Kanaeva Evgeniya Olegovna

Evgeniya Olegovna Kanaeva  (born April 2, 1990, Omsk, USSR) is an outstanding Russian gymnast. Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics 2008. The first in the history of rhythmic gymnastics, three times world champion in all-around, multiple world and European champion in certain types of all-around. Honored Master of Sports of Russia (2008).


Evgenia Kanaeva was born on April 2, 1990 in Omsk. Her mother, Svetlana Kanaeva, is a master of sports in rhythmic gymnastics. Nevertheless, at the age of six, Evgenia was brought into sports by her grandmother, who loved rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating. Despite her young age, Zhenya showed great potential. Her first trainer Elena Arais (daughter of the current personal trainer Evgenia Kanaeva Vera Shtelbaums) was amazed at her desire to learn new complex elements. Shtelbaums, who worked at the same sports school, also recalls the times when Zhenya remained in the gym after all the children had gone home, trained for long hours, and grandmother was waiting for her granddaughter in the cold dark corridor. At the age of 12, Evgenia Kanaeva was invited to a training camp in Moscow as part of a group of young gymnasts from Omsk. Her performance attracted the attention of Amina Zaripova, the trainer responsible for the preparation of juniors. Evgenia was invited to train at the Olympic Reserve School. The young athlete improved her results, among other things, thanks to the help of Vera Shtelbaums, who was present in Moscow, at that time the former personal trainer of another Omsk gymnast, a member of the Russian national team, Irina Chashchina. In 2003, Evgenia competed for Gazprom at the World Junior Club Championship (Aeon Cup), which was held in Japan. Evgenia Kanaeva represented Russia along with Irina Chashchina and Alina Kabaeva. She won the junior competition. Around the same time, she was noticed by the head coach of the Russian national rhythmic gymnastics team, Irina Aleksandrovna Viner. Evgenia was invited to train at the Novogorsk training center – at the base of the members of the Russian national team. According to Irina Viner, this was a turning point in the life of an athlete, since it is better to see once than hear a hundred times. “Alina Kabaeva once also began her career in gymnastics, training among the stars. My wife was lucky that Vera Shtelbaums worked in Novogorsk and that we made this decision. She showed herself to be a very smart and very talented girl who loves rhythmic gymnastics very much, ”says Irina Viner.


Kanaeva’s ascent to the pedestal among adults was not easy due to the fact that Russia has a large number of talented gymnasts. Since the end of the 2004 Olympics, where Kabaeva and Chashchina won gold and silver, respectively, Vera Sesina and Olga Kapranova began their ascent and became the leaders of rhythmic gymnastics in Russia. Since Kabaeva continued to perform, there was simply no room for Kanaeva in the national team. But she continued to work hard and luck smiled at her in 2007. In the summer of 2007, the composition of the Russian national team for the European Championship in Baku was already known – Kabaeva, Sesina, Kapranova. But, having received a serious injury, Alina Kabaeva left the squad. To replace Kabaeva, Viner chose Kanaeva and entrusted her to complete one item – a ribbon. Despite the fleetingness of its appearance on the carpet, Kanaeva did not disappoint her coaches and fans. Evgeniya won gold in the ribbon final and in the team competition. A few months later, she won gold at the World Championships in Patras, Greece, in a team competition.

Olympic season  2008 

All four programs at the 2008 Olympics (hoop, clubs, skipping rope and ribbon) were compiled with a high complexity in mind, musically thought out and revealed her personality. One of the programs – the tape – was composed for the original version of “Moscow Nights” performed on the piano. Kanaeva started the 2008 season in the shadow of Sesina, Kapranova and the current world title holder Anna Bessonova. Nevertheless, by the middle of spring she managed to overcome all obstacles and win the absolute championship at all stages of the Grand Prix and World Cups and win the title of the absolute Champion of Russia. At the European Championships in Turin, Italy, she was no longer included in the reserve, but was a full-fledged member of the Russian national team. She bypassed Bessonova and Kapranova, receiving high marks, and won the title of European Champion. By that time, Viner already considered Kanaeva the main contender for participation in the Olympic Games, followed by Kapranova and Sesina. Later, Viner decided that Kanaeva and Kapranova would represent Russia at the Beijing Olympics.

