Introducing Israel’s Olympians: Valeria Maksyuta

July 2, 2012 23:28

One of 10 Israeli gymnasts at the Olympics, Maksyuta enters the London Games under little pressure.

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VALERIA MAKSYUTA 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

One of 10 Israeli gymnasts at the Olympics, Valeria Maksyuta enters the London Games under little pressure. The 24-year-old made aliya from the Ukraine five years ago after an eye-catching performance in the 2005 Maccabiah.

Maksyuta made her breakthrough in 2011 and took a big step towards London with her showing in the All-Around competition in the Olympic Test Event at the O2 Arena in January, before taking medals in the vault and balance beam finals as well.

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Maksyuta still had to meet the Olympic Committee of Israel’s criteria to book her place at the Olympics and did so by ending the All- Around final at the European Championships in ninth place, while also finishing the vault final in an impressive fourth position.

“Since the age of 14 I understood that gymnastics is my future,” Maksyuta said after qualifying for London 2012.

“The dream has always been to reach the Olympics and now that I have realized that I have no intention of stopping.

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“I’m not going to London for fun. I’m going with the clear goal of winning a medal in the vault.”

A podium finish will likely be out of Maksyuta’s reach, but progress to the vault final is certainly within her capabilities, as is qualification for the 24- gymnast All-Around final.

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