Get to know Maria Paseka
The 22-year-old Maria Paseka has been the quiet force of the Russian team for nearly two Olympic cycles and shines by her power. On vaults, where her two passes are among the most difficult in the world, the Russian athlete stepped on the podium at her last two Olympic games, in addition to winning the world champion title in 2015. This year, in Montreal, she intends to repeat the experience.
Although Maria, affectionately nicknamed Masha, has the flexibility, the grace and the posture of the greatest ballet dancers, nothing destined her to glory.
In preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Russia had a pool of extremely talented junior gymnasts, many already known on the international scene. Maria did not really stand out.
When she first stepped into the senior category, many injuries and lack of consistency in competition let her very little chance of being a part of the Russian team for the London Olympic Games. That was without taking account of her determination.
In the few months before the competition, Maria worked tirelessly to increase the difficulty of her vaults. She won her place on the team and the silver medal by achieving an Amanar, a vault performed only by a few gymnasts and an undeniable advantage for a team.
Maria is among the favorites to win the title on vault at the 2017 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championship in Montreal.