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Yulia Yurkina was amongst a generation of gymnasts whose fortunes were significantly altered due to the breakup of the USSR. As a member of the Soviet program, Yulia had little chance of surpassing the legendary Soviet depth and making a Soviet lineup. However, due to the breakup of the USSR and Yulia belonging to the small Soviet Republic of Belarus, her prospects grew immensely.
In an instant, Yulia Yurkina went from being lucky just to qualify to a national championships, to being one of the leading gymnasts in a newly created national program that was strong enough to compete in a Team Finals. Alongside her twin sister Olga Yurkina, the duo would be called upon to serve as supporting cast members in a Belarusian program lead by the likes of Svetlana Boginskaya and Elena Piskun.
At first, both of the Yurkina twins appeared timid when television cameras zoomed in on their faces. And why wouldn’t they be? Never before in WAG history had two gymnasts been thrown into high level competition on such short notice. But in the ensuing years both Yurkina sisters appeared to have settled in and gave only the face of confidence when they competed. At first Yulia appeared to be the stronger gymnast between the two Yurkina sisters. Yulia had recorded a superior performance at the final Soviet Championships, the 1992 European Championships, and the 1993 World Championships.
However, at the 1993 Nikon International Yulia suffered an injury where she dislocated her elbow on floor. The injury was gruesome, but Yulia’s behavior during the ordeal was admirable. She seemed to give only a little bit of a grimace as television commentators described the “extremely painful” injury she had just experienced. After 1993 it was Olga who emerged as the strongest of the two Yurkina Twins. Olga Yurkina would go on to become an Olympian, Yulia Yurkina did not.
European Championships: 45th-AA
Massilia Gym Cup: 14th-AA
Medico Cup: 7th-AA
China Cup: 18th-AA
CIS Cup: 20th-AA
Hungarian International: 18th-AA
Massilia Gym Cup: 3rd-AA
BLR-USA-UKR Tri-Meet: 3rd-Team, 11th-AA
Nikon International: 28th-AA
World Championships: 16th-AA
International Championships of Romania: 6th-AA
Moscow News/World Stars: 14th-AA
Gymnix International: 4th-AA
World Team Championships: 6th-Team
BLR-USA-CHN Tri-Meet: 10th-AA
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.