The All-Arounders in Their Own Words


We’ve compiled the flash quotes from the FIG’s interviews with the gymnasts who competed in today’s all-around finals at the 2014 World Championships. Enjoy!

Simone Biles, United States, Gold

  • “I didn’t really think anything because I know that we still had a couple more events left, and that I was really struggling on bars, competition wise, not in the gym. I just had to go out there and do what I did in training.” – on her lead after the first rotation
  • “There was a bee on my flowers and then Larisa told me so I tried to get the bee off and then the bee chased me, and then it got on Kyla.” – on why she ran around the podium after the medal ceremony
  • “I don’t think so. I think he’s crazy and I have no idea, but I don’t think so because he’s a legend.” – on whether she can repeat Kohei Uchimura’s five all-around wins
  • “I think I had a pretty good competition. I had a couple of mistakes and I have to go back in the gym [and work on them] because I have finals tomorrow and the next day. I am just really excited.” – on winning gold
  • “It’s been an honor to come out here and represent the United States and it’s just so exciting to be a two-time world champion. It really blows my mind and it’s really crazy. It means a lot to me.” – on winning a back-to-back AA gold medal
  • “I think it has to be my smile.” – on her most attractive personal feature during competition
  • “I don’t like bees at all. I just didn’t want it to sting me because I’ve never been stung before by a bee or a wasp and I kind of freaked out. And then it got on Kyla’s flowers, and I’m so sorry Kyla. I just don’t do bugs.” – on the bee in her flowers
  • “They both feel really great. It’s just an honor to go out here and represent the United States.” – on whether her first or second AA gold felt better
  • “It means the world to me. It’s one of my favorite things to do is compete for a crowd. It’s just really fun for me.” – on the thrill she gets from competing
  • “Pressure from other people, but then I don’t take it, so it’s okay. But there’s a little bit.” – on feeling pressure to win as the defending champion
  • “I think bars was a mental thing. But beam, I don’t really know. I don’t get nervous for it, but then I try not to fall and I end up almost falling.” – on her shaky bars/beam performances during qualifications and team finals
  • “No, not at all, because we are really good friends, so I can cheer for her out there. It’s not so much a rivalry.” – on whether Larisa Iordache will be her main rival in the coming years

Larisa Iordache, Romania, Silver

  • “I am very happy for my silver medal. I worked very much day-by-day to reach the podium at World Championships.” – on winning silver
  • “It was a very strong competition between the greatest gymnasts in the world. This silver medal is a new start I hope for gymnastics [for herself and Romania].” – on winning her first all-around medal
  • “Now I say thanks to my trainer and my family and to my mother who came from Romania for this championship.” – on thanking her supporters
  • “It’s very difficult to say right now, but I will decide in the near future I hope.” – on whether she will have a 7.0 start value on beam this Sunday
  • “It is a good result. I am quite pleased with what I did today, but that does not mean I can’t do even better.” – on winning silver
  • “It is good to be considered a gymnastics star and be in the same league as a great Romanian gymnast Sandra Izbasa, a double Olympic champion.” – on being a gymnastics icon for Romania
  • “Everything is possible at any one competition. Today I did not get gold but next time there is always a chance.” – on doing better in the future

Kyla Ross, United States, Bronze

  • “I was really happy with my performance tonight. I knew that I had to come out and hit all four events, which I did, and do everything well throughout.” – on winning bronze
  • “I know that I didn’t have the highest of start values so I just really wanted to come out and do as best as I could on all the events, so I was glad I was able to stay on and have a good meet. To be able to end up in third, I was really happy.” – on qualifying in fifth and then medaling
  • “It’s feeling pretty good. I wasn’t really sure how I would be able to compete at the World Championships, but I was able to push through it and I was really proud of myself for that.” – on competing with an injury
  • “We were really excited to be in the same group, to be able to cheer each other on the whole time. It was just really fun and we were just saying, ‘oh, three more left. Halfway done. And finally, last event.’ We were excited to end on floor and to have such a good meet.” – on chatting with teammate Simone Biles between rotations
  • “I know there is competition between pretty much everyone, but we’re such good friends and I think we’re really there to push each other.” – on her competition with Biles

