Alina Kabaeva

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Alina Kabaeva
Personal information
Full nameAlina Maratovna Kabaeva
Country represented Russia
Born (1983-05-12) 12 May 1983 (age 37)
Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union
ResidenceMoscow, Russia
Height166 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight50 kg (110 lb)
DisciplineRhythmic gymnastics
ClubMGFSO Dynamo
Head coach(es)Irina Viner
Assistant coach(es)Vera Shatalina
ChoreographerVeronica Shatkova
Eponymous skillsBackscale pivots

Alina Maratovna Kabaeva (Russian: Али́на Мара́товна Каба́ева, pronounced [ɐˈlʲinə mɐˈratəvnə kɐˈbajɪvə]; Tatar: Әлинә Марат кызы Кабаева; born 12 May 1983) is a Russian Honored Master of Sports, a retired individual rhythmic gymnast, a model and film star, and a politician.[1][2][3][4]

Kabaeva is one of the most decorated gymnasts in rhythmic gymnastic history, with 2 Olympic medals, 14 World Championship medals, and 25 European Championship medals.

From 2007 to 2014, Kabaeva was a State Duma Deputy from the United Russia Party. In September 2014, Kabaeva became the chairwoman of the board of directors of the National Media Group (ru).

Personal life[edit]

Kabaeva, the daughter of a Tatar father and Russian mother, was born in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, in the Soviet Union, on 12 May 1983.[1] Kabaeva's father, Marat Kabayev, was a professional football player, and the family was constantly following him to different places in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Kabaeva previously practiced Islam,[5] but was later baptized into Christianity.[6]

She was engaged to policeman David Museliani in 2004.[7][8] They began a relationship in 2002 but separated in 2005.[9]

In April 2008, the Moskovsky Korrespondent reported that Kabaeva was engaged to Russian President Vladimir Putin.[10] The story was denied and the newspaper was shut down.[11] In the following years, the status of Kabaeva and Putin's relationship became a topic of speculation, including allegations that they have multiple children together.[12] In July 2013, Kabaeva reported that she does not have any children.[13][14] In March 2015, Kabaeva was reported to have given birth at the VIP-hospital of Saint Ann in Ticino, Switzerland; the paternity of her child is unknown.[15][16]

Rhythmic gymnastics career[edit]

Kabaeva started Rhythmic Gymnastics at age 3, with Coach Margarita Samuilovna.[17]

In her young teens, Kabaeva moved to Moscow, where her mother took her to the Russian Head Coach, Irina Viner.[18]

1996 to 1999[edit]

Kabaeva stayed with Viner, and made her international debut in 1996. In 1998, the 15-year-old Kabaeva won the European Championships in Portugal. At the time, Kabaeva was the youngest member of the Russian squad, competing alongside internationally recognized teammates, such as Amina Zaripova. In 1999, Kabaeva became the European Champion for the second consecutive time, and won the World Title in Osaka, Japan. Kabaeva went on to win a total of 5 All-Around titles at the European Championships.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, in Australia, Kabaeva was expected to claim Gold in All-Around; however, due to an error in an otherwise exceptional performance—she dropped her hoop, and ran to retrieve it outside of the competition area—Kabaeva won the Bronze Medal, with the final score of 39.466 (Rope 9.925, Hoop 9.641, Ball 9.950, Ribbon 9.950). Belarus' Yulia Raskina took the Silver Medal, while fellow Russian teammate, Yulia Barsukova, won the Olympic Gold Medal.[19][20]

2001 to 2004[edit]

(L-R) Alina Kabaeva (bronze), Yulia Barsukova (gold) and Yulia Raskina (silver) at 2000 Olympic Games podium

At the 2001 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, Kabaeva won the Gold Medal for the Ball, Clubs, Hoop, Rope, the Individual All-Around, and the Team competitions. At the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia, Kabaeva won the Gold Medal for the Ball, Clubs, and Rope competitions, and the Silver in the Individual All-Around, and Hoop. However, Kabaeva and her teammate, Irina Tchachina, tested positive to a banned diuretic (furosemide), and were stripped of their medals.[21]

Viner, the Russian Head Coach, who also served as the Vice President of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee at the time, said her gymnasts had been taking a food supplement called "Hyper", that contained mild diuretics, which, according to Viner, the gymnasts were taking for premenstrual syndrome. When the supply ran out shortly before the Goodwill Games, the team physiotherapist restocked at a local pharmacy. According to Viner, the supplement sold there was fake and contained furosemide. The Committee requested that the Goodwill Games Organizing Committee nullify Kabaeva and Tchachina's results. The FIG also nullified their results from the World Championships in Madrid, Spain, causing Ukraine's Tamara Yerofeeva to be declared the 2001 World Champion.[21]

Kabaeva added another World Title in 2003 in Budapest, Hungary.[22] Kabaeva won the All-Around Gold Medal at the 2003 World Championships, as well as the event final in Ribbon and Ball ahead of Anna Bessonova from Ukraine.

