Putin's rumored girlfriend Alina Kabayeva

Associated Press
Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva

View gallery

13 photos

If current speculation is to be believed, Alina Kabayeva, long rumored to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend, is a contender to light the Olympic flame at the Sochi Opening Ceremony. Kabayeva, 30, is an Olympic medal-winning rhythmic gymnast who retired from the sport in 2007 to become a member of the State Duma, aka the Russian parliament. Putin and Kabaeva have always denied a romance, but there's no doubt that any appearance by her at the Winter Games will stir up controversy.

View comments (19)