Gymnastics all-around champions by age

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Prior to 1981, the minimum required age to compete in senior events sanctioned by the FIG was 14.[1] The earliest champions in women's gymnastics tended to be in their 20s; most had studied ballet for years before entering the sport. Hungarian gymnast Ágnes Keleti won individual gold medals at the age of 35 at the 1956 Olympics. Larisa Latynina, the first great Soviet gymnast, won her first Olympic all-around medal at the age of 21, her second at 25 and her third at 29; she became the 1958 World Champion while pregnant with her daughter.[2] Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská, who followed Latynina to become a two-time Olympic all-around champion, was 22 before she started winning gold medals at the highest level of the sport, and won her final Olympic all-around title at the age of 26.[3]

In the 1970s, the average age of Olympic gymnastics competitors began to gradually decrease. While it was not unheard of for teenagers to compete in the 1960s — Ludmilla Tourischeva was sixteen at her first Olympics in 1968 — they slowly became the norm, as difficulty in gymnastics increased.[4]

List of Olympic all-around champions by age[edit]

Olympic all-around champions 1952-2012- Women
Name Year Date of birth Age at Olympics
Soviet Union Maria Gorokhovskaya 1952 October 27, 1921 30 years, 266 days
Soviet Union Larisa Latynina 1956 December 27, 1934 21 years, 253 days
Soviet Union Larisa Latynina 1960 December 27, 1934 25 years, 253 days
Czechoslovakia Věra Čáslavská 1964 May 3, 1942 22 years, 168 days
Czechoslovakia Věra Čáslavská 1968 May 3, 1942 26 years, 171 days
Soviet Union Ludmilla Tourischeva 1972 July 10, 1952 20 years, 48 days
Romania Nadia Comăneci 1976 November 12, 1961 14 years, 249 days
Soviet Union Yelena Davydova 1980 August 7, 1961 18 years, 348 days
United States Mary Lou Retton 1984 January 24, 1968 16 years, 187 days
Soviet Union Yelena Shushunova 1988 April 23, 1969 19 years, 148 days
Ukraine Tatiana Gutsu 1992 September 5, 1976 15 years, 325 days
Ukraine Lilia Podkopayeva 1996 August 15, 1978 17 years, 339 days
Romania Simona Amânar 2000 October 7, 1979 20 years, 344 days
United States Carly Patterson 2004 February 4, 1988 16 years, 224 days
United States Nastia Liukin 2008 October 30, 1989 18 years, 283 days
United States Gabrielle Douglas 2012 December 31, 1995 16 years, 215 days
Olympic all-around champions 1952-2012- Men
Name Year Date of birth Age at Olympics
Soviet Union Viktor Chukarin 1952 November 9, 1921 30 years, 259 days
Soviet Union Viktor Chukarin 1956 November 9, 1921 34 years, 301 days
Soviet Union Boris Shakhlin 1960 January 27, 1932 28 years, 222 days
Japan Yukio Endo 1964 January 18, 1937 27 years, 274 days
Japan Sawao Kato 1968 October 11, 1946 22 years, 10 days
Japan Sawao Kato 1972 October 11, 1946 25 years, 321 days
Soviet Union Nikolai Andrianov 1976 October 14, 1952 23 years, 278 days
Soviet Union Alexander Dityatin 1980 August 7, 1957 22 years, 348 days
Japan Koji Gushiken 1984 November 12, 1956 27 years, 260 days
Soviet Union Vladimir Artemov 1988 December 7, 1964 23 years, 286 days
Belarus Vitaly Scherbo 1992 January 13, 1972 20 years, 195 days
China Li Xiaoshuang 1996 November 1, 1973 22 years, 261 days
Russia Alexei Nemov 2000 May 28, 1976 24 years, 110 days
United States Paul Hamm 2004 September 24, 1982 21 years, 326 days
China Yang Wei 2008 February 8, 1980 28 years, 182 days
Japan Kohei Uchimura 2012 January 3, 1989 23 years, 212 days

NB: The "age at Olympics" is calculated from the first day of Olympics gymnastics competition, if available; or the date of the Olympics opening ceremonies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Within the International Federations". Olympic Review (155): p. 520. September 1980. Retrieved 2006-04-11. 
  2. ^ "Legends: Larissa Latynina" International Gymnast, 2001
  3. ^ "Vera Čáslavská: The heroine of Mexico". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. ^ Ryan, Joan (1995). Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. Garden City: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-47790-1.