15 Must-See Russian Female Athletes

Russia is known to be home to some of the most beautiful women in the entire world, but there are gorgeous women all over the globe, and arguments can be made all day as to which country truly has the most beautiful women. Although one article won’t settle that debate, it will be a joy for fans to look through. Whether it be tennis, billiards, track and field, golf or any other sport, Russia is home to some of the most attractive professional athletes we’ve ever seen, and those are just the ones we see on a world wide stage.

Obviously the following 15 entries can’t be the whole argument for Russia in this case, but one look through all of these beauties, and you’ll be booking your plane ticket to Russia tomorrow, so sit back and enjoy as we look back on 15 of the most beautiful Russian athletes, and why it proves just how stunning their female population can be.

15 Yevgeniya Kanayeva

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Gymnastics is a huge sport for women in Russia, and it’s hard to find someone who has been more successful than Kanayeva, a woman who has gold medals in 2008 and 2012 at the Olympics, as well as 17 World Championships and 13 European Championships. It’s safe to say that this rhythmic gymnast is one of the most accomplished not only in Russia, but the entire world. Due to all these accomplishments over a short amount of time, Yevgeniya got burnt out with gymnastics, and took a break, but she’ll no doubt one day return to the sport that earned her a Order for Merit to the Fatherland from Vladimir Putin. She’s not as accomplished in men’s magazines as others on this list, but that doesn’t matter, because her natural beauty shines through no matter what she is doing.

14 Darya Klishina

A lot of the women on this list appear in men’s magazines due to their popularity and looks as high profile athletes, but Darya Klishina is a genuine model, on top of her successes in long jumping. She’s been more successful before the age of 23 than most other people in their lives, taking five gold medals at high profile track and field events, including the European U23 Championships and European Indoor Championships. Unfortunately, she hasn’t yet qualified for Russia’s Olympic team. Like we said, she’s also a model, so if any of this fails, that’s definitely a profitable career that she can go more into, and proof of that is her appearance on the cover of Russian Vogue. So no matter what she’s doing, we can’t wait to see more of this blonde beauty.

13 Maria Kirilenko

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Not only is Maria Kirilenko one of the most natural beauties on our list, she’s also one of the most successful, with 17 WTA titles to her name, several great finishes in Grand Slams and a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, and it’s very easy to see why she’s got such a large and devoted following in her home Russia. Maria has appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and she looks as natural as she does stunning, making her one of the most relatable and gorgeous tennis star in the past few years. Her tennis success might not have been what she’d hoped, especially given the fact that she started playing when she was 5, and won the US Open Junior Tournament in 2002, but she’s always got her limited successes and incredible looks to fall back on.

12 Alona Bondarenko

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Beauty and sex appeal aren’t going to get you far in tennis, but when you can combine skills with all those physical traits, you get Alona Bondarenko, one of the most appealing athletes we’ve ever seen, and although world number 18 was as high as she ever made it, she was quite a successful player. She has six titles under her belt, including the 2008 Australian Open, but for the purposes of this list, we are going to look at just how incredible this blonde bombshell looks. She’s appeared in FHM, Maxim, Sports Illustrated and others, and one simple Google search will want to make you move to Russia straight away, and we definitely agree.

11 Alina Kabaeva

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A lot of the women on this list exude sex appeal, but Alina Kabaeva isn’t one of them, as she shows signs of class that you’d expect from high class Russian women, to the point where it was even speculated that she may be Vladimir Putin’s lover. One newspaper that reported on that was later shut down for the story, so it’s clear that the accusations were false. Still, anyone who has that much of a tie to someone as powerful as Putin must be a very classy, stunning woman. She may be the only Russian more successful in rhythmic gymnastics than our previous entry, as she’s won two Olympic medals, 14 World Title and 25 European titles, and although you’ll never see too scandalous a photo of her, she is definitely worthy of a place on this list.

10 Anna Kournikova

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Anna Kournikova unfortunately had to retire at just the age of 21, but she had been playing tennis ever since the age of 5, and in that time, she managed to be quite successful, winning 18 titles throughout her short-lived professional career. Fortunately for Kournikova, she has more than her tennis skills to rely on, as she is arguably one of the hottest athletes in the entire world, and not just in tennis. Her appearances in men’s magazines like Maxim and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue prove just that. Despite retiring without much of a tennis career (longevity-wise), Kournikova is one of the most searched celebrities on the web, and if you look at some of the photos that come up when you search her, we can’t blame those people, and it’s safe to say that her boyfriend, Enrique Iglesias is one of the luckiest men in the world.

9 Anna Chakvetadze

Anna is the first of many tennis players on our list, given the propensity for successful Russian female tennis players, and although Chakvetadze isn’t as well known as the others you’ll see later on, she achieved a World Ranking as high as 5 throughout her career, and had 10 singles titles throughout her time on the professional circuit. The beauty from Moscow is bilingual too, which speaks to not only her physical talent as a tennis player, but her intellectual ability, but we are here to talk about just how gorgeous she is, and we could talk all day about that. She’s not appeared in too many men’s magazines, which is kind of disappointing, but she does have a few shots in FHM, and they’re just proof of how stunning she is.

