Viktoria Mazur was born in Lugansk, Ukraine 21 years ago and right now, she is representing this country since 2008, as a junior gymnast.
Her most important competition as a junior gymnast she was a member of the bronze medal-winning Team Ukraine. In 2013, Vika competed with the group at World Championships in Kiev. Unfortunatly, they could not qualified for finals because of a fatal drop during qualifications.
Her best ranking places were (*source: Wikipedia):
Due to the qualification system, Viktoriya could not reach a place for Olympic Games in Rio since she did not qualified in Stuttgart World Championships last year. Many fans love Vika all around the world and they even travel to most important competitions to support her.
Aleksandra “Sasha” Soldatova was born in Pushkino, Russia, eighteen years ago. Sasha brought into international competitions since 2011. Her career is excellent: European Champion (Team) in 2012, Junior Russian Champion, European and World Champion with team.
In her early career, she moved close to Moscow and started training with Anna Shumilova (Dyachenko) in Dynamo Dmitrov. Over the last years, many Rhythmic Gymnastics Stars trained here such as Olympic Champion Alina Makarenko, World Champion Darya Kondakova or Master in Sports Adel Galina, Veronika Polyakova and Ekaterina Malygina.
These pictures were taken during World Cup Series in Guadalajara, Spain in June 2016. Spanish audience was crazy about Sasha and she was really glad to be in Spain.
Photographer Copyright Twitter @dani_foto
Ekaterina Selezneva: “Turning moment”
Ekaterina Selezneva was born 21 years ago in Russia. She is international Master of Sports and a member of National Russian Team.
“I have been doing gymnastics since I was 5 years old. My mum is an honored rhythmic gymnastics coach, but she wasn’t too much about of me becoming a professional gymnast. I don’t remember my first training. But I was surrounded by girls that were older than me. I was even scared of them!”
Darya Klesheva and Ekaterina Selezneva
“Right now I am on my third year of University and soon I will graduate in Physical Education. It is really difficult to study and be a sportswoman at the same time. For example this year, Russian National Championships was one of the most difficult competitions of my life. We have a really tough gymnastics school, one of the best of the whole world. The level in this championship is quite high. Fortunatly I performed clean routines that’s why I could join National Team”
Source: VOGUE RUSSIA – Photos All Rights Reserved
Varvara Filiou was born in December 29, 1994 in Attiki, Greece. She is a 8 time (2008-2016) Greek National Champion. She is one of Greece’s most successful rhythmic gymnasts and she also got a direct qualification for Olympic Games in Rio at last World Championships in Stuttgart. Varvara’s mother, Eleonora Marinova is a former Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnast. Since a few years, Filiou is living in Moscow and training with Russian National Team in Novogorsk. Her coach is Russian aswell. Her former coaches were Evmorphina Dona (Greek champion) and Aliya Garayeva (Olympian from Russia/Azerbaijan).
These following pictures were taken in a photoshoot with Varvara and her family during World Championships in Stuttgart. Her parents were searching for Greek people living in Stuttgart, Germany to support her daughter during World Championships. And sure, they found a few people: Greek restaurant owners, who organized a private Greek (music, food and drink)party after Varvara got her qualification for Rio. All these pictures belong to Rhythmic-Gymnastics.info website.
Belarusian champion, Melitina Staniouta and her teammate Ekaterina (Katsiaryna) Halkina gave an interview for sportsmagazine “SportTime”. Both will compete this summer in Olympic Games in Rio.
I will try to add new elements to surprise my fans
“The more days left to Olympics, the more I think about it. Even just being at the Olympic Village is like a licence. It is worth it: nerves and tears. In the Village, you could meet people from many different countries: Russia, Ukraine, United States of America, France… But for the moment, Russia is the leader”
Even just being at the Olympic Village is like a licence
“Now I am 22 years old. I am trying to have different routines. In adition, I will try to add new elements to surprise my fans.”
