Svetlana Khorkina (born January 19, 1979 in Belgorod, Russia) is a popular Russian gymnast and seven-time Olympic medalist, who is now a deputy at the Russian State Duma. Khorkina has enjoyed almost as much attention for her activities outside the gym. She posed nude/topless for the Russian version of Playboy in November 1997 and posed for the Russian version of Maxim right before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She has aspirations to become an actress, and has taken to the stage as Brenda Venus, Henry Miller's last love, in a Sergei Vinogradov production. She claimed that she did not have the patience to coach. She turned to motherhood: she gave birth to her first child, a son named Svyatoslav, on July 21, 2005 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, thus giving her child American citizenship. The father of the child is still unknown, and because of that it is still create speculationts in the Russian tabloids. Khorkina gave her own surname Khorkin to her son. Although she likes to be in the spotlight, she keeps her private life out of public view.
Did You Know?
With an unprecedented nine gold, eight silver, and three bronze World Championships medals, she is one of the most successful female gymnasts of her era and has been cited as a fan favorite in various polls in gymnastics magazines. Khorkina won more medals in major All-Around Championships than any other gymnast — male or female - 10 (7 Gold, 3 Silver).
Other interesting facts:
At 1.65 m (5'5"), Khorkina was unusually tall for her sport. Known for her long, elegant lines, she was discouraged from gymnastics because of her height, but with the help of her lifelong coach Boris Pilkin, she created new moves to accommodate her height and exploit her strengths. She has an unprecedented 8 moves named after her in the Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points.