If fans didn’t fall for little Ukrainian gymnastics star Mariya Livchikova for her unique beam work and front tumbling in the last few years, then they must have fallen for her grace and dance on floor. Whatever the reason, she stands out in many fans minds as being one of the few remaining arbiters of that beautiful combination that is elegance and originality in the sport these days.
Livchikova hasn’t had the easiest of careers. Her worst luck struck with a serious knee injury in what would be her first major meet at the 2011 Worlds. She had already been injured that year, hurting herself on floor during the Stella Zakharova Cup. Not only did the ACL injury kill the rest of the season, it put an end to the gymnast’s bid at being one of the Ukrainian individuals who would represent their nation at the Olympic Games this year.
Despite this bad luck, Livchikova has remained a firm fan favorite. Fans have enthusiastically appreciated the way her beautiful gymnastics brings that much-loved Ukrainian elegance and that tendency toward unique skill choices to the floor. She is an incredible little gymnast who has not had enough of a chance to shine yet.
Last month heralded our first look at Livchikova for some time- since Europeans, I believe- in a beautiful beam set captured while she competed in Brno, a Grand Prix she won with her partner, earning a massive 15.250 on the event.
Sadly, despite her popularity, not much is known about this young gymnast. We know she is a Ukrainian in every sense, with her beautiful gymnastics and her talent for beam and dance. We know she was born in April in 1995. But this is about it.
Thanks to Alan Owen, who has been in Ukraine organising the gymnasts’ new websites, we now can gain just a little insight into Mariya’s personality. Her answers are short and sweet (perhaps she is shy?), but we can at least begin to know her a little. Hopefully the next year will bring a an injury-free year, where her talents have an opportunity to shine!
Does anyone else in the family do sport?
[My] mother is Oksana Viktorovna, a former figure skater
Why did you begin learning gymnastics?
I started gymnastics at the age of seven because I thought the sport was very interesting.
How do you cheer yourself up on a bad day?
[She tells herself] that this day will come to an end and never happens again!
What was your best subject at school?
I love math!
What makes you laugh?
Anything can make me laugh, especially if I’m in a good mood!
How do you prepare on the morning of a competition?
Generally, I just get ready and discuss the upcoming start with my teammates.
How would you describe yourself in five words- or how would a friend describe you?
My roommate says I’m nice, always ready to help, modest, a good homemaker, and cheerful!
Tell us something about yourself we might not know?
There’s nothing to tell you at the moment! Because I have school and practice now!
Thanks to Maria and thanks to Alan Owen for the photos and the interview!
You can check out the rest of the lovely photos of Maria HERE