When a young Russian girl has as much pizzazz and jazz as the super star wrestler Natalia Vorobieva, it makes me wonder what music she likes to listen to. Somehow I don’t think it’s the Lennon Sisters or the Lenin Sisters.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, bbc.co.uk photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, bbc.co.uk photo

I’m trying to imagine Natalia standing in for one those famous melodious classy California Lawrence Welk beauties while singing Harbor Lights.

Given her expressed views on women’s rights, somehow I think her style would be more like the Russian girls so often in the news, Pussy Riot. The Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow was founded in August 2011.

The group stages unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. The collective’s lyrical themes include feminism, human rights and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the group considers a dictator.

If you haven’t heard of our brilliant star, famous for her attacking style that shocked the female wrestling world when she stunned Stanka Zlateva, the silver medalist from Bulgaria, in the 2012 Olympic finals to put herself in position to become the face of women’s wrestling in Europe, you should.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, siberiantimes.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, siberiantimes.com photo

Ms. Vorobieva captured the 2014 European championship and earned a runner-up performance at the 2013 World Championships. Her fireman’s carry is one of the best single moves in all of wrestling and was the key to her fall over Zlateva.

She certainly has made news on the mats but it’s her entertaining style off the mats that garners almost as much attention. In an interview with the Siberian Times, Natalia makes no secret of her feelings that a girl can do anything that a boy can.

She’s tired of people saying that wrestling is not for girls. They say it too often. Her parents were against the idea as well but later seem to be coming around.

Her feeling is that in the 21st century, since women can run an enterprise; engage in business, drive and all that goes with that, then why not wrestling?

Her ambition is not limited to wrestling as she is a student at the prestigious St Petersburg University of Aerospace Instrumentation, where she is training to be an economist.

Oh, and she hopes to have children one day too.

Natalia Vorobieva was born in Tulun, 390 kilometers northwest of Irkutsk. She moved to St Petersburg at the age of 16 to progress with her sport.

Have you ever been to St. Petersburg? Now Scout’s Honor. Have you ever heard of St. Petersburg, Russia?

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

It has been the city of focus in many films including Martha Fiennes masterpiece Onegin in which her famous brother, Ralph Fiennes excelled in the starring role as Eugene Onegin, a jaded but dashing aristocrat – a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and finally, deep regret.

The well-read travel site, tripadvisor.com guides, “The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.”

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

The resourceful Wikipedia shares, “In 1914 the name of the city was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991, back to Saint Petersburg.

Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over one million.”

That is an amazing fact. It is the northernmost city in the world which means it can get very cold.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

Natalia made her views about women’s rights passionately hot and very clear. How are things along those lines in modern Russia?

According to waytorussia.net women make 46.9% of the employed population in Russia.

The greatest proportion of working women are in public health service (85%), education (81%), credit and finance (78%), information and accounting services (75%), while the lowest share is in the construction industry (22%).

As in Soviet times, the majority of working women are trapped in low-wage areas, such as medicine, education, and clerical jobs. The difference is that Soviet-era perks, such as accessible day care and child allowances, still exist but are only nominal – that is, not substantial at all.

FCI found it interesting that when you look at many Russian sites, clearly many Russian women are not in step or agreement with Natalia.

In an article entitled, “Why do most Russian women hate feminism?” by Diana Bruk it stated regarding a 2004 Kinsey study, “What this means, in practice, is that Russians by and large adhere to relatively strict gender roles: women are expected to dress well and take care of themselves, want many babies, act as the center of the household, and be very ladylike while men are expected to carry all the financial responsibility, protect the honor of their women, carry heavy loads and drive the car.

What does often surprise foreigners, however, is that women in Russia tend to uphold these gender roles as vociferously, if not more so, than their male counterparts.”

Here is one of many comments that stood out.

“This is spot on, but really why would I act like a man if I’m a woman. Also I find the fact that I have a choice and am able to stay home and take care of my family absolutely amazing. What is interesting is that people who disliked the article and this point of view are American women.”

Hmm. I wonder how Natalia would feel about that.

Meeting a dynamic wrestler like Natalia is one of the reasons why fully competitive women’s wrestling is such a captivating and educational sport. The personality profiles that inhabit our great industry can inspire thinking, energize action and bring a smile to our faces.

Natalia is young and getting better. The world will continue to hear from her in the press and at the next summer Olympics.

Probably in articles on Women’s Rights too.

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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling.com, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, https://femcompetitor.com, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119079/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

http://siberiantimes.com/sport/profile/news/yes-smiling-natalia-vorobieva-wins-wrestling-gold-in-london/

http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/2012/athletes/58006f11-8347-4614-9779-b02efdb0b3f9

http://www.intermatwrestle.com/articles/13214

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g298507-St_Petersburg_Northwestern_District-Vacations.html

http://www.waytorussia.net/WhatIsRussia/Women/Facts.html

http://rbth.com/opinion/2014/03/08/whats_so_great_about_being_treated_like_a_man_34907.html