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European Gymnastics is proud to relaunch its ‘Gymnast of the Year’ election! You can vote for your favourite gymnast of the year 2021 on our website and on our social media channels.
As it was an Olympic year, our Executive Committee chose the following 4 categories: Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Trampoline Gymnastics.
Nominations for the long list were made by our Technical Committees, staff and the 50 member Federations. A selection committee featuring European Gymnastics Vice-President Michel Boutard, Executive Committee member Paolo Frising, General Director Lisa Worthmann, Head of Media Tina Gerets and Sports Coordinator Claire Turner, had the difficult task to choose 5 nominees in each category.
The successful gymnasts are listed alphabetically by surname per category. Discover the nominees!
Women’s Artistic Gymnastics - Nominees
Nina Derwael (BEL)
Derwael lived up to her reputation of Bars Queen to win the Olympic title on her signature event, becoming the first Belgian gymnast to win an Olympic medal. She also placed 6th in the all-around final and led her Belgian teammates to the team final.
Vanessa Ferrari (ITA)
Thirty-year-old Vanessa Ferrari won the bronze on floor at the Europeans in Basel. In Tokyo, at her fourth Olympic Games, she clinched the silver on floor, after placing 4th in 2012 and 2016. In doing so, Ferrari became the first Italian to win an individual Olympic medal in Women's Artistic Gymnastics. She truly is an example of commitment, dedication, professionalism, resilience and longevity.
Jessica Gadirova (GBR)
At her senior international debut in Basel at the Europeans, Gadirova collected a full set of medals. The British talent first won bronze in the all-around followed by silver on vault and topped by the European title on floor for an exquisite routine. At the Olympics, Gadirova reached the all-around and floor finals. Her hit routines helped secure the bronze medal for the British team, their first Olympic team medal in 93 years.
Angelina Melnikova (RUS)
Starting at the Europeans, Melnikova was out for the year of her life. She returned home as the most decorated female gymnast in Basel, proudly showing off her gold medal on uneven bars, silver in the all-around and on floor and the bronze on vault. In Tokyo, the fierce team captain led her teammates to their first ever team Olympic title. Individually, she claimed the bronze in both the all-around and on floor. While most Olympic medallists took a well-deserved rest, Melnikova went on to compete at the World Championships in Kitakyushu. And it proved to be a great choice: the World all-around crown was hers, in addition to silver on floor and bronze on vault.
Giulia Steingruber (SUI)
Swiss star Giulia Steingruber vaulted to her fourth European title on the event. After winning in 2013, 2014 and 2016, she was victorious again in Basel, cementing her status as the queen of Swiss gymnastics.
Vote here: https://linkto.run/p/O504EAK4
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics - Nominees
Ferhat Arican (TUR)
Turkey keeps on making marks in gymnastics, with Ferhat Arican claiming his second consecutive European title on parallel bars. At the Tokyo Olympics, the 28-year-old won bronze on parallel bars, becoming Turkey’s first Olympic medallist in gymnastics.
Artem Dolgopyat (ISR)
After 2 silver medals at both the Europeans and World Championships, Dolgopyat arrived in Tokyo fully focused and with his eyes on the biggest prize of all. Never before had an Israeli gymnast won an Olympic medal. Dolgopyat did return home with a medal, and it was gold!
Ilia Kovtun (UKR)
The 2020 European junior Champion transitioned well into the senior ranks, winning the all-around bronze medal at both the European and World Championships. Furthermore, Kovtun was victorious in the World Cup circuit and performed a new element on parallel bars. He is still young but very talented and a promising gymnast.
Nikita Nagornny (RUS)
The year started with a solid performance in Basel, where Nagornyy mesmerised the world with a fabulous triple pike on floor. Qualifying to all but one final, he cruised to victory in the all-around. In event finals, he added the gold on floor, silver on pommel horse and rings. His Olympic goal was clear in advance: excelling both with the team and in the all-around. In a nail-biting final, the Russian men secured the Olympic title. Individually, Nagornyy added two bronze medals: in the all-around and on high bar.
