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The Most Famous

ATHLETES from Kazakhstan

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This page contains a list of the greatest Kazakhstani Athletes. The pantheon dataset contains 3,059 Athletes, 20 of which were born in Kazakhstan. This makes Kazakhstan the birth place of the 44th most number of Athletes behind Slovakia and Brazil.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Kazakhstani Athletes of all time. This list of famous Kazakhstani Athletes is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Kazakhstani Athletes.

Photo of Veniamin Soldatenko

1. Veniamin Soldatenko (1939 - )

With an HPI of 45.12, Veniamin Soldatenko is the most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages on wikipedia.

Veniamin Vasilievich Soldatenko (Russian: Вениамин Васильевич Солдатенко, born 4 January 1939) is a retired Soviet athlete who competed mainly in the 50 km walk. He acquired Kazakhstani citizenship after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Soldatenko took up athletics in 1962 and became a member of the USSR National Team in 1967. He competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics and won the silver medal. He also won a silver medal at the 1970 World Race Walking Cup, a gold medal at the 1976 World Championships and bronze, gold and silver medals at the European Championships in 1969, 1971 and 1978, respectively. Soldatenko was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor in 1972.Soldatenko was the first ever IAAF world champion and remains the oldest male world champion in athletics, having taken his 50 km walk title at 37 years and 258 days. In retirement he coached race walkers in his native Kazakhstan.

Photo of David Rigert

2. David Rigert (1947 - )

With an HPI of 43.23, David Rigert is the 2nd most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

David Adamovich Rigert (Russian: Давид Ада́мович Ри́герт; born 12 March 1947) is a retired Soviet weightlifter and weightlifting coach of Austrian ancestry. During his career he set 65 ratified world records and won an Olympic gold medal in 1976 and six world titles. In 1999 he was inducted to the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

Photo of Olga Shishigina

3. Olga Shishigina (1968 - )

With an HPI of 38.14, Olga Shishigina is the 3rd most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Olga Vasilyevna Shishigina (Russian: Ольга Васильевна Шишигина; born 23 December 1968 in Almaty) is a retired Kazakhstani track and field athlete who mainly competed in the 100 metres hurdles. Honoured Master of Sports and the pride of Kazakhstan, which has won many medals in various competitions. She won an Olympic gold medal in 2000, and many medals on the regional and continental level. She is the only gold medalist in both the Championship and the Olympic Games in Athletics. Olga's first victory was at the Asian Games, which was held in Hiroshima in 1994. Shishigina was banned between 1996 and 1998 for failing a drug test. She holds the rank of Major in the Border Guard Service of Kazakhstan.

Photo of Vladimir Muravyov

4. Vladimir Muravyov (1959 - )

With an HPI of 37.90, Vladimir Muravyov is the 4th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Vladimir Pavlovich Muravyov (Russian: Владимир Павлович Муравьёв) (born 30 September 1959 in Karaganda, Kazakh SSR) is a former Soviet track and field athlete who competed in the sprints. He was the winner of two gold medals in 4×100 m relay at the Olympic Games. He was also three times Soviet champion outdoors, and two times indoor champion. At the 1980 Summer Olympics, Vladimir Muravyov was sixth in the 100 metres final, but went out in the heats of the 200 metres, but he ran the opening leg in the Soviet 4×100 m relay team, which won the gold medal. At the 1982 European Championships, Muravyov was seventh in 200 m. At the first World Championships he reached the semifinal in 200 m and was a member of Soviet 4×100 m relay team, which won the bronze. Muravyov missed the 1984 Summer Olympics due to the boycott. In 1985 he was second behind Poland's Marian Woronin in the European Cup, but went on to win the relay, but was sixth at the 1985 IAAF World Cup in 200 m and third in 4×100 m relay. He won the gold medal at the 1986 European Championships as a member of Soviet 4×100 m relay team. At the 1987 World Championships, Muravyov was eliminated in the quarterfinal of 100 m, but was second with the Soviet 4×100 m relay team. At the 1988 Summer Olympics, Muravyov was again in the Soviet 4×100 m relay team, which, in the absence of United States, which was disqualified in the heats, won the gold medal.

