Yesterday Aliya Mustafina made the official announcement that she will be going back to the Round Lake. Here’s everything we know so far about her comeback.
Aliya gave birth to her daughter Alisa in early June. The gymnast got pregnant shortly after the Rio Olympics and throughout the pregnancy, she maintained that she does not plan to retire at the moment and will go back to training after giving birth in order to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.
Originally, Valentina Rodionenko stated that Mustafina would return to training right after the Worlds in October. Mustafina herself was not giving an exact date, saying that she would probably start training in 2018. However, she missed gymnastics and started posting training teasers on Instagram almost right after birth. She watched both the Universiade and the Russian Cup and that probably was the point when she realized she wanted to return to the team sooner than she planned.
Aliya wrote the following on her Instagram:
“Why did I decide to return to sport? Because I miss you, girls, the coaches who worked with me for so many years, miss being in shape (since my abs practically dissolved and the rest of the muscles, too), miss the competitions. Of course, I have a huge desire to test myself. I’ve been able to recover from injuries and I’m wondering whether I can do this after Alisa’s birth. I hope that I can.”
I want to say thanks to the Russian gymnastics federation for allowing me to train at the Round Lake from the start. I’m ready to fight, I have enough motivation for several people. But I realized that if I didn’t miss gymnastics so badly, I wouldn’t even try [to come back”.
Почему я решила вернуться в спорт? Да потому что я скучаю скучаю по вам девчонки(отметила только кто есть на фото, вообще их на много больше), по тренерам, которые со мной работали столько лет, скучаю по спортивной форме (а то пресс как будто растворился, ну и все остальные мышцы тоже), скучаю по выступлениям. Конечно желания проверить свои силы присутствует огромное) после травм получилось восстановиться, и интересно, получиться ли после рождения Алисы😊 надеюсь что да) хочу сказать спасибо федерации спортивной гимнастики России, за то что позволили мне начать тренироваться сразу на круглом🙏🏻 настрой боевой, желания хоть отбавляй, хватит на всех))) Но я поняла, что если бы я так не скучала по всему что связано с гимнастикой, даже и не пыталась бы.
Valentina Rodionenko talked to TASS about Aliya’s return to the Round Lake:
“Aliya will come to the training camp at the Round Lake on the 3rd of September. She called us herself and asked to be invited to the training camp, and, of course, we did. The next European Championships will take place in the beginning of August and not in the Spring like it always was, and Aliya is planning to prepare for it. Then we’ll know whether she’ll be able to compete at the 2018 Worlds.”
In the interview to SportExpress Rodionenko said that Mustafina is already in good shape and just need some conditioning to be able to return to the full training mode. She believes that Aliya will be fully ready by the 2018 Euros and can win many more Olympic medals in the future.
Elena Vaytsekhovskaya was able to interview Mustafina right after the announcement:
Q: In our last interview you said that your dream is to go to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in order to see your husband competing.
A: I haven’t said goodbye to this dream yet. But it’s too early to talk about this, my husband will be at training camps all the time and I will be, too. I plan on starting training at the Round Lake on the 3rd of September.
Q: Wait, where will your child stay?
A: Also at the Round Lake.
Q: You’ve completely confused me: you’ll start training and will take the stroller to the gym with you?
A: No. (laughs) My mom will go with me. She’s a trained teacher and there’s an agreement for her to work at the Round Lake’s school. Teachers come to the Round Lake regularly and she’ll be joining them. She’ll likely teach physics and match.
Q: I somehow thought you wouldn’t want to stay in gymnastics.
A: Why? I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to retire. If I had any doubts that was several years ago. I had no doubts during the Olympics season: when I give birth, I’ll try to return to the gym as soon as possible.
Q: What is your father thinking about the perspective of being away from not just his daughter and granddaughter but also his wife?
A: He’s a bit grumpy, of course. But, really, he’ve always supported me in all my plans. He’s standing right here at the moment, listening to our talk and smiling.
Q: How long, you think, it’ll take to get back in shape?
A: I don’t think it’ll be long. Although, honestly, I don’t even know if I need to lose any weight.
Q: What do you mean you don’t know? You already managed to break the habit of weighing yourself twice a day?
A: I don’t even have a scale here in our village house. I fell great, all my clothes fit, but I can’t guess my current weight. And, to be frank, I’m not really thinking about it.
Q: And what is your dad saying about this? As a former wrestler he should have an eye for things like this?
A: Dad says that I’m beautiful. And that everything will be great!