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Russian champion gymnast Soldatova announces retirement at age 22 following struggle with bulimia

Russian champion gymnast Soldatova announces retirement at age 22 following struggle with bulimia
Prominent Russian rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Soldatova has officially confirmed her retirement from professional sport, saying that she wants to fully concentrate on her health which was undermined by an eating disorder.

The 22-year-old underlined that she will stay in gymnastics, but in quite a different role, which she hasn’t clarified, but hinting that she might concentrate on coaching and master classes.

Also on rt.com 'I could have starved for days': Russian gymnastics queen Alexandra Soldatova on battle with bulimia

The four-time world champion who was widely regarded as one of the most flexible and technically gifted gymnasts put her career on halt last year after announcing her battle with bulimia.

Her rigorous weight control evolved into a serious psychological issue that led to an eating disorder, which required medical and psychological help.

The athlete was expected to return to the international circuit, but Soldatova who missed more than a year of intense training decided to retire.

Today on December 24 I want to officially announce that my professional sporting career is over. This was an amazing period spanning 16 years,” Soldatova said.

My time in gymnastics was full of different things, but I want to remember only positive moments. I have nothing to regret and to be upset about, I have achieved, by far, more than I could have ever dreamt of,” the gymnast went on to say.

I’m just 22 and I have my whole life lying ahead of me. I have so many plans that I want to fulfil. Of course they are connected with gymnastics and in order to achieve these goals I need to be fully healthy,” she added.

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