“Is it still possible for Larisa to go to Tokyo?”
“Is it still possible for Larisa to go to Tokyo?”
“I love how the whole gymternet really loves 1) kj kindler 2) chuso 3)mckayla maroney 4)larisa 5)aliya 6)kyla ross 7)brooklyn 8)suni and 9)liu tingting”
“Catalina Ponor, Aliya Mustafina, Simone Biles, Larisa Iordache, Viktoria Komova. I just want them in the same confession”
“I know what people mean when they say stuff like Larisa is unlucky or Komova never reached her full potential and like, I get it but at the same time it is super difficult for me to see any gymnast with even one olympic or world medal as unlucky considering how many gymnasts don’t earn any major medals throughout their careers, even ones who are deserving but never made it.”
I found this interview which sounds like it was taken a month ago, and thought it was pretty interesting as Larisa herself goes into details about all that happened after Montreal. Honestly, it’s heartbreaking to read her struggle with her Achilles surgeries, as well as motivating to see her positive attitude and resilience in front of hardship.
I tried to make it brief, but the translation is still pretty long (though it’s not the full interview), but it all felt it was important to the story, so I’m adding it under the cut.
Her biggest problem in gymnastics were injuries – she had 6 surgeries total. In 2011 she had a glutes injury. In 2012 she went to London with plantar fasciiatis and a heal fracture in the left foot – she couldn’t walk because of the pain, but told the doctor to wrap her foot up real tight to not feel anything during the routines, so when she landed the double double she almost cried happy tears for not feeling too much pain. In 2013 she had a shoulder injury and couldn’t move her arms for 3 months – still feels pain on some of the harder skills on bars. In 2015 she missed Euros because of an ankle injury for which they couldn’t find a cure for 8 months. In 2016 she fractured a finger and had to have 2 surgeries, which led to missing Rio. In 2017 she had plantar fasciiatis again, this time in the right foot and only had 3 weeks to train for Euros where she still got BB bronze.
Nanning 2014 were the best Worlds for her since she was coming after a (relatively) long time with no injuries, so she felt very ready, both physically and mentally.
On her Achilles injury and the 3 surgeries that followed
Larisa felt very confident going into 2017 Worlds. She won four golds at Nationals, so she felt ready, but then tore her Achilles right before the competition.
She had the first surgery in October 2017, started recovery after a week, lost the crutches after 5-6 more weeks, and then started to go to the gym again. She was doing bars, but without toughing the bars with her feet. The foot was not OK, she was still in pain, but since she had never experienced that before, thought it might be normal.
Then she injured the tendon the 2nd time. She was on bars, trying to get up on the high bar, got off balance and the coach didn’t have time to catch her before she put her foot on the bar. She felt a snap, had an MRI and the doctor told her he doesn’t know how she managed it, but she tore it again.
Everything felt surreal. The doctor said it was because she rushed to get back on bars, so she had another surgery in December 2017 at the same doctor. She should’ve asked for a second opinion, but she trusted that doctor as she had been worked with him for four years. After that, she didn’t want to hear anything about gymnastics. Spent 2 months in crutches, and when she started to walk again, there was a lot of pain. She didn’t want to do anything, not even recovery, and there were times when she was crying every day. She felt helpless, walking was painful, and since it was winter, and there was ice on the ground she had to be very careful, so she was staying at home most of the time.
Once every three weeks she would go for check-ups. The doctor was saying it was OK, but she couldn’t do anything. The physical therapists were saying they can feel a whole, which was getting bigger. The doctor was still saying everything was OK. She couldn’t stand on her toes because of the pain, but the doctor still said it was all going fine.
She decided to retire for the time, as she felt it was best for her, mentally. She’d do her recovery and get back when she was 100% ready. She went to college, got her Bachelor’s degree, then her driving license. She worked in accounting at Dinamo for 6 months, the job was full-time, then 2 hours of recovery, then gym. She tried to see if she can find herself outside of gymnastics, but she missed the adrenaline.
In 2018, on her birthday, she went to Izvorani where B&B were organizing a competition for the little girls they were coaching. After talking to Bitang, and telling her how her foot feels, Bitang had her do an MRI and sent it to the German MAG team doctor. In hindsight, Larisa realizes that maybe she should’ve done it faster, and not after 7 months of recovery exercises. The German doctor said the tendon is still half torn and she had to have surgery again, or it can snap at any time.
After seeing many doctors in Romania, at Bitang’s suggestion, she chose to get surgery in Vienna, as the doctor there (the one who performed her surgery in 2016) was the only one to guarantee she could come back to gymnastics. Recovery was much different this time around, the doctor had her move her foot the second day after surgery, while after the first 2 times, she had to have her foot fixed at a 90 degree angle for a month or two – which led to her having a hard time sleeping because of the pain. In January 2019 she got the green light to get back into the gym.
In the beginning of the interview, she says that this time even her parents, who always supported her no matter what, told her to put an end to gymnastics, but she couldn’t stay away, and this is the last chance she’s giving herself. All this time away she gather a lot of positive energy, and doesn’t regret anything, since she feels stronger now. She doesn’t see her years in gymnastics as a failure because of the many injuries. She’s not a child anymore, she’s all grown-up and if she’s coming back to gymnastics, she does it for herself and no one else. For that moment when she’s on the apparatus, that’s her moment.She loves that feeling, and seeing people happy when watching her routines, that’s what gives her strength. (x)
“My heart is broken not only for Larisa not going to Worlds but mostly for Silviana and Ioana that will almost for sure not survive another quad”
“Larisa’s career has been so unlucky :(”
“Let’s face it the only 4 gymnasts that could give a fight to Simone were an uninjured Mustafina, uninjured Iordache, an AA Ponor and a Komova without a Komova mood”
“Well Simone could even do a Triple Layout, I would still want Larisa to take 2020 AA gold”
“Lari finally vaaaaaaaaaults”