This week in gymnastics news!
1. Aliya Mustafina is a mother:
It was reported this week by Russian news outlets that Aliya Mustafina has given birth to a baby girl. Aliya took fans by surprise in November 2016 by marrying Russian bobsledder Alexei Zeitsev whom she had been dating since late 2015. Fans were further surprised when it was announced in January 2017 that Aliya was pregnant and the baby was due in July. Aliya has been coy about her pregnancy, attending the Russian Championships earlier this year wearing large oversized clothing. Like her marriage and pregnancy announcement, the birth of her baby came as a surprise to many as Aliya has been so quiet about her marriage, pregnancy and life in general since taking home 3 medals from the Rio Olympics in August, even requesting that in an interview recently there would be no questions about her pregnancy. However word did get out via Valentina Rodionenko this week that Aliya and Alexei had indeed welcomed a baby girl into the world and that she and mother are both healthy and well. We are looking forward to seeing Aliya shine as a mother, like she does on the competition floor and seeing whether the little girl whose name we still don’t know will follow in her mother’s footsteps and win Olympic gold in 2036!
2. Laurie Hernandez will resume training at the end of Summer:
It was reported this week that Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez will resume training at the end of the Summer. This comes as somewhat of a surprise to me personally as it seemed that Laurie had her sights firmly set on a career in acting after guest appearing on Disney show ‘Stuck in the Middle’ and showing her performance abilities appearing on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars and winning with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Laurie has been extremely busy with other opportunities since taking a gold and silver medal home from the Rio games in August and it seemed like it was not slowing down. However, it seems that either things are slowing down a little or that Laurie simply misses gymnastics and she has announced that she will return to training at the end of this Summer. Laurie, who was verbally committed to Florida but gave up her NCAA eligibility by going pro when she made the Olympic team is of course still in school and is only 17 years old. For these reasons, I believe that going back to training and having a normal schedule will be beneficial for Laurie so she can finish her studies and she can continue her gymnastics career. A career that has really only just begun as 2016 was just her first year in the senior ranks, Laurie does indeed note that whilst she found success at the highest level of competition, the Olympic Games, she has never competed at a World Championships. This, something she notes that she would like to do. She notes that she will focus on floor and beam however she has always been a strong all around competitor and should the comeback go to plan I suspect we will see her on all 4 events. I believe Laurie will take a leaf from fellow Olympian’s Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas’ books in taking her comeback slowly and giving it 100%, only returning to competition if and when she is ready. It is presumed that Laurie will indeed return to the gym she has trained at since she was a young child, MG Elite with coach, Maggie Haney.
3. Get your tickets for the 2018 European Championships:
Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
4. Russian gymnasts go to training camp in Spain:
Every year, WAG Russian gymnasts attend a training camp in Mallorca, Spain and this year was no different. Whilst the Spanish island is synonymous with vacationing, the Russian gymnasts and in particular Olympic silver medalist, Daria Spiridonova assured fans that the gymnasts were not vacationing. Instead, whilst they did enjoy ice cream and some down time, they trained hard and returned back to Russia this week as they prepare for some Summer competitions and the World Championships later this year in Montreal.
5. Aly Raisman and Colton Underwood split:
In case you’ve noticed a lack of arm candy attending events with Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman lately, this is the reason. Raisman has reportedly split with former NFL and Illinois State football player Colton Underwood. The relationship materialised after Colton posted a video to Twitter during the Olympic Games asking Raisman out on a date. Aly took Colton up on the offer and after finding it difficult to meet due to both of their busy schedules, the two met and went of a couple of dates. The relationship lasted a few months and Colton cited their busy schedules as the reason for the split.