Lidiia Iakovleva is a rhythmic gymnast and Olympian who was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Lidiia was born in Petrozavodsk, Russia, in 2003 and moved to Australia with her family at age seven. She brought with her a love of rhythmic gymnastics after being introduced to the sport at the Petrozavodsk Rhythmic Gymnastics Club.
Lidiia progressed under the coaching of her mother Iuliia and the staff at Premier Gymnastics and Aspire Gymnastics Academy, and she soon won medals at national championships. After an intensive training camp in Russia, she placed first at the selection trials for the 2016 Pacific Rim Championships, where she won bronze in the Clubs final. This was just the beginning.
Lidiia went on to win the Rope, Hoop and Clubs as an International Junior at the Australian championships in 2016, and returned in 2017 to take gold in the overall. A year later she won gold in all four finals at the national championships to claim first overall and earn selection for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
The experience of competing at the senior world cup and world championships elevated Lidiia’s skills and carried her to gold in the all-around at the 2021 national championships and Oceania championships, securing the Oceania quota spot for Tokyo 2020.
Lidiia then accomplished a dream when she competed at the Tokyo Olympic Games and is aiming for Paris 2024. She also aspires to become a doctor, and to continue assisting fellow athletes, as she did during COVID-19 lockdown when she offered free online training courses to more than 500 gymnasts in Australia and New Zealand.
“Being a successful SAHOF Scholarship Applicant will go a long way to contributing for my preparation towards my future short-term and long-term goals. Rhythmic Gymnastics in Australia is a sport that is mostly self-funded, the parents and the athletes need to fund almost all trainings and competitions costs. As expected in elite sports this comes up to very large amounts of money as they include several costs i.e., physio, massage, training, camps, travel, accommodation, apparatus equipment, competition entry fees and Leotards. Receiving this Scholarship will help play a big role in my preparation for the 2022 season financially. Having this Scholarship and SAHOF on my team supporting me will only make my team stronger and help me achieve my goals set in 2022.” – Lidiia Iakovleva on being selected as a 2022 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2016: Pacific Rim Championships, USA – Clubs Final, bronze
- 2016: Australian Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Nationals – Champion
- 2017: Australian Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Nationals – Champion
- 2018: Australian Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Nationals – Champion
- 2018: Youth Olympic Games, Argentina – Multi Discipline Team Event, bronze
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Olympic Games – Ranking of 19th in clubs
- 2021: Oceania Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships – Champion
- 2021: Senior International Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships – Champion
Bio credit to Gymnastics Australia