10 most successful Russian Olympians
15 days before the start of the Games in Sochi, the Russian Olympic Committee approved the composition of the national team: 223 athletes received vouchers. After the failure at the Games in Vancouver, the athletes worth ambitious goal - to fight for getting into the top three in the unofficial team event at the home Olympics.
Forbes chose 11 of the most successful and acclaimed Russian Olympians, from which fans should not expect gold medals.
Age: 28 years
The most titled athlete in the history of the world short track is quite unusual for the Russian name - Ahn Hyun-soo. Until December 2011 the short-trekist represented South Korea, but then received a Russian passport and was not only the Victor, but also Russia's only three-time champion of the Winter Olympics, continuing his career.
The decision to play for Russia Ahn Hyun-soo took after it failed to qualify for the national team of South Korea at the Olympics in Vancouver. This was the result of serious injury and undergoing surgery, after which the competition in the former world record holder in the home of the 1000, 1500 and 3000 meters could not resist. The athlete, who is a five-time absolute world champion, two-time World Cup winner, has already twice won the Russian championship and qualify for the home Olympics in Sochi.
Age: 35 years
The main expectations in biathlon coaches confer on the women's relay, which will act as Olga Zaitseva. The leader of the Russian biathletes twice became Olympic champion in relay - Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. Also on her account has silver, won the mass start at the failure of the Canadian national team for the Olympics. Despite the failure of the Russian biathlon in recent years, Zaitsev can succeed in Sochi. It includes many years in the elite world of biathlon and still, effortlessly, straightened with all partners on the team - both on the shooting range and on the track.
Age: 31 year
Turin Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko has returned to the sport for the Games in Sochi, where he claims to gold medals. A year ago, a ten-fold champion of Russia suffered a severe spinal cord injury, a complex operation, during which he was in the back insert titanium plates. Therefore, from a single program in Sochi athlete refused in favor of team championship.
At the Olympics in Russia is only one place in figure skating, Plushenko will be here instead of performing 18-year-old Maxim Kovtun, who won with his legendary counterpart at the Russian Championship.
After the performance the team Plushenko could complete games, but at any result, they will be for the athlete special - he will go down in history as the only figure skater, speaking in four Olympics. Eugene has twice won silver - in Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010, and became the champion in Turin 2006. Plushenko - three-time world champion, seven-time European champion, the first skater in the world that has managed to win four times in the World Series finals Grand Prix.
Age: 28 years
Senior police lieutenant, skier Nikita Kryukov most successful acts in the sprint classic style. Since the Vancouver Olympics the Russians managed to overshadow the main star cross-country skiing - Norwegian Peter Northug, which experts predicted long-term hegemony. For the first time Kryukov Northug overtook it in Vancouver that has become almost a major sensation in skiing. For home Games current Olympic champion and two-time winner of the world championship Kryukov suitable main favorite.
Age: 39 years
By the Olympics in Sochi bobsledder Alexander Zubkov voluntarily left the post of Minister of Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy of the Irkutsk region. "I want Russia" - as he described his unexpected return to the sport.
Zubkov - a legend of the Russian bobsleigh. He managed to create a team that has managed to take the silver and bronze medals in the Olympics. In 2011, under the control of the crew Zubkov for the first time in the history of Russia managed to win the gold in the world championship. On account bobsledder - seven wins at the World Cup. At the last world championships Russian quartet won silver, losing to the Germans, but ahead of the current Olympic champions from the United States.
Age: 30 years
At the last Games in Vancouver native Khabarovsk Ivan Skobrev won silver and bronze - so for the first time since 1986, domestic skater climbed onto the Olympic podium. A discipline in which the team of the USSR traditionally took away most of the medals have already begun to call "not ours." But then came Skobrev, and the Russians on the ice began to be afraid again. At the closing ceremony of the 2010 Games an athlete carrying the flag of Russia.
Age: 42 year
For luger Albert Demchenko Sochi Olympics will be the seventh of his career. The fate of the Permian athlete was not easy. In the mid-90s due to problems with financing Luge he was forced to sell the meat on the market to feed their families. However, Demchenko then returned to the sport where he was destined to a new trial. Total 0 03 seconds separated the vice-champion of Torino 2006 on medals at the Olympics in Vancouver. In Sochi Demchenko will try to take revenge on the Germans Felix Loja and Armin Zöggeler who repeatedly beat last season. On the bobsleigh track "Sledge" in Krasnaya Polyana, a three-time European champion and in addition to the single World Cup winner is planning to make in the relay.
Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov
Age 27/30 years
At the Olympics in Vancouver, Russia for the first time in the history of sensationally left without a gold medal in figure skating. But on the eve of the Sochi-2014 at the European Championships in Budapest in the pairs figure skating the entire podium occupied by Russians. The main star of the national school skaters became a duo Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankova in the last four years, who confidently took off Olympus Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.
In addition to the third career victory at the European Championship Volosozhar and Trankov approached the home Olympics in the rank of the current world champions, bringing Russia last year the first 2005 gold championship in pair skating.
Age: 30 years
Main medal of the Olympic Games in Sochi will be played on ice. One of the main contenders for the gold - the Russian national hockey team. In its structure appear as four world-class superstar - Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk, who on the eve of the Olympic Games returned to Russia after 11 years in the NHL.
Kovalchuk, in contrast to its partners in the national team, he has twice won the World Championship gold. In 2008, the Quebec team won Canada thanks to his puck in the final overtime. A year later in Bern, Switzerland, the Russian national team with his participation again defeated the Canadians in the final. Prior to this world championship hockey players have not won for 15 years. At the Olympics ice hockey team never won - the last gold medal in 1992 in Albertville, a few weeks after the collapse of the Soviet Union won the so-called Unified Team.
Age: 26 years
Ekaterina Tudegesheva rapidly broke into the previously alien to the Russian sports world snowboarding. In just a few pre-Olympic season the Russian has managed to become the owner of the Big and Small Crystal Globe, ahead of taking first place in the final overall standings of the World Cup. Tudegesheva added titles and a victory at the World Championships in Stounheme in 2013.