Kanaeva was the youngest among all the finalists in the rhythmic gymnastics competition at the Olympics. At the same time, she was the most collected and made the fewest mistakes. She said: “The Olympics are not like any other competition. It requires complete concentration on yourself, the carpet and the subject. You can’t be distracted by anything else. I convinced myself that everything would be all right and that I had nothing to worry about. ” Following this attitude, Kanaeva won the Olympics with an excellent result of 75.50 points, ahead of the nearest pursuer Inna Zhukova from Belarus by 3.50 points. According to Viner, what Kanaeva has achieved by winning by a huge margin will not be easy for any gymnast to repeat in the near future.


At the Summer Olympics in London, she became a two-time Olympic champion.

Record holder

With the introduction of new rules in 2009, Evgenia Kanaeva’s style has changed significantly. At the beginning of the season, the athlete suffered from injuries and fatigue. Nevertheless, she continued to win all competitions in the absolute superiority, and only in some finals in certain types of the program she was inferior to Vera Sesina or Anna Bessonova. In May, at the European Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, Kanaeva won gold in all four types of the program. In July, she won all gold medals (9 in total) at the Universiade in Belgrade and the World Games in Taiwan. Five gold medals, won by her at the World Games, allowed Russia to become the leader of the overall standings. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev thanked Evgenia Kanaeva for her contribution to achieving victory. Kanaeva was awarded the title of “Heroine of the Games” on the official website of the 2009 Universiade in Belgrade. In September, Evgenia Kanaeva had the opportunity to become the world champion. Kanaeva qualified in the first results in all types of the program, having won four gold medals. She brought another medal to the collection of the Russian national team as part of the team, together with Olga Kapranova, Daria Kondakova and Daria Dmitrieva. As a result, by the beginning of the competition for the title of absolute champion, Kanaeva already had five gold medals at one world championship, thereby repeating the record set in 1992 by Russian Oksana Kostina. And although no one thought that this World Championship in the Japanese city of Mye would break records, Kanaeva’s advantage was obvious. After three types of the program, she took the leading position, ahead of her teammate Daria Kondakova by 0.850 points. After Kondakova masterly completed her last kind of rope, having received the highest mark of 28,400 points, the atmosphere in the hall was heated to the limit. After the five other finalists played, Kanaeva went out onto the carpet with the ball in her hands. Her performance was final and triumphant. With a difference of 0.600 points, Kanaeva won her sixth medal and thereby set a new record for the number of gold medals won by an athlete at one particular Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship. After the performance, Kanaeva gave vent to tears in the arms of the coaching staff. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev noted the result of Kanaeva in a congratulatory telegram. At the 2011 World Championships, held in Montpellier, France, Evgenia Kanaeva managed to repeat her amazing achievement: she again was able to win all 6 of the 6 possible highest awards in personal disciplines.

