Many people thought you would be the
leader of your team in Tokyo. How difficult did you personally find this position?
I didn’t consider myself the leader of the
team. I simply did my program and didn’t
think about it.
How did you manage your own expectations in Tokyo, knowing that you weren’t
competing at full strength because of
your ankle injury? For example, you did
not compete the Amanar vault…
Certainly, I was upset that I could not carry
out my complete program. But I didn’t have
enough preparation leading up to the world
championships after my injury. Specifically, I
could have done the Amanar, but the risk
was too great. The primary goal was restoration.
How is your condition now?
I am in the form in which I should be a [few
months] before the Olympic Games.
What is your strategy for giving your
best performance in London?
We—my coaches and I—are going to perfect
the old program and add new elements.
What do you like best and least about
I very much like to work on all of the apparatuses. My coaches and I constantly think out
elements and ‘clusters,’ and we try to insert
them into combinations. Most of all I do not
like to do conditioning exercises, but they are
necessary. Therefore you have to take it into
your own hands and carry out tasks of the
What kind of advice do your parents offer
you, since they are former gymnasts
My dad and mom support me all the time.
We communicate every day on Skype or on
the phone. If there is something that seems
impossible to me, they try to help me with
any kind of advice. They share their experience of performances and training. They
adjust me psychologically, and they calm me
down in difficult moments.
What is the mood of the Russian team
heading toward London, especially after
winning the 2010 worlds but finishing
second in 2011?
The team is geared only to victory. Tokyo
showed us that, for a victory, we need to
work a lot. And we are trying to train in full
attention to that. I shall simply prepare for
London with full strength, and may the
strongest gymnast win.
Which gymnast or gymnasts do you consider your strongest rivals in London?
I have a lot of worthy rivals from the different
countries. But the most important competitor—this is I alone.
Therefore, now it is necessary for me to
carry out all requirements of my coaches and
systematically conduct my preparation for
London. As they tell us, ‘What’s difficult in
training is easy in the fight.’
How are you coping with the expectations that people have for you in
Many people are anticipating victory for me
in London, and I shall try to justify their
expectations. At the same time, I do not pay
In Tokyo you seemed to lose energy by
the time of the apparatus finals. What are
you doing to stay strong from the qualifications to the apparatus finals in
Yes, really, every competition means heavy
psychological and physical activity.
Last year you were a senior debutante,
and this year you are a veteran. What do
you hope that the judges, audiences and
fans will see in “Viktoria Komova, 2012
Of course, I have experience in performing,
but I still don’t consider myself a veteran. In
competitions in 2012, I will try to show all of
my best athletic and personal qualities. IG
Longtime contributor John Crumlish lives in Los Angeles.