Culture of Russia

lso won the European Basketball Championship. Russian basketball club PBC CSKA Moscow is one of the top teams in Europe, winning the Euroleague in 2006 and 2008.

Larisa Latynina, who currently holds a record for most Olympic medals won per person and most gold Olympic medals won by a woman, established the USSR as the dominant force in gymnastics for many years to come. Today, Russia is leading in rhythmic gymnastics with Alina Kabayeva, Irina Tschaschina and Yevgeniya Kanayeva. Russian synchronized swimming is the best in the world, with almost all gold medals at Olympics and World Championships having been swept by Russians in recent decades. Figure skating is another popular sport in Russia, especially pair skating and ice dancing. At every Winter Olympics from 1964 until 2006 a Soviet or Russian pair has won gold. Since the end of the Soviet era, tennis has grown in popularity and Russia has produced a number of famous players, including Maria Sharapova, the world's highest paid female athlete. In martial arts, Russia produced the sport Sambo and many renown fighters, like Fedor Emelianenko. Chess is a widely popular pastime in Russia; from 1927, Russian grandmasters have held the world chess championship almost continuously.

Formula One is also becoming increasingly popular in Russia. Renault's Vitaly Petrov is the only Russian Formula One driver to date. There have only ever been two Russian Grands Prix (in 1913 and 1914), but it is set to return for 2014, in a six year deal