That Russia is a huge country bringing out tons of sport talents is a matter of fact. But you don’t really expect a top athlete to come from Kemorovo, a city with 520,000 inhabitants in the West of Siberi; a city close to the Kazakhstan and Mongolian border which is more famous for its heavy industry.
But nevertheless, there are a few sportsmen and women of worldwide renown with roots to the city at the river Tom.
Besides Andreas Beck, a German national football player or heptathlete Marina Gontscharowa the biggest star is track and field Olympian medalist and World Champion Jelena Prochorowa. And of course Ekaterina Tudegesheva.
When the 1987-born race boarder replaced the skiing with the snowboard gear aged eleven, no one would have thought, that one of the strongest riders in the Parallel World Cup circuit would emerge. Especially as her first memories are not the best: “I remember my first days on a snowboard. I tried to go uphill on a bar lift but fell so many times before I finally started trying my first turns.”
However, the ambitious girl was into it right away always trying to perfect her technique and do good in competitions. But it took her some time to make her way into the world’s best.
After her World Cup debut in 2003 in Berchtesgaden, Germany, she claimed her first ever podium almost four years later in S. Vigilio di Marebbe, Italy, placing second in the parallel giant slalom.
Ever since, the club music fan added 20e top-3 finishes to her list, including eleven victories until the end of the 2013 season.
However, the two-time Olympian (5th in 2006, 10th in 2010) is also strong at major events having earned three World Championship medals including two Golds so far while also having claimed the first ever Snowboard World Cup title for her home country (2011)!
And it’s pretty likely that there is more to come according to her hunger for podium: “I’m very happy that I managed to win almost all possible categories of competitions. But I’m still missing an Olympic medal.”
Who knows what the rider with the nerves of steel is capable of in 2014 when Sochi will host the Winter Olympics, on home turf.