Rozalia Galiyeva


Olympic Gold medalist 1992


Rozalia Galiyeva

D.O.B~ 28 April 1977
Birthplace~ Almalyk Uzbekistan
Residence~ Moscow Russia (Family in Samara)
Favourite Apparatus~ Floor Exersize and Uneven Bars
Best Apparatus~ Balance Beam

ROZA GALIEVA'S STORY

Rozalia Galiyeva was born in a small zinc mining town in Uzbekistan called Almalyk. At the age of 5 her father Ilfat Galiev was watching gymnastics on TV. He was so overcome by the sport he enrolled his daughter (Roza) immediately.

At the beginning Roza did not share her father's liking for the sport, but after awhile she began to like it a lot and began to train hours after hours on end. By the age of 12 Roza was ready to train at the highly respected Soviet training center called "Round Lake" Here she showed great potential and was asked to stay which she did.

The next year Roza won the junior European beam title and was selected for the world championships team. At the world championships in Indianapolis Roza and her team won the team gold medal which qualified them to take part in the Olympics the next year.

1992 began well for Roza, she was one of only 5 Soviet gymnasts selected to compete in the Paris world championships. Roza had a great qualifying round she was sitting 2nd on bars, 3rd on beam & 4th on floor. Unfortunetly for Roza the very next day something horrible happened to her making her unable to compete in the finals. She was supposedly poisoned by a team mate who put alcoholic pills in her mineral water. But the official reson for her withdrawl was recorded as sickness. Roza returned to Almalyk very dissapointed and shocked.

But soon after came the Olympics, Roza won the USSR championship and was selected for the Olympics. Roza was the first Soviet gymnast to compete on most events which was an effort to try to boost her team mates scores. But little Roza the youngest and tiniest on the team ( 4'4, 15yrs) surprised everyone and performed extremely well with probably the most difficulty on her team, infact she performed so well she qualified for the final.

But hold on, The USSR's top gymnast Tatiyana Gutsu had had some problems and falls and she hadn't qualified!! What would the USSR do? Their best gymnast was out!! Their highest hopes of gold gone!! So Roza was told to fake a knee injury so Tatiyana could compete. Roza an unwilling participant promised to pretend her knee injury was real and Tatiyana took part in the final, which she eventually won. The only uplifting factor for Roza may have been recieving half of Tatiyana's winnings.

After the Olympics Roza returned to Round Lake and by now the Soviet Union had broken up. She now trained in Moscow but would represented Uzbekistan in competition. Her first big competition in 1993 was the world champs in Birmingham, England. Roza preformed a very difficult move in the preliminaries, a piked full in off beam. Unfortunetly she fell off the beam on a more simple forward somersault :^( This prevented her from making the beam final, which was her best medal hope. However she did make the overall final and finished a creditable 6th place with a great bar routine (9.775).

Roza competed in a few little competitions for the remainder of the year, including the Birmingham Classic where she finished 2nd!

But the next year she fell into semi-retirement and hardly competed the whole year. She made the trip to Australia for the world champs but was not allowed to compete because of problems with some documents.

In 1995 Roza reappeared and applied for Russian citizenship because the training facilities in Russia were superior to those in Uzbekistan. Roza showed great form and aggression in her routines. She also spoke out about her knee and the real story unfolded. In the Pre-Olympic competitions finishing in the top 3 many times.

Then in 1996 she became the Russian champion as she had in 1992 and was selected for the European and Olympic teams. She won the beam at the European championships highlighting her career. Only a few months after the European champs were the Olympics.

Here Roza led her Russian team to the silver medal and qualified for 3 finals. Roza finished 7th overall, 4th on vault and 7th on beam. Many people say Roza should have won the bronze on the vault because it seems as though she was marked down. She also had a good chance for a medal on the beam but whistling and jeering from the crowd was a distraction causing her to lose her concentration and fall again on the dreaded front somersault.

Since the Olympics Roza has retired twice (both times lasting less than a month & she is now in competition again), done a spell of coaching young Russian girls, become a judge. But she is still in competition. Recently competing in the World University games in Italy where she led her Russian team to the gold medal and won an individual silver on her best event the beam.

Roza has been described as the team leader when she was older to her team mates. She is also known as the "sassy one" because of her expressive personality and her ever changing hairstyles. Roza has not indicated lately that she will retire, even though she did not compete in the recent world championships in Lausanne.

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