Photo of Olga Rypakova

5. Olga Rypakova (1984 - )

With an HPI of 37.25, Olga Rypakova is the 5th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Olga Rypakova (Russian: Ольга Сергеевна Рыпакова; née Alekseyeva; 30 November 1984) is a Kazakhstani track and field athlete. Originally a heptathlete, she switched to focus on the long jump and began to compete in the triple jump after 2007. Her first successes came in the combined events at Asian competitions – she won the women's pentathlon at the 2005 Asian Indoor Games and took the heptathlon gold at the 2006 Asian Games the following year. She competed in both jumping events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished fourth in the triple jump with an Asian record of 15.11 metres. Rypakova has represented Kazakhstan at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships in Athletics. She reached the world podium for the first time at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, where she took gold with an Asian indoor record jump of 15.14 m. She won the gold medal in triple jump at the 2012 London Olympics.In February 2023, Rypakova announced the end of her professional sports career.

Photo of Yermakhan Ibraimov

6. Yermakhan Ibraimov (1972 - )

With an HPI of 34.93, Yermakhan Ibraimov is the 6th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Yermakhan Ibraimov (born 1 January 1972 in Jambyl Region) is a Kazakh boxer who competed in the Light Middleweight (71 kg) at the 2000 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. Four years earlier, at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he captured the bronze medal. He also won the bronze medal at the 1999 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Houston, Texas, and a silver one at the previous edition in Budapest. His first coach is Bakshar Karsybaev.

Photo of Ilya Ilyin

7. Ilya Ilyin (1988 - )

With an HPI of 34.14, Ilya Ilyin is the 7th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Ilya Aleksandrovich Ilyin (Russian: Илья Александрович Ильин; born 24 May 1988) is a retired Kazakhstani weightlifter who won four world championships. On 12 December, 2015 at the President's Cup in Grozny, Russia, Ilyin set two world records in the −105 kg class. He lifted 246 kg in the clean and jerk and 437 kg in the total. Ilyin was named IWF World Weightlifter of the Year four times: in 2005, 2006, 2014, and 2015. Originally a two-time Olympic gold medalist in 2008 and 2012, Ilyin was officially stripped of his gold medals on 25 November, 2016, by the IWF due to doping violations after retests of his samples given at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Photo of Eduard Hämäläinen

8. Eduard Hämäläinen (1969 - )

With an HPI of 34.12, Eduard Hämäläinen is the 8th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Eduard Hämäläinen (born 21 January 1969 in Karaganda, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union) is a retired decathlete from Finland and Belarus. He originally competed for the Soviet Union and then Belarus after the Soviet dissolution, but changed nationality. His great-grandfather had moved from Finland to Russia before 1917 and was later deported to Kazakhstan. He was a frequent competitor in the European Athletics Championships, including the men's decathlon event in 1998. During his career he won three silver medals at World Championships.

Photo of Grigoriy Yegorov

9. Grigoriy Yegorov (1967 - )

With an HPI of 33.00, Grigoriy Yegorov is the 9th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Grigoriy Aleksandrovich Yegorov (Russian: Григорий Александрович Егоров, born January 12, 1967, in Shymkent) is a pole vault athlete from the former USSR. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he became citizen of Kazakhstan. In 1996 he moved to the Alicante province in Spain. He got the Spanish nationality in 2012. He is currently representing Spain in World Master Championships.

Photo of Bakhtiyar Artayev

10. Bakhtiyar Artayev (1983 - )

With an HPI of 32.92, Bakhtiyar Artayev is the 10th most famous Kazakhstani Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Bakhtiyar Garifollauly Artayev (Kazakh: Бақтияр Ғарифоллаұлы Артаев, Baqtiiar Ğarifollaūly Artaev; born 14 March 1983) is a Kazakh amateur boxer who won the gold medal for Kazakhstan at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He was also the winner of the Val Barker Trophy for the outstanding boxer of the 2004 Olympics. In recognition of his success, one of the Taraz sport centres was named after him. In 2012 he was appointed as a president of the Astana Presidential Sports Club.

Pantheon has 20 people classified as athletes born between 1939 and 1996. Of these 20, 20 (100.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living athletes include Veniamin Soldatenko, David Rigert, and Olga Shishigina. As of April 2022, 6 new athletes have been added to Pantheon including David Rigert, Yermakhan Ibraimov, and Vitaliy Savin.

Living Athletes

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Newly Added Athletes (2022)

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