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Happy Fifth Anniversary, WOGymnastika!

An emotional Larisa Iordache at the 2017 European championships. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni World of Gymnastika  celebrates today i...

An emotional Larisa Iordache at the 2017 European championships. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

World of Gymnastika celebrates today its fifth anniversary. In the course of these five years our team has expanded, the number of people reading us has dramatically increased, our website has widened and our passion for gymnastics keeps growing (if that is even possible)!

As a way to celebrate our website on the day of its fifth anniversary, as well as to thank our numerous readership, re-live with us five of the most memorable moments in each of the past five years of gymnastics!

Year 1 – 2013

1. The world was introduced to the best gymnast in modern history, Simone Biles. Her senior debut was at the American Cup, where she won silver behind teammate Katelyn Ohashi.

2. Olympic champion Kyla Ross, after helping the Fierce Five win gold at the Olympics in 2012, achieved individual glory, winning three silver medals at the World Championships, on bars, beam and in the all around.

3. After a disappointing fourth-place finish on floor at the 2012 Olympics, Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari came back strong and determined in 2013, winning silver on floor exercise at the World championships.

4. Being the most decorated gymnasts at the London Olympics was not enough for Russia’s Aliya Mustafina: in 2013 she became European all around champion and World balance beam champion.

5. The University of Florida Gators, coached by Rhonda Faehn, won their first NCAA title in history, led by amazing freshman Bridget Sloan.

Year 2 – 2014

1. After a lot of drama, Romania’s Larisa Iordache finally won a well-deserved all around silver medal at Worlds.

2. China’s Yao Jinnan won a well-deserved World title on the uneven bars, a year after failing to deliver on the same event.

3. After a career marred by injuries and disappointments, Great Britain’s Becky Downie finally got redemption, and won an emotional gold medal on the uneven bars at the European championships.

4. The University of Oklahoma Sooners, coached by K.J. Kindler, won their first NCAA title, tied with Florida.

5. During the all around award ceremony at the World championships, Simone Biles was chased by a bee!

Year 3 – 2015

1. U.S. Simone Biles proved to be the best gymnast in the world, becoming the first female gymnast to win three back-to-back World all around titles!

2. Russia’s Viktoria Komova made a comeback and won gold on the uneven bars at Worlds with a fabulous routine.

3. Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber became the first Swiss gymnast to become European all around champion.

4. At the World championships, after Romania failed to directly qualify to the Olympic Games, Larisa Iordache swallowed the disappointment and won an emotional bronze medal in the all around.

5. Utah’s Georgia Dabritz scored back-to-back perfect 10.0s on the uneven bars both in the NCAA semi-finals and in the Super Six finals. The following day, she also won the individual NCAA uneven bars title.

Year 4 – 2016

1. U.S. Simone Biles, with the eyes of the world watching her, delivered four beautiful routines to become the new all around Olympic champion!

2. The United States had an Olympic team to die for: three-time all around world champion and five-time Olympic champion Simone Biles; the 2012 Olympic champion on floor, Aly Raisman, who won the most well-deserved silver in the all around in Rio; 2012-all around Olympic champion Gabby Douglas; rising star Laurie Hernandez, who won silver on balance beam and later became also Dancing With The Stars champion; and Madison Kocian, who won silver on the uneven bars and later became one of UCLA’s best gymnasts.

3. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina won gold on the uneven bars at the Rio Olympics, repeating her London success. Earlier in the year, she also became European champion on balance beam, her weakest apparatus, with a stellar routine.

3. Sanne Wevers became the first Dutch gymnast to become Olympic champion on balance beam with a fabulous routine, which included a triple spin.

4. Rio showed that gymnastics is not a four-powerhouse sport only anymore, as four gymnasts from less renowned countries won a medal:  Sanne Wevers from the Netherlands won gold on balance beam; Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber won bronze on vault; Germany’s Sophie Scheder won bronze on the uneven bars; and Amy Tinkler from Great Britain won bronze on floor exercise.

5. History was made when Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian joined UCLA, becoming the first Olympic champions to compete in collegiate gymnastics.

Year 5 – 2017

1. Belgium’s Nina Derwael became the first Belgian female gymnast to become European champion on the uneven bars. Her routine is worth a world title too!

2. Ragan Smith, after being named Olympic alternate to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team last year, came back as the leader of the new young U.S. powerhouse, and in March became the American Cup champion.

3. Catalina Ponor and Larisa Iordache proved that Romanian gymnastics is still alive and proud, winning gold and bronze on beam respectively at the European championships at home, in Cluj-Napoca, in April.

4. Oklahoma had the perfect competition during the NCAA Super Six final last March to win their third national title in four years, the second in a row.

5. Last March UCLA’s Kyla Ross became the first gymnast to be Olympic (2012), World (2014) and NCAA (2017) champion!

Happy fifth anniversary, WOGymnastikA!

By Talitha Ilacqua