Olga Korbut is a former gymnast who represented the Soviet Union in two Olympic Games, winning four gold medals and two silver medals. Nicknamed the Sparrow from Minsk, Korbut also participated in the 18th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships where she won two gold medals and four silver medals. In 1988, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Nobel Prize-winning Belarusian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich is known for her signature documentary-style novels, which mingle fiction and reporting. Her five-part Voices of Utopia mirrored the lives of people in the Soviet Union. With her writing, she often criticizes the governments of Belarus and the Soviet Union.
Known as the Belarusian Swan, Svetlana Boginskaya started off as a figure skater before moving on to gymnastics at age 6. By 14, she was part of the Soviet national gymnastics team. The three-time Olympic champion is now settled in Texas and owns businesses that provide gymnastics camps and apparel.
The daughter of a basketball player mother and a hockey and tennis player father, Aliaksandra Sasnovich began playing tennis at age 9. She reached the 2019 US Open semi-finals and has had a career-best singles ranking of 30. She was banned from Wimbledon in 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has won several titles and medals, including 2 European Games silver medals and a Summer Universiade gold medal. During the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, she accused her team officials of forcing her to participate in an event and later took refuge in Poland to avoid action against her.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is a Belarusian educator and politician. Best known as the leader of the democratic movement in Belarus, Tsikhanouskaya ran in the presidential elections in 2020. Since August 2020, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has been living in exile in Poland. She has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for leading non-violent challenges against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Popular Russian figure skater Tatiana Navka has not just won the national and European championships thrice but is also a two-time world champion and an Olympic gold medalist. She is also a regular participant on various TV and ice shows and has her own show named the Navka Show.
Belarusian former tennis-player Natallia Zvierava, counted among the best doubles-players of all-time, won 18 Grand Slam doubles-titles, including six at French Open; five at Wimbledon, four at US Open and three at Australian Open. She attained World No.1 doubles ranking in October 1991. Zvierava also won two mixed-doubles title at Australian Open and bronze in doubles at the 1992 Olympics.
Melitina Staniouta is a Belarusian former individual rhythmic gymnast. She represented Belarus in World Championships and European Championships where she won many silver and bronze medals. Melitina Staniouta is perhaps best known for winning two gold medals at the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia.
Retired Belarusian rhythmic gymnast Katsiaryna Halkina has won numerous medals, including 4 silver medals at both the World and European Championships. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she had scored 6th in the individual all-around final. Post-retirement, she moved to Moscow, where she joined a master’s degree.
Maryna Linchuk is a Belarusian model who came into prominence after appearing in advertisements for popular brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Dior, and Escada. Renowned for her association with Vogue, Linchuk was named in Vogue Paris' top 30 models of the 2000s list. She has also walked the ramp for designers like Gucci, Prada, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton.
Ivonka Survilla is a Belarusian political figure and the current president of the Belarusian government in exile, the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic. In 2013, she was honored with the Canadian Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her efforts to restore democracy in Belarus. Survilla has also co-founded a charitable organization called Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus.
Alex Bentley is a basketball player who has played for popular WNBA teams like Atlanta Dream and Connecticut Sun. Although she was born in the USA, Alex Bentley represents the Belarus women's national basketball team at the international level. In 2013, she was honored with the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award.
Aliaksandra Herasimenia is a Belarusian retired swimmer best known for winning two silver medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. At the 2016 Olympics, she won a bronze medal in the 50 metre freestyle event. Aliaksandra Herasimenia has also won gold medals at World Championships and European Championships.
Belarusian tennis player Olga Govortsova has had a career-high ranking of 35 in singles and 24 in doubles. She has played for the Springfield Lasers and the Sacramento Capitals in the mixed-gender tennis league World TeamTennis. She has also competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Yulia Nestsiarenka is a Belarusian athlete who specialized in the 100 metres event. She is best known for winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She also won a bronze medal at the 2004 World Indoor Championships, 2005 World Championships, and 2006 European Championships. Currently, Nestsiarenka is one of the members of the Belarus Olympic Committee.
