Elena Dementieva is a retired Russian tennis player, born in Moscow.
Elena won the singles gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, having previously won the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. She won 16 WTA singles titles, reached the finals of the 2004 French Open and 2004 US Open and reached seven other Grand Slam semi-finals. Dementieva was also part of the Russian team that won the 2005 Fed Cup.
Dementieva achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 3, which was accomplished on 6 April 2009. She announced her retirement on 29 October 2010, after her final match at the 2010 WTA Tour Championships. Dementieva ended her career ranked World No. 9 and between 2003 and 2010 she only ended one year, in 2007, outside the top 10.
Time passes so quickly.
This writer remembers her rise so well and her growing confidence.
She was one of the most beautiful players to ever grace the tour.
There is another beautiful Russian athlete from Moscow who is gracing the rhythmic gymnastics world and given her growing accomplishments, her confidence appears to be surging as well.
Yana Kudryavtseva is the three-time World Champion in the All-around (2013, 2014 & 2015), the 2015 European Games All-around champion, two-time (2014, 2016) European Championships All-around champion, the 2012 European Junior ball champion. In national level, she is the (2015, 2014) Russian National All-around champion and three time Russian Junior National all-around champion.
She holds the record as the youngest rhythmic gymnast to win the World Championships in the All-around at 15 years of age.
She broke another record at the 2014 World Championships becoming the youngest to win back-to-back All-around World titles at 16, where she scored a new World Record score with a total of 75.266 points.
Yana was one of the finalist for the 2015 SportAccord Awards in category of the Sportswoman of the Year 2014. In June 19, 2015, Kudryavtseva broke her own record at the inaugural 2015 European Games winning the all-around with a score of 76.100 points.
At the 2015 World Championships, Ms. Kudryavtseva broke for the fourth time her own record; becoming the youngest to win three World All-around titles at 17 years of age, she won with a total of 75.632 surpassing her previous score at Worlds.
In April 2, 2016, once again she broke her own World record score for the 3rd time at the 2016 World Cup Pesaro, where she scored in the all-around an overall of 76.450 points.
Can you see why she is so confident?
How many world class athletes that you know who keep setting records and then continually do what others cannot, which is to keep breaking their own records.
Her father, Aleksey Kudryavtsev, who was an elite swimmer and won an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, introduced her to gymnastics when she was only four to improve her posture, flexibility, and body shape.
Her mother, Viktoriia Kharitonova, inspired her by describing her as an “Angel with iron wings”, resembling a ballerina in the jewelry box when performing yet has an unbreakable constitution and strong will.
It’s not just her parents who fueled her confidence.
When CNN writes, “Nicknamed the “Crystal Statuette” and famous for her ball-spinning tricks as well as her spectacular ribbon routines, Kudryavtseva is continuing Russia’s dominance of the sport over the past decade,” that has to swell her confidence as well.
That report was a few years ago.
She is an ambassador for Longines. They have confidence in her precision. “Yana Kudryavtseva, a young gymnast who perfectly embodies harmony, elegance and precision, became part of the Longines family in 2014.”
Time has moved forward and so has Yana, continuing to capture one victory after another while never losing.
On May 30, 2016, the respected industry site fig-gymnastics.com updates us. “Three-time World All-around champion Yana Kudryavtseva of Russia, the heavy favorite for Olympic gold in Rio this summer, won the individual All-around title and two of four apparatus finals at this weekend’s World Cup in Sofia (BUL).
It was in Sofia in 2013 that Kudryavtseva, then a 15-year-old unknown, captured her first-ever World Cup victory. She hasn’t lost an edition since, and marked her fourth consecutive victory at the event Saturday night.”
Always impressive. So is female sports in Russia. One of the reasons is the majestic sports complex named the Megasport Arena.
The arena has a maximum capacity of 13,926 people.
So often when Femcompetitor Magazine travels electronically with you as a companion, we feel it’s important to at least understand a part of the world the female athlete is from and what influenced her.
We’ve learned much by doing so.
Typically we focus on restaurants, hotels, recreation or travel. Here we’re going to do something a little different. Given the rise in Russian sports, viewing one of her greatest arenas lends some perspective as to Russia’s commitment to athletes like Yana.
Megasport Arena in Moscow was one of the arenas to host the 2007 Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships. It also was the home of the Sultan Ibragimov vs. Evander Holyfield World Heavyweight Title Fight on October 13, 2007.
On 23 January 2008, CSKA Moscow hosted a Euroleague Regular season game against TAU Cerámica in the arena, in front of a near sellout 13,000 attendance crowd. In November 2008, the Cup of Russia figure skating competition was held there.
On March 24, 2011, the International Skating Union (ISU) relocated the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships to the Megasport Arena in Moscow. This decision followed the cancellation of the championships in Tokyo, Japan due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
The world is impressed.
We can’t leave Yana’s hometown without introducing you to a majestic hotel to stay at when you visit the area.
The Petroff Palace is a gem of Russian architecture, located in the modern downtown of Moscow.
Built in the 18th century, the Palace has changed its function several times during its long history. It was once used as military headquarters, a museum, and an educational institution. Today, after a global reconstruction, the Palace has restored its original function and welcomes both business and leisure travelers as a new Hotel & Business Center in the heart of Moscow.
Isn’t it breathtaking? Listen to two reviews at Trip Advisor.
“What an incredible experience! It was a Palace! Magnificent…I was royalty for 9 days. The concierge team was Amazing! Prior to my arrival Vladislav emailed back and forth with me helping me to plan my trip. Upon arrival he was very instrumental in making my trip extra special.”
“I felt transformed back in time and like royalty. The rooms were nice, with good furniture and tastefully decorated. It felt like a special place and the history is incomparable. The staff was very helpful and friendly.”
Yana is from a very special part of the world and she is not remotely finished setting records, only to smash them to pieces later.
“When I’m out on the football field, I have so much confidence in what I’m doing.”… Tom Brady
Her confidence is rocketing.
In her interview with fig-gymnastics.com she speaks to her future goals which we can look forward to. “Every athlete dreams of participating in Olympics and winning an Olympic medal. I have very strong motivation to go to the Olympics. Getting to the Olympics is going to take a lot of hard work. I have to listen to my coaches and be smart in my training to make sure that I don’t get injured.”
Don’t you love her confidence? We sure do, just as we love female sports in Russia.
The future looks bright and the best is yet to come. World records, watch out.
~ ~ ~
Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.
Yana’s great photos are from www.vfrg.ru/ Oleg Naumov