Elena Zamolodchikova

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Elena Zamolodchikova
Elena Zamolodchikova (RUS).jpg
Personal information
Country represented Russia
Born (1982-09-19) 19 September 1982 (age 36)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics

Elena Mikhailovna "Zamo" Zamolodchikova (Russian: Еле́на Миха́йловна Замоло́дчикова; born 19 September 1982) is a Russian former artistic gymnast, and four-time Olympic medallist. She was known for her risky double-twisting double-backflip on floor and was one of a handful of women to have successfully competed one.[1] In 2015, she was inducted in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.


Zamolodchikova began gymnastics at the age of six. In 1999 she participated in her first major senior competition, the World Gymnastics Championships. She won the gold in vault and the bronze in the all-around.

Just days before the 2000 European Championships in Paris, her father died as a result of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl accident. Zamolodchikova led her team to the gold medal and earned individual silvers in the all-around and vault finals and a bronze on the beam.

2000 Summer Olympics[edit]

Zamolodchikova was selected as a member of the Russian gymnastics team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Although initially she did not qualify into the all-around or vault finals, she earned spots in both when Elena Produnova withdrew from the all-around and Svetlana Khorkina decided to give up her spot to Zamolodchikova. In the team competition, the Russian team was leading after the preliminary rounds, however, four Russian gymnasts made mistakes in the finals, costing them the gold. Zamolodchikova was one of the four, slipping off the beam as she took off for a Rulfova and narrowly missing her head.

After two apparatus in the all-around, Zamolodchikova was in first place with her stronger exercises still to go, events on which she went on to win Olympic gold. However, she lost her chances of an all-around medal with a fall on the floor exercise on her simplest tumble. On a night where many gymnasts made uncharacteristic errors, she eventually finished 6th. Had she scored the same in the all-around as she did for her team finals performance, her total would have been enough to win her the gold.

Zamolodchikova won gold on both the vault and floor, thus becoming a two-time Olympic champion. During vault finals, Khorkina sat in the stands, cheering loudly for her teammate, for whom she gave up her spot. Khorkina was leading in the floor finals until Zamolodchikova performed: both were vying for a second gold.

2002 to 2004[edit]

Zamolodchikova won the 2002 World vault title and a European all-around bronze medal in 2004, in addition to numerous other awards.

Zamolodchikova, also a lieutenant in the Russian Army, competed in her second Olympic games in 2004. The Russian team won a bronze medal, and Zamolodchikova just missed out on an individual vault medal, placing fourth behind Monica Roşu of Romania, Annia Hatch of the United States, and a fellow Russian, Anna Pavlova.


At the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne, she placed fourth in both vault and floor finals. In the floor finals, she performed four extremely difficult tumbling passes, landing each one cleanly, but did not successfully compete all of her dance combinations. Her start value was lowered as a result from 10.0 to 9.7, and she scored a 9.162, placing her behind Americans Alicia Sacramone and Nastia Liukin, and Dutch gymnast Suzanne Harmes. Zamolodchikova's low score was unpopular with the crowd, who appeared to think she should have won bronze. She scored an average of 9.318 on her two vaults, finishing behind Cheng Fei of China, Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, and Alicia Sacramone of the U.S.


Although many gymnasts retired as the new code was introduced, Zamolodchikova decided to continue competing. She struggled at her first competition of 2006, the American Cup, particularly on bars where she had a fall. An injury prevented selection for the 2006 European Championships in Volos, Greece.

Zamolodchikova helped the Russian team to a bronze medal in the team event, their first at world level since 2001, and qualified to vault finals where she was fourth. In 2006, she also competed her new vault skill, a Yurchenko laid out half-on, half-off which has an A-score of 5.6P in the new code.

After the World Championships, she competed in a few World Cup competitions winning a bronze medal on vault in the DTB-Cup in Stuttgart and two silver medals on vault and on floor in the Glasgow Grand Prix. She crowned her year with a bronze on vault at the World Cup Finals in São Paulo, Brazil.

2007 to 2009[edit]

At the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, her teammate Ekaterina Kramarenko ran up and touched the vaulting table but stopped and received a 0. Zamolodchikova performed a solid vault, but the Russian team had already ended up eighth (last). In the event finals, she fell on her second vault, and finished again in eighth.

Zamolodchikova continued training in 2008 in hopes of making the Russian Olympic team for the third time, but a back injury prevented her from a better showing and she failed to do so. Instead, she competed in various World Cup events, narrowly missing a medal on floor at the 2008 World Cup Final in Madrid, where she finished fourth.

Zamolodchikova made her last competitive appearance at the 2009 University Games in Belgrade. She began her judging career at the 2009 DTB Cup in Germany.

