Photos Of Alina Kabaeva Putin's Flexible Friend
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Russian rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva is in the news because of her 'friendship' with Vladimir Putin. It's even rumoured he may well be doing an exchange deal with his wife for Alina.
So what's the appeal of this 24 year old? Could it be flexibility? She is one of the most decorated gymnasts in the history of rhythmic gymnastics.
She was born in Tashkent, Russia on May 12 1983 and has now reached the height of 5'4" (1.63m) and weighs in at 106lbs (48kg).
Her career in gymnastics really started when she was just 4 years of age and at 15 she won the European Championships. She held the world title in 2003 and eventually 'retired' from the sport in 2005.
Since 2007 Alina has been a member of the Russian parliament representing the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. This her link up with Putin.
The Russian newspaper Moskovski Korrespondent reported that she would become engaged and marry Vladimir Putin in mid June this year, once he left office. Needless to say he and Alina have both denied this.