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On Dec. 2, AmCham honored the international accomplishments of Russian athletes, coaches and managers at its Wings of Success Holiday Party.
The star-studded event attracted about 350 people from Moscow’s business community as well a luminaries from Russia’s sports and entertainment industries. Colleagues and friends had the chance to enjoy the festive atmosphere, featuring a spectacular laser show, the CSKA dance team and the unforgettable, roof-raising performance of Mandarin Band. As an especially memorable part of the evening, Vladislav Tretiak, Shamil Tarpishchev, Oleg Maskaev, Ilya Averbukh, Svetlana Khorkina, Aleksei Nemov, Sergei Kushchenko, Lyaisan Utyasheva and Vadim Gagloev were honored for their significant contributions to Russian sports.
Also in attendance were last year’s winners, actor and director Vladimir Menshkov and actresses Irina Apeksimova and Anna Tsukanova.
The Wings of Success Holiday Party 2006 continues the Chamber’s tradition of recognizing outstanding achievements outside board rooms that promote relations between the U.S. and Russia.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The first Soviet player ever elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Vladislav Tretiak is considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Vladislav is a multi-Olympic gold medalist, winning the team gold in hockey in the 1972, 1976 and 1984 Winter Olympics. He was also crucial in Soviet hockey teams’ 10 IIHF World championship victories and nine IIHF European championships. For 14 years in a row, Tretiak was named a First All-Star in the Soviet League. Following his retirement as a player in 1984, Vladislav has continued to coach hockey, including the Chicago Blackhawks. He was also elected to the State Duma in 2003 and serves as the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth. This year he was also elected as head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.
Vision and Achievement Award
Under Shamil Tarpishchev’s tutelage as national tennis coach, Russia has emerged as a powerhouse within the sport, currently claiming 14 women and five men among the top 100 ranked world players. Shamil has led his team to numerous victories, directed a variety of national sporting programs and been recognized repeatedly for his commitment to excellence. For the past 40 years, he has, without question, been a leader in Russian tennis as both a player and as a trainer. Shamil’s players are currently battling Argentina in the finals for the 2006 Davis Cup here in Moscow.
The Ace Award
Known for his knockout punches, Oleg Maskaev is the current World Boxing Council heavyweight champion of the world, with the impressive record of 33 wins (26 of them knockouts) and only five losses in 38 contests as of this August. His most well-known victories have been over Hasim Rahman, whom he defeated in August of this year to claim the WBC heavyweight title with a 12th-round knockout. Originally from Kazakhstan, Oleg now resides mainly in New York state. On Dec. 10, he will be defending his heavyweight title here in Moscow.
Best in Show Award
Known for his strength and grace on ice, Ilya Averbukh has captured numerous national and international ice dancing awards with his skating partner and wife, Irina Lobacheva. In 2002, the couple won the Olympic silver medal in pairs ice dancing and is also the 2002 and 2003 European champions. Ilya and Irina captured bronze at the 2001 World Championships and silver in 2003. They also won bronze at the European Championships in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Ilya is currently enjoying the success of his hit television program, Stars on Ice on Channel 1, which he produces and stars in as a choreographer and coach.
Best All-Around Performance Award
A seven-time Olympic medalist and three-time all-around World Champion, Svetlana Khorkina is considered by many to be Russia’s most successful gymnast following the Soviet period. Svetlana, a native of Belgorod, won gold medals for her uneven bar performances in 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney), silver medals for the team competition in 1996 and 2000, silver for her floor performance in 2000 and bronze for the team competition in 2004 (Athens). In the European Championships, she is a six-time uneven bar champion and has captured the all-around title three times. In addition to her all-around World Championship titles, Svetlana has also been a five-time World Champion in the uneven bars and won the vault title in 2001.
Most Valuable Player Award
A 12-time Olympic medalist, Aleksei Nemov is known as much for his showmanship as his powerful performances and success. Hailing from Toliatti, Aleksei began studying gymnastics when he was five. He gained world fame with his performance in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he won two gold medals, one silver and three bronze. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, he took home six medals, including the gold for the all-around title. He also performed in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where the crowd stopped the competition for 15 minutes with protests over a score they considered unfair to his dazzling performance.
Outstanding Leadership Award
As the general manager of the 2006 Euroleague Championship PBC CSKA Moscow basketball team, Sergey Kushchenko has developed the club into a perennial powerhouse. Prior to the team’s championship season, PBC CSKA Moscow reached the final four of the Euroleague Championship games in both 2004 and 2005. Sergey began his career in basketball in his hometown of Perm, where as a basketball enthusiast and businessman, he helped found the local basketball club, Ural-Great. Under his leadership, the team quickly achieved national and international success, culminating in the capture of the Russian national championship and the Northern European Basketball League title in 2001. Sergey has been recognized on numerous occasions for his leadership and in 2001 was tapped as general manager for Russia’s national basketball team.
Best Comeback Performance Award
One year after winning the 2001 World Cup in rhythmic gymnastics, Lyaisan Utyasheva faced a devastating prognosis from her doctors: Because of untreated injuries from an earlier competition, it was unlikely that she would ever walk normally again, let alone return to her sport. Following complicated operations on both legs, however, Lyaisan defied doctors’ predictions. With rigorous training, she regained her form to return to championship competition.
The Young Achievement Award
Winning the 2006 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, the Russian junior soccer team was a bright ray of hope to soccer fans. As the captain of that winning team and as a reserve defender on the 2005 national champion CSKA Moscow team, Vadim Gagloev is making a name for himself in the world of European football despite his young age. This year, Vadim has gained further notice as CSKA Moscow continued its dominance of the sport by winning the 2006 Russian Super Cup. Enthusiasts expect many more years of exciting play from Vadim as he continues his rise among the ranks.
|AmCham President Andrew Somers||U.S. Ambassador William Burns||Vladislav Tretiak|
|Oleg Maskaev||Ilya Averbukh||Svetlana Khorkina|
|Sergey Panov accepts the award on behalf of Sergey Kushchenko||Lyaisan Utyasheva||Vadim Gagloev|
|Oleg Menshov||Irina Apeksimova||Anna Tsukanova|
|Mandarin Band||TSKA Dance Troupe||Mandarin Band|