Here are the gymnasts whom we have said goodbye to in 2015.


Photo by Silvia Vatteroni




Lexie Priessman of USA





Priessman, who was born in 1997, had a very successful junior career. She was the Junior AA National champion in 2012 and two time gold medalist at 2012 Junior Pacific Rim championships. 

Unfortunately, she has suffered from so many injuries, since turning senior two years ago, which prevented her from having her senior debut at Nationals or at a major international competition. In mid 2015, she announced her retirement on her Instagram.

"As you know the last two years for me as an athlete has been extremely difficult with all the injuries I have been going through. I have been working very hard in the gym everyday to get back to 100 percent to compete again. Unfortunately, I hit some bumps that I wasn't planning on hitting. I thought about all of the adversity I have been through and as I always say God has a plan. I have decided to go to college in the fall and begin a new chapter in my life."

Priessman joined the LSU program for the 2015–16 season. During her career, she competed H rated full twisting double layout and double twisting double back tuck.

See also: US Lexie Priessman "It Just Kind of Stinks When You Work So Hard And They Only Take 4 Girls!"



Anna Pavlova of Russia/ Azerbaijan 




Gymnastics community said goodbye to Veteran Anna Pavlova at the end of this year.

Pavlova turned senior in 2003. She is two time Olympic bronze medalist and multiple European medalist. 

From 2003 to 2008, Pavlova has competed for Russia at major international competitions.

Since tearing her ACL at 2008 Stuttgart cup, Pavlova was never selected to represent Russia internationally.  The gymnast herself complained about not getting selected to represent her country internationally despite showing results. She has also criticized her country's federation which she believes did not help her career.

In late 2013, it was announced that Pavlova decided to compete for Azerbaijan. At 2014 , she competed at the European championships which was her first big competition since 2008 Olympics. There, she won a silver medal on vault.

This year, she suffered from an elbow injury at Montpillier European championships and was forced to withdraw from the European games, the competition for which Azerbaijan signed Pavlova to compete for them.

The 28 year old retired has expressed desire to continue in the sport, as a gymnastics coach with her mother.

See also: Anna Pavlova "I am Very Happy How My Career Turned Out And I Would Not Change A Thing"


Victoria Moors of Canada





Victoria Moors is best know for originating the most difficult tumbling pass in women's gymnastics, a double twisting double layout which she debuted at 2013 World championships.

Moors turned senior in 2012 where she selected to represent Canada at London Olympic games. There, she helped her team to earn their best result ever at an Olympic games which is fifth place. 

Moors was absent from the gymnastics scene in the second half of 2014. This year she made a brief comeback. 

Moors, who announced her retirement via Instagram, cited that "some challenges" which she " just couldn't overcome" was the reason for her gymnastics career to come to an end.

The Canadian retired gymnast is also the originator of a toe-on to a front layout with a half twist dismount on uneven bars was named after her after the London Olympics.


See also Eleven Things We Will Forever Remember About Canada's Victoria Moors


Hannah Whelan of Great Britain





Hannah Whelan is one of the most successful British gymnasts. She represented her country at 2008 and 2012 Olympic games. At 2012 European championships, she won two bronze medals, on floor exercise and balance beam.

At 2014 European championships, she helped her team to earn a silver medal. She announced her retirement via Twitter.

"I’ve always loved and will always love gymnastics, that sense of achievement after every session always kept me going and wanting to better myself. Competing in two Olympic Games, winning British titles and representing my country for so long has been incredible. To see how far the sport has come on in my time is unbelievable, I’m definitely leaving the sport on a high and I’m so proud to have been a part of helping get the British team to where we are today.”the 22 year old gymnast told british-gymnastics.org.


Koko Tsurumi of Japan





After the 2012 London Olympics, Koko Tsurumi suffered from series of injuries which put her career on hold. She made a short lived comeback this year which ended with an Achilles tendon rupture. The injury forced her to put her dream of winning an Olympic medal in Rio to an end.

In 2009, Tsurumi became the first Japanese woman to win an individual medal at World championships in over forty years. Tsurumi won bronze in the all around and on uneven bars.

She as well competed at 2008 and 2012 Olympics.


Elisabetta Preziosa of Italy




After injuring her knee, Elisabetta Preziosa called it quits in mid 2014. However, her official retirement announcement was in early 2015.

Preziosa represent Italy at 2012 Olympic games. She best known for winning a bronze medal on balance beam at 2011 European beam championships and for starring on reality television series Ginnaste - Vite Parallele on MTV Italy which follows the lives of seven elite gymnasts who train in Milan.

The Italian retired gymnast has two skills named after her on balance beam, stand on one leg with foot of free leg in forward hold above head for two seconds and one and a half (540) pirouette with free leg held at 180 split.

After her retirement, she said that she is aiming on becoming a full time coach.


Lisa Verschueren of Belgium




Verschueren was forced to leave her beloved sport for good after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Doctors said that with surgery and treatment, Verschueren will be able to lead a normal life but elite gymnastics can have serious consequences for her health.

Since turning senior in 2011, Verschueren competed at four World championships and three European championships. She as well competed at the first European games which was held in Baku, Azerbaijan last June. There, she finished in fourth place on floor exercise.


At the last World championships, she finished in 17th place at the all around competition. The 20 year old retired gymnast was considered to be one of the best Belgian gymnasts of her generation.


Jordyn Wieber of USA





After the London Olympics, everybody expected Jordyn Wieber to be the most serious member of the Fierce Five team about continuing competing after the Olympics. The gymnast was motivated for a comeback at the beginning of 2013 but decided later to withdraw from the season due to family commitments. Till her official retirement announcement, she was absent from the elite gymnastics scene.

She has been studying in UCLA since 2013.

Russia's Anna Rodionova announced her retirement in mid 2015 but more than a month ago, she began re competing.


By Gigi Farid
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