8 Vera Zvonareva

Russian fans are very dedicated to their tennis stars, and it’s easy to be in support of them when people like Vera Zvonareva are just so successful, with her 12-year career netting her 17 WTA titles, a bronze medal and three grand slam Championships, but it is her looks that captivated most of the audiences. Her career may have been hampered by injuries, specifically one suffered in 2007, but that hasn’t kept her out of the public eye, as she appeared nude in the 2011 ESPN Body Issue, something that increased her already large fan base. Sure, you might have forgotten her today, but one look at how stunning she is, and you’ll hope that she’s back on your TV screens immediately.

7 Yelena Isinbayeva

A lot of the women on this list are more noteworthy for their beauty or pure sex appeal, but Yelena Isinbayeva is considered by many to be the greatest female pole-vaulter of all-time, with 28 World Records to her name, so this combination truly makes her the whole package. Her list of honors is as long as anyone we’ve seen, with multiple Female Athlete of the Year awards, two Olympic gold medals, six World Championship titles, and all this on top of being a stunning brunette unlike many we’ve ever seen. She’s done many photo shoots for top-notch magazines, and is one of the most popular female athletes in Russia, but unfortunately she’s not the mainstream star that many others ahead on this list have become.

6 Maria Verchenova

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(Spoiler alert!) One of our top entries on this list is Maria Sharapova, and if you think she’s gorgeous, Maria Verchenova has often been referred to as "The Maria Sharapova of Golf." Although we think she’s just a notch below, it certainly speaks to how people think of her, and the impact she could have on golf as a sport in Russia. She’s definitely aware of this too, as she is quoted as saying “I always like to bring something extra special to the golf course, so if I'm wearing sexier, more stylish, stuff like a shorter skirt or a nice tennis-style dress and people notice, then great.” Golf isn’t a huge sport in Europe, so having someone like this for everyone to enjoy on the course is definitely going to help that. As such, hers might be a name you hear more and more of in the future.

5 Anastasia Luppova

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Most of the women in this list play tennis, or other top tier sports, so who would have ever guessed that one of the most beautiful Russian women in sports plays billiards? Well, she might not top the next three to four women on our list (that’s up to personal opinion, of course), but Anastasia Luppova from Kazan in Russia is one of the best looking women in Russia, as well as sports today. Due to her sport, she hasn’t gotten the mainstream attention of the others on this list, but on pure looks, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone hotter, especially in her chosen sport of billiards. In a sport that exudes class, she certainly exemplifies that, as she manages to look as good as anyone else in Russian sports without having to play the sex appeal card.

4 Olga Kharlan

Fencing isn’t usually a sport that’s assosciated with the hottest women in the world, and that’s because it’s not too important in comparison to the likes of tennis (which is what most of these women play), but not only did Olga Kharlan take out a gold medal in the sport at the 2008 Olympics, but she brought more eyes to the product due to how breathtaking she is. As we’ve said, you won’t be seeing her around much, because it’s not a sport that’s really relevant outside of the Olympics, but Olga is living proof of how incredible Russian women are. Unlike others, she hasn’t posed for Sports Illustrated or Maxim, but she’s posed for XXL magazine, a publication in the same vein in Ukraine, and it’s almost enough to get us interested in Fencing.

3 Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova is one of the biggest names that women’s tennis has ever seen, and while listening to her play might be a bit of a chore due to the noises, seeing her will always excite any male around the world. She’s not only one of the hottest tennis players in the world, she is one of the hottest women, period. The prestigious player has lived in the United States since the age of 7, but she was born and raised in Russia until that point, and all you need to do is look at a photo of her to see how breathtaking she is. The tennis circuit is becoming hotter and hotter by the year, but Sharapova will always be just a notch above, and all you need to do is look up some of her bikini shoots to believe me.

2 Ilona Korstin

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Ilona Korstin is one of the most well known basketball players in all of Europe, a naturally gifted blonde beauty who played a range of sports before settling on basketball, a sport that she’s been incredibly successful in, and that’s before we even get to how stunning she is. She has been so successful in Russia, helping her team to three straight Superleague-Russian Championships, as well as appearances in the WNBA, and two Olympic Bronze medals in 2004 and 2008. One look at her and you’ll know just why she’s on this list. But again, she proves that women are more than just looks, as her talent and accomplishments speak for themselves.

1 Irina Kalentieva

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Heading into this list, you may not have expected to see a mountain Bike Racer on the list, but that’s exactly what the blonde bombshell Irina Kanetieva is, and she’s just about as successful as any Russian woman has been in the sport, but that’s not the only thing that endears her to her adoring fans, and the world’s population alike. She’s won a bronze medal in the Olympics, two world championships and seven Russian championships for mountain biking, but it’s more than her talent that draws fans to watch her. She appeared as Ms. December in the 2009 edition of the Cycle Passion Calendar, and that alone is enough to gain her a place on our list.

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