Anastasia Bryzgalova is a Russian curler who, along with her doubles partner and husband Alexander Krushelnitskiy, won the bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, defeating Norwegian pair of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten. They previously won the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Karlstad, Sweden and the 2016 World Mixed Championship in Kazan, Russia. Also in 2016, she was awarded the honorary sporting title 'Honored Master of Sports of the Russian Federation'. She predominantly plays as a vice or third, while her partner plays as a skip. They both play professionally for the CC Adamant curling club in St. Petersburg. Following her stint at the Winter Olympics, she has now become a social media star as well, thanks to Instagram pictures of her performances, workout sessions, and romantic vacations with her husband.
Rise to Stardom
While Anastasia Bryzgalova rose to fame during the Winter Olympics games in February 2018, interestingly, it was not merely for her fabulous performance on the ice. In fact, she became an internet sensation during the games because of her stunning looks and piercing stare, which some smitten fans claimed "can burn holes in the sheet". Rather than her passionate display during the sports event, fans were more interested in admiring her toned supermodel-like figure on her Instagram profile.
Some admirers even began to compare her to celebrities like Adriana Lima, Megan Fox, and Angelina Jolie. She was overwhelmed by the sudden internet meltdown she caused, but remained focused on her aim of a medal while responding to it during a recent interview with the Russian website sportbox.ru. While she admitted that receiving compliments for her looks was a pleasant experience, she was quick to add that it, however, won't help her win medals as "medals are not given for beauty". Thankfully, curling, which was not a particularly popular game previously, has gained a significant amount of viewers during the Winter Games largely because of her online fame, as people who had no idea of curling tuned in for the game to watch her.
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Anastasia Bryzgalova became interested in curling after she was intrigued by an advertisement for a curling club at an ice sports complex and decided to give professional curling a try. In 2016, she and her partner, Krushelnitskiy, made their mark on the international curling stage by beating the Chinese pair Ba Dexin and Wang Rui 7-5 in the final to win the gold medal at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Karlstad, Sweden. The same year, she won another gold medal at the World Mixed Championship in Kazan, Russia, playing as part of a team of two women and two men, which also included Krushelnitskiy.
In the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Canada, the Chinese pair of Ba Dexin and Wang took sweet revenge in the Round of 16 game and cut their title run short, even though they had put up good show in the group stages. In 2018, they participated in the first ever mixed doubles competition at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea and managed to secure the bronze medal despite a loss to Switzerland in the semifinals. They were among the 168 Russian athletes who took part in the Winter Olympics under the banner of 'Olympic Athletes from Russia', wearing neutral colors, as Russia did not officially participate in the Games due to the nation's state-sponsored doping scandal.
Controversies & Scandals
Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy were forced to part ways with their former coach who had the opinion that it is not possible for athletes, who are couples in real life, to achieve significant success, especially in mixed doubles curling. During their match against Swiss pair Jenny Perret and Martin Rios in the Winter Games semifinals, they were visibly irritated with each other following a few missed shots. However, after their bronze medal win, she told ESPN through a translator that it was possible for them to overcome the previous day’s loss and put up a good enough show to win the medal because of the fact that they were family. She added that while it is just a bronze medal, it was extremely important for them.
Anastasia Konstantinovna Bryzgalova was born on December 13, 1992 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is a student at the technical school, St. Petersburg Specialized School of Olympic Reserve No.2. In 2016, she did a correspondence master's degree course on physical training from the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, during which she was in the same batch with her doubles partner and future husband Alexander Krushelnitskiy. The couple got married in June 2017, following which they went on a honeymoon trip to Spain.