Behind the Scenes - Training with Russian Stars Aliya Mustafina and Viktoria Komova


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    An in-depth look at training with Mustafina and Komova, courtesy of YouTube user queensblade2011, with a full translation below. In addition to seeing both gymnasts train all four events, highlights include frank discussions by the girls and coach Aleksander Alexandrov about topics including training, fears, the significant threat that Team USA poses with its many Amanar vaults, injuries, living away from home, what the gymnasts like to do on their days off, why Viktoria chose floor music by Queen for London, and much more.

    Translation below, courtesy of golikovajulia & Rachael L:

    They talk about the facility at Round Lake, and how girls from all over the country aspire to get there -- To Lake Krugloye and then on to shine at the World Championships. They go on to explain that another top contender for the podium alongside Vika in the same gym -- former world champion Aliya Mustafina. They recap her knee injury and mention how Aliya's championship sense of patience allowed her to recover quickly and -- now she is very seriously set on gold at the Olympics in London.

    Aliya: I've completely forgotten about the injury and I don't want to remember and think about it at all. In all -- thank God. I have no fear either.

    Aleksandrov: In June, there's the Russian Cup and both of them will most likely take part. There it will become clear who is better. For us, the main thing is not which one will be stronger, but instead the main thing is that both of them are properly prepared to compete with the American and Chinese women. That's our main objective. So if you are asking which one is stronger? Well, lets just hope they will both be strong and and will win the top two places.

    Aliya: We are only competitive against one another at competitions and even then only when we are actually on the equipment. The rest of the time, we stay close to the apparatus and everybody supports each other.

    Vika: Everybody makes mistakes, including me. I am not protected from that. When it happens, I go back over everything with my coach, to try and fix it.

    Aliya: It seems that the goal of every athlete is to take part in the Olympic Games. If you have trained since you were very young, then it's very good to go to the Olympics.

    Aleksandrov: Not everyone is capable of winning medals. The first thing that's necessary is to find a gymnast with the talent and the will, only then does it become possible to win a medal. Even among their huge population in China, are they are not always able to find medalists. There's a very big boom of gymnastics in the USA right now.

    Interviewer: Gymnastics is rapidly expanding in the USA, with wide broadcasts. The biggest weapon of our rivals? — a vault with 2.5 twists.
    Aliya: For the moment, the most challenging apparatus for us is vault because right now we only have a few people who can vault a DTY.

    Aleksandrov: America has an advantage on vault right now, even though our girls have performed it (Amanars) too. Vika at the Youth Olympic Games, and Mustafina at the Worlds -- before even the Americans were vaulting it.

    Interviewer: It's necessary to work without stopping in order to win against Americans. The girls work without self -pity though they tell us that women's gymnastics without tears is unheard of.

    Aliya: The crying happens because even though you're exhausted, you have to constantly keep repeating and repeating the skills. But you understand this is what it takes -- I think most likely the tears help.

    Vika: Sometimes I break down, when it's hard. It's difficult to overcome and work through pain every single time.

    Aleksandrov: We have no psychologist. But by the time a coach has reached the National team level, he has also become a psychologist. He knows the girl better than anyone else.

    Vika: I love flipping up high on the bars. I can't imagine not doing gymnastics.

    Aliya: The most difficult thing to overcome is yourself. It's difficult to force oneself to get up and keep going when things are tough.

    Vika: (talking about BB) It is one of the four apparatus that make up with AA. It is 4 meters in length, 10 centimeters in width. On beam key thing is to withstand the nerves and make everything beautiful and accurate without losing any execution.

    Interviewer: We went on to see on of the most fascinating events — floor exercise. Vika did not mention what event is her favorite. Along with her coach, Vika chose music from the group "Queen" to appeal to the London fans.

    Aleksandrov: Gymnastics is very difficult sport. At the professional level, sorts are very demanding. There is a constant risk of injury.

    Aliya: In gymnastics the main risk of injury are to the feet, the hands and the back.

    Vika: One Sunday I went to gym to exercise and I broke my leg. It was my first serious injury.

    Aleksandrov: The more difficult the skill, the higher the risk.

    Vika: When you try a new skill, awful things always happen. Only a fool would not be scared.

    Aleksandrov: It's definitely terrible when you (here I can't tell if he was saying you turn over all the things that could happen in your head, or if he meant "turn over" more literally, as in you fall on your head). Everything depends on your nerves, your coordination, and from your technique. When they first try a skill or train a heavy work load they do it into a pit for insurance. In general, the first thing we teach in gymnastics is how to fall and then we go on to the other elements.

    Translation credit to : golikovajulia & Rachael L