On the carpet and beyond

Kanaeva’s success in rhythmic gymnastics not only brought her the recognition of fans around the world, but also continued the tradition of the Omsk school for the preparation of excellent athletes. Sports commentator and former gymnast Laysan Utyasheva once said that Kanaeva is Chashchina and Kabaeva combined. However, Kanaeva doesn’t like comparisons. Often in her interviews, when asked about plans for the future, she says that she lives for the present and victories only motivate her to achieve even better results. According to Arajs, Kanaeva lives by the principle of “pan-or-go”, which sets her apart from all other gymnasts. For Kanaeva, both victory and defeat serve as a lesson. “Having won, the most important thing is not to succumb to emotions and stay on your feet, continue to work and enjoy life. The life of an athlete is not only victories, a real athlete should also be able to lose, ”says Kanaeva. Despite the fact that Kanaeva always listens to her coaches, she also expresses her preferences when drawing up programs. Year after year, she enjoys learning new elements and trying new styles. For her, the main thing in gymnastics is not the points received for the performances, but the reaction of the audience in the hall. According to Shtelbaums, Kanaeva has all the makings to become a good rhythmic gymnastics coach. She is currently a student at the Siberian State University of Physical Culture and Sports. When asked what she intends to do at the end of her sports career, Kanaeva replies that she would like to learn how to draw and play the piano. In other interviews, she said that she wants to learn a foreign language, in particular English, and master a computer. Her mother Svetlana says that her daughter attaches great importance to education and all prize money is set aside for further education. At the end of 2009, Kanaeva received the title of “Honored Master of Sports of Russia”. The certificate was presented to her by Irina Chashchina.


XXX Summer Olympic Games. London, Great Britain.
The only two-time Olympic champion in individual all-around in history.

29th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, Mye, Japan 2009
At the 29th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Mye, Japan, Evgenia Kanaeva set a record by winning 6 gold medals out of 6 possible. Thus, she became the first gymnast in the history of rhythmic gymnastics to achieve such a result at one single Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship.

31st Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, Montpellier, France, 2011
Rebound the record of Maria Petrova and Maria Gigova, who won three championship titles in a row in 1993/1994/1995 and 1969/1971/1973 respectively.
She became the first champion in the history of rhythmic gymnastics, who single-handedly occupied the highest step of the podium for three years in a row. Petrova and Gigova shared the first place with other gymnasts.
For the second time, she won six out of six possible gold medals, thus repeating her own record.
For the first time in history, she became a gymnast who won gold in all forms (rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon).
She repeated the achievement of Maria Petrova in the hoop: both won three gold medals at the World Championship.
She repeated the success of Ekaterina Serebryanskaya and Lilia Ignatova in the ball: they all won three gold medals at the World Championships.
She became the only holder of 17 gold medals at the World Championships in the history of rhythmic gymnastics.

Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix, Brno, Czech Republic, 2011
On October 16, 2011, Evgeniya Kanaeva scored 30 points in the ribbon exercise in the finals of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix in Brno, Czech Republic. She became the first gymnast in the history of rhythmic gymnastics who managed to get the highest score with a 30-point judging system.

2011 Absolute world champion in the all-around, world champion in the team and in certain types of all-around (Montpellier, France): 6 gold medals out of 6 possible.
2011 Shenzhen (China). Universiade. Rhythmic gymnastics. All-around. First place.
2011 European Championships in Minsk (Belarus). Evgenia Kanaeva won three gold medals – in the team competition, in exercises with a ribbon and a hoop.
2010 World Championship in Moscow (Russia). Evgenia Kanaeva won four gold medals – in the all-around, in the team championship, in exercises with a ball and a hoop.
2010 European Championships in Bremen (Germany). 1st place in the all-around.
2009 Final of the Grand Prix Series in Berlin. 1st place in the all-around, and in all individual types of the program: 5 gold medals out of 5 possible.
2009 Five-time champion of the Universiade in Belgrade.
2009 Four-time champion of the World Games in Taiwan.
2009 Absolute world champion in the all-around, world champion in the team and in certain types of all-around (Japan): 6 gold medals out of 6 possible.
2009 European Champion in certain types of all-around (Azerbaijan).
2008 Olympic Games, Beijing (China): Individual all-around – 1st place.
2008 European Championships, Turin (Italy): individual all-around – 1st place.
2007 World Championship, Patras (Greece): team championship – 1st place.
2007 European Championship, Baku (Azerbaijan): ribbon – 1st place, team championship – 1st place.

