|— Gymnast —|
|Full name||Lilia Alexandrivna Podkopayeva|
August 15, 1978 |
Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Height||1.49 m (4 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||42 kg (93 lb)|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Level||Senior International Elite|
|Head coach(es)||Galina Lossinskaya|
|Eponymous skills||Vault round-off, back-handspring with 1/2 turn on - piked salto forward with 1/2 turn off
Floor double front salto, also with 1/2 twist out
Lilia Alexandrivna Podkopayeva (Ukrainian: Лілія Олександрівна Подкопаєва; Russian: Ли́лия Алекса́ндровна Подкопаева (Liliya Aleksandrovna Podkopaeva); born August 15, 1978) is a Ukrainian former artistic gymnast, the Merited Master of Sports of Ukraine (1994). She was the 1995 World All Around champion and the 1996 Olympic All Around champion. Often thought of as a complete athlete, Podkopayeva was known for combining power, style and balletic grace.
In April, Podkopayeva competed at the World Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom. She qualified for the vault final, but crashed on her first attempt and finished last with a score of 8.893.
In April, Podkopayeva competed at the World Championships in Brisbane, Australia. She placed sixth in the all around final with a score of 38.942. In event finals, she placed eighth on vault scoring 9.424, fifth on uneven bars scoring 9.350, and second on balance beam scoring 9.737.
In October, Podkopayeva competed at the World Championships in Sabae, Japan. She helped Ukraine place fifth which meant that they qualified a full team to the Olympics. Podkopayeva then won the all around final with a score of 39.248. In event finals, she placed first on vault scoring 9.781, second on uneven bars scoring 9.837, second on balance beam scoring 9.837, and seventh on floor scoring 9.087.
At the beginning, Podkopayeva was seriously injured when she fell from the beam in practice, fracturing two ribs.
In May, Podkopayeva competed at the European Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom. She helped the Ukrainian team place third and individually she won the all around final with a score of 39.205. In event finals, she placed third on balance beam scoring 9.756, first on uneven bars scoring 9.825, and first on floor scoring 9.862.
In July, Podkopayeva competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States. In the team final, she contributed a combined compulsory and optional score of 78.061 toward the Ukrainian team's fifth place finish. Podkopayeva then won the all around final with a score of 39.255. In event finals, she placed fifth on uneven bars scoring 9.787, second on balance beam scoring 9.825, and first on floor scoring 9.887. She was the fourth and to date last gymnast to win the Olympic all around title as the reigning World Champion and she is the only gymnast to win the all around without winning a team medal. Podkopayeva said, "I did feel some responsibility as the champion of the world and champion of Europe to perform well. I'm very happy I could finish with the floor."
Podkopayeva originally intended to continue competing after the 1996 Olympics, and she was named to the Ukrainian team for the 1997 Worlds. However, injuries forced her to sit out the competition and to later retire.
In 2002, Podkopayeva started the Golden Lilia International Sports Festival. The event is an exhibition featuring artistic and rhythmic gymnasts, acrobats and dancers and its purpose is to inspire young people. She said, "It's important to us to show outstanding people and brightest talent so that the next generation can follow the best of the best."
In December 2004, Podkopayeva married Ukrainian businessman Timofei Nagorny. They are the parents of two children: Vadim, adopted in Ukraine in July 2006; and Karolina, born in November of the same year. However, as of 2009, Lilia has divorced Timofei and the two share custody of their children.
In 2007, Podkopayeva won Ukraine's Dancing With the Stars with partner Sergey Kostetskiy. The next year she represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Dance Contest. Along with partner Kirill Khitrov, she placed third in the competition.