Aliya Mustafina, Russia, Fourth Place

  • “I didn’t expect anything. I put too much of myself into the team competition and there was no stamina left in me for my own thing in the women’s individual final.” – on her expectations for the day
  • “I simply could not make it. Maybe luck was against me today.” – on not landing on the podium
  • “I had a fall on the floor exercise and I knew that was it for me.” – on her final routine
  • “I have to give them credit – they were good and I was not at my best today.” – on her competition

Yao Jinnan, China, Fifth Place

  • “I am very happy because I never thought I would win this prize.” – on winning the Longines Prize for Elegance
  • “I am not so satisfied. And this time, I just competed twice on floor and both are not so satisfying. I was not so confident when hitting the routine because of a foot injury. And my physical strength was not so good at the end.” – on not winning a medal
  • “Everyday the feeling is different. But I will find the best one and I will try my best.” – on putting together a routine for the bars final
  • “I felt a little bit out of energy at the end, although I felt okay when I was warming up. That’s why I did not hit my routine.” – on her floor performance
  • “Part of it was that I was lacking energy, and part was I was not mentally sharp. I was afraid of making another mistake on the landing.” – on her fall on floor
  • “My feeling was a little complicated because I was not one of the all-around medalists so that made me feel a little uncomfortable.” – on winning the elegance prize
  • “I will show my best on uneven bars tomorrow” – on preparing for event finals

Jessica Lopez, Venezuela, Eighth Place

  • “It means a lot to me. I’m glad I came back from the first day. My first day was not good. I still had some mistakes today, but I’m glad I finished up strong and got eighth.” – on fighting back from 19th place in qualifications to finish 8th
  • “I still have a lot of room for improvement so I have to perform every single apparatus. The experience I get with age helps.” – on competing as a 28-year-old

Ellie Black, Canada, Ninth Place

  • “I’m super pleased with that [result]. I just came out to show what I can do and, hopefully, do the routines the way I wanted to. Just to be in the final with the best girls in the world is incredible.” – on finishing 9th after qualifying in 14th
  • “I just wanted to go out and show what Canadians can do because we are really starting to step up and make some finals, so I just wanted to show the world that we’re here.” – on what she set out to prove in the final

Shang Chunsong, China, 12th Place

  • “I am a little tired today so I didn’t make it. I didn’t perform well on uneven bars in previous competitions, so I was a little resistant to it. My upper arm was a little sore. Actually, the soreness in the arm started from the team final, and it was more sore today. As a result, I couldn’t grasp the bar firmly sometimes.” – on falling from uneven bars
  • “Except uneven bars, I was quite satisfied with my performance today.” – on how she performed
  • “To be honest, the ranking change after each rotation had no effect on me. After all, I had a big mistake in the first apparatus, so in the following apparatus, I felt no pressure. It was enough to perform my best so I did not have to change my mindset during the competition.” – on her ranking after each rotation
  • “As to myself, I had an obvious gap in vault compared with the foreign top-level gymnasts. Nannan, as well as some other teammates, had some gap in floor exercise and the gap lies in both difficulty and execution. For example, it’s hard for us to land firmly in floor exercise, but they can.” – on the gap between herself and foreign competition
  • “I think we have a high possibility in the balance beam final to win the gold medal. If [my teammates] perform normally in the uneven bars final, the gold medal will be ours.” – on expectations in event finals

Photo and quotes thanks to the FIG

One thought on “The All-Arounders in Their Own Words

  1. It’s really too bad that Yao Jinnan felt uncomfortable about winning the Elegance Prize because she wasn’t an All Around medalist. I wish somebody explained to her that the Elegance Prize has nothing to do with the all around results.


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