Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday to the HBIC!!

Okay, people, it's time to talk about the woman who puts the "Viner" in VINERSTAN: Irina Alexandrovna Viner!!  She celebrated her 65th birthday today (July 30)!
V for Victory, V for Viner (Makar, Viner, ?, Nazar)
She is one terrifying lady, ruling over the RG world with an iron fist...
Be afraid, be very afraid!  (Makar, Blizia, Nazar)
Viner is not impressed!
Vera Efremovna: "Go, my darling baby!"; Zhenya; Viner: "I wish I could crush you in the palm of my hand, but damnit, you just keep on winning!"
(To Anna Trubnikova): "Mess this up and I'll throw you out of Novogorsk!"
"Don't even think about escaping!" (Zhenya and Dasha K behind)
 ...but she can also be terrifically affectionate towards her girls (when they win).
After the group won gold at 2012 Olympics (Nazar & Viner, Ul, Karolina, Ksyu, Makar, Blizia)
Viner:  "She's MY star; all her success is thanks to ME!" (?, ?, Viner, Zhenya, Vera Efremovna, Dmitri)
Zhenya's not fooled--"I know you still hate me for winning!"
Without her and her influence, Russian RG would be a lot less entertaining/amazing.  There would be no top-class facilities and staff, no training camps in Croatia, no vacations in Sardinia, and no private planes.
In Sardinia (August 2012): Nazar, Ksyu, Viner, Zhenya & Ul in back; Karolina, Dasha, Blizia in front
Dasha D on Viner's yacht
How did this happen, you ask?
Well, you see, Irina Alexandrovna is married to the richest man in Russia, Alisher Usmanov.

And theirs was a romance for the ages!

Back in Tashkent, many, many years ago...

There once was a beautiful gymnast named Irina Viner, a champion of Uzbekistan.  She caught the eye of a fencer, a Muslim youth named Alisher Usmanov, but he was just a boy, and she was a star. And at the time, he was "too timid to approach her." 

[According to this source via GoogleTranslate] Several years later, they met again in Moscow.  Viner had just divorced her first husband, and was caring for her young son.  This time, thanks to Usmanov's "perseverance and gallant manners," he soon won the heart of his beloved.

Alas, fate (or more like bad politics) soon intervened to separate the two!  Usmanov was (wrongly) convicted of fraud and sentenced to eight years in prison.  Immediately Viner flew from an RG tournament in Odessa to see him.  She told him she still loved him, and that she would wait for him.

He proposed to her from his prison cell. "He sent me a handkerchief which, according to Uzbek tradition, is a proposal of marriage," she says. "I still keep it today."

Many of her colleagues tried to convince her to abandon him, saying, "why are you dating a convict?  It will harm your career."  But she wouldn't listen to them, and in 1992, they were finally married.

And they lived happily ever after...
Viner, Usmanov's mom, Usmanov
...thanks to their buddy, Mr. President, who seems to have been ever so grateful for the introduction to a certain 2004 gold medalist.
The pres: "Thank Irina for introducing me to--" Usmanov: "Don't mention it!  Anything for you, buddy!"
All hail Madam V!!


  1. there is one damn funny doctored photo of kudria spinning viner's head instead of the ball...
    forgotten where i've seen it... LOL...