Triple Olympic synchronized swimming gold medalist Natalia Ishchenko agreed to serve as Kaliningrad’s ambassador during the 2018 World Cup. The athlete made this announcement during a session of the city deputies, when head of Kaliningrad Alexander Yaroshuk awarded her with a medal “For merits to to Kaliningrad”.
Ishchenko said: “It’s a great honour for me to receive this award and to be invited to serve as the city’s ambassador at the World Cup. I consider the city to be my own, it gave the initial push of my athletic career.” She added that it’s always a pleasure for her to come to Kaliningrad, as it’s the city where she began training in synchronized swimming at the Yunost (Youth) sports complex.
Natalia Ishchenko visited Kaliningrad as part of the group of renowned athletes, led by Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee. On Wednesday the group will participate in events at the Y.A. Gagarin Gymnasium #40 within the athletic education project Olympic Patrol
Natalia Ishchenko was born in Smolensk. She moved with her family to Kaliningrad in early infancy. Here she began taking rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming classes, but soon chose to focus on the latter. At the age of 14 she relocated to Moscow. Ishchenko is a 19-time world champion, three-time Olympic champion and 9-time European champion.