Alina KABAEVA Biografie
Debuting internationally at age 13, Alina Kabayeva won her first world title (rope) in 1998. She upgraded to four golds and two silvers the following year in Osaka, including the overall and team titles. Her dominant performances made her the top favourite for the Olympic title at Sydney, but she "only" placed third after dropping her hoop in one of the exercises. Now aiming for the gold in Athens, she won a cart-load of medals at the European Championships in 2001 and 2002, and again brought home four world titles in 2003. She had also won world titles in 2001, but lost her medals when she was convicted of doping use at the 2001 Goodwill Games. She was not banned from competition as counterfeit medicine had been the cause of the conviction. Kabayeva fulfilled her goal and dominantly won the Olympic gold in Athens, retiring shortly afterwards.
Kabayeva then turned her attention to politics, serving two years in the Public Chamber before being elected into the Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament. Representing Vladimir Putin's Yedinaya Rossiya party, she was romantically linked to the Russian president, but both parties denied these claims. She also returned to gymnastics, winning the 2007 world title with the Russian team. Kabayeva was chosen as one of the torch bearers to bring in the Olympic Torch at the 2014 Sochi Opening Ceremony.