Vera Lapko is a Belarusian tennis player who has won several singles and doubles titles on the ITF Circuit so far. She also competes in Grand Slam events and has represented her country in important tournaments like the Billie Jean King Cup.
Ekaterina Vandaryeva is a Belarusian kickboxer best known for winning the WKN Championship title in 2011 after defeating Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She also won the IFMA European Championship title in 2009 and 2012. Ekaterina Vandaryeva has also competed in other popular promotions like ONE Championship.
Though born in the US, gymnast Kylie Dickson competed for Belarus, in spite of having no Belarusian ancestry. The 2016 Olympian for Belarus still lived and trained in the US and attended the same gym as American Olympian McKayla Maroney. A US elite, she had been part of the U.S. Classic, too.
Russian-Belarusian figure skater Viktoriia Safonova competed for Russia before switching to Belarus in 2019. She participated in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. She has also been an Ice Star champion and a Belarusian national champion twice. In 2021-22, she had a world ranking of 21.
Yelena Leuchanka is a Belarusian basketball player who plays as a center for the popular Greek club Panathinaikos. She has also played for other prestigious clubs like Atlanta Dream and Washington Mystics. Yelena Leuchanka has also represented the national team in important tournaments like the 2007 EuroBasket in Italy where she won the bronze medal.
Hanna Kanapatskaya is a Belarusian politician, lawyer, entrepreneur, and former MP. She achieved popularity in 2020 when she ran in the presidential elections. Hanna Kanapatskaya is also popular for leading a political campaign that condemns the Russian interference in the political affairs of Belarus.
Iryna Kurachkina is a Belarusian freestyle wrestler best known for winning the silver medal in the 57 kg category at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. She has also won medals in important tournaments like World Championships, European Championships, and European Games. In 2020, Iryna Kurachkina won a gold medal at the Individual World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia.
Leila Rajabi is a shot putter who represented Belarus from 2001 to 2007. Since 2007, she has been representing Iran. Rajabi is best known for winning the silver medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Leila Rajabi is the current Iranian national record holder in shot put.
Elena Rzhevskaya was a writer who also worked as a war interpreter for the Soviet Union. She is best remembered for her memoir, Memories of a War-time Interpreter, according to which she was part of the Soviet unit that was tasked with finding Adolf Hitler's corpse. According to Rzhevskaya, Hitler's body was found on 4 May 1945 by Ivan Churakov.
Belarusian athlete Elvira Herman has not just won a European Championship gold but has also bagged a team silver at the 2019 European Games. She is a master of sprint hurdles and represents the club SK FPB. She specializes in the 100m and 60m hurdles.
Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova is a Belarusian athlete who specializes in long jump. She is best known for winning a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. She also won a silver medal at the 2019 European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.
Retired Belarusian tennis player Olga Barabanschikova had a career-high ranking of 49 in singles. A 2-time Olympian, she achieved her best Grand Slam performance in 2000, when she reached the last 16 at Wimbledon. After a tendon injury ended her career, she took to sports broadcasting on TV.
Hanna Huskova is a Belarusian professional freestyle skier who specializes in aerials. She is best known for winning the gold medal in the women's aerials event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Hanna Huskova also won a silver medal at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Apart from winning an Olympic silver medal, retired Belarusian rhythmic gymnast Yulia Raskina has also been a 2-time European champion. Born to sports-loving parents, she began training at age 7. She has also been part of Cirque du Soleil's Corteo and now serves as the coach of the German national rhythmic gymnastic team.
Liubov Charkashyna is a Belarusian former individual rhythmic gymnast. She is best known for winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Over the course of her career, Liubov Charkashyna also won medals at the World Championships, European Championships, and Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix.
Belarusian hammer thrower Aksana Miankova was a teenager when she began training in the sport. Though she won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she lost it after testing positive for banned drugs. She is the second-best thrower of all time, after German thrower Betty Heidler
Olga Puchkova is a Russian tennis player who represented Belarus as a junior player. After turning professional, Puchkova started competing in the ITF Circuit, winning a couple of titles in 2003 and 2004. She has also participated in Grand Slam Singles and Doubles events, reaching the third round of the 2012 US Open in the former.