In 2004, Kabaeva won the All-Around Gold at the 2004 European Championships in Kiev. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Greece, Kabaeva won the Gold Medal in the Individual All-Around for Rhythmic Gymnastics, with a score of 108.400 (Hoop 26.800, Ball 27.350, Clubs 27.150, Ribbon 27.100), the Silver Medal went to her teammate, Irina Tchachina.[23]

2005 to 2007[edit]

In October 2004, Kabaeva announced her retirement from the sport.[24] However, in June 2005, the Russian Head Coach Irina Viner announced a possible comeback.[25] Kabaeva resumed her sport career at an Italy-Russia friendly competition in Genoa, on 10 September 2005.[26] On 5 March 2006, Kabaeva won the Gazprom Moscow Grand Prix, with fellow Russians Vera Sessina and Olga Kapranova, taking the Second and Third places.[27] Kabaeva won the Silver Medal in All-Around at the 2006 European Championships, behind teammate, Sessina.

At the 2007 European Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan; Kabaeva, Sessina, and Kapranova were chosen to represent Russia. However, on the eve of the competition, Kabaeva withdrew due to an injury. Viner selected rising upcoming gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva from Russia's National Team as the replacement. Kabaeva finished 4th in All-Around qualifications at the 2007 World Championships, and did not advance into the finals due to the two per country rule, with Vera Sessina and Olga Kapranova placing ahead of Kabaeva.

Kabaeva completed her career after the 2007 Season.

Contributions to rhythmic gymnastics[edit]

Kabaeva revolutionized rhythmic gymnastics as one of the few gymnasts to have performed new skills and elements, including the back split pivot with hand help (also known as "The Kabaeva"), the ring position with a slow full turn, and the backscale pivot that she first performed.[28]

Rhythmic gymnastic achievements[edit]

Detailed Olympic results[edit]

Year Competition Description Location Music[30] Apparatus Score-Final Score-Qualifying
2004 Olympics Athens All-around 108.400 105.875
Sphynx by Giampiero Ponte Ribbon 27.100 26.100
Syrtaki by D. Moutsis Ball 27.350 27.250
Carmen's entrance and Habanera
by Georges Bizet
Hoop 26.800 26.050
Sphynx (Club Mix) by Giampiero Ponte, Moran Clubs 27.150 26.475
Year Competition Description Location Music Apparatus Score-Final Score-Qualifying
2000 Olympics Sydney All-around 39.466 39.691
Dilorom / Yor Yor
by Yulduz Usmanova and Shahzod
Ribbon 9.950 9.925
Felicia by Luis Bravo Ball 9.950 9.925
Les Toreadors by Georges Bizet Hoop 9.651 9.925
Tsiganochka (Gypsy Folk) Rope 9.925 9.916

Routine music information[edit]

