Aliya Mustafina + World & Olympic medals
The only reason you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.
Aliya Mustafina, FX 2013 Worlds AA final
Jaime's Gym Aristocracy Meme: Aliya Mustafina 10/∞
There's something about Aliya Mustafina.
Both elegant and powerful, dynamic and dramatic, and always surprising her fans and her critics.
Aliya's greatest weakness in turn is also her greatest strength. She has this "to hell with it" attitude, that at its worst could have ended her career. Performing an Amanar vault during the AA at the 2011 European Championships that she didn't need to perform in order to medal, and was told not to compete, caused her ACL to tear whilst landing.
However, it's the same attitude that got her back into competition. She defied all odds training even with a knee brace, and that same "to hell with it" attitude led her to compete in the London Olympics, where she helped the Russian Federation win the team silver, and individually won bronze in the All Around, bronze for the Floor Exercise, and is now the current Olympic Champion on the Uneven Bars. These medals, added to the ones she won prior to her injury, made her the most decorated gymnast of the quad, as well as one of the most decorated athletes of the London Olympic Games.
There's a reason as to why some gym fans support Aliya so much. But for me, it's how she continues to surprise us all. She works on her weaknesses, and makes them her strengths. To tell anyone a year ago that she would become the World Champion on beam, they would probably laugh at you.
Love her or hate her, her form may not be perfect, and her fans may drive you up the wall, but there's something very special about Aliya Mustafina.