Olga Rypakova: The success story of the Olympian champion from Kazakhstan


On February 12, Olga Rypakova, a prominent Kazakhstani female athlete, announced the end of her sports career. The sportswoman from Ust-Kamenogorsk is the winner of several Olympic Games and numerous world championships.

It’s no exaggeration that Rypakova is a legend in Kazakhstani sports. Here is a short story about the Olympic champion.

Olga came to track and field athletics when she was eight thanks to her father who was a decathlete. She spent several years in the heptathlon (100 meters hurdles, the 200 and 800 meters runs, long jump and high jump, shot put and javelin throwing).

In 2002, Rypakova won silver at the world junior championship. This was her first big success at the world sporting stage that got her foot on the ladder of a long and successful career in sports. In 2006, she won the Asian heptathlon championship as an adult sportswoman.

In 2007, Olga decided to focus on the triple jump. In 2008, during the Olympic Games in Beijing, she proved that this decision was right. At the time, she took fourth place. However, one year later, when her competitors Hrysopiyi Devetzi from Greece and Tatyana Lebedeva from Russia were disqualified because of a doping scandal, Rypakova received her silver medal.

In 2010, Rypakova won three big tournaments in a row: the World Indoor Championship – IAAF Continental Cup and Asian Games. Moreover, she set a personal record and a record for Asia when she jumped 15 meters and 25 centimeters. After this success, Rypakova was considered one of the world’s best female athletes. In 2012, when Rypakova came to London to take part in the 2012 Olympic Games, there were few doubts about her ability to win. She took home the gold. In September 2012, Rypakova also won the IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, and proved her status as the best female athlete in terms of the triple jump.

Despite being very busy with preparations for big world tournaments, Olga managed to become a mother of two: daughter Anastasia (born 2004) and son Kirill (born 2013).

Thanks to the support of her family, Rypakova never stopped training even after giving birth to her two children. In 2014, she became an Asian Games champion. In 2015, she took third place at the world championship and in 2016 she won a bronze medal during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2017, Rypakova won the Diamond League for the second time and a bronze medal at the world championship.

Apart from these international awards, Rypakova also has many decorations given by Kazakhstan: the Order of Parasat, Order of Barys and Order of Kurmet. In 2013, Kazpost issued a postage stamp devoted to Olga Rypakova.

On February 12, 2023, during the closing ceremony of the 2023 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Astana, Rypakova officially announced her decision to end her sporting career.

«It was hard to make this announcement. I was thinking about how I should put this. I am delighted that I could say this symbolic goodbye to my sporting career here in Astana during the world championship in front of my loved ones and friends who have been with me for years.”

“It was an exciting yet sad moment,” she continued. “Some people got emotional when they came to know about my decision but I think it’s all about timing. Of course, I am not saying goodbye to the sport because I love it so much. Many are wondering what I am going to do. Although I would prefer not to reveal any details, I can say that my future work will be linked to the sport generally and track and field athletics in particular.”

Currently, I am just focusing on self-development and self-education. I have many ideas but I need more knowledge. Also, I need a team that would help me fulfill all my new projects. I think you will know about changes in my life very soon,» she said in an interview with Kursiv.

Olga Rypakova is a real fighter. She is well known for her self-discipline, focus and ability to cope with any kind of obstacle. According to Rypakova, she never had any role models and tried to go on her own path. However, Rypakova herself has become a role model for many young Kazakhstani athletes. For example, there is a sports center named after Olga Rypakova in her hometown of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Rypakova Tournaments are held every year in Kazakhstan.

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