Viktoria Komova competed this week for the first time almost in two years. Back in 2016, Komova announced her retirement and when she decided to come back, there were people who thought she wouldn’t be able to. She does not yet have her full difficulty, but even easier routines ensured her a silver at the Voronin Cup. Komova talked about her come back to R Sport:
Q: It was your first competition after a long break. How do you feel on the competition stage?
A: You know, I was very nervous. Because there was a lot of adrenaline saved during these two years and all this stored adrenaline – boom! – came out in one day! (laughs) Whatever I tried to calm myself down, you can’t imagine it. How fast my heart was beating! But somehow I calmed down and did everything I needed to. I’m happy, but not with everything. I’m happy that I competed here, prepared for it and did almost everything successfully.
Q: After the Worlds in Glasgow, could you even imagine that you would have such a long break? What were your thoughts when your health issues flared up?
A: The issues with my back started a long time ago and worsened right before the Olympics. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about anything I just wanted to endure it until Rio and to get treatment after the Games. But it so happened that all the most serious problems started a bit early. Of course, it was very disappointing, but it’s ok.
Q: Where did you find the strength to make yourself come back?
A: Honestly, I have this huge desire to compete! I was really missing this adrenaline, missing the people’s attention when I step on the podium. When you compete, people applaud you – this is the most pleasant thing for an athlete. And the most favorite, I’d say. That’s why I came back, I still really love gymnastics.
Q: And what about the sports anger? After all, many, let’s say, wrote you off already. They said: “She won’t come back”.
A: Because I myself said that I won’t come back. I said that I’m retiring and won’t step in the gym ever again. But when it [the pain] started to pass, the doctors said that I could train, gave me a green light, the first thing I did was to go to the gym. And I didn’t just go but with an intent to recover.
Q: How and where were you recovering? The Russian Federation of Artistic Gymnastics’ main sponsor is VTB Bank. Surely, the conditions [for recovery] were good?
A: Of course, many thanks to the bank that it takes care of us and, among other things, helps with paying for the medical treatment. It’s a really big support! If I wasn’t sent to Germany and treated at such a high level, I don’t think I’d be standing here and talking to you right now. We’re really grateful and will try to compete in a way that would make everyone proud!
Q: What happened is that at the same time as you, Aliya Mustafina is also coming back – after giving birth. Are you helping each other, supporting each other?
A: The situations are a bit different. But, of course, we’re helping, there’s support.
Q: Moving to the current situation: you’re doing all-around which is already close to the ideal. What else do you need to work on seriously?
A: I’m doing all the apparatuses now, but not my full difficulty. Far from full. I have to upgrade and upgrade on each apparatus. Yes, I went out to compete at Voronin Cup but I assembled my simplest routines, whatever was ready now. I’m managing to do some things, but you have to consider that I rose from zero, from the rock bottom! I’ve been training for a year and I can do some things now. Our sport is very hard, and even when I arrived here and was preparing for the competition, my mom was constantly asked: “How many apparatuses will Vika compete on? Two?” And when she replied “Four” everyone was so surprised, I guess they couldn’t believe that such a thing is possible. But I still have to keep on working. This competition is my first inspirational push. I had to work towards something and this competition was the most suitable option. It’s at the end of the year, such a concluding competition. And it was the most important one for me.
Q: It seemed that you had a special mood when you went to compete on bars. After all, your last Worlds medal was on bars, in Scotland.
A: I also don’t do my full difficulty on bars yet – I have to work a lot there. Generally, I was competing with a serious attitude on every apparatus, but, at the same time, I tried not to focus too much, because sometimes it’s not good. I set myself up to go and compete calmly.
Q: Speaking about the next goals, what are they?
A: That’s it for this year. Next year – the Russian Championships, of course. I aspire [to compete] at the European Championships, and rolling on from there. (smiles)
Q: By the way, in 2018, the European Championships will be in a new format, at the end of the summer, and the break between it and the Worlds will be quite short. What do you think, will it be hard?
A: This will be the first time for us, so we also don’t really know how it will work out. This is also something new for us.
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