It’s been 24 years (and five Olympics) since a Russian gymnast last won the women’s all-around competition, but Viktoria Komova, a 5 ft. 1 in., 76-pound dynamo nicknamed “Vika,” might just end the drought. At last year’s world championships in Tokyo, she was edged out for the all-around title by American Jordyn Wieber, whose hair’s-breadth winning margin was disputed by the Russian gymnastics federation. The battle for gold in London may boil down to which of the top contenders – Komova, fellow Russian Aliya Mustafina, Wieber or her teammate, Gabby Douglas – is most consistent and can avoid falling.
Komova is from a gymnastics family. Both her parents were gymnasts. Her mother, Vera Kolesnikova, won the all-around championship at the 1986 Goodwill Games and is now a gymnastics judge. Her daughter’s bright prospects for stardom were evident in 2010, when she was the all-around winner at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and followed that up with her strong showing at the 2011 worlds, where she won the uneven bars event.