Lilia was born in Ukraine in the town of Donetsk on 15th August 1978. She grew up with her mother Lyudmilla, her brother Mihail and her grandmother who introduced her into gymnastics. It was at the age of 5 when Lilia began gymnastics, when her grandmother took her to the gym with the words "do well or do not bother." Lilia had a strong bond with her grandmother, and did her proud as she not only did well, she was the best. Growing up without a father was tough for Lilia and her family, because her mother could only provide the basic needs for her children. This brought the family very close indeed.
When Lilia was 11 she went to the national gymnastics training centre in Kyiv, where she trained with the best of Ukraine to compete in many gymnastic competitions throughout the world. She was different from any other gymnast she trained with and competed with, she had a balletic style to her gymnastics brought on by her many cultural trips during weekends in Kyiv, where she went to the ballet amoung other things, always with an eye for improving.
This all culminated in the years of 1995 and 1996 where Lilia defied all expectation and took all around gold at the European and World Championships as well as gold in the all around at the Olympic Games. Not since the Soviet Union's Lyudmilla Tourisheva had any gymnast managed to win all three championship's coveted prize - the all around gold. She dedicated her Olympic Gold to her grandmother, who unfortunately passed away two weeks previous to the competition. She was launched into the realms of legend and continues to be a legend even after her retirement in 1997 due to injury.
Since her retirement from gymnastics Lilia has coached at summer camps in USA with her friend Svetlana Boginskaya, and is a qualified judge in gymnastics. She runs an annual show in Ukraine known as "Golden Lily," where there is artistic, rhythmic, acrobatic and many other types of gymnastics on show. Along with this there is an artistic gymnastic tournament and even a possibility of seeing Lilia perform just as she did those years ago. She married her long term boyfriend Timofey Nagorniy in December of 2004, and we look forward to her having a full and happy life.