Yelena Davydova

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Yelena Davydova : biography

7 August 1961 –

Life after retirement from competition

Yelena Davydova attended the Leningrad University of Physical education and later received her doctorate in Pedagogical science at the P.F.Lesgraft State Institute of Athletic Education. The title of her thesis was "Nontraditional preparation of top gymnasts for competitions" and with it she was assisted by world famous professors of medicine Kima Ivanova and Leonid Korolev. Upon graduation, in 1987, Davydova began coaching and served as an international Brevet judge. She began her coaching career with the Leningrad Olympic reserve college and was a coach with the Soviet national gymnastics team.

Davydova married boxing coach Pavel Filatov on 1 June 1983. They have two sons, Dmitrii (born 21 February 1985) and Anton (28 June 1995. The family moved to Canada in 1991. Davydova now now owns Gemini Gymnastics, a high performance gymnastics club in Oshawa, Ontario where she has been a coach since immigrating to Canada, and Head Coach since 1999. Some of her better known gymnasts include Stephanie Capucitti, Sarah Deegan, Danielle Hicks, Katherine Fairhurst, Kristina Vaculik, Brittnee Habbib, Kelsey Hope. She was beam coach for the Canadian women’s team at the 1995 World Championships and one of the Canadian women’s team coaches at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Davydova was twice named Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique coach of the year. In October 2005 Elena was chosen for the Coaching Association of Canada’s Women in Coaching National Team Coaching Apprenticeship Program. In 2005, 2006 and 2010 Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique awarded Elena and long-time associate coach, Valery Yahchybekov, as the “Junior High Performance Coaches of the Year”. Gemini Gymnastics has been recognised by GCG as Club of Excellence for 10 consecutive years since the inception of the awards in 2001.It is 1 of only 2 clubs to do so. In 2006 Gemini received the prestigious Gymnastics Canada Ed Broughan award for “Club of the Year”. As of 2012 Gemini have produced 15 Canadian AA champions,8 Elite Canada AA champions,21 Eastern Canada AA champions,98 Ontario provincial AA champions plus gymnasts who have won a host of other medals and awards. In September 2007 Kristina Vaculik and Rebecca Simbudhas of Gemini represented Canada at the World Championships. In April 2008 Vaculik won gold and silver World Cup trophies. She was the Canadian team reserve at the Beijing Olympics. In March 2010, Vaculik earned 2 gold and 2 silver medals at the Cottbus World Cup, an unprecedented result for Canadian Artistic women’s gymnastics. After attending Stanford for one year, Vaculik has taken a year off and returned to Gemini in 2011 to train with Davydova in hopes of winning a spot on the 2012 Canadian Artistic Gymnastics team. In October 2011, Vaculik was named to the Canadian team and, coached by Davydova, represented Canada at the World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, helping Team Canada finish in 11th place. At the end of October, 2011, Davydova and Vaculik travelled to Guadalajara, Mexico to compete for Team Canada in the Pan Am Games, coming home with team silver, and an individual bronze all-around and silver beam event final medals.In December 2011 Elena fulfilled a dream by purchasing Gemini Gymnastics and becoming a club owner. In December, 2011, Davydova and Kristina Vaculik, as well as younger sister Natalie Vaculik, headed to training camp where the Canadian team was chosen to attend the final Olympic qualifying event. Kristina was chosen to represent Canada, along with Madeline Gardiner, Victoria Moors (Cambridge, Ontario), Brittany Rogers (Vancouver, British Columbia), Peng Peng Lee (Toronto Ontario, Talia Chiarelli(former Ottawa resident living in Boston) and reserve Mikaela Gerber (Cambridge, Ontario). Davydova was chosen as one of two coaches to the women’s team. On 11 January 2012, the Women’s team secured a spot at the 2012 London Olympics by coming in second overall in the team event. Vaculik and Lee went on to 4th and 5th place respectively in event finals (uneven bars), Gardiner 4th (beam) and Moors garnered a silver on floor. In 2012 Gemini was awarded a Club of Excellence award, 1 of only 4 recognised across Canada,and 1 0f 2 to earn the highest gold level honour.In April 2012 Elena was named Ontario’s Coach of the Year.

In 2005 Elena achieved the highest score on the Canadian Brevet judging course. In June 2006 she received the FIG Coaching Brevet. As of 2007 She is 1 of only 31 female coaches worldwide to hold this Brevet and the only Olympic AA champion. She was a judge at the 2009 World Championships.At the F.I.G. Academy coach education programme in Trinidad 2010 Davydova was the course director on apparatus preparation,choreography and balance beam.

Her parents are now retired. Her father Victor was a mechanic and her mother Tamara was employed at the Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Works. Her brother Yuri, who is 12 years younger than Davydova, still lives in Russia as well. Elena was part of the Saint Petersburg delegation which unsuccessfully tried to win the 2004 Olympic Games for that city.