By Patricia C. Duffy

Aliya Mustafina, the reigning Olympic Champion on uneven bars, is returning to the gym in September with the hope of competing in 2018.

Feature photo by Ricardo Bufolin.

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According to a report published by Russian news organization TASS, Aliya Mustafina will return to the gym in early September after giving birth at the beginning of the summer.

Russian national team head coach Valentina Rodionenko said the gymnast is planning to make her comeback debut at the European Championships next year, which will be held in August 2018 in Glasgow. She will train in her home country beginning this Labor Day weekend.

Mustafina called Rodionenko herself and asked to be invited to September’s “round-up”, which is the Russian version of the American’s national team camp. Rodionenko believes Mustafina will have plenty of time to return to top form since European Championships will be held later in the year than normal (fall instead of spring), putting her on a solid timeline to challenge for titles at those championships and the first team world championships of the quad later that fall.

This follows a whirlwind year for Mustafina, who married Alexei Zaytsev after the Olympics in 2016, announced her pregnancy and gave birth to their first child, a baby girl named Alice, in June.

Mustafina is a two-time Olympic Champion on uneven bars (2012, 2016) and 7-time Olympic medalist.

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