I know what rep. by pop. is, but this is what we need to know. From the ATP champions site,
Safin Elected To Russian State Parliament
Former World Number One tennis player and star of the ATP Champions Tour, Marat Safin, has been voted into the Russian Federal Parliament, the Duma.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Safin, a member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, has been elected into the Duma’s lower house as a representative for the Nyzhny Novgorod region, approximately 500k from Moscow.
Ahead of the election results, Safin explained to the ATP Champions Tour how he reached the decision to pursue his political ambitions.
“My life has been changing for the last two years,” he said. “All of a sudden I found myself in a situation where I had to make really serious decisions. It started with one small thing and it grew up to something big. I could go and make commercials left and right and pretend like I am a celebrity, but that is not me. I never did this, I never liked it. I had a few months of thinking ‘should I do this or should I not’ but now I am pretty sure of what I’m doing and I want to do it.”
The 31 year-old also explained his new political career shares some similarities with his former life as a professional tennis player.
“I’m in completely new shoes,” he said. "This is a completely new life, a new way of thinking, new way of doing things that’s nothing to do with tennis or sports at all. But the two things definitely have one thing in common and that is that you need to have a character. You have to be strong and you have to know where you’re going, what you want to do, and you have to be able to make sacrifices.”
“I will be working for the next five years day after day, sitting in an office, wearing a suit. I will have good days, bad days and I will have to fight once again like I’ve been fighting on the court. It will be complicated.”
One of the most prominent supporters of Safin’s political career has been the man who he beat to win his first Grand Slam at the US Open in 2000, Pete Sampras.
“In 20 years Marat will be the President of Russia!” joked Sampras, before adding seriously:
“Trust me, Marat is going to go a long way. He is very intelligent and articulate and he’s good with people, and that’s half the battle with being a politician.”
Safin is not the first Russian sports star to launch a second career in politics. The 2005 Australian Open Champion is joining an exclusive club which includes the likes of gymnast Svetlana Khorkina, figure skater Anton Sikharulidze and heavyweight boxer Nikolay Valuev, all of whom have run for office.