

In 2008, the Russian national team became the 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 hockey centers in Russia: Omsk, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets, Yaroslavl, Ufa, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod.

Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) often competes with the NHL for the best players. KHL is an open international ice hockey league in Eurasia, established in 2008. KHL is based on the Russian Hockey Super League. The League also includes clubs from other countries.

The most known hockey players from Russia:

Alexander Ovechkin, Alexei Morozov, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Zinoviev, Sergei Fedorov, Ilya Kovalchuk.

Russian chess

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

Russian driver Vitaly Petrov performed for the Renault team. In the first race of 2011 (Grand Prix of Australia) he took the third place for the first time in history.

Today, in Formula One there is one racer from Russia - Daniil Kvyat in the team of Toro Rosso.

Russian mixed martial arts (MMA)

Mixed martial arts are developing quite rapidly in Russia, especially in the republics of the North Caucasus. 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. Also it is necessary to note such names as Habib Nurmagomedov, Sergey Kharitonov, Ali Bagautinov, Alexey Oleinik.

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