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Mama, don't cry! Olympic medallist Denis Ablyazin's mum speaks out about her son ...

Denis with the family kitten, a few years ago!  Courtesy of VTB/family Ablyazin
Denis Ablyazin yesterday became the most decorated male Russian Olympian gymnast since 2000, when Alexei Nemov became all around champion.  His silver medal on vault was won in a final of the highest quality ever seen; his bronze on floor earned thanks to a brave routine of non-stop power tumbling.  Denis, who turned 20 at the weekend, is a Leo by birth sign and demonstrates all of those flamboyant birthsign qualities in his gymnastics.  His energy and positive, cheerful character seem sure to make him a favourite with the crowds as well as judges in the future. 

Now read on as Denis's mother talks about his growth and development as a gymnast in an interview with VTB correspondent Irina Belozerova, translated brilliantly by Lupita.

Don't cry mum!!

Interview with Liubov Ablyazina
“My son told me: I’m choosing gymnastics”
Liubov, your son practiced cycling, besides gymnastics.  Why did he choose gymnastics?
– It was a difficult decision. I didn’t give advice, he chose himself.
– Did he apply himself?
– Yes, he did. It was his idea. A gymnastics coach went to his school to explain what gymnastics was about. Denis watched some training sessions and said: “I want to go to the gym."

–Did you realize that Denis was gifted?

– His coach did, not us. Denis didn’t want to practice sport and his coach told us:  "I cannot force him, but if he wants to train, he is gifted for gymnastics."   Denis decided to train.

– What did he want to become when he was a child?
– A hockey player! We took him to this sport section, but something happened. Later, after hockey, he started cycling and then he chose gymnastics. Most importantly, I want my son to have such qualities as respect, responsibility, kindness.
– Probably he had posters in his bedroom with well known athletes in his bedroom.
– He collected football posters, he had Ronaldo’s.
– When Denis was named for his first competitions, did you realize that artistic gymnastics was a serious issue?

–At the first competition he won third place, but it was difficult to decide if he was going to be a gymnast. When Denis competed at his first school Spartakiade and came back with the gold medal, we understood that he was going to practice artistic gymnastics seriously.

–Were you scared of professional sport?
– On the one hand, everything seemed OK. He was busy; he was not in the street… On the other hand, I suffered a lot when he had severe injuries. But he said: “Don’t worry, don’t bother, Mum."
–Which victory impressed you most?
– The School Spartakiade in Chelyabinsk, his first great victory, his first medals. There was an incredible level there! He had only competed in the city, at the Dynamo Championship...

– Do you collect medals?
–Yes… In his bedroom he has all the medals, all in the same place.

– Denis has a young coach.
– They understand each other very well. He has to give Denis advice. Our son was under 18; his coach had full responsibility when they travelled to compete at tournaments. We asked him to pay extra attention to Denis.

– Were there moments when you wanted to convince Denis to quit?
– This didn’t happen because when he won a spot on a junior team, it was not necessary. Before he had severe injuries, unfortunately.

– Was it difficult for you to send Denis to competitions?
– At the beginning it was very difficult; we suffered, above all if he went abroad. Now we speak on the phone, via Internet.

– What does Denis bring back from his trips?
– Key rings. He collects them. He’s got a big collection. And he buys everyone presents.
–Many athletes don’t like their parents to watch competitions. What about your son?
–Denis doesn’t like it, but sometimes we go incognito to national championships in Penza. But he usually finds us. I am nervous during the performances: the elements are complex, the gymnasts fall...I don’t like watching competitions.


  1. hope to see you next olympics Denis, and congrats for your exquisite work on floor and vault and rings .

  2. He did really good, the men's team should really be proud. Hopefully he continues and becomes stronger and better for next Olympics. Congrats to Denis.

    I like this interview with Aliya, as she says it again, she wants to continue but as we know she doesn't plan too far ahead in the future.

  3. great job ! see u with GOLDS in next olympics ~


    Look at this. I must say I was laughing alot though I understand the people who searched for it ;)

  5. I really like this guy. I hope to see him at the Olympics 2016. The russian teams are always one of the best at gymnastics together with the asians, so I enjoyed watching the Olympic games this time. Btw Nice homepage, I will keep myself updated on it <3

  6. OMG he collects keyrings! That's so cute!

  7. Congrats to Denis, he is doing well and he did well in the Olympics, the only Russian guy to get medals. Hopefully he will stay healthy to be in the medal hunt t this world championship as well as the 2016 Olympics


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