When high jumper Anna Chicherova won gold for Russia at the 2012 London Olympics, she brought joy to millions of her compatriots, in particular her fellow women. Chicherova was juggling the demands of a one-year-old child with training and had sustained a back injury just months before the Olympic opening ceremony. A few days before the day of the competition, fellow Russian Ivan Ukhov won gold in the men’s high jump despite an injury himself. “I thought if one person survived, the other can too. I walked into the finals as if going to war. I would do everything to win and I did it,” recalls Chicherova. “I screamed. I cried. I think I went mad for a moment and then it was clear that I was the winner.” At the 2012 Olympics, Chicherova, now 32 years old, was the only woman to clear 2.05m, beating her own personal best at the World Championships in South Korea the previous year by 2cm.