Sports in Russia

Russia is one of the most respected sporting nations in the world continuously finishing in the top rankings at major sporting events such as the Olympic Games.

The modern day Russian sports teams are the successors to the old Soviet Union ones who top the Olympic Games medal tables 14 times. Since 1952 Russia was in the top three medal winning nations, but at the 2012 London Games they were beaten into third by Team GB. Russia often dominates at the winter games. Here’s a look at some of the most popular sports in Russia.


Football is the number one sport in the country with a high proportion of men interested in the game. The Russian league suffered quite a lot when the Soviet Union collapsed but is now recovery its strength and popularity. Recently the league has seen an influx of sponsorship money and the high level of competition has enticed some of the world’s best players to the country. The Russian national team has also risen up the world rankings with its most famous victory being the 3-1 win over the Dutch in Euro 2008. Several Russian stars, such as Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin now play in the English Premier League.

Russia is set to host the 2018 World cup.

Ice Hockey

The Russians are one of the top three Ice hockey playing nations in the world standing alongside Canada and the United States. The current Russian team has not been able to replicate the dominance that its Soviet predecessors was but it remains one of the top teams, in fact  according to the International Ice Hockey Federation world rankings Russia’s national team is the best in the world. Since the creation of the Russian team in 1992 it has gone onto win 4 Gold medals, including one at the London games.


Basketball is the third most popular sport in the USA and has a growing following in Europe and parts of Asia. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the world’s premier basketball league and sees the best players from around the world compete. High school and college level Basketball is also extremely popular throughout the country even competing in State championships. Many high schools have their own gyms that can seat up to 5,000 spectators. Olympic Basketball is dominated by the USA and it’s no wonder seeing as NBA players are eligible to compete.