After winning three gold medals at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova confirmed her growing reputation by earning two silvers at London 2012. She is now looking ahead with confidence to Rio de Janeiro 2016, at which point she will still only be 21.
Despite having not yet left her teenage years behind her, Viktoria Komova has already tasted considerable Olympic success. Born to gymnast parents in the southern Russian city of Voronezh on 30 January 1995, Komova was an outstanding junior competitor who once stated that “gymnastics is everything; I can’t imagine my life without it”.
She laid down a marker at the 2009 European Youth Olympic Festival in Pescara (ITA), where she collected four gold medals (including one for the individual all-around event) and a bronze. Later that year, she achieved an identical set of results at the European Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
In August 2010, the prodigious Russian starred at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, claiming three golds (in the vault, uneven bars and all-around) and a bronze (in the floor exercise). The 15-year-old was already looking to future challenges: “I want to qualify for the London Games in 2012 and maybe those in Rio too,” she proclaimed at the time.
Runner-up in London
Crowned 2011 world champion in the uneven bars in Birmingham (GBR), where she also picked up two silver medals, she qualified comfortably for Russia’s gymnastics team for London 2012. Under the dome of the North Greenwich Arena on 31 July 2012, she and her four compatriots, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Anastasia Grishina, Aliya Mustafina and Maria Paseka, clinched second place in the women’s team all-around competition behind the USA.
Three days later, Komova came close to capping off a great debut at the Olympic Games with a triumph in the individual all-around final, but lost out to Gabby Douglas by just 0.259 points. In Rio, she will be aiming to go that one step further.©Getty Images