Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.
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.
Retired Belarusian artistic gymnast Vitaly Scherbo became the only male gymnast to win a world title in all 8 events. He has also won 6 gold medals in the Olympics and was the first person to win 4 gold medals in one day. The Scherbo vault has been named after him.
Legendary Soviet chess player Boris Gelfand is known for being part of the world’s top 20 players for most of his life. His accomplishments include two Belarusian national titles and a Chess World Cup. An author, too, he has co-written books such as Positional Decision Making in Chess.
Andrei Arlovski, also known as “The Pitbull,” is a Belarusian MMA fighter who is known for his UFC Heavyweight Championship win. He has also appeared in films such as Universal Soldier: Regeneration and been part of shows such as MTV's Bully Beatdown. He has competed for Strikeforce and Affliction, too.
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.
Belarusian tennis player Ilya Ivashka has had a career-high singles ranking of 40 and is currently the number 1 singles player in his country. He was part of the group of Belarusian and Russian players who were banned by Wimbledon in 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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.
Léon Bakst was a Russian painter, costume designer, and scene designer of Belarusian origin. He worked closely with the Ballets Russes, where he designed richly colored, exotic costumes and sets. His best-known works include productions like Daphnis and Chloe, Spectre de la rose, and The Sleeping Princess. In 1914, he was made a member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
Son of a Belarusian farmer, Andrei Gromyko grew up studying agriculture. He had already started delivering anti-religious speeches by 13 and later joined the Communist Party. He later served as the Soviet foreign minister and then the head of state, becoming popular as Mr. Nyet for vetoing UN proposals often.
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.
American-Belarusian former basketball player Maalik Wayns played for Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia during his high-school days. He selected Villanova University to play under coach Jay Wright during college-years. As a professional, Wayns played with several teams, including Philadelphia 76ers and presently serves as coach at St. Joseph's Preparatory School.
Nicknamed The Red Scorpion, Belarusian heavyweight kickboxer and retired mixed martial artist Alexey Ignashov has won the Muay Thai World Championship 4 times. He trained at the Chinuk Gym for over a decade and is now based in Auckland, New Zealand. He is known for his signature knee strikes.
Belarusian professional basketball-player Artsiom Parakhouski became Big South Player of the Year twice and NCAA rebounding leader once during his college-career. He commenced his professional career in 2010 and achieved several feats playing for different teams. These include winning King Mindaugas Cup Finals (2019) with Rytas Vilnius and becoming King Mindaugas Cup MVP; and winning ABA League Supercup (2019) with Partizan.
Ivan Baranchyk is a Belarusian boxer best known for his IBF light-welterweight title reign from 2018 to 2019. He won the vacant title by defeating Sweden's Anthony Yigit via corner retirement. Nicknamed The Beast, Ivan Baranchyk was ranked the fourth-best active light-welterweight in the world by BoxRec and The Ring in 2020.
Belarusian weightlifter Andrei Aramnau is not just an Olympic champion but also has a World Championship gold in his kitty. Born with 6 fingers on one hand, which he believed was due to the Chernobyl disaster, he had to cut his 6th finger at age 14 to compete professionally.
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.
Evgeny Morozov is an American writer, intellectual, and researcher from Belarus. He is best known for conducting studies and research into the social and political implications of technology. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times and The Guardian. In 2018, Evgeny Morozov was included in the most influential Europeans list published by Politico.
Chaim Soutine was a Belarussian painter who lived and worked in Paris. Best remembered for his contribution to the expressionist movement, Soutine served as a bridge between the growing form of Abstract expressionism and more traditional approaches. Today, many of his paintings are preserved at places like The Jewish Museum in New York.
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.
Siarhei Liakhovich is a Belarusian boxer best known for his WBO heavyweight title reign in 2006. He is also known for representing his country at the 1997 World Championships where he won the bronze medal in the super heavyweight category.
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.
Belarusian kick-boxer Chingiz Allazov has so-far achieved a kickboxing record of 59 wins out of 65, of which 36 wins were secured through knockout. He became the 2017 K-1 World GP -70kg World Tournament Champion and successfully defended the title in 2018. Presently signed with ONE Championship, Allazov is ranked as the #3 lightweight in the world by Combat Press.
Leonid Taranenko is a former weightlifter and coach. He is best known for winning the gold medal in the 110 kg category at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow where he represented the Soviet Union. He also won gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championships, European Weightlifting Championships, and USSR Weightlifting Championships.
Sergey Rabchenko is a Belarusian boxer who competes in the light middleweight division. After making his professional debut in 2006, Rabchenko went on to secure victories over well-known fighters like Bradley Pryce, Cédric Vitu, and Ryan Rhodes. Over the years, Sergey Rabchenko has won important titles like WBC Silver Light Middleweight title and EBU Light Middleweight title.
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.
Aleksandr Kurlovich was a Soviet weightlifter best remembered for winning a gold medal at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. He also won gold medals at World Weightlifting Championships, European Weightlifting Championships, and USSR Weightlifting Championships. Aleksandr Kurlovich, who set 12 world records during his career, was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2006.
Nicknamed Mad Bee, Belarusian boxer Kiryl Relikh has previously been a WBA super lightweight title holder. In 2017, he lost to Cuban boxer Rances Barthelemy after a controversial unanimous decision in an extremely close fight. In 2020, he became the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s global fifth-best active super lightweight boxer.