Pole vaulter who is known for competing in multiple Olympic games as part of Russia's national team. She is known for having won gold medals at several World Championships and at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic games.
She first began earning recognition for pole vaulting in 1999 when she competed in her first World Youth Championships. She competed in her first Olympic games in 2004 and her first World Championship in 2005 in Helsinki.
She was named Female Athlete of the Year by the IAFF in 2004, 2005, and 2008. She also was World Sportswoman of the Year by Laureus in 2007 and in 2009.
She was born and raised in Volgograd, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.
She is known for being one of a select few athletes to win World Championships at the youth, junior, and senior levels along with Veronica Campbell-brown.