Olympian Angelika Timanina resisted nude shoots to become the next Maria Sharapova

Olympian Angelika Timanina resisted nude shoots to become the next Maria Sharapova

Don’t expect to see Olympian Angelika Timanina strip down anytime soon.

The 30-year-old Russian surfer — set to compete in the 2021 Tokyo games, nearly a decade after scoring gold in London for synchronized swimming — has her eyes on a different prize nowadays: a career mirroring Maria Sharapova’s.

“I wanted to become like the ‘Maria Sharapova’ of synchronized swimming, cover the luxury sector, brands like Dior and Armani,” Timanina said, according to News.com.au, citing rt.com.

Russia's synchronized swimming team after winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics
Russia’s synchronized swimming team after winning gold at the 2012 London OlympicsGetty Images

Timanina regularly shares snippets of her surfing excursions and lifestyle with her legions of Instagram followers. One thing fans will never see, however, is a naked shoot.

“Of course [she is asked to take off her clothes]. But my goal from the very beginning was different,” she explained, noting, “luxury brands will never work with a girl who has done naked shoots for the cover of Playboy.”

Sharapova, 32, retired from tennis back in February, ranking as the eighth highest-paid tennis player of all time, per Business Insider. During her 17-year career, Sharapova had endorsement deals with Tiffany & Co. and Tag Heuer, among others. Her stock dipped in 2016 in response to a failed drug test.

As for Timanina, she counts advertising shoots and Instagram as her main income.

“I graduated from commentary courses at Ostankino, hired a PR representative and set out to be recognized in Russia,” she said. “I wanted to become a media personality so I could make money from it. It worked.”

Timanina is also readying for the next chapter of her athletic career when she competes in the surfing competition in Japan after the Olympics were pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Surfing has opened up a whole new world for me: freedom, the ocean, the sun, you’re on the wave, alone with nature,” Timanina said.

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