This is 17 year old Sabina Altynbekova, the Kazakhstanian volleyball player who has garnered thousands of fans but not for her powerful serve ,or spike…but for her pulchritudinousness. She is a looker and the idea that fans have noticed has created some issues for the team says Nurlan Sadikov, the coach of the nation’s under-19 team. “”It is impossible to work like this. The crowd behaves like there is only one player at the championship.” Apparently the fact that Taiwanese fans were holding Kazakhstan flags and arriving an hour early just to get a glimpse of Altynbekova at the 17 Asian women’s U19 volleyball championship in Taipei this past July left a bad taste in Sadikov’s mouth. Altnbekova’s twitter account follower has risen to a an astounding 22,000 followers
Is this REALLY a PROBLEM?
I am calling a flag on the play. Let’s just break it down for a moment. I get how in a team sport having a stand out, or “star” player can be a distraction the other team members however I challenge you to name a sport where someone’s skill or their physique hasn’t made them a media star. My mind goes to David Beckham, who not only wowed the crowd with his skills but also with his washboard abs and tatted up guns, and Disney Prince good looks… There was a movie based on his curved kick. I know his teammates at times had to have felt like chopped liver getting off of the team bus, but the visibility he brought to the sport was priceless, some would say that he single handedly boosted America’s interest in “football”, mainly because he is so fine, and his pop star wife didn’t hurt either. Cristiano Ronaldo is having the same effect on the sport, with his shiny hair, chiseled cheekbones and sculpted eyebrows, oh he has a mean dribble too. I don’t hear his coach saying that this is a “distraction”. Granted these are two men are also at the top of their sports, much like a Michael Jordan, or Emmit Smith. But in all the the reporting no one has ever listed Altynbekova’s stats. I have to believe that she is good enough to be on the team, and the team is good enough to make it to the championships so what is the problem? Is she not pulling her weight?
But this is about her beauty…not her game, well then what about the male athletes who have become sensations not so much for there skills but for other things? Take Tim Tebow, who was the hot ticket quarterback for a hot second, but his religion and his virginity were a bigger deal then his touchdown passes. How can we forget the Linsaity of Jeremy Lin, he can play ball, but he also came out of nowhere and he is the only Asian in the League now. Why are these male athletes fame considered “good” for the game? It has surely been said that they bring awareness, and new demographics to their sports.
Who the hell was thinking about women’s volleyball before this young woman’s videos and pictures started to go viral? Seriously I think there is a clear double standard here at play when it comes to how the coach is dealing with Altynbekova’s growing popularity. it’s not as if she has encouraged or even promoted it, that twitter account is not even hers, the only social media outlets she participates in are Instagram and VK a social network popular in Europe, Russia and her native Kazakhstan. She is not remotely interested in being the next media sensation she recently entered Kazakh University for Humanities and Law. her mother wanted her to pursue Law she chose sports, and her parents are against her taking advantage of any modeling opportunities. She is a young woman who has now been pushed (by the internet and media) into the spotlight and all she wanted to do was Serve…and not face.