Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.
- Value for money
- Home market
- Willingness to be marketed
- Crossover appeal
Russian, 17, Figure skating
Peerless young champion ready to win hearts at Asia's Olympics
Key partners: John Wilson
2016 ranking: New entry
There may be no hotter favourite on PyeongChang’s ice next year than Evgenia Medvedeva. At just 17, the Russian has moved into a class of her own in singles figure skating. In March, she became the first woman in 16 years to take back-to-back world championships and set record figures in the process. Few expect this precocious teenager to be fazed by the challenge of winning Olympic gold - should Russia be permitted to take part.
Yet while her achievements to date have been enough to win a place on a Forbes 30 Under 30 list of young entertainers, and while February’s Games will grant a chance to win over a global audience with her imaginative, technically impeccable dancing, there is more to Medvedeva than her sporting excellence. She has thoroughly charmed audiences away from the rink as well, particularly in her homeland and in south-east Asia.
Medvedeva is one of those great athletes you feel privileged just to have the opportunity to watch compete. Gifted, determined, clinical. She has it all. - Jack Gallagher, The Japan Times
Her unabashed embrace of anime and youth culture has helped: in April, in Tokyo, she performed a rapturously received interpretation of 90s Japanese classic Sailor Moon, while her earnest devotion to the Yuri!!! on Ice series has put her at the heart of an international online community. A K-Pop fan, she will have plenty of common ground with her peers in the Olympic host nation as well. EC