Uljana Semjonova's considerable impact on the women's international basketball can only be seen as modest when it is compared to the inspiration she has been in her native Latvia. From 1970 to 1985, Semjonova was voted the most popular athlete in her country twelve times; in the same fifteen-year span, Sports Illustrated never had a repeat Sportsman of the Year. During the 7-foot Semjonova's remarkable eighteen-year career, which began in 1968, she has never lost a single game when playing in international competition. Over the next two decades, she garnered some 45 medals, including fifteen gold medals from the Soviet National Championships, eleven gold medals from the highly competitive European Championships, and three gold medals from the World Championships. In the short history of women's Olympic basketball, Semjonova earned two gold medals playing for the Soviet Union in the 1976 and 1980 games.