Max Whitlock (GBR)
Words only can’t describe what a trailblazer Max Whitlock continues to be. After becoming Great Britain’s first World and Olympic Champion, in 2021 Whitlock successfully defended his Olympic title on pommel horse and helped the British team to finish fourth.
Vote here: https://linkto.run/p/PCAKW6SW
Rhythmic Gymnastics - Nominees
Linoy Ashram (ISR)
The 2020 European all-around Champion kicked off a fabulous season at the Europeans in Varna where she won the gold with clubs, the first non-Russian to win since 2011. Her greatest achievement of all came 2 months later, at the Tokyo Olympics. Ashram clinched the Olympic gold medal, becoming the first Israeli woman in any sport to take this title.
Dina Averina (RUS)
Russian superstar Dina Averina continued to write history in 2021, winning a record 4th consecutive World all-around title, in addition to the World titles with hoop, ball and clubs. At the Europeans she clinched gold with team, hoop, ball and ribbon and bronze in the all-around. In Tokyo, she earned the silver medal.
Alina Harnasko (BLR)
Provide ample entertainment with her delightful routines and gregarious personality, Belarus’ Alina Harnasko earned the silver with ribbon and bronze with ball at the Europeans. At the Olympics, she performed solidly to take the bronze medal, to her own surprise. She capped off this excellent year with the World title with ribbon, claiming her country’s first gold since 1996.
Boryana Kaleyn (BUL)
In a last-minute plot twist, crowd favourite Boryana Kaleyn, as the very last performer in the European all-around final, showed the clubs routine of her life, scoring 27.950 and overtaking triple World Champion Dina Averina with 3 tenths for the silver medal. Varna’s Palace of Culture and Sports erupted with joy for the incredible feat of the 20-year-old Bulgarian. This was the first all-around medal at a European Championships for Bulgaria since Maria Petrova’s victory in 1994.
Sofia Raffaeli (ITA)
At her senior World Championships debut, Raffaeli won the bronze medal in the hoop final and placed second with the Italian team. Her rookie journey to the World Cups and European Championships in Varna was explosive. Among the 2004 generation, Sofia was certainly the biggest surprise, marking herself as one of the most interesting gymnasts on the road to Paris 2024.
Vote here: https://linkto.run/p/8XEDHPZ8
Trampoline Gymnastics - Nominees
Lea Labrousse (FRA)
2019 European Games Champion Lea Labrousse showed off her shape at the Europeans in Sochi where she twisted and somersaulted to the silver medal.
Iana Lebedeva (RUS)
After leading her team to victory at the European Championships, Russia’s Iana Lebedeva also secured the individual European title in Trampoline. At Worlds, she added the bronze individually and with the team.
Ivan Litvinovich (BLR)
The young and talented Belarussian Ivan Litvinovich, the 2018 junior European Champion, kept his cool in Tokyo, skyrocketing to fame as he clinched the gold medal. As part of the Belarussian men’s team he also secured gold at the European and World Championships.
Bryony Page (GBR)
The British trampolinist made a name for herself again in 2021 by winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, standing on the podium for the second consecutive time. At Worlds, she excelled to clinch the individual gold medal and team bronze.
Aleh Rabtsau (BLR)
The national anthem of Belarus sounded three times for Aleh Rabtsau in Sochi’s Iceberg Arena. He won the individual Trampoline final, claimed gold in synchro with Uladzislau Hancharou and was part of the victorious Belarussian men’s team. He returned home as triple European Champion and as a father to his first baby born while he was in Sochi. At the Worlds in Baku, Rabtsau claimed gold in synchro and with the team and bronze individually.
Vote here: https://linkto.run/p/GDOPXQ1S
Start voting now! You have until Tuesday 22 February at 12 noon CET!
On our social media channels, we’ll introduce each category on a different day. Women’s Artistic Gymnastics on Monday 14 February, Men’s Artistic Gymnastics on Tuesday 15 February, Rhythmic Gymnastics on Wednesday 16 February and Trampoline Gymnastics on Thursday 17 February. A like of the gymnast’s candidate profile equals 1 vote for this gymnast, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram separately. These results will be combined with the poll. The nominee with the highest total score wins the title!
The award will be given out at a special reception on Monday 15 August 2022 in Munich.