Wondering how long your favorite Russian gymnast has been on the National Team? Gymnasts are listed alphabetically (using the English alphabet) by last name below. Years in parenthesis are the years on the National Team. Dates may not be complete, as there are some years where the Russian Gymnastics Federation did not provide a listing. The lists for the women are more complete than the lists for the men. I assumed that if a gymnast represented Russia in an international competition, that gymnast was also a member of the national team. Enjoy! * Indicates the gymnast has since retired.
In Russia, there are 8 federal okrugs (sometimes translated as districts), plus Moscow* and Saint Petersburg*. These okrugs are important to remember for competitions within Russia.
Each okrug is made of several oblasts, which are similar to states in many other countries. Gymnasts represent their home oblast in okrug competitions each year, usually once or twice per year. If selected, they then go on to represent their okrug in national competitions such as the Russian Championships or the Russian Cup.
For example, Denis Ablyazin represents the city of Penza. Each year, he competes in the Federal Okrug Championship, in particular, the Volga Federal Okrug Championships as a representative of the Penzenskaya oblast'. In the Russian Championships, he then represents Penza, the Penzenskaya oblast' and the Volga Federal Okrug.
It can be somewhat confusing at first, but it is similar to other systems. For those of you who understand the American Junior Olympic system, think of it as the way regions work in the upper level competitions such as the Level 10 National Championships.
Here is a breakdown of the Russian Federal Okrug system using only current National Team members. Gymnasts are grouped first by federal okrug, then by oblast. The city they represent is in parenthesis following their name.
*Moscow and Saint Petersburg do not follow this format. Gymnasts from these cities do not represent an oblast', and in national competitions they simply represent either Moscow or Saint Petersburg.
One of the things that has always intrigued me with regards to Russian gymnastics is how the various cities rise and fall in terms of national team participation. The 'hub' of women's gymnastics is centered around Moscow and the Western part of the country, whereas the 'hub' for the men's team is located in Siberia. Below is a graphical representation of this distribution over time, using all known team members and the years they were active. Click on the icon to see the names of the team members (only available in Russian at this time).