Russian and Ukrainian sports people often come first at the World class sport tournaments. I want to tell about 3 slavic women who became famous all over the world for their sport and none sport achievements.
Yana Oleksandrivna Klochkova is a Ukrainian swimmer, who has won five Olympic medals in her career, with four of them being gold.
Her gold medals came in the 200 meter individual medley and the 400 meter individual medley at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics; her silver medal came in the 800 meter freestyle at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She has also won ten titles at swimming’s world championships, nineteen european championship titles, and currently holds both the short-course and long-course world records in the 400 meter individual medley. In 2003 she won four golds at the Summer Universiade in South Korea. She was also awarded the Hero of Ukraine medal. In 2004, she was named by Swimming World magazine as the World Female Swimmer of the Year.
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (born June 7, 1981) is a retired Russian professional tennis player and model. Although she never won a major singles tournament, she became one of the best known tennis players worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name (or misspellings of it) one of the most common search strings on Google.
She was born in Moscow, Soviet Union to Alla and Sergei Kournikov; her family later emigrated to the United States. Presently, she resides in Miami, Florida.
Kournikova’s major-league tennis career has been curtailed for the past several years, and possibly ended, by serious back and spinal problems. She has had some success at the singles game, but her specialty has been doubles, where she has at times been the world’s No.1 doubles player. With Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has a lot going for her. At only 18 years of age she has become the world’s highest paid female athlete. Born in Nyagan, Russia, (in the Siberian region) on April 19, 1987, she began playing tennis at a very young age. By the time she was nine she had moved to Bradenton, Florida, (where she currently resides) to train at Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy. Aside from helping to hone Sharapova’s skills, Bollettieri is also responsible for the success of many other tennis stars, such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Venus and Serena Williams.
Sharapova began climbing the ranks in the World Tennis Association (WTA), earning her first tournament title in Japan in 2003. Her crowning moment came in 2004, when she won Wimbledon at a mere 17 year of age, solidifying a consistent spot in the top five. Off the court she is known for her looks. She often takes modeling jobs and works on her endorsements, the likes of which include Motorola, Canon and Honda Japan. The attractive six-foot-tall blond often draws comparisons to fellow Russian tennis-pro-turned-model Anna Kournikova, but her skills on the court are what set the two apart.
In just the past two years she has become the poster child for women’s tennis. Billboards promoting the sport feature giant images of Sharapova as “Maria Mania” sweeps the globe. She has become the top-draw in the sport, ushering in a new era of rising stars and helping to broaden the field after years of Williams sisters’ dominance. 2005 finds Sharapova on pace to take in over $20 million, most of which will come from her endorsements–the most recent a three-year $6 million deal with Colgate-Palmolive. But it is tennis where her focus lies. She carries with her a streak of 17 straight wins on grass heading into Wimbledon 2005, where she will defend her 2004 championship at the prestigious event.