Alina Kabaeva was among the six torch bearers who carried the Olympic flame through Fisht Stadium during the Opening Ceremonies. The rhythmic gymnast was the only one of them, though, who has been romantically linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin let the world in on his divorce in June, announcing the split on the way out of a ballet performance in an interview with TV news. The last time they had been seen in public before that was at his May 2012 inauguration.
From my colleague Kathy Lally’s story on their divorce:
Lyudmila Putin was an Aeroflot flight attendant from Kaliningrad when the couple met. Vladimir Putin was a young KGB agent. He had already left one fiancée at the altar — also named Lyudmila. They married in 1983.
She followed him to Dresden, in East Germany at the time, then back to St. Petersburg and on to Moscow when he took a job in the Kremlin. Along the way, they had two daughters, now grown.
As president, Putin has made a fetish of appearing to work inhuman hours, often interspersed with bouts of intense physical activity.
Rumors about Kabaeva and Putin have gone back to 2008; a Russian newspaper that linked them was quickly shut down. Putin denied any connection to Kabaeva, including a rumor that she gave birth to his son.