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Another Side To Alina Kabayeva

Then-Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and rhythmic gymnastics champion Alina Kabayeva denied media speculation in 2008 that they were engaged.
Alina Kabayeva, the Uzbek-born Olympic champion-turned-Russian politician, has revealed another side of her persona by recording a music video.

The 27-year-old Duma deputy's music clip, titled "Believe In Yourself," promotes sports among young people. You can achieve everything you want "if you work hard and believe in yourself, your dreams, and your work," according to the lyrics.

The former rhythmic gymnastics phenom, known for her incredibly flexible body, features in the music video performing an exercise with a tricolor ribbon with horizontal stripes -- not unlike the Russian flag. The video also features young Russian athletes playing tennis, ice hockey, and other sports.

Kabayeva's representatives, however, denied rumors this week that she wants to make a career in show business.

Kabayeva, who was born and raised in Tashkent, currently sits in the Russian Duma as a member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. The prime minister and the glamorous deputy denied media speculation that they were engaged to marry in 2008.

Kabayeva appeared in 2010 on the cover of "Vogue" magazine's Russian edition. However, it was her nearly nude photos in the Russia edition of "Maxim" magazine in 2003 that get mentioned every now and then, accompanying frequent gossip columns about the multifaceted former champion.

-- Farangis Najibullah