Aliya Mustafina has come to train in Penza for the first time since her comeback. She’s officially representing the Penza region and that’s where her personal coach is based, but even before Rio, she was mostly training in Moscow and at camps at Round Lake. In Penza, Mustafina and Denis Abliazin are currently training with an expert in conditioning, Vitaly Pavlikov. According to Sergei Starkin, Pavlikov was invited to assess the current state the gymnasts are in and to prepare them for getting fully in shape while preventing possible injuries.
Aliya also gave an interview to Penzenskaya Pravda about her comeback.
Q: You took a break from the sport after the Rio Olympics. And now you’ve resumed training. How did you come to this decision?
A: It all happened spontaneously. At first, I just decided to try to get back in shape. Started going to the gym, then gradually started doing simple elements, combinations. Then there were more and more of them with every day and I got hooked. I expected that it the recovery would be much harder. Maybe it all still seems easy to me because I haven’t yet gotten to the serious routines I had been doing before.
Q: We heard from your coach, Sergei Starkin, that your first competition can be the Russian Championships in the spring of 2018.
A: We’re not specifically training for this competition. I’d say it like this – if I’ll manage to do it, if I’ll be ready, then I’ll compete there.
Q: During your break you got married and became a mom. Is it hard to combine daily practices with raising a child?
A: My mom really helps me with that. Because of her, I have the opportunity to train while she’s babysitting.
Q: Is your husband helping?
A: He’s always either at camps or at competitions.
Q: Is it hard for two athletes to be away from each other all the time?
A: Let’s not talk about it.
Q: You’re not spoiling your fans with frequent family photos and videos on your Instagram. Are you superstitious or just too busy?
A: Nothing superstitious, it’s just, you know, posts in social networks aren’t my main life goal. When there’s something interesting, I post it. But I don’t film anything just to post it.
Q: Denis Abliazin’s wife (Ksenia Semenova) posts videos of their son in which he sort of shows his desire for gymnastics. Does your daughter show anything like that?
A: It’s too early to be thinking about that, she’s only 5 months old.