Evgenia Kanaeva is a Russian rhythmic gymnast. A gymnast known for her consistency, elegant routines and high level of technical difficulty. She is the only individual rhythmic gymnast in history to win two Olympic all-around gold medals, winning at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she finished an unprecedented 3.75 points ahead of silver medalist Inna Zhukova, and at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she also became the oldest gymnast to win the Olympic gold. In 4 July 2013, Kanaeva has been a recipient of the International Fair Play Award for „Sport and Life“.
Kanaeva holds the record for most World titles with seventeen and thirteen European titles. Kanaeva shares the record for most individual world all-around titles with Maria Petrova (1995 tied with Ekaterina Serebrianskaya) and Maria Gigova (1971 tied with Galina Shugurova), and Kanaeva is the only gymnast to have won all three titles without being tied, impossible due to the tie breaking system even though she never was tied for a title.
At the 2009 World Championship in Mie, Japan, Kanaeva became the first rhythmic gymnast to win all six titles. She repeated the feat at the 2011 World Championship in Montpellier, France, equaling her own record.
Kanaeva is the only gymnast to hold both the World Cup Final All-around and Grand Prix Final All-around title in a single season for three consecutive years. Kanaeva is the only gymnast to receive a perfect score under the 30-point judging system, doing so twice: in the 2011 Grand Prix Final in Brno and in the 2012 Grand Prix in Voralberg.
Pivot: Kanaeva is famous to perform the Triple Ring Pirouette and Ring Pivot Spiral (also known as „The Kanaeva Pivot“) which she also popularized and frequently used, the ring pivots nowadays are incorporated by rhythmic gymnasts as an element executed in the routines. She has executed the quadruple ring turn in competitions and has completed the quadruple queen pivot, which is two turns in ring position connected to two turns in back split leg position that she performed from 2006-2009 Season.
Flexibility: Another signature move by Kanaeva is the Switch Turn. Her Switch Turn with the ball on her back while rotating 360 degrees on the floor. She has used her legs to carry the apparatus while performing Switch Turn in Hoop and Clubs which requires a lot of back flexibility.
Leap and balances: In balance, she has executed the Penchee 720 degree turn connecting to a ring knot position in 360 degree turn. In leaps, she has performed a switch leap with changing legs ( almost similar to a Butterfly twist leap ) in her 2012 Hoop routine, but the first rhythmic gymnast to perform this was another Russian Irina Tchachina, who was her coach’s previous gymnast. She also performed the triple Kostina (a serie of three leaps with exchange of leg) in her Rope routine in 2010 but took it off after changing to her 2nd rope routine which she performed at the 2010 World Championships.
Mastery: Kanaeva has performed skills like the backscale pivot starting on the floor; then catching the apparatus thrown in the air. The chaine turn while in the last rotation catching the ball on her back.
Kanaeva is one of the few gymnast who posses equal mastery and control in pivot, flexibility, leap and balance. A gymnast known for her consistency, elegant routines and high level of technical difficulty and artistry, she had no weak events in every apparatus (Hoop, Ball, Rope, Clubs and Ribbon).