most popular sports in russia

7 Most Popular Sports in Russia You Need to Know About

Russia is very popular due to its sports. Many most popular sports in Russia are highly valued all across the globe. More than 50 million Russians participate in these sports activities, reported the Russian sports ministry.  

Russian sport is prospering with new records being set every day. Russia being one of the most successful countries offers a vast variety of sports with millions of fans following. Russia has largely invested in sports infrastructure.  

Here, I have listed the top 7 most popular sports in Russia that are worth it. Keep reading to find out all about the popular sports in Russia. 

7. Gymnastics

Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports in Russia. The country has been winning several Championships in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. Russia has given rise to some of the best gymnasts that are highly known all across the world due to their outstanding performances. 

The Russian Junior Artistic Gymnastic Championship is considered a youth sport in Russia. The Russian Women’s artistic gymnastics team competed in the FIG International competitions. It is observed in Russia that the ratio of women is more than men in gymnastics. Nikoli, a very famous Russian athlete won 7 Gold medals and 5 Silver medals in gymnastics. 

6. Figure Skating

Next on the list, I have figure skating which is also one of the most popular winter sports in Russia. The Russian sports community has done an outclass job in winter sports, several winter sports are mastered by them. The figure Skating Federation of Russia governs figure skating in Russia. Some of the greatest female figure skaters belong to Russia. 

Russia has won a total of 201 medals in figure skating according to the ISU World Figure Skating Championship results. This is what makes Russia stand at the top of the list of best countries for figure skating. Evgenia Medvedeva, a Russian figure skater won two silver medals in the 2018 Olympic games. 

5. Bandy

Bandy is the national sport of Russia and is also among the most popular sports in Russia. It is also known as ‘Russian Ice Hockey’ due to its similarities with Ice Hockey but you cannot mix these two up. A large number of people including both men and women participate in this game and compete in several championships. 

Russia is gaining more and more popularity in the sport of bandy each day and it has given rise to some of the best players in the world. Russian women’s team had won six silver medals on the very first day of the World Championship. They are now considered the greatest team ever due to the gold medal that they won in Bandy World Championship. 

4. Chess


Chess - most popular sports in russia

You might wonder how could chess be among the most popular sports in Russia, but interestingly you got it right. Although chess didn’t get a place in the Olympics it has been the most played sport in Russia to date. To your surprise, there are about 255 chess players who are pros at it and are among the best chess grandmasters. 

Sergey Karjakin is a chess player who has become the youngest chess grandmaster in history. There are approximately 1600 players who are grandmasters in total which shows how crazily passionate people are about this game. This game is given so much love that it could become a national sport of Russia in the future.  

3. Volleyball

Next, I have volleyball on the list. It is also one of the very popular sports in Russia. Russian athletes have massive talent that makes them win matches every time and make them stand on top of the list of best athletes. It’s also much less dangerous than Soccer and Ice Hockey but the players are well trained to overcome tough situations and matches just in case. 

Russian Volleyball Federation governs the Russian National Volleyball team. It has also won four Olympic Gold medals and six World Championship Gold medals, let’s just that sink in. This is the reason that Russia is said to be one of the best countries in sports.  

2. Biathlon

Biathlon is another one of the most popular sports in Russia. It’s not only immensely competitive but also an incredibly toughest sport to play. It is all about cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.  

Russia has won several awards in biathlon including 10 golds, four silvers, and eight bronzes. Players like Nikolay Kruglov, Alexander Tikhonov, and Elena Golovina are the most prominent athletes in Biathlon and are considered the great players of all time. 

1. Football

Football stands first on the list of most popular sports in Russia. According to research, there are more than 1.5 million people who play this game. It is most popular among Russian men even children love taking part in this sport. 

Russian football has given rise to many greatest football players who have made their country proud with their outstanding performances. Football is not only popular in Russia; it is highly popular all across the globe with millions of fans following.  


Being a sports enthusiast is not everyone’s thing but if you are one of them then you got lucky. And if you are from Russia, it’s a cherry on top because a majority of famous athletes belong to Russia and have held their country high in the matter of sports. I hope this article helped you learn about the most popular sports in Russia. 

Do leave your remarks below if you enjoyed reading. Thank you! 


Russia is popular for many sports but is highly recognized for its Football. It is loved by all not only in Russia but all across the globe. Everyone, from adults to kids actively participates in this sport. Moreover, it is a highly watched sport in the world. 

Female tennis star, Maria Sharapova is said to be the most popular sportsman in Russia. This legendary star has achieved 36 awards in total that also include 5 grand slams. Another sportsman who is equally popular in Russia is the retired MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

So far, the most popular sports league in Russia is the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). This league mainly consists of all the Russian Hockey teams. Another sports league that is equally loved and popular in Russia is the Russian Premier League football.

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