Gymnast of the week: Varvara Filiou

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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.

 

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Interview to Melitina Staniouta for “SportTime”

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.”

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Source: “SportTime Magazine”  Photo Copyright: Melitina Staniouta for SportTime Magazine

 

Gymnast of the week: Karla Díaz Arnal

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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.”

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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”.

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Margarita Mamun Euskalgym 2015: Photos

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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.

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Photos: Anna Rizatdinova and Viktoriya Mazur Portraits

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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.

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Photos: Dina and Arina Averina Portraits

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.

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Interview to Carolina Rodríguez after World Championships 2015

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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”

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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.

Rebecca Sereda from U.S.A. announces her retirement

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Six time national U.S.A. champion, announces her retirement from rhythmic gymnastics. Rebecca was dealing for over two years with a serious spine injury. Sereda has been practicing gymnastics for about 13 years being PanAmerican Champion, Junior and Senior national champion and participant in several World Cups.

Unfortunatly I must leave this sport without achieving my ultimate goal of competing at the Olympics and this breaks my heart to pieces. However, when I look back at my career I know I have accomplished so much more than I ever thought imaginable

Becca is very upset with her decision but she tried to do all what she could: visiting doctors all around the country, doing countless procedures to find a solution, but she still was in pain. She wants to be related to the sport, not as an athlete, but as coach or judge.

 

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Letting go of this sport and no longer being able to call myself an athlete makes me very updet but I know if I were to continue my health would decline”

Sereda is very thankful to USA Gymnastics Federation and her RG Club, Isadora. Nowadays US Senior Individual team is: Laura Zeng, Aliya Protto, Cindy Lu and Jasmine Kerber.

 

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Interview to Anna Rizatdinova: Izmir 2014

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Ukrainian champion, Anna Rizatdinova, bronze at European Championships this year is getting ready for Izmir Championships 2014, that will be held in Turkey the next week.

How is your preparation going? There is only a week left for World Championships

– It is very difficult to prepare: both mentally and physically. I think that this time I will be very fit for this competition. We could not almost train in January and February due to political situation in Kiev.

Have you been in Turkey before?

– I have been when I was a kid and I can’t almost remember anything. This time, during competition it will be very difficult to visit the city since we only visit the hotel. I do not know if it will work this time to get out. The schedule is pretty intense: five days of competition.

Where is your gold medal (World Championships Kiev 2013)?

– It is at my parents’ in Simferopol

How is the attitude towards Ukrainian gymnasts

– I can say it is very good. Last spring we competed in France where many people support us up. We did not expect this. Everybody was asking us if we were sad.
With Russian team we were talking as ever- but not about politics.

Last year at World Championships in Kiev you won a gold medal. Accidentaly, Russian national anthem was played instead of Ukrainian. You began to sing but suddenly you said “Not this…”. How you would react at such mistake right now?

– My parents were born in Russia so they know both anthems. That happened last year, now the situation would be totally different.

Recently, Alina Maksymenko uploaded a video performing a “basketball trick”. Was this your idea?

– No, I was not with Alina when she recorded this video. Now that she finished her career, we don’t see each other very often. Alina was invited in many countries (masterclasses) and she has scheduled about three others in Spain.

Irina Blohina is pregnant, what do you think about it?

– We are all happy for her. Ireesha is coming to help us many times. It is a pity she can’t come with us to World Championships in Turkey, but fortunatly, we have phones.

How is your personal life?

– We don’t have so many free time. We just have a day off: Sunday. After trainings, we are very tired and we don’t even have time for going for a walk.

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Anna loves American singer, Lana del Rey and “Summertime Sadness” gala is very special for her

 

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Anna has a really close relationship with Ireesha: “Without her many things couldn’t be possible”

Gymnast of the week: Valeriya Khanina

 

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Valeriya Khanina is a gymnast who was born in Donetsk, Ukraine. Last year, “Lera” (short Ukrainian nickname) moved to Kiev for training with national team as a junior gymnast . Since that, Valeriya is one of the top junior individual gymnast of the world, Champion of Ukraine and silver medallist with ribbon European Championships Baku 2014. Her team mates are Yana Yarosh, Mariya Mulik and Valeriya Yuzvyak.

“Donetsk has never had a very popular gymnast, we have football, but maybe if I work hard, I could become a good gymnast. This is my dream”

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Former Ukrainian champion, Alina Maksymenko, helped Irina Deriugina with Valeriya’s choreographies and traveled with her to several competitions, like Moscow Grand Prix. Junior GP competition was the event to qualify for Youth Olympic Games, where Valeriya competed against Margarita Vasilieva. Alina is really admired by Valeriya Khanina.

“My favorite apparatus are ribbon and clubs”

Irina Deriugina chose her to represent Ukraine in Youth Olympic Games 2014 as an individual gymnast, being one of the favorites for a medal.

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” Our team is very strong. We are fed properly with a good morning breakfast: eggs, cereals and tea. For dinner we eat boiled fish, buckwheat, vegetables and salad. I have never felt hungry and even sometimes we can eat chocolate and ice creams”

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Valeriya is one of the favorites for Youth Olympic Games in Rhythmic Gymnastics

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