Oksana Chusovitina

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Oksana Chusovitina
— Gymnast —
Oksana Chusovitina (vault) 04-2011.JPG
Chusovitina in 2011
Personal information
Full name Oksana Aleksandrovna Chusovitina
Country represented  Uzbekistan
Former countries represented  Germany
Olympic flag.svg Unified Team
 Soviet Union
Born (1975-06-19) 19 June 1975 (age 39)
Bukhara, Uzbek SSR, USSR
Hometown Köln, Germany
Height 1.53 m (5 ft 0 in)
Weight 44 kg (97 lb)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International
Years on national team 18  Uzbekistan
7  Germany
Club Turnteam Toyota Köln
Head coach(es) Shanna Polyakova
Former coach(es) Svetlana Kuznetsova
Music Phantom of the Opera (1996–2000), The Godfather Theme (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean (2006 & 2008)
Eponymous skills Hop-full pirouette, full out dismount (uneven bars); layout-full out (floor exercise)
World ranking Vault: 1 (2011) 9 (2010)

Oksana Aleksandrovna Chusovitina (Russian: Оксана Александровна Чусовитина; born 19 June 1975) is a world and Olympic champion gymnast who competed for the Soviet Union (until 1992), Uzbekistan (1993–2006; 2013–present) and Germany (2006–2012).

Chusovitina's career in elite gymnastics has spanned more than 20 years. She won the USSR Junior Nationals in 1988 and began competing at the international level in 1989, before many of her current rivals were even born. She is the only female gymnast ever to compete in six Olympic Games, and is one of only two female gymnasts to compete at the Olympics under three different national teams: the Unified Team in 1992; Uzbekistan in 1996, 2000 and 2004; and Germany in 2008 and 2012. Chusovitina has also competed in 10 World Championships, three Asian Games and three Goodwill Games. Chusovitina holds the record for the most individual world championships medals on a single event (nine, on the vault).

Chusovitina is one of a few women, along with Cuban Leyanet Gonzalez, Soviet Larisa Latynina, and Dutch Suzanne Harmes, to return to international competition after becoming a mother. Australia's head women's coach, Peggy Liddick, said Chusovitina is a role model and an inspiration.[1]

Soviet Union[edit]

Chusovitina began gymnastics in 1982.[2] In 1988, at the age of 13, she won the all-around title at the USSR National Championships in the junior division.

By 1990, Chusovitina was a vital member of the Soviet team, and was sent to compete in various international meets. She was the vault gold medalist at the 1990 Goodwill Games and nearly swept the 1990 World Sports Fair in Japan, winning the all-around and every event except the uneven bars. The following year she won the floor exercise at the 1991 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and placed second on the vault. In 1992 Chusovitina competed at the Olympics with the Unified Team, shared in the team gold medal and placed seventh in the floor final. She also won her second World Championships vault medal, a bronze.

Uzbekistan[edit]

After the 1992 Olympics, when the former Soviet gymnasts returned to their home republics, Chusovitina began competing for Uzbekistan and continued training with Uzbekistan head coach Svetlana Kuznetsova, also her personal coach. Conditions at the national training facility in Tashkent were a far cry from the Soviet Round Lake training center, and Chusovitina was forced to practice on antiquated, and in some cases, unsafe equipment. In spite of this setback, she was able to consistently produce world-class routines.[3][4]

Chusovitina represented Uzbekistan from 1993 to 2006 and competed for them at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and the 1994 and 2001 Goodwill Games. During this era she was the strongest gymnast on the Uzbekistan national team, earning more than 70 medals in international competitions and qualifying to the Olympics three times.

For her contributions to gymnastics, Chusovitina was granted the title of "Honored Athlete of the Republic of Uzbekistan" by the Uzbekistan Ministry of Cultural and Sports Affairs.[5] In 2001, she was named as the first WAG representative to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG)'s Athletes' Commission.[6] In addition, Chusovitina graduated from the Sports University in Tashkent.[7]

In late 1997 Chusovitina married Uzbekistani Olympic wrestler Bakhodir Kurbanov,[8] whom she first met at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.[7] The couple's son, Alisher, was born in November 1999.[2][4]

Germany[edit]

In 2002, Alisher was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).[9] Seeking advanced medical treatment for their son, Chusovitina and her husband accepted an offer of help from Shanna and Peter Brüggemann, head coaches of the Toyota Cologne club, and moved to Germany.[10] With prize money earned from gymnastics competitions, along with the help of the Brüggemanns and members of the international gymnastics community who fundraised and donated to the cause, Chusovitina was able to secure treatment for Alisher at the University of Cologne's hospital. [1][4][11][12] While Alisher underwent treatment in Cologne, Chusovitina trained with the German team.

