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Liubov Paradieva
Liubov Paradieva
Master of Sport, Rhythmic gymnast, Liubov Paradieva, Kyiv, 1963
Photo by Evgeniy Volkov
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Liubov Paradieva

This famous photograph of Liubov Paradieva was taken during a shoot that took place outside the city limits near Kyiv. The weather was good and Evgeny Volkov managed to capture a beautiful jump of the master of rhythmic gymnastics and future world champion. At the time she was 18 years old.

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Pose Demonstration for Paradieva, 1963
Photo by Evgeniy Volkov

Lyubov Paradieva

Liubov Paradieva was born on September, 29, 1945 in Grozny and became a legendary figure in the history of Soviet rhythmic gymnastics.

From the age of 8, Lyubov studied ballet, and she was noticed by legendary coach Nina Silaeva who invited her to rhythmic gymnastics practice. This meeting determined Paradieva’s future.

Despite her participation in professional competitions and constant training, she graduated from the Romano-Germanic faculty of the Kyiv State University, and later taught English at the faculty of economics of the same institution in 1968-1972.

After Paradieva moved to Kyiv to study, she tried to train on her own but eventually insisted that her coach Silaeva be transferred with her

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Paradieva’s portrait, 1964
Photo by Evgeniy Volkov

She received another higher education at the correspondence department of the Lviv Institute of Physical Culture. All her life she combined sports and studies. This combination allowed Paradieva to stand out among other athletes, helped her in her career and allowed her to develop in Soviet and international gymnastics.

In 1974, Paradieva spoke at the International Congress, advocating the inclusion of rhythmic gymnastics in the Olympic Games. Baron Philip Noel-Baker, president of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, personally pledged his support for the mission. And six years later, rhythmic gymnastics was first presented at the Olympics in Moscow.

Paradieva was a member of the USSR national team in rhythmic gymnastics for 13 consecutive years.

At the Luzhniki Get callback
Paradieva at the Luzhniki Palace of Sports, 1960s
Photo by Evgeniy Volkov

Sports trophies:

The World Champion Get callback
World Champion Paradieva, 1967
Photo by Evgeniy Volkov

After Paradieva stopped performing at competitions she became the head coach of the Burevestnik society, was a professor at the Kyiv Institute of Physical Culture, headed the judicial committee in Kyiv, worked as commentator at competitions and coached the youth team of Ukraine.

In 1990, she moved to Moscow to continue her coaching career. Paradieva adheres to the non-violent coaching system. She was invited to train children in Taiwan (2000), Germany (2008/2009) and the United States (2014).

Today, Liubov Paradieva works at the Special Children and Youth School of the Olympic Reserve 25. Since 2013, the school has held the Open Gymnastics Tournament which she organised.

Fifty-seven years after the creation of the legendary leap photo, the photographer and model met in Moscow in 2020 to discuss their memories, past photoshoots and the birth of the Volkov Collection project.

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Liubov Paradieva and Evgeny Volkov meet 57 years later, July 2020
Photo by Evgeniy Volkov
Every minute of life is unique and valuable. Our photographs capture history and preserve it with care. To see how the interior works will look like, use the configurator. See in interior

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