Elena Keldibekova, of Kazakh descent but Peruvian at heart, is a former professional volleyball player and one of the most renowned Asian-Latino athletes in her country.
Born on June 23, 1974 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Keldibekova is a living legend in Perú. The former setter currently promotes children’s sports with kids eight years of age and older, providing them with necessary support should they show the potential to reach a competitive level of play.
She decided to leave the old continent and arrived in Peru, where she was supposed to play for only one year on Club Regatas Lima. She wound up playing for the team three years and making her debut on the national team after becoming a citizen in 2000. The setter, remembered for saving a ball with a kick in the 2010 qualifiers against Argentina, was a central figure on the Peruvian sextet until 2012.
“I fell in love with Peru, the people, the atmosphere, the weather,” Keldibekova told World of Volley a few years ago.
She played for club teams around the world, including TV Fischbek Hamburg in Germany, Lokomotiv Baku in Azerbaijan, and Time Volley Matera from Italy.
In Italy she met Guido Germán, her current partner, and settled in the city of Jáuregui after her retirement in 2013. She stayed as assistant in Regatas Lima that year.
Keldibekova’s son Jan Westreicher, was a high jump champion in Peru.