Svetlana Khorkina, Russian gymnast
Svetlana Khorkina is a Russian gymnast, seven-time Olympic medalist, and a former deputy of the Russian State Duma (from 2007 to 2011). The athlete is Honored Master of Sports of Russia (1995). She is one of the most successful female gymnasts of her era. During her career, she won 47 World, Olympic and European medals. Khorkina won 10 (7 Gold, 3 Silver) medals at major All-Around Championships, more than any other gymnast. Also she was the first gymnast to win three all-around titles at the World Championships.
By the way, Khorkina is known for being a “diva,” but she has embraced such charges, stating “I don’t mind. I wouldn’t have been called a diva or a queen if I wasn’t creative.”
Pretty girl was born on January 19, 1979 in Belgorod. The parents of the sportswoman are from Mordovia. They came to Belgorod to work, but stayed there for a long time. Her father worked as a builder, and mother was a nurse in a kindergarten.
It was a neighbor who advised Svetlana’s mother to take her 4-year-old daughter to a sports school, recommending a gymnastics section. The woman liked the idea, and little Svetlana began to attend classes.
In 1992 the girl joined the Russian national team.
Unfortunately, in 1995, two weeks before the most important performance at the World Championships in Japan, the gymnast injured her back. Sveta was taken to the hospital and doctors advised to forget about the competition.
The 16-year-old sportswoman made a strong-willed decision: to be treated and continue training. It was a huge risk for her health. As a result, the girl won the World Championships.
A year later, in 1996, the Russian girl went to the Olympics in Atlanta and won a gold medal.
After returning from the US, Khorkina came to her native Belgorod and entered the university. But the athlete soon became bored and she returned to Moscow.
21-year-old athlete went to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Unfortunately, the gymnast injured her knees. Nevertheless, the performance of the Russian woman was successful. Svetlana managed to reach the end of the competition and keep the title of the Olympic champion on the uneven bars. And the girl decided to go to the next Olympics.
In 2001, Khorkina became the absolute champion at the World Cup. From 1995 to 2001, Svetlana was able to win all the world championships and Olympic titles on her favorite bars.
Actually, in 2002, the gymnast became a Ph.D. of Pedagogic Sciences. In the same year, Svetlana made her debut as an actress in the play Venus. The play is based on the texts of the American writer Henry Miller and the book of his love letters Dear, Dear Brenda. Khorkina performed the main female role in the play.
In 2003, the Russian athlete became the absolute champion for the third time. Prior to this, no woman could take such a height.
The 2004 Olympics in Athens was the last for Svetlana. After the Games, the gymnast said that she was going to finish her sports career.
Awesome girl’s candid photos appeared in the Russian version of Playboy in November 1997. By the way, she posed for the Russian version of Maxim right before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
In December 2004 Khorkina became vice-president of the Russian artistic gymnastics federation.
The sport complex of the Belgorod State University named after Khorkina was opened in her native city on March 12, 2007.
Her autobiography was published on April 22, 2008, entitled Somersaults On High Heels. Her second book, which focuses on fitness and avoiding sport injuries, was released in May 2009 (Title: Fitness as a hobby and bodies). She was an ambassador of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Khorkina was a member of the political party of United Russia since 2003. She was elected as a member of the United Russia party to the Russian State Duma in 2007.
In the film Champions, released in 2016, Kristina Asmus played the role of Svetlana Khorkina.
On July 21, 2005 Svetlana gave birth to her first child, son Svyatoslav, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, thus giving her child American citizenship. Soon there were rumors that the boy’s father could be the husband of the actress Vera Glagoleva, businessman Kirill Shubsky.
On May 2, 2011 Russian tabloid newspaper Express Gazeta reported, that Khorkina married 55-year-old former FSB general, Oleg Konchev.