She of ill-formed vaults. She of jaw-dropping release moves. She of scandalous internet pictures.
Has there been such a controversial gymnast in recent times? Certainly not since Khorkina. Gymnastics fans see either her blatant disregard for form and execution, or they see her ability to do ballsy, innovative skills.
The "diva" who brought us this
Unfortunately also brought us this
I am personally blinded by the visuals of her skills. Having developed during gymnastics' golden years, it is nearly impossible for me to appreciate a skill for difficulty alone, while completely ignoring its aesthetics. That said, I do admire the tenacity to attempt creative skills, and to go against the grain. Even if the grain is doing pretty gymnastics.
Do I respect her gymnastics? Not so much. Do I respect her as a gymnast? Yes I do.
Nabieva: Gymnastics' Russian Roulette.