Irina A. Viner-Usmanova, President of Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, Head Coach of the Russian National R. G. Team

Irina Alexandrovna Viner-Usmanova was born on July 30, 1948 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Father: Alexander Efimovich Viner, People's Artist of Uzbekistan, Member of Uzbekistan Arts Academy; Mother: Zoya Zinovievna Viner, Doctor.

In her childhood Irina Viner-Usmanova was going in for dancing at the Palace of Pioneers in Tashkent where her family moved to shortly after her birth. She started rhythmic gymnastics when she was 11. Her coaches were Lilia Petrova and Eleanora Sumarokova, multiple Champion of Leningrad. Irina was three times Champion of Uzbekistan, she graduated from high school in 1965 with advanced degree and then continued her further specialized education at the Uzbekistan Physical Culture Institute.

She began her career at the Uzbekistan Olympic Youth Sport School in 1969 in Tashkent. From 1972 to 1992 she worked in Tashkent as a City Team coach and further the Uzbekistan National R. G. Team. A couple of years Irina Viner-Usmanova dedicated to coaching the U. K. National R. G. Team. That activity resulted in the participation of the British gymnasts D. Southwick and V. Seifert in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. That Olympiad became a significant milestone not only in her coaching career, but in the sport history of the United Kingdom as well. After Barcelona Irina moved to Moscow and began working for the Moscow City Sports Association (MCSA). Since 1992 Irina Viner-Usmanova was the Head Coach of the Olympic Training Center. She became the Head Coach of the Russian National Team in 2001 and the President of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation in 2008.

Irina Viner-Usmanova is now Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation, Prof. Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Hon. Coach of both Russia and Uzbekistan, Hon. Member of the Russian Physical Culture. She always spent a lot of time and efforts for the sake of the rhythmic gymnastics promotion at the international level. Being a Vice-President of the F.I.G. R.G. Technical Committee, she has done a lot to strengthen the position of the sport in the Olympic Program. In particular, she initiated and actively participated in the development of new rules, not only contributing to the objectification of judging in rhythmic gymnastics, but to a new stage of coaching and gymnasts’ technical excellence.

In 2005 Irina Viner-Usmanova was awarded the National Prize "Olympia", the public recognition of women’s achievements in Russia. She was awarded the Russian Order of Honour in 2001 and the Motherland Merit IV in 2005. In 2006 she got the Russian Public Award "National greatness." On 30 December 2008 she was awarded the Order of the Motherland Merit III. She was also awarded the Russian Order of Friendship in 2013 and the IOC Silver Olympic Order in 2015.

Among the gymnasts trained by Irina Viner-Usmanova are: Evgenia Kanaeva, two-time Olympic Champion; Alina Kabaeva, Olympic Champion and multiple World Champion; Yulia Barsukova, Olympic Champion, Margarita Mamun, Olympic Champion in 2016; Yana Kudryavtseva, Silver Olympic Medalist in Rio de Janeiro; Irina Chaschina and Daria Dmitrieva, Silver Olympic Medalists in Athens ‘2004 and London ‘2012; Amina Zaripova, six-time World Champion; World Champions Marina Nikolaeva, Yana Batyrshina, Natalia Lipkovskaya, Olga Kapranova, Olga Belova, Venera Zaripova and Elena Kholodova; Vera Shatalina, the Intervision Cup Winner, and many others. Most of Irina’s students continue working with their coach as colleagues after finishing their competitive sport careers.