When we think of models, we usually think of catwalks or photoshoots on beaches and in studios. Maybe we picture them having fun in fast cars or fancy restaurants. Or possibly no fun at all, with pouty faces and serious expressions. However, 22-year-old Russian Viki Odintcova is no ordinary model. After all, how many models decide to seek out some adventure in this most daring of ways…?
Viki Odintcova is a popular model in her native Russia and around the world. Yes, despite having only been in the industry for a few years, she’s already worked for plenty of respected photographers. Moreover, she’s flown all over the globe for photoshoots, appeared on the covers of famous magazines and modeled for high-end brands.
Born in St. Petersburg, Odintcova began her career when she was a teenager; she enjoyed doing shoots and taking part in fashion shows during her time at university. However, she’s since admitted that she didn’t really think of it as a career at the time. But that changed when she met fashion photographer Alexander Mavrin three years later. In fact, it was after this chance encounter with the founder of Mavrin Studios that her modeling career began in earnest.
After being snapped up by Mavrin Models, Odintcova worked in many an exotic location. For instance, shots from this period show her walking around Paris or playing with a baby elephant in Sri Lanka. With her popularity and media presence growing, she went on to appear in magazines such as Playboy, gracing its cover in June 2015.
In fact, her career already seemed to be immensely successful. However, in summer 2016 she claimed that she still didn’t feel like she’d made it into the big time. “I do not think that I have achieved great success,” she told Shot Connect. “I am still growing and climbing that very high mountain I call success.”
And it isn’t just in front of the camera that she’s been gaining attention. Since hitting greater heights in the modeling world, there’s been more media attention on her off-the-catwalk antics. Yes, rumors about her love life have steadily begun to appear in gossip columns. Indeed, in 2016 she was romantically linked with F1 ace Fernando Alonso shortly after he split from his then-girlfriend.
Odintcova subsequently denied the rumors of a relationship with the Spanish driver. “No, I wasn’t romantically involved with Fernando Alonso,” she told Shot Connect. “I wasn’t acquainted with him and didn’t know him even before all the rumors in [the] mass media.” Nevertheless, the fact that reports about the alleged relationship appeared in tabloids around the world certainly boosted her profile.
But the life of an internationally recognized model hasn’t just seen the jet-setting Russian visit some unusual spots on her location shoots. No, it has also taken her on some unique, thrill-seeking adventures. Of course, her lingerie shoots have proven popular. But in addition to these, Odintcova has been known to post pictures of herself bungee-jumping, indoor skydiving and zip-lining.
However, it was a photoshoot in Dubai that cemented her reputation as more than just a beautiful model. Indeed, the world now knows that she isn’t afraid of seeking out danger for the sake of a good picture. Yes, in early 2017 she posted pictures on her Instagram feed that shocked viewers. And she wasn’t finished there; the video she uploaded not long after sent the internet into a headspin.
Odintcova posted a video of a stunning Dubai skyscraper that seemed to reach toward the sky endlessly. The unique Cayan Tower is a 73-story building with unusual twists that make it appear to be misshapen. Odintcova, her agile cameraman and a photographer climbed up the stairwell of what was once the world’s tallest high-rise building. The video showed the group reaching the top of the tower and looking out at the sheer drop below.
After gazing at their jaw-dropping surroundings, the cameraman walked out onto a narrow beam and helped Odintcova to join him. Although she looked slightly nervous, she didn’t seem terrified. In fact, the Russian model and one of the photographers fooled around – not like that – on the thin beam. The photographer pretended to slip, seemingly to reassure her that she had nothing to fear. Next, they got ready for something truly amazing.
After a few deep breaths, Odintcova held the photographer’s hand and let herself gently float backwards over the beam. The backdrop showed just how high up the three were. In fact, the view of Dubai’s skyline and the vast orange sunset behind it was quite stunning. As her companion held her by one arm, Odintcova let the other one dangle behind her. Incredibly, she did this with a carefree look on her face.
It seems that the group suspected some viewers would see it as some kind of faked stunt. As a result, the Russian made a behind-the-scenes video of the incident. In the film, it became clear that Odintcova did indeed lean off the side of the building. In fact, it also showed her dangling down dangerously, held only by the cameraman’s arm. You could even see her kicking her legs back.
After the photographer had finished taking photos, Odintcova was helped back onto the beam by the cameraman. Fortunately, he remained amazingly calm throughout the whole experience. The whole thing took only a few minutes, but each second that Odintcova had to trust another person with her life must have felt like a thousand years.
Once the trio had finished, they quietly made their way back down the stairs of the building. In fact, they looked more nervous there than the entire time that they were on the edge of the tower. As they continued their descent, it seemed doubtful that they had permission to be up there. Finally, they reached a door, looked through a small window and made their way back inside.
Back down to Earth, Odintcova looked up at the building. She seemed amazed that only a few minutes earlier she’d been at the top, held up from certain death by the strong arm of her cameraman. The camera subsequently panned from the ground to the top of the skyscraper. The shot reminded us just how crazy they’d been to carry out their dangerous stunt.
Since posting the images on Instagram, the Russian model has gone past three million followers. People have reacted with a mixture of approval, concern, shock and criticism. Indeed, many have taken to social media to criticize her for lacking intelligence and being a poor role model. While some comments came from her native Russia, there has been attention from all over the globe.
“A very bad example for the youth,” one viewer wrote. “Crazy! Looks like god gave you beauty, but seems like he forgot to grace you with a brain,” commented another. One writer in India added, “…what I fail to understand is carelessness of these grown-ups, who think life is too feeble to be taken seriously.” It’s fair to say not everyone was impressed with Odintcova’s actions.
However, Odintcova herself seemed pleased with her stunt. Watching it back, she even appeared shocked by what she’d done. “I still can’t believe I did it,” she wrote online. “Every time I watch the video my palms go sweaty.” Indeed, doing it without any harnesses was incredibly dangerous. But with more than one million views of her video, perhaps she thinks it’s worth it.
Of course, Odintcova isn’t the only Russian model to have taken photoshoots to the next level. There’s also 23-year-old Angela Nikolau. She’s a “roofer,” which means someone who climbs high roofs and takes photographs in dangerous poses. Nikolau was recently pictured standing on the edge of a skyscraper in Guangzhaou, China, on one foot. “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” she wrote in her accompanying post.
Odintcova, though, has yet to reveal whether she will perform other high-rise stunts or if this was a one-off. However, a comment from an interview in July 2016 suggests that she might not be done quite yet. “Life is too short to avoid realizing all your fantasies,” she said. So maybe we’ll soon see Odintcova jumping out of planes without a parachute or running with the bulls in Pamplona…