|— 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; born August 15, 1978) is a Ukrainian former artistic gymnast. She is the 1995 world all-around champion, and the 1996 Olympic all-around and floor exercise champion. Often thought of as a complete athlete, Podkopayeva was known for combining power, style, and balletic grace.
In April 1993, Podkopayeva competed at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Birmingham, England. She qualified for the vault final, but crashed on her first attempt and finished last with a score of 8.893.
At the 1994 World Championships in Brisbane, Australia, she placed sixth in the all-around 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 November 1994, at the World Team Championships in Dortmund, Germany, she contributed an all-around score of 38.099 toward the Ukrainian team's fifth-place finish.
The following year, Podkopayeva competed at the 1995 World Championships in Sabae, Japan. She helped Ukraine place fifth and qualify a full team to the 1996 Olympics. Podkopayeva then won the all-around final with a score of 39.248. In event finals, she placed first on vault (9.781), second on uneven bars (9.837), second on balance beam (9.837), and seventh on floor (9.087).
At the beginning of the year, Podkopayeva was seriously injured when she fell from the beam in practice, fracturing two ribs. However, in May, she competed at the European Championships in Birmingham, where she helped the Ukrainian team place third and won the individual all-around with a score of 39.205. In event finals, she placed third on balance beam (9.756), first on uneven bars (9.825), and first on floor (9.862).
In July, Podkopayeva competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In the team final, she contributed a combined compulsory and optional score of 78.061 toward the Ukrainian team's fifth-place finish. She then won the all-around final with a score of 39.255. In event finals, she placed fifth on uneven bars (9.787), second on balance beam (9.825), and first on floor (9.887). She was the fourth gymnast to win the Olympic all-around title as the reigning world champion, and the only gymnast to win the all-around without winning a team medal. She was also the last female gymnast to win the all-around title and an event-final gold medal until Simone Biles in 2016.
Podkopayeva originally intended to continue competing after the 1996 Olympics, and she was named to the Ukrainian team for the 1997 World Championships. However, injuries forced her to sit out the competition and, later, to retire.
Vault: Round-off, back-handspring with 1/2 turn on – piked salto forward with 1/2 turn off (5.2 difficulty)
Floor: double front salto with 1/2 twist out (F)
In 2002, Podkopayeva started the Golden Lilia International Sports Festival, an exhibition featuring artistic and rhythmic gymnasts, acrobats, and dancers. 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, she married a Ukrainian businessman Tymofiy Nahornyi. They have two children: Vadym, adopted in Ukraine in July 2006, and Karolina, born in November 2006. The couple divorced in 2009.
In 2007, she won Ukraine's Dancing With the Stars with partner Sergiy Kostetskyi. The next year, she represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Dance Contest. Along with partner Kyrylo Khytrov, she placed third in the competition.
In 2014, Podkopayeva did a gala event in Mexico, using similar choreography to the floor routine she performed in Atlanta, as well as doing back handsprings and round-offs.
- Lilia Podkopayeva, Class of 2008, International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "1994 World Championships". Gymnastics Results. 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "1994 Teams World Championships Women's artistic gymnastics". Gymnastics Results. 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "1995 World Championships". Gymnastics Results. 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "1996 European Championships". Gymnastics Results. 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Games of the 26th Olympiad Artistic Gymnastics". Gymnastics Results. 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Podkopayeva Pulls Off 'Golden Lilia' Extravaganza". International Gymnast Magazine Online. International Gymnast Magazine. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "High-Profile Event to Promote Healthy Lifestyle in Donetsk region". United Nations in Ukraine. United Nations. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors". United Nations in Ukraine. United Nations. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Amanda Turner (28 October 2008). "Podkopayeva Pulls Off 'Golden Lilia' Extravaganza". International Gymnast Magazine Online. International Gymnast Magazine. Retrieved 23 July 2014.