6 Things to Know About Russian Gymnast Aliya Mustafina

The 2010 world all-around champ and 2012 Olympic star is still going strong

Aliya Mustafina, Russia, in action on the Balance Beam during the Women's Individual All-Around competition in which she won the Bronze Medal at North Greenwich Arena, during the London 2012 Olympic games. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Aliya Mustafina won the world all-around title in 2010 and earned four medals, including the bars gold, at the 2012 Olympics.

She Rocked Her Worlds Debut in 2010.

Mustafina led her team to gold at the Rotterdam World Championships, then won the individual all-around in commanding fashion -- her total was more than a point over second-place finisher Jiang Yuyuan of China. Mustafina qualified to all four event finals and earned silver medals on vault, bars, and floor. At just 16, she was already impressively consistent too: She only made one major error in the entire competition (a fall on her Arabian on beam).

Then She Had a Heartbreaking Knee Injury in 2011.

At the European Championships in April of 2011, Mustafina sustained a knee injury competing an Amanar vault in the all-around finals. She had surgery for an ACL tear shortly thereafter -- and the devastating injury kept her out of the 2011 worlds.

She Was the Leader of the 2012 Russian Olympic Team.

Mustafina came back in time for the Olympics, however, and earned an impressive medal haul in London. She helped the Russian team win silver, then took bronze in the all-around and on floor. She won the uneven bars gold medal as well, becoming Russia's most decorated gymnast of the Games.

...And Continued to Be One of the Russian Stars Post-London.

While many retired after London, Mustafina proved she was still one of the best in the world, winning bronze in the all-around and on bars, and taking the beam title at the world championships in Antwerp, Belgium, at the end of 2013.

In 2014 she was again one of the best in the competition, leading her team to bronze, and winning another pair of bronze medals on beam and floor in the individual event finals. She was a contender for an all-around medal as well and looked like she'd earn a bronze medal there before a fall on her floor mount dashed her medal hopes.

Mustafina missed the 2015 worlds due to injury, but was named to the Russian Olympic team for 2016 and is expected to once again be one of the best gymnasts on the team.

She Does Very Interesting Skills.

Mustafina dismounts bars with a 1.5-twisting double tuck (now called the Mustafina) and has completed a full-twisting Shaposhnikova release. On beam, she performs a double turn and a round-off triple full dismount.

She Has the Same Birthday As 2 Other Gymnastics Legends.

Born September 30, 1994, in Egorevsk, Russia, Mustafina has a sister, Nailya, who is also an elite gymnast. She shares the same birthday with two other famous gymnasts: Dominique Moceanu (born in 1981) and Andreea Raducan (born in 1983).

Gymnastics Results:

  • 2014 World Championships: 3rd team; 4th all-around; 3rd beam; 3rd floor
  • 2013 World Championships (no team competition held): 3rd all-around; 3rd bars; 1st beam
  • 2012 Olympic Games: 2nd team; 3rd all-around; 1st bars; 3rd floor
  • 2011 American Cup: 2nd all-around; 2nd vault; 1st bars; 3rd beam
  • 2010 World Championships: 1st team; 1st all-around; 2nd vault; 2nd bars; 2nd floor
  • 2010 European Championships: 1st team; 2nd bars; 2nd beam