Translated by Lauren C ( translater's notes/explanations in Italics)
didn't expect anything today. On beam I was lucky. On floor I had
nothing to lose so I decided to go for the harder routine. Today was a
reminder that I need to keep moving forward. I can't compete with my current repertoire; I know that. It's hard to learn new elements at my age. This
year was hard because I kept taking breaks-first at the beginning of
the year, then after Euros, then I had surgery and couldn't do anything
for a month. I won't be able to take those kinds of breaks again before Rio.
is difficult to have a personal coach who is really a choreographer. I
have to make a lot of decisions on my own. I've been thinking about it a
lot lately. I'm not going to go scouring the earth for such a person,
but if they happen to appear it would be nice.
imply that she won't stop training until she's bleeding) : Certainly I
train bars long after everyone tells me to stop. I keep going until I
get it right. It's emotional vampirism.
have changed. It was time. I've begun to act more truly as myself
instead of as I am "supposed" to. I communicate differently and more,
I'm happy more often. Recently I realized that while you have to
surrender yourself to this sport, you can't look at it as work. It
can't be coerced; you have to want to do it, like a hobby. We have
young ones who train with us who have to be forced. Some cry; some can
handle it, some can't. The Americans are always smiling; they love it.
Children shouldn't have to cry. Everything starts there.
told this to me, I just came to the realization over time. When things
don't go my way in training, I tell myself it's okay, that there's
always tomorrow. Or I have to sit around until I have a plan. Then I get
up and train until I get it done, even when I rip all my calluses off.
situation with the younger girls] is a problem, of course. When Vika
Komova, Tanya Nabieva and I were young, we could already do everything
we do now. If I hadn't been in that kind of shape when I was younger I
would never have achieved anything. I'm
still not discouraged. I hope the younger girls can strengthen their
programmes. It will be difficult to compete with the Americans, of
course; they're strong, and that's putting it lightly. And it seems that
it doesn't matter that we work to hit splits and point our toes; even
though they're often not quite in splits or have not-quite-pointed toes,
last bit was a significant paraphrase and maybe a little harsher than
she meant it. She's just saying that a vague "they" (probably the
judges) don't seem to put as much emphasis on those kinds of deductions
as they have said they would in the past
still keep trying to make our exercises beautiful. If we could do as
much difficulty as the Americans and even add a little beauty it would
be a big plus. For the fans if not the judges. The judges are a separate
issue. Sometimes it seems like they have already decided the outcome
before the competition has even started. That's the worst thing, and
sometimes it makes me want not to try. I understand that no matter what I
do, they will place Biles ahead of me. The thought [not to try] occurs to me, but it goes away quickly. We
[all] had two open training sessions every day, and the Americans were
always doing something - running, circuit training, extra things. Some
of it is probably genetics. Just look at them - they're healthy,
brimming with life. We don't have gymnasts like them in Russia. Look at
Polina Fyodorova, Masha Kharenkova, Dasha Spiridonova. They will always
be small and skinny. They'll never have the kind of muscle the Americans
have. Look at the Chinese....
Interviewer: By the way, have you lost weight?
Aliya: I don't see it, but I guess it looks like it.
really comfortable with this team (she specifically mentions Masha, Elf
and Alla). They're really nice to be around, they're not jealous and
they don't say mean things. I want to help them. I help, they listen,
and it's really pleasant for me.
note: When she says "I want to help them," she uses a reflexive
construction which normally means she feels as though the desire comes
from outside herself or is innate, as opposed to something she actively
on my third book this Worlds, an Italian novel. I listen to music while
I drive to Round Lake. I'm an "omnivore" - I like a lot of things.
Except I'm a picky eater. I hate onions. If a dish has onions, it's no
longer even food to me. I have to take a napkin to meals here in China.
Maybe that's why I've lost weight?
leg is fine, but I do have other body parts. My back has been bothering
for two and a half years. It was really bad at this Worlds. I don't
like to talk about it and I feel I shouldn't, but during the team final I
felt like I wouldn't be able to do anything at all. Sometimes I can't
even run. I'm not protecting my leg. I don't do something if I'm not
confident on it. So if I'm standing on the vault runway and I feel I
won't be able to do the double, I don't do it. It's a kind of intuition.
Sometimes I won't do something even when I think I can, because I can
no longer think, "Oh well, if I underrotate a little, no big deal!" My
ankle or knee start bothering me if I underrotate. My knee doesn't
bother me anymore except when I land poorly. So I only perform an
element when I'm certain I won't get hurt doing it.
now thinking only of what to do in the off season and how to stay
patient until Rio. No, not stay patient, but put all of my strength,
everything that I have, into training for it.
night before AA finals, my temperature started to rise, my throat
started to hurt, I was congested and coughing, all at once. I tried not
to think about it. I couldn't lift my arms or legs at training. We went
to the doctor and asked for everything they had. Anti-fever [medicine], a
load of pills, I sprayed something and gargled something. And when I
got to the competition I was still shaking. It wasn't so bad the next
day during bars finals. The worst part was the watery eyes - I wanted to
rub them but they were made up! And when I was warming up on bars,
sometimes I couldn't even see them. My eyes couldn't keep up with my