Among the list of sports commonly played in Russia are basketball, ice hockey, football, rugby league, handball, weightlifting, gymnastics, figure skating, biathlon, boxing, wrestling, martial arts, volleyball, rugby union, and skiing. See also the list of the most popular Internet searches for "sports" in Russia.
Russia's traditional popular sport is Bandy (informally called "Russian hockey"). It is considered by the country as a national sport, and is one of the biggest spectator sports. Although the modern rules of the game were written in England, Russians still claim to be the inventors of this sport.
Russian athletes have been very successful on the world stage. Up until the break up of the USSR in 1991, the Soviets were one of the world's sporting superpowers, though Russian athletes are still a force to be reckoned with.
Lev Ivanovich Yashin, nicknamed "The Black Spider", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game. He was also vice president of the Football Federation of the Soviet Union. Andrey Sergeyevich Arshavin is a Russian professional footballer who plays for FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. He is an ex-captain of the Russian national team. Arshavin began his career at Zenit in the year 2000. He won numerous trophies with the club until his departure in 2009 including the Russian Premier League, Russian Premier League Cup, Russian Super Cup, UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.
Notable international sporting events recently held in Russia include the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Russia.
Popular sports of Russia (see more)
- Football (Soccer), Figure Skating, Basketball, Ice hockey, Tennis, handball, weightlifting, gymnastics, figure skating, biathlon, boxing, wrestling, volleyball, skiing, rugby union
Traditional or Regional Sports
- Bandy — a team sport played on ice using sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team's goal, a precursor to ice hockey.
- Lapta — a Russian traditional bat and ball game. The aim of the game is to hit a ball, served by a player of the opposite team, with a bat as far as possible, then run across the field, and if possible back again.
- Moscow Broomball — a variation of Broomball, an ice hockey type sport, played in Moscow and only by non-Russians.
- Mas Wrestling — a sport from the Yakutia region where participants sit and face each other with their feet braced against a board and each with both hands on a stick. The aim is to pull the other player over to your side.
- Gorodki — a folk sport from Russia, where competitors strike down a group of cylindrical wooden objects by throwing a bat.
- Russian Pyramid — a cue sport played in countries of the former Soviet Union (also known simply as Pyramid(s), Russian billiards or Russian pool)
- Sambo — a martial art developed for Russia's military and police force in the 1930s.
- Bunnock — a kind of skittles game that is played with bones (commonly known as "Game of Bones").
- Kila — a traditional Russian game with similarities to rugby, using a pumpkin-shaped ball.
Russian Sporting Success
- Russia / USSR have featured at the top of the medal tally for many of the Olympic Games since 1956.
Great athletes from Russia
- Maria Sharapova (tennis)
- Anna Kournikova (tennis)
- Alexander Popov (Swimmer)
- Evgeny Plushenko (Figure Skating)
- Pavel Bure (Ice Hockey)
- Lev Ivanovich Yashin (football)
Russia Sports trivia
- Russian athletes first competed at the Olympic Games in 1900.
- At the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Russia's Oleg Solenko scored five goals against Cameroon, which was the record for the most goals by a single player in a World Cup match.
Russia at major events
- Russia at the Summer Olympics
- Russia at the Winter Olympics
- Russia at the Paralympics
- Russia at the FIFA World Cup
- Russia women's football team at the FIFA Women's World Cup
- Russia at the Rugby World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in Russia
- 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow
- 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan
- 2013 World Combat Games in Saint Petersburg
- 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi
- 2015 IWAS World Games in Sochi
- 2017 World Swimming Championships in Kazan
- 2018 FIFA World Cup
- 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk
- 2021 Games of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Kazan
Upcoming sporting events in Russia
- 2025 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan
Annual sporting events held in Russia
- Grand Prix of Moscow - a one-day cycling event in Moscow
- Kremlin Cup - an indoor hard-court tennis tournament
- Moscow Marathon
Sporting Facilities in Russia
- Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow, capacity 78,360)
- Sochi Olympic Stadium (Sochi)
- Olimpiyskiy (in Moscow, built for the 1980 Games)
- See more Russian Stadia
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