| Irina Viner|
| Anastasia Ilyinichna Bliznyuk|
28 June 1994 (age 21)
Zaporizhia, Ukraine (1994-06-28)
Gymnastics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's rhythmic group all-around
Anastasia Nazarenko, Ksenia Dudkina, Alina Makarenko, Uliana Donskova, Karolina Sevastyanova
Anastasia Bliznyuk Wikipedia
Anastasia Ilyinichna Bliznyuk (Russian: Анастасия Ильинична Близнюк; born 28 June 1994) is a Russian group rhythmic gymnast. She is a two-time 2012 and 2016 Olympics Group All-around champion, 2013 World Group All-around bronze medalist, and two-time European (2016, 2012) Group All-around champion. Bliznyuk is the third group rhythmic gymnast to win two gold medals in the Olympic Games after the late Natalia Lavrova and Yelena Posevina.
Anastasia is the daughter of former football player Ilya Bliznyuk who played for the Ukrainian national team and was the head coach of FC Zirka Kirovograd. She has an elder sister named Alexandra and a younger brother named Vladimir.
Bliznyuk was part of the gold medal winning Russian Group at the 2012 European Championships and at the World Cup Final in Minsk, Belarus. She won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the group all-around event together with other group members (Uliana Donskova, Ksenia Dudkina, Alina Makarenko, Anastasia Nazarenko, Karolina Sevastyanova).
For six months leading up to the Olympic Games, the Russian gymnasts only ate buckwheat in their diet. Bliznyuk is a resident of the city of Penza.
Bliznyuk suffered an injury at the start of the 2013 season and was not selected to compete with the Russian Group, she returned to competition in the Russian Group at the 2013 Sofia World Cup where they won the silver medal in all-around and gold in 2 ribbons/3 balls final. At the Minsk World Cup they won gold in all-around, silver in 2 ribbons/3 balls and bronze in 10 clubs. Bliznyuk and the rest Russian Group won all the gold medals at the 2013 Summer Universiade in All-around, 10 clubs and 2 ribbons/3 balls. The Russian Group won the gold medals in Group All-around, 10 clubs and 2 ribbons/3 balls at the 2013 World Cup Final in St. Petersburg, Russia. Bliznyuk and her Russian teammates won the Group All-around bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships, they won gold in 2 Ribbon + 3 Balls final. Bliznyuk along with rest of the remaining Russian Group Olympians terminated their careers after the World Championships. Irina Viner has stated about their dismissal and retirements: "We have made drastic changes in the composition of the group. All the girls, who a year ago at the Olympic Games were the first after the World Cup series had to say goodbye to the sport. They did not show in Kiev what could and should have been shown. The "star disease" should not be left on the carpet. And I always say that as long as you're standing on a pedestal - you're a winner, but as soon as you had gone down from it- you're no one to call you in any way".
In 2014 Bliznyuk suffered an infection and spent about six weeks in recovery. After returning to health, she switched to a coaching role with a Russian reserve team. She came back to training in 2015.
In 2016, Bliznyuk made a competitive comeback, she was included in the Russian group and returned to competition at the 2016 Moscow Grand Prix. She also began competing at the 2016 FIG World Cup series events. Bliznyuk and the Russian group won group gold at the 2016 European Championships in Holon, Israel. On August 19-21, Bliznyuk was member of the golden winning Russian group (together with Anastasia Maksimova, Maria Tolkacheva, Vera Biryukova, Anastasiia Tatareva) that won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bliznyuk achieved a rare feat by becoming only the third group rhythmic gymnast to win two gold medals in the Olympic Games after the late Natalia Lavrova and Yelena Posevina.
In 2017, Bliznyuk continued her competitive career and stayed with the russian national group where she became the team captain. They competed at the 2017 Grand Prix Moscow where they won gold in group all-around, 3 balls + 2 ropes and silver medal in 5 hoops.