Liliya Podkopaieva

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 3
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLiliya Oleksandrivna•Podkopaieva (-Nahorniy)
Used nameLiliya•Podkopaieva
Original nameЛілія Олександрівна•Подкопаєва (-Нагорний)
Born15 August 1978 in Donetsk, Donetsk (UKR)
Measurements149 cm / 42 kg
AffiliationsDynamo Donetsk, Donetsk (UKR)
NOC Ukraine


Liliya Podkopaieva took up gymnastics at the age of five and trained under four times Olympic champion Lyudmila Turishcheva. Podkopaieva made her international début in 1993 and won her first major international tournament medal, a World Championships silver on balance beam, in 1994. At the 1994 European Championships, Podkopaieva won her first major title, a gold on floor exercise, to which she added silver in balance beam and bronzes in vault and team event. She won golds in all-around and vault and silvers in uneven bars and balance beam at the 1995 World Championships and went on to the 1996 season as one of the clear favorites at the Olympics. But her Olympic hopes were nearly trashed by a serious injury sustained when she fell from the beam in practice in early 1996. But Podkopaieva recovered well, and at the European Championships won gold in all-around, uneven bars and floor exercise and bronzes in vault and team event, and at the Olympic Games won the all-around and floor exercise titles and silver on balance beam.

Originally Podkopaieva did not intend to retire after the 1996 Olympics, but injuries prevented her from competing for two seasons after the Olympics and forced her retirement in 1998. But she did not leave gymnastics, as since 2002 she has organized a Golden Lily tournament in Kyiv. She was certified as an international brevet judge in 2004, and also coaches extensively in America and Ukraine. She has also hosted a gymnastics TV-show “Aerobics for Champions.” Podkopaieva is the Ukrainian United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Ukraine’s Ambassador of Sport to the Council of Europe. In 2006, she won the Ukrainian version of Dancing with the Stars, and represented Ukraine at the 2008 Eurovision Dance Contest.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1996 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) UKR Liliya Podkopaieva
Individual All-Around, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Team All-Around, Women (Olympic) Ukraine 5
Floor Exercise, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Horse Vault, Women (Olympic) 19 r1/1
Uneven Bars, Women (Olympic) =5
Balance Beam, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver