Russia, or the Russian Federation as it’s officially known, is big. In fact, in terms of land mass, it is the largest country in the world, covering roughly one-eighth of the Earth’s surface. This area is inhabited by roughly 144 million people, the country's estimated population, placing the former Soviet Union 9th overall in that department.
While they may finish outside the top 5 as far as overall population, when it comes to beautiful women, Russia is second to none. Furthermore, there is no place better to find gorgeous Russian gals than the wild world of pro sports. Be it the World Tennis Association Tour or the Olympic Games, there is never a shortage of breathtaking Eastern European ladies to be found. In the world of sports, Russia has established a reputation for having some of the best-looking females on the planet.
While for many of us their names may be difficult to pronounce, it’s definitely worth the time it takes to the learn them.
With that in mind let’s take a look at 15 of the most beautiful women from the former U.S.S.R., that have ever competed in athletics.
It’s hard to imagine a country could have been involved in a cold war, with a nation full of women this hot.
15 Anna Kournikova
Moscow’s Anna Kournikova had a brief, but memorable career on the WTA Tour in the late '90s through the early 2000s. While her biggest moments came as a doubles player, Kournikova was ranked number 8 in the world as a singles competitor. Alongside her doubles partner, Martina Hingis, she won the Australian Open in 1999 and again in 2002. In November of 1999, the young Russian became the number one ranked doubles player in the world. Sadly, her promising career ended was cut short due to a serious of injuries, which forced her to retire at just 21 years of age.
Despite being a better player then she is often given credit for, the blonde stunner is probably best remembered as a sex symbol during the early 2000s. In fact, at the height of her popularity, fans seeking her image, made Kournikova one of the most popular subjects on Google Search.
14 Darya Klishina
Hailing from Tver, Russia, 26-year-old Darya Klishina is one of the country’s most accomplished long jumpers. As a young girl, Klishina began playing volleyball, before switching to track and field in her early teens. The blonde long jumper was at the center of controversy during the 2016 Olympic Games, when she had to be granted special permission to compete in the games, due to her country being suspended for violating anti-doping rules. She would be granted the opportunity to compete at the games and finished 9th overall. After failing to take home a medal at the Olympics, Klishina ended up winning the silver at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London.
Standing just under 6-feet tall, with gorgeous, long blonde hair, Darya Klishinia could very easily be mistaken for a model.
13 Yelena Isinbayeva
Volgograd, Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva is an Olympic medalist and a World Champion. The Track and Field Star’s 5.06 meter (around 16.6 feet) pole vault is the current women’s outdoor record. She captured gold medals (in pole vaulting) at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games respectively. Her accomplishments in the sport have made Isinbayeva of the most accomplished athletes of her generation. Following Russia’s suspension from the Olympics, due to anti-doping violations, Isinbayeva was quoted (by CNN) as saying, "There was hope, but it was dashed. Let all those pseudo-clean foreign athletes breathe a sigh of relief and win their pseudo-gold medals in our absence. They always did fear strength."
The now-retired 35-year-old is always in peak physical condition and a favorite among men who aren’t afraid of a strong woman.
12 Anna Sidorova
Anna Sidorova is an Olympic curler from Moscow, Russia. She was originally interested in figure skating as a child. However, after suffering an injury at the age of 13, she decided to focus on curling. She made her Olympic debut at the 2010 Winter Games at just 19 years of age, as a last minute replacement. Sidorova would return to the games, once again, in 2014, this time as the teams skip (or captain), leading her squad to a 9th place finish, with a somewhat unspectacular 3-6 record. Sidorova has already qualified for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games and will once again serve as captain of the Russian curling team.
The 5-foot-10 redhead is far and away one of the hottest women you will ever find participating in the sport of curling.
11 Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova is one of the biggest names on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour today. She is a career Grand Slam winner as a singles player, meaning that she was won all four major tournaments which include Wimbledon, the French Open (twice), the Australian Open, and the US Open. The native of Nyagan, Russia has taken home over $36.8 million in winnings over the course of her career, which puts her 3rd on the all-time earnings list, behind the Williams sisters.
When one thinks about beautiful Russian athletes, tennis star Maria Sharapova is likely one of the first people to come to mind. Standing at 6-foot-2 with long blonde hair and a slender athletic frame, Sharapova is one of the best looking women in all of sports, not just Russia.
10 Tatiana Borodulina
Russian born speed skater Tatiana Borodulina was born in a city known as Omsk. The skater made headlines back in 2006 after moving to Australia to compete after being absent from a doping test in Russia. In fact, legislation was even passed that allowed Borodulina to obtain Australian citizenship in time to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were held in Vancouver, British Columbia. She joined the Australian Army Reserve to help her gain citizenship faster. While Borodulina would end up competing for her new country in 2010 Games, she wound up finishing 11th in Short Track Speed Skating 1500m finals. The speed skater would return Russia shortly after the games and now competes for her country of origin.
At just under 5-foot-3, Borodulina isn’t the tallest woman on our list, but the stunning speed skater definitely doesn’t come up short in the looks department.
9 Ekaterina Stoliarova
Ekaterina Stolyarova is a freestyle skier who is originally from Chusovoy, Russia. She specializes in a type of skiing known as moguls. A moguled course, as it is known in freestyle skiing, stresses aerial maneuvers, speed, and technical turns. Stolyarova is best known for her appearance in 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. She advanced to the finals that year and would end up finishing in 7th place overall. Stolyarova finished 4th in the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Skiing Championships, which is her best showing to date.
Stolyarova and several other Russian athletes made headlines prior to the 2014 Winter Games when they posed for a racy underwear shoot. In fact, the photo here is from the shoot. The purpose was to show that female athletes aren’t masculine, as the stereotype suggests. Mission accomplished.
