The graceful and alluring Aliya Mustafina has been at the top of elite gymnastics since 2010, when her performance at Worlds in Rotterdam catapulted her to international success and stardom. She has been largely responsible for Russia’s return to global importance in artistic gymnastics, commanding attention the moment she steps onto the floor.
Through the years, we’ve seen a complete spectrum of emotions from this true fan favorite. Through setbacks, injuries and disappointments throughout her accomplished career, we’ve seen tears over and over. But at the Rio Olympics, the storyline for Mustafina was all smiles. An ear-to-ear grin covered her face when Russia earned team silver and in the uneven bar finals, where she prevailed with gold, we saw pure joy shine bright on her face. Sport is marked by the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory—and in Rio, we were overjoyed ourselves as the stylish stalwart shone bright.

The two-time Olympic uneven bars champion is a true gift to the sport, beautifully capturing the essence of artistic, photogenic gymnastics and is our choice for the cover of the 50 Most Photogenic, Class of 2017.

Every year, we honor the gymnasts that bring something particularly special to our sport—whether it’s clever choreography, massive strength and power, astounding gracefulness or an expression captured at just the right moment. In this annual feature, we present our list of the 50 Most Photogenic, from Rio stars to sentimental fan favorites. Enjoy!

In this issue!

You’ll love our Countdown to Camp, Spotlight on the California Sports Center and your favorite features including People, Places and Faces, Shannon Says with Shannon Miller and all of the news on Inside Buzz!

Header photo © Ricardo Bufolin, cover photo © Grace Chiu

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