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Gymnastics fans were quick to recognize the talent of Ekaterina Sokova. She first gained traction as a junior where her exceptionally high difficultly on beam granted her instant credibility and made her a strong candidate for future medals. Adding to Sokova’s popularity, she had developed an interest in YouTube and social social media. More importantly, she appeared to be quite good at it.
For a time Sokova helped give fans an inside look on the inner-workings of the Russian junior national team. YouTube channels have proven to be quite popular among aspiring gymnasts. But no one has ever managed to do it from the position of a young novice who eventually went on to become a high profile Olympian. In doing so, a YouTuber would document the career of an Olympic gymnast from start to finish.
Ekaterina Sokova seemed destined to do exactly that, but her athletic career would never materialize in the way that it should have. Sokova would go down in gymnastics history as the most notorious example of the Russian Federation mismanaging a gymnast. Sokova’s story will forever cast a dark cloud over the Russian program in the same way Elena Mukhina’s story forever casted a dark shadow over the success of Soviet WAG.
The problem started when Sokova suffered a fracture in her hip joint. Russian officials brought Sokova back to high level training far too-early while simultaneously ignoring her expressed concerns that the pain she was experiencing in her hip was not right and needed to be addressed. For eight months Sokova was dismissed by Russian officials as a gymnast with an attitude problem. It would eventually be discovered that her hip had become so damaged, she needed immediate hip replacement surgery at just 16 years old. Sokova’s athletic career was over.
Given her gymnastics experience, that was still more than enough to pivot into a successful coaching career. Coupled with a promising YouTube channel, Sokova had two viable career paths. By the time she was 18 years old Ekaterina Sokova found herself with ample opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle. Every once in a while a gymnast manages to pivot her gymnastics career into a professional career, and is so successful in the process that by her early 20s she is at a place in life where everyone else wishes they could be at by age 40. Sokova is one of those examples.
Currently, Ekaterina frequently updates her YouTube channel, manages active social media accounts, and her content often features her working with small children in the gym. Demonstrating that despite her experiences, Ekaterina Sokova has no lost love for the sport.
Gymnix International: 12th-AA (Junior Level)
Csanyi Cup: 1st-AA (Junior Level)
Mikhail Voronin Cup: 3rd-AA, 1st-VT, 1st-BB, 1st-FX (Junior Level)
Russian Championships: 2nd-AA, 3rd-VT, 2nd-UB, 1st-Beam, 2nd-FX, 1st-Team (Juniors)
Russian Championships: 3rd-AA, 4th-UB, 3rd-BB, 1st-FX, 1st-Team (Juniors)
Results are taken from Score for Score, The Gymternet, GymnasticGreats, My Meet Scores, Gymn-Forum, the official websites of various national gymnastics federations, newspaper clippings, classic gymnastics magazines, and in some cases, were provided by the gymnasts themselves. An explanation for the meaning of these symbols can be found here.