Despite the advantages of the internet, it is rare for fans to have access to gymnasts from different countries, especially when the nation’s native language is not English. For this reason, it was especially exciting to fans when 2010 world all around champion Aliya Mustafina, from Russia, was featured in a short English documentary for the BBC.
You can watch the video here.
Although Mustafina seriously injured her ACL at the 2011 European Championships and many have doubted her ability to come back as a real threat to other competitors at the Olympics, the short video indicates that things are looking good for her. She is working on several difficult new skills that she has never competed before, such as a sky-high double layout (on the trampoline; it will be interesting to see if she is capable of competing it on the real gymnastics floor), and looks confident and in shape.
Many fans have shown concern over Mustafina rushing her recovery, but it seems from the video that she is being as patient as she can while still preparing for the Olympics. Judging from experience, Alexandrov probably knows what he is talking about. He transformed the team from a weakening, crumbling group of athletes to a stellar threat on the podium. In fact, under Alexandrov’s watch, Russia won its first world team gold medal (this, of course, is not counting the numerous gold medals that the team won as the Soviet Union).
Mustafina’s coach, Alexander Alexandrov (also the national team coach for the Russian women’s team) says that Mustafina is in good shape and is capable of really impressing at the Olympics.
The documentary also mentioned that Olympic glory is practically in Mustafina’s blood. Her father, Fahed Mustafin was a Greco-Roman wrestler and competed at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, winning the bronze medal. Undoubtedly, Mustafina will want to follow in her father’s footsteps, although knowing her character and demeanor, she will not shoot for anything less than gold.