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By Gokul Pillai
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Former World number three, Elena Dementieva retired from the WTA at the end of last season and set out to make another vital decision of her life. She married long time boyfriend and NHL star Maxim Afinogenov in a wonderful ceremony at the Ritz Carlton hotel in the center of Moscow which stands across the Red Square and the Kremlin on July 16, 2011.
The wedding was held on the roof as pigeons were released into the sky to commemorate the occasion and the reception took place on the second floor.
As the wedding was all about two greats in Sports coming together, an obvious star-studded guest list revealed itself on the occasion. The tennis legends and fellow stars of the Russian star who attended the wedding were, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Vera Zvonavera, Dinara Safina, Elena Vesnina, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Dushevina, Maria Kirilenko, Ekaterina Makarova, Igor Andreev and the President of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpischev. There were also video messages from Roger Federer, Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki. Dushevina got hold of the bride's bouquet.
Among the hockey stars present at the wedding were Afinogenov’s fellow players, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexei Yashin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vyacheslav Kozlov and Andrei Markov, former player Aleksei Kasatonov, Coach Vladimir Yurzinov and President of the Continental Ice Hockey League Alexander Medvedev.
The 29 year old Dmenetieva won 16 career titles and reached another 16 finals. 31 year old Afinogenov was part of the NHL for 10 seasons which included nine with the Buffalo Sabres and one with the Atlanta Thrashers. He is now with the SKA St. Petersburg as part of the Continental Ice Hockey League.
As Olympians, Dementieva won silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Afinogenov snatched a bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics has also two gold medals himself.
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