8 Alexandra Saitova
At just 25 years of age, Moscow, Russia ‘s Alexandra Raeva has already had an amazing career in curling. She won a gold medal at the 2013 Winter Universiade as a member of the Russian junior national team. However, Raeva is probably best known for competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which were held in her home country. Despite having a home field advantage, Russia finished the games with a 3-6 record, placing 9th overall. Though the Sochi Games didn't go so well, she recently won a silver medal at the 2017 World Women’s Curling Championship, suggesting she might be ready for another Olympic run in 2018.
It might be somewhat surprising that the sport of curling has two representatives on our list. That being said, after seeing this photo, it’s clear that the 5-foot-6 blonde definitely deserves to be featured.
7 Maria Verchenova
Moscow’s Maria Verchenova made sport’s history by being the first Russian to become a full-time competitor on the Ladies European Tour. In recent years, we have seen some gorgeous female golfers with questionable credentials become quite popular. While Verchenova is definitely a beautiful woman, she has several top-10 finishes on the tour, which would suggest that the Russian golf pro isn’t simply getting by on her looks. In fact, she even qualified for the Summer Olympic Games in 2016. While Verchenova ended up finishing 16th overall at the Olympics, she did shoot a course record in the 4th round of the contest.
The 5-foot-9 brunette is easily among the best looking females one can expect to find on a professional golf course. The 31-year-old has been featured in several steamy photo shoots, much to the delight of her fans.
6 Aliya Mustafina
At just 23 years of age, Yegoryevsk, Russia’s Aliya Mustafina is one the youngest athlete on our list, but also one of the most accomplished. In fact, the artistic gymnast has already won seven Olympic medals over the course of her career thus far. Mustafina's best event is the uneven bars, which she took home Olympic Gold medals for at both the 2012 and 2016 games respectively. She also has two bronze medals in the individual all-around to her credit. Mustafina has recently returned to training after having given birth to her first child and hopes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 5-foot-4 gymnast is one of Russia’s finest athletes in more way than one. Unfortunately, for would be suitors at least, Mustafina is married to Russian bobsledder, Alexey Zaytsev.
5 Anastasia Luppova
In the sport of billiards, they don’t come much better than Kazan, Russian native, Anastasia Luppova. The breathtaking pool player is a two-time European Champion in Russian Pyramid. For those unfamiliar, Russian Pyramid features larger, heavier balls than western pool, with holes that are barely larger than the balls being used. As the name would suggest, Russian Pyramid is primarily played in parts of the former Soviet Union. Luppova also coaches billiards and has been named a Russian Master of Sports.
The 5-foot-5 brunette might very well be the hottest pool player in the world today. The former 2009 Miss Billiards probably had no shortage of male admirers at the bars she trained at over the years. When one thinks of beautiful women in sports, pool may not be the first sports that come to mind, but Luppova is doing her part to change that.
4 Anastasia Yankova
Anastasia Yankova is a Moscow-born mixed martial artist who currently competes in Bellator MMA’s Flyweight (125 pounds) division. She began training in Karate at the age of 4, before ultimately transitioning into muay thai and kickboxing as an adult. Despite having an undefeated record of 5-0 (albeit against lesser competition), some female fighters claim the Yankova has gotten undue attention due in large part to her movie star good looks. The Russian-born fighter is currently sponsored by Nike and remains one of the most marketable stars on the Bellator roster.
Yankova is an extremely attractive fighter with an unblemished record, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the 26-year-old’s next fight is for a title or at the very least a number one contender spot. If she can continue to progress, a Bellator title is likely in her future.
3 Lana (Honorary Russian)
Catherine Joy "CJ" Perry, who is better known by her ring name Lana, is a professional wrestler who currently competes for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Technically, Lana was born in Gainesville, Florida, which as most of us know, is in the United States. However, she spent a good portion of her childhood in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, due to her father being a Christian missionary. Moreover, she also portrays a Russian wrestler on television. After seeing this photo, folks will likely understand why we bent the rules a bit in order to feature this blonde bombshell. The gorgeous grappler can also be seen on the E! hit reality television show Total Divas.
Standing at 5-foot-7, with flowing blonde hair and piercing brown eyes, Lana is easily one of the hottest women in wrestling.
2 Valentina Shevchenko
“Bullet” Valentina Shevchenko was born in Frunze, Kirghiz (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) which is a part of the former Soviet Union. She is a mixed martial artist who currently competes for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in their newly formed flyweight (125 pounds) division. She has fought for the title at Bantamweight where she lost a close bout, via split-decision, to current champ Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko has some impressive victories over the likes of Sarah Kaufman, Julianna Pena, and former bantamweight champ Holly Holm. The Bishkek ntive is currently one of the biggest names in the flyweight division and will likely get a crack at the title, sometime in 2018.
Shevchenko probably doesn’t get enough credit for being one of most beautiful female fighters in the UFC. However, if she keeps producing photos like this one, expect that to change shortly.
1 Anna Semenovich
Anna Semenovich is a retired competitive ice dancer who is originally from Moscow, Russia. The busty skater had solid career pairing with her partners Vladimir Fedorov and Roman Kostomarov. Alongside her partner Kostomarov, she took 2nd at the 2000 Russian Figure Skating Championship in ice dancing. Semenovich was forced to retire in 2001 due to injury. While the Moscow product had an excellent skating career, she is probably just as famous for her singing career. She was a member of the popular all-girl pop group known as Blestyashchiye from 2003 to 2007. After leaving the group, Semenovich decided to become a solo act and went on to release her hit single, "На Моря."
The blonde skater and singing sensation is probably the curviest athlete on our list, as this photo clearly demonstrates.