Vera Kolesnikova (URS)

Photo by Tom Theobald
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For a thorough listing of Kolesnikova's competitive results, please visit Gymn Forum's Kolesnikova biography

Vera Kolesnikova was bon on October 7,1968 in a small village outside of Voronezh, Russia. Within a few years of training she moved to Voronezh to train with Rima Alexandrova at the Spartak club. She began representing the Soviet Union in the early 1980s and within a couple of years was a contender for the Worlds team. 

The Soviet Union named two alternates to the 1983 World team, Vera and Valentina Shkoda. Two years later Vera made the competitive line up for the 1985 Worlds. As one of the lead off gymnasts, Vera posted excellent scores for her team. As expected, the Soviets swept the competition.  That same year Vera traveled all around the globe, winning gold in Australia and collecting three bronze medals in Japan.

Photo by Tom Theobald.
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In 1986 Vera competed at the inaugural Goodwill Games, held in Moscow. With reigning co-World Champions and fellow teammates Elena Shushunova and Oksana Omelianchik both suffering unexpected falls in the all-around competition, Vera found herself standing atop the podium.

Although she placed extremely well at the 1987 University Games (2nd AA), then still a prominent competition, the 1986 Goodwill Games was really Vera's last major hoorah. She competed infrequently throughout the next two years, and in 1988 competed only three routines at the USSR Cup. She retired that year, after not making the Olympic team.

In 1991 Vera married. She and her husband have two children, Sasha and Victoria ("Vika"). The family now lives in Voronezh, where Vera coaches gymnastics. She is also an international brevet judge. "My soul is with gymnastics. It gives meaning to my life," Vera told IG magazine.

Update (August 2009): Daughter Victoria Komova is one of Russia's top gymnasts, and recently took first place at the 2009 European Youth Olympic Festival.

. This page was created April 14, 2001 and last updated August 2009.

 

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