Eponymous skills[edit]

Apparatus Name Description Difficulty
Vault Zamolodchikova Laid-out double-twisting Tsukahara 5.6 (2017-2020)
Balance beam Zamolodchikova Round-off full-twisting back handspring to hip circle mount E

Floor music[edit]

1999 Worlds: "Baby Elephant Walk" - Henry Mancini
2000 Olympics: "Who's That Creepin'?/Daddy-O" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy / Hipster Daddy-O and the Handgrenades
2002 Worlds: "Crazy Benny/Breathe" - Safri Duo / Moist
2004 Olympics: "Egyptian Symphony" - Mozart
2005 Worlds: "Crazy Benny" by Safri Duo and "Breathe" by Prodigy.


Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
1998 European Championships 2nd 4th
1999 World Championships 2nd 3rd 1st
2000 European Championships 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd 8th
Olympic Games 2nd 6th 1st 1st
World Cup Final 1st 2nd
2001 World Championships 2nd
2002 European Championships 1st 4th
World Championships 1st
World Cup Final 1st 4th 2nd 5th
2003 World Championships 6th 2nd
2004 European Championships 3rd 3rd 2nd 7th
Olympic Games 3rd 4th
World Cup Final 4th 8th
2005 European Championships 5th 8th
World Championships 16th 4th 4th
2006 World Championships 3rd 6th
World Cup Final 3rd 6th
2007 World Championships 8th 8th
2008 World Cup Final 6th 4th
2009 Universiade 3rd

Detailed competitive scores[edit]

Year Competition description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2008 World Cup Final Madrid Vault 6 13.475
Floor exercise 4 14.075
2007 World Championships Stuttgart Team 8 164.525 4 238.000
Vault 8 13.875 6 14.487
Floor exercise 20 14.425
2006 World Cup Final São Paulo Vault 3 14.875
Floor exercise 6 14.525
World Championships Aarhus Team 3 177.325 4 234.800
All-around 24 57.700
Vault 6 14.962 5 14.925
Uneven bars 43 14.175
Balance beam 75 13.775
Floor exercise 16 14.675
2005 World Championships Melbourne All-around 16 34.662 6 36.662
Vault 4 9.318 4 9.331
Uneven bars 21 9.075
Balance beam 17 8.800
Floor exercise 4 9.162 6 9.412
European Championships Debrecen Vault 5 9.131 3 9.194
Floor exercise 8 8.475 9 8.837
2004 World Cup Final Birmingham Vault 4 9.412
Floor exercise 8 8.087
Olympic Games Athens Team 3 113.235 4 149.420
All-around 20 36.874
Vault 4 9.412 3 9.462
Uneven bars 51 9.150
Balance beam 31 9.062
Floor exercise 35 9.200
European Championships Amsterdam Team 3 110.423
All-around 3 37.149 4 36.862
Vault 2 9.381 2 9.524
Uneven bars 23 8.925
Balance beam 7 8.775 6 9.225
Floor exercise 10 9.175
2003 World Championships Anaheim Team 6 108.985 5 145.572
All-around 20 36.037
Vault 2 9.443 2 9.437
Uneven bars 70 8.775
Balance beam 44 8.737
Floor exercise 32 9.000
2002 World Cup Final Stuttgart Vault 1 9.412
Uneven bars 4 9.125
Balance beam 2 9.162
Floor exercise 5 8.800
World Championships Debrecen Vault 1 9.443
Vault (Semi-final) 6 9.218
Vault (Qualification) 5 9.206
Floor exercise (Semi-final) 12 9.050
Floor exercise (Qualification) 9 9.137
European Championships Patras Team 1 111.833
Vault 4 9.043 2 9.487
2001 World Championships Ghent Team 2 109.023 4 144.134
All-around 48 33.812
Vault 40 9.000
Uneven bars 17 9.012
Balance beam 101 7.600
Floor exercise 98 8.200
2000 World Cup Final Glasgow Vault 1 9.581
Floor exercise 2 9.675
Olympic Games Sydney Team 2 154.403 1 154.874
All-around 6 38.268 7 38.336
Vault 1 9.731 9 9.612
Uneven bars 11 9.687
Balance beam 38 9.375
Floor exercise 1 9.850 7 9.662
European Championships Paris Team 1 115.760
All-around 2 38.624 3 38.624
Vault 2 9.668 1 9.662
Uneven bars 9 9.650
Balance beam 3 9.762 5 9.662
Floor exercise 8 9.437 10 9.650
1999 World Championships Tianjin Team 2 153.209 2 153.576
All-around 3 38.687 8 38.236
Vault 1 9.718 2 9.699
Uneven bars 10 9.612
Balance beam 39 9.300
Floor exercise 15 9.625
1998 European Championships Saint Petersburg Team 2 112.720
Vault 4 9.424 2 9.693
Floor exercise 41 8.687

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

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