Source: “SportTime Magazine” Photo Copyright: Melitina Staniouta for SportTime Magazine
Rhythmic Gymnastics leotards are one of the most attractive side of this sport.Each leotard is exclusively designed, made and crafted for the gymnast. They are all handmade and could cost around 1000 € each or even more, depending of the number of Swarovski stones that it has. This crystal reflects with the light, creating and illusion.
Karla Díaz Arnal from Mexico is one of the gymnasts that will fight for a place to compete in Rio Olympic Games. Karla talked about her leotards:
“My mum helps me a lot. She loves to design and sew my rhythmic gymnastics leotards. Only once I bought a pair of leotards from Belarus, which in fact, were really beautiful. But the ones that I really like are the ones from my mum, because they are made with feelings.”
“Fortunatly, my leotards are not that expensive (Russian ones cost around 3000€) since my mum works on them. This made them so special for me. She has the inspiration in other leotards and of course, the music.”
Karla Díaz Arnal, World Championships Stuttgar 2015
“First of all, I choose the music, depending on the apparatus. The music inspires the colours of the leotard.”
Karla’s mum is so proud of her “I remember when she was only 9 years old. I asked her: “where was your happiest day of your life?” . I was expecting her answer would be “My birthday, Santa’s…”. But she answered me: “The happiest day of my life is when I am in competitons”. I realized that was what she wanted and of course, I support her on this decision”.
Margarita “Rita” Mamun is the Russian National All-Around Champion and two-time World All-Around silver medalist. Rita was born in Russia but his father from Bangladesh that is why she briefly competed for this country. Her mother is a former rhythmic gymnast.
During 2015 Rita won gold in World Championships Team Competition together with Yana Kudryavtseva and Aleksandra Soldatova. She as also awarded with Longines Prize for Elegance.
Her coach is Amina Zaripova a former rhythmic gymnast also from Russia, silver and bronze All-Around European and World medalist.
These pictures were taken during Euskalgym press conference and gala in Vitoria, Spain.
Ukrainian graces, Anna Rizatdinova ( 2013 Word All-around silver medalist, the 2014 All-around bronze medalist and the 2014 European All-around bronze medallist) and European medallist, Viktoriya Mazur attended this month to Euskalgym Gala Show in Spain. These pictures where taken during autograph session and press conference.
Anna Rizatdinova was interviewed by one of the most popular sports press magazine in Spain. She revealed how happy she was for qualifying for Olympic Games in Rio. She already started her preparation looking forward Summer Olympic Games in 2016.
Dina and Arina Averina are two rhythmic gymnasts from Zavolzhye, Russia. They are the most popular twins in rhythmic gymnastics nowadays and have followers all around the world. Since 2011 these twins compete under Russian flag. Last year, in 2014 both competed in Senior Level including tournaments in Russia, Lisbon and Budapest.
Arina and Dina live now in Moscow, both training in Novogorsk as members of the National Team of Russia.
After Olympic Games in London in 2012 Carolina Rodríguez was about to stop doing gymnastics. He was suffering from a foot injury and the only solution was surgery. She wanted to compete in European Championships and then retire. But her love to the sport made a dream come true: she continued training and last week, she qualified for Rio Olympics 2016.
“Carolina is different. She has charisma. What I feel towards her is more than work. We share feelings”
Olympic Games London 2012
“Sometimes I have a lot of negative feelings around me. But thanks to my coaches and family I could see the positive side of the sport”
“When Spain won the gold medal at Atlanta ’96 I was 10 years old. I thought to myself “I also want to go to Olympic Games”. In 2004, when I was 18 I had the opportunity to compete at Olympic Games in Athens, with the group. Nowadays, I am looking forward to compete again as an individual gymnast in an Olympic Games. For me London Olympics was like a prize. I could never imagine that 4 years later, I would be still training.”
“I am feeling sad (about her retirement after OG) because I know that Carolina is unique” – said her coach.
Carolina will be the most veteran rhythmic gymnast in Olympic Games: 30 years old.