Exercise Music Information

YearApparatusMusic Title
2003 RopeBlack Cat, White Cat by Goran Bregovic
BallNo Information
ClubsNo Information
RibbonI wanna be like you by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2004RopeBlack Cat, White Cat by Goran Bregovic
BallPC Game-Pharaoh OST, mix of jakb + jrj-Hb-sd
ClubsHey Pachuco (Mask OST) by Royal Crown Revue
Clubs (Aeon Cup)No information
RibbonBesame Mucho by Gadjo
2005RopeLaissez Moi Me Griser by Maurice el Medioni
HoopBig Drum, Small World by Dhol Foundation
ClubsAnimals by X-Mode
RibbonBesame Mucho by Gadjo
2006RopePlaying Marilyn Monroe by Oleg Kostrow
Ball (1 st  one)Earthsong by Karunesh
Ball (2 nd  one, CariPrato)Moonlight Rumba by Gustavo Montesano
ClubsNo Information
RibbonWalls of Akendora by Keiko Matsui
Gala-free handEarthsong by Karunesh
2007RopeKalinka by Ivan Petrovich Larionov
HoopLa Forza Del Destino by G. Verdi, composed by Pompon Finkelstein
Clubs (1 st  one)Act 1 Largo al factotum by Rossini
Clubs (2 nd  one, ex CariPrato)No Information
RibbonWalls of Akendora by Keiko Matsui
Gala (CariPrato with Ermakova)Song # 1 by Serebro
Gala-2 Ribbons (WCH Patras)Kadril Veselaya by Svetoch
2008RopeEl Conquistador by Maxime Rodriguez
HoopTristan & Iseult by Maxime Rodriguez
Clubs @ LA LightsNo Information (same music with CariPrato 2007)
ClubsJota Aragonesa by Glinka
RibbonMoscow Nights by Vasily Solovyov-Sedoy
Gala-2 ribbonsKadril Veselaya by Svetoch
Gala-AutumYou in My September by Igor Krotoy
2009Rope (1 st  One)Carmen Suite by Rodion Shchedrin
Rope (2 nd  One)Kadril Veselaya by Svetoch
HoopFantasia on Russian Folksongs by Anton Arensky
Ball (1 st  one)Oventure of Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian
Ball (2 nd  one)Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo
RibbonPadam Padam by Edith Piaf
Gala-AutumnYou in My September by Igor Krotoy
Gala (WCH Mie)Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx
2010Rope (1 st  One)Pigalle (Interlude) by Patricia Kaas
Rope (2 nd  One)Smuglyanka Moldovanka
HoopThe Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
BallMix of Loss and Decision by Zbigniew Preisner
RibbonNo Information
Gala @GP ThiaisLa monture from Notre Dame de Paris (Musical)
Gala @EC BremenOblivion by Astor Piazzolla
Gala @WCH MoscowWho Wants to Live Forever by Queen, Sarah Brightman version
2011HoopL’Ete Indien by Joe Dassin
Ball (1 st  One)OST Picture of Dorian Gray (Mix, 1 st  part-Picture of Dorian Gray by Charlie Mole, 2 nd  part-Catch the Falling Sky by Immediate Music)
Ball (2 nd  One)Elegy in E-Flat Minor by Sergi Rachmaninov
ClubsBolero by maurice ravel
RibbonFantasie Impromptu No 66 by Frédéric Chopin
Gala @EC MinskYou Lost Me by Christina Aguilera
2012Hoop (1 st  One)some part is from “Liebestraum” by Liszt
Hoop (2 nd  One)Cleopatra OST “Egypt Is Yours For Only One Day”, “To Speed ​​You On Your Way”, “In The Eyes Of The Gods We Are One” by Trevor Jones
Hoop (3 rd  One)The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
Ball (1 st  One)Sleuth OST by Patrick Doyle
Ball (2 nd  One)Les Demoiselles de Rochefort OST -Concerto (Ballet) by Michel Legrand
ClubsPoeta (remix) original by Vincente Amigo, remix by Maxime Rodriguez
RibbonFantasie Impromptu No 66 by Frédéric Chopin
Gala @EC Nizhny NovgorodLOVE by Joss Stone (original by Nat King Cole)

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