Today the gymnastics world woke up to the unexpected news that the Queen of Russian gymnastics Aliya Mustafina, who turned 22 years old barely a month ago on September 30th, has married bobsledder Alexei Zaitsev. Zaitsev, a hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in bobsleigh, is barely two weeks older than Aliya as he was born on September 17th, 1994. Bobsleigh is a sport where a team makes timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a sled.
Aliya’s marriage is the third in the Russian Team alone in the past couple of months. In late September it was announced that Ksenia Semenova had married two-time Olympian Denis Ablyazin who owns 5 Olympic medals. The couple married three weeks before Ksenia’s 24th birthday however the wedding was no surprise as they had been engaged for a long time and were only waiting for the right moment to tie the knot.
A week before Semenova’s wedding quiet news about the other Ksenia (Afanasyeva) also getting married surfaced, Ksenia married Roman Suetin, also close to her birthday, more or less a week after she turned 25 years old.
Also in September unexpected news surfaced that Anastasia Grishina who had married days before her 20th birthday in early January had welcomed her first child and was a new mom.
Outside of Russia but not so far away, also in early September news surfaced that Ukrainian gymnasts Igor Radivilov and Angelina Kysla had married. The couple recently competed at the Arthur Gander Memorial meet where Angelina placed 7th and Igor was 3rd. In the video you can hear Angelina being addressed as Igor’s new wife at 00:20
UPDATE: The 2017 Baku World Cup was the first time Angelina used her married named Radivilova.
Aliya Mustafina and Andreea Raducan, share birthdays as they were both born on September 30th and now they will also nearly share wedding anniversaries too. Andreea Raducan married in mid-October, roughly two weeks after her 33rd birthday and two weeks earlier than Aliya Mustafina’s own marriage.
Her wedding was attended by several Olympic medalists such as Daniela Sofronie, Monica Rosu, Catalina Ponor, Daniela Silivas, Diana Bulimar, Nadia Comaneci and Sandra Izbasa just to name a few.
And in the Pre-Olympic season when the Rio Test Event was taking place on April 16, 24-year-old Shawn Johnson married Andrew East and she now goes by the name Shawn Johnson-East. Andrew East’s surprise proposal to Shawn Johnson in July 2015 at a Chicago Cubs game was caught in video.
Shawn Johnson had attended the game with teammate Alicia Sacramone, who now goes by the name Alicia Quinn after marrying her long-time boyfriend Brady Quinn in 2014. Alicia Sacramone welcomed her first child a daughter, Sloan Scott Quinn, the day of the Rio Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, August 5th 2016.
DANIELE HYPÓLITO AND ELIZABETH TWEDDLE (BRIDES-TO-BE)
Soon to follow in these gymnasts footsteps are Daniele Hypólito who got engaged to her boyfriend of two years, choreographer Fabio Castro, on Friday, October 21st, 2016. She has expressed her desire to marry in October of 2017.
And Elizabeth Tweddle who got engaged during the Rio Olympic Games. Serving as commentator for BBC she was surprised by her boyfriend of two years, Andy Allen, at Brazil’s Iguaza National Park with a marriage proposal.
We wish the newlyweds, as well as the future brides-to-be the happiest of marriages, just like their fellow gymnasts.
- Marta Pihan-Kulesza and Roman Kulesza who in September celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary.
- Ludmilla Grebenkova and Georgy Grebenkov who have been married for 11 years; they married in June of 2005.
- Dominique Moceanu and Michael Canales who are currently celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary as they were married in early November 2006.
- Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner who in April of 2016 celebrated 20 years of marriage having celebrated in March of 2016, 40 years of the very first time they met each other at the first ever American Cup