Kabaeva at 1999 European Championships
Year Apparatus Music title[30]
2007 Hoop (second) Allegro Vivo (Walpurgis Night) from Faust by Charles Gounod
Hoop (first) Payadora by Julian Plaza
Rope (second) Rio Rita by DJ Valer
Rope (first) Sirtaki by André Rieu
Clubs (second) Rio Rita by DJ Valer
Clubs (first) Sardarabad by Ara Gevorgian
Ribbon Espana Cani music from Cincinnati by Pops Orchestra
2006 Ball (second) Sirtaki by David Moutsis
Ball (first) Introduction music from Queen of Spades by Sofia Festival Orchestra
Rope Clockwork (Shantel vs Mahala Rai Banda remix) by Mambayaga Project
Clubs (second) Overture from The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad by Bernard Herrmann
Clubs (first) White Darbouka by Hovannes K.
Ribbon Granada by André Rieu
2005 Ball Fuga Y Misterio by Astor Piazzolla
Rope Clockwork (Shantel vs Mahala Rai Banda remix) by Mambayaga Project
Clubs White Darbouka by Hovannes K.
Ribbon Suite – 1st Movement from The Valencian Widow by Aram Khachaturian
2004 Hoop (second) Carmen's entrance and Habanera
by Georges Bizet
Hoop (first) Finale / Dance / Prelude / Bolero from Carmen by Georges Bizet & Rodion Shchedrin
Ball Syrtaki by D. Moutsis
Clubs Sphynx (Club Mix) by Giampiero Ponte, Moran
Ribbon Sphynx by Giampiero Ponte
2003 Hoop Finale / Dance / Prelude / Bolero from Carmen by Georges Bizet & Rodion Shchedrin
Ball Polovtsian Dances music from Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin
Clubs Moliendo café by Fanfare Ciocarlia
Ribbon Caravane / Der Bauch / Istikhbar by Radar / MC Sultan / Gnawa Diffusion
2002 Hoop Finale / Dance / Prelude / Bolero from Carmen by Georges Bizet & Rodion Shchedrin
Rope Snakefood, Samba Adagio by Safri Duo
Clubs Hava Naquila by Party Animals
Ball Weather Storm by Craig Armstrong
2001 Hoop Desert Rose (House Mix) by Sting feat. Cheb Mami
Rope Shark music from Full Sink by Laureate
Clubs Lament To Birch Bark from The Best Of Russian Folk Music by Moscow Balalaika Quartet
Ball Question of U by Classic Metropolitan Orchestra (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
2000 Hoop Les Toreadors by Georges Bizet
Rope Tsiganochka (Traditional Gipsy folk)
Ball Felicia from Forever Tango by Luis Bravo
Ribbon Dilorom / Yor Yor by Yulduz Usmanova / Shahzod
1999 Hoop Spirit of Taiko by Kitaro
Rope Release the Dubs from Shallow Grave by Leftfield
Ball Felicia from Forever Tango by Luis Bravo
Ribbon Dilorom / Yor Yor by Yulduz Usmanova / Shahzod
1998 Hoop Symphonica by DJ Quicksilver
Clubs Korobejniki from Kamarinskaya by Michael Glinka
Ball ?
Ribbon (second) Kitri, Entrance, Coda music from Don Quixote by Leon Minkus
Ribbon (first) Lo Sciecco Bianco by Nino Rota
1997 Hoop Paradisio / Canton Express / I dream of Santiago by Gypsy
Clubs ?
Ball Finale (Carnival of the Animals) from Charles by Camille Saint-Saëns
Ribbon Lo Sceicco Bianco by Nino Rota

2014 Winter Olympics torch bearer in Sochi, Russia[edit]

Kabaeva was among the six Russian athlete torch bearers who carried the Olympic flame through Fisht Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Kabaeva's selection as a torch bearer generated controversy in the international media because of her alleged close relationship with President Vladimir Putin.[12][31]

Model, film, and post-gymnastics careers[edit]

In 2001, Kabaeva appeared in the Japanese movie, Red Shadow, performing her gymnastic routine.[32]

In May 2009, Kabaeva traveled to Japan and participated in a bikini photo shoot.

In January 2011, Kabaeva appeared on the cover of Vogue Russia.[33][34] In the same month, Kabaeva launched her singing career, taking to the stage for the first time.[35]

In 2015, Kabaeva was an honorary guest at the 2015 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. In 2017, Kabaeva became the official FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Ambassador at the 2017 World Championships in Pesaro, Italy.[36]

Political career[edit]

Since 2005, Kabaeva was a member of the Public Chamber of Russia.[37]

Since February 2008, Kabaeva has been chairwoman of the National Media Group's Public Council, the media group that controls Izvestia, Channel One and REN TV.[38]

Between 2007 and 2014, Kabaeva has been a Member of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, representing the United Russia party. In her capacity of a Member of Parliament, Kabaeva voted for a number of controversial laws that were speedily adopted in 2012 and 2013, including the Anti-Magnitsky bill banning inter-country adoption (of Russian orphans) by families in the United States, as well as the Russian gay propaganda law making the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" among minors a punishable offense, the extrajudicial ban on access to websites which may host materials violating copyright laws, and the reorganization of the Academy of Sciences.[39][40]

In September 2014, Kabaeva resigned from the Duma and accepted the position of chair of the board of directors of the National Media Group (ru), the largest Russian media conglomerate.[41]


  1. ^ a b "Alina Kabaeva". ESPN. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Alina Kabaeva Photo Gallery". Celebs-Place. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Alina Kabaeva News". Huffington Post, USA. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Vladamir Putin's Mistress Has Some Moves (22 Photos)". theCHIVE. Resignation Media, LLC. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Кабаеву не пустили в мечеть" [Kabaeva was not allowed into the mosque]. (in Russian). 28 November 2002. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Алина Кабаева призналась, что верит в Бога и любит читать Библию" [Alina Kabaeva admitted that she believes in God and loves to read the Bible]. (in Russian). 15 December 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Алина Кабаева выходит замуж?". Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). 6 October 2004. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ Алина Кабаева: «Я скрывала свою любовь два года». Журнал «Семь дней», № 41, 4-11 октября 2004, с. 72-77.
  10. ^ "Putin Romance Rumors Keep Public Riveted". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  11. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (5 May 2012). "In the Spotlight of Power, Putin Keeps His Private Life Veiled in Shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  12. ^ a b Nemtsova, Anna (12 June 2013). "Alina Kabayeva Could Be The Next Mrs. Putin". Newsweek, USA. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Алина Кабаева: "Детей у меня нет" - 7Дней.ру". 7Дней.ру. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Alina Kabaeva, la Seconde Dame de Russie?" (in French). Paris Match, France. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  15. ^ MacFarquahar, Neil (14 March 2015). "Putin Has Vanished, but Rumors Are Popping Up Everywhere". The New York Times, USA. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  16. ^ Aschwanden, E.; Jankovsky, P. (13 March 2015). "Alina Kabajewa in Tessiner Privatklinik: Spekulationen um Putin-Nachwuchs" [Alina Kabaeva in Ticino private clinic: Speculations about Putin's offspring]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0376-6829. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  17. ^ Alina Kabaeva. My teachers. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  18. ^ "Sports Stars at Age 17". Olympic Channel Service, S.L. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  19. ^ "ESPN Medal Tracker - Individual Medals". ESPN, USA. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  20. ^ "ESPN Medal Tracker - Summer Olympics Medals". ESPN, USA. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Rhythmic Gymnastics - Alina Kabaeva". Rhythmic Gymnastics, Spain. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Alina Kabaeva is Russia's Most Successful Rhythmic Gymnast". A MORDINSON INTRODUCTION, Kharkov, Ukraine. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  23. ^ "Results – 29 August 2004". BBC Sport. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  24. ^ Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Kabaeva retires, 11 October 2004. GYMmedia. Retrieved 16 December 2010 Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ XXI. European Championships of RG – qualifications/ Will Kabaeva return?, 10 June 2005. GYMmedia. Retrieved 16 December 2010. Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ [1] Archived 8 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Kabaeva is back! She won three of five Grand Prix Finals, GYMmedia, 5 March 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2010 Archived 4 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ a b RG named elements Archived 10 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine Gym Power
  29. ^ "Alina Kabaeva profile". Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation.
  30. ^ a b "Kabaeva RG music list". rgforum.
  31. ^ Chase, Chris (7 February 2014). "Vladimir Putin's Rumored Girlfriend was a Controversial Olympic Torchbearer at Opening Ceremony". USA Today. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  32. ^ "Alina Kabaeva at IMDb". Inc., USA. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  33. ^ "Putin's Gymnast Alina Kabaeva Covers Vogue Russia January 2011". Vogue Russia. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  34. ^ Weir, Fred (15 December 2010). "Alina Kabaeva on Cover of Russia's Vogue in Triumph of Celebrity Politics". Christian Science Monitor, USA. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  35. ^ "Alina Kabaeva - List of Cosmopolitan Russia Articles". Cosmopolitan Russia. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  36. ^ "Alina Kabaeva announced as Gymnastics Ambassador for the 2017 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships". International Federation of Gymnastics. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  37. ^ "Biography of Alina Kabayeva". Sports Reference LLC. 7 April 2017. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  38. ^ NMG Public Council.
  39. ^ Руслан Исмаилов (Ruslan Ismailov); Ольга Братцева (Olga Brattseva) (21 December 2012). "Дети вне политики!" Идеолог, свердловский депутат Госдумы "закона Димы Яковлева": "Дауны останутся в России. Всё!" "Они все – Лахова, Кабаева, Роднина – утратили право называться женщинами" [“Children are out of politics!” Ideologist, Sverdlovsk State Duma deputy of the “Dima Yakovlev Law”: “Downs will remain in Russia. Everything!" “They all - Lakhova, Kabaeva, Rodnina - have lost the right to be called women”]. (in Russian). Yekaterinburg. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  40. ^ Система анализа результатов голосований на заседаниях Государственной Думы [The system of analysis of the results of voting at meetings of the State Duma] (in Russian). State Duma. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  41. ^ "Алина Кабаева станет председателем совета директоров "Национальной Медиа Группы"" [Alina Kabaeva will become the chairman of the board of directors of the National Media Group]. TASS (in Russian). 15 September 2014.

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