Uzbekistan released Chusovitina to compete for Germany in 2003. However, due to rules requiring three years of residency, she was unable to gain German citizenship immediately. From 2003 to 2006 she trained in Germany but continued to compete for Uzbekistan, representing her native country at the 2003 and 2005 World Championships and the 2004 Olympics. In 2003, 12 years after her world championships debut, Chusovitina won the gold medal on the vault at that year's world championships in Anaheim.[9]

In 2006, Chusovitina obtained German citizenship.[10] Her first competition for Germany was the 2006 World Championships, where she won a bronze medal on the vault and placed ninth in the all-around.[13]

Recent years[edit]

In July 2007, she won the all-around title at the 2007 German National Championships.[14] At her first European Championships, she placed second on the vault.[15] At the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Chusovitina helped the German squad to a 10th place finish in the preliminary round, which qualified them to send a full team to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she was the oldest female competitor in her discipline.[4] She qualified for the vault event final where she finished in 2nd place, thus earning the first individual Olympic medal of her career. Chusovitina competed on three events at the 2008 Women's European Championships in Clermont-Ferrand, France, helping the German team to a seventh place finish in the team finals. In the vault event final, she defeated reigning European champion Carlotta Giovannini to win the gold medal.[16]

At the 2008 Olympics, the German team placed 12th in the qualifying round of competition. Chusovitina qualified to the individual all-around final, where she placed ninth overall.[17] She also qualified in fourth place for the vault final.[18] In the vault final, she won the silver medal with a score of 15.575.[19]

Retirement and return[edit]

Despite earlier claims that she would attempt to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Chusovitina announced in April 2009 that she intended to participate in the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships in October, but indicated that she will not continue. The championships, she stated, are "enough." [20]

However, she returned to compete in some competitions in 2010 (including the 2010 Houston National Invitational). She won the silver medal on vault at the 2011 European Championships, the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 European Championships.

Chusovitina competed at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for Germany.[21] The games were a remarkable sixth Olympics for Chusovitina, who qualified for the vault final where she placed in fifth behind her German teammate, Janine Berger. Afterward Oksana declared she would retire as a gymnast and concentrate on coaching.[22] Yet, she also stated she plans to continue competing through the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for her native Uzbekistan.[23]

Skills[edit]

In the floor exercise, Chusovitina is credited as the first woman to successfully perform a double layout full-out on floor.[4] A vault specialist, she is one of only a few top female vaulters in the world who does not perform a Yurchenko style vault.[citation needed] Instead, she competes only front handspring entry and Tsukahara-family vaults. Chusovitina is also credited with two bars moves in the Code of Points: a hop-full pirouette release and a full-out dismount.[4]

Competitive history[edit]

Chusovitina on a 2001 Uzbekistani stamp
Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
1990 Goodwill Games 1st 1st
1991 World Championships 1st 2nd 1st
1992 World Championships 3rd 7th
Olympic Games 1st 7th
1993 World Championships 18th 3rd 8th
1994 Goodwill Games 5th 5th 5th 4th
Asian Games 4th 3rd 3rd 4th
1995 World Championships 19th 6th
1996 Olympic Games 10th
1998 Asian Games 4th 8th 6th
2000 Olympic Games
2001 Goodwill Games 4th 2nd 1st 2nd
World Championships 19th 2nd
2002 Asian Games 5th 2nd 1st 4th 2nd 1st
World Championships 3rd 8th 6th
World Cup Final 1st 5th 3rd 4th
2003 World Championships 1st
2004 Olympic Games
2005 World Championships 2nd
2006 World Championships 9th 3rd
2007 European Championships 6th 2nd 6th
World Championships 6th
2008 European Championships 7th 1st 6th
Olympic Games 9th 2nd
2010 European Championships
World Championships
2011 European Championships 2nd
World Championships 6th 2nd
2012 European Championships 8th 2nd
Olympic Games 5th
2013 World Championships 5th
  • Competitor for Uzbekistan
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2013 World Championships Antwerp Vault 5 14.583 6 14.750
  • Competitor for Germany
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2012 Olympic Games London Team 9 167.331
Vault 5 14.783 4 14.808
Balance Beam 31 13.700
European Championships Brussels Team 8 160.497 7 163.022
Vault 2 14.683 1 14.966
2011 World Championships Tokyo Team 6 168.479 7 221.163
Vault 2 14.733 2 14.833
Balance Beam 41 13.800
European Championships Berlin Vault 2 14.537 5 14.200
Balance Beam 45 12.425
2010 World Championships Rotterdam Team 14 212.294
Balance Beam 42 13.566
European Championships Birmingham Team 9 156.025
Vault 12 13.625
2008 Olympic Games Beijing Team 12 230.800
All-Around 9 60.125 14 59.375
Vault 2 15.575 4 15.525
Uneven Bars 27 14.725
Balance Beam 43 14.400
Floor Exercise 30 14.450
European Championships Clermont-Ferrand Team 7 170.850 6 173.650
Vault 1 14.812 1 15.000
Balance Beam 10 14.975
Floor Exercise 6 14.850 5 15.000
2007 World Championships Stuttgart Team 10 231.125
All-Around 157 43.525
Vault 6 14.687 5 15.375
Uneven Bars 89 13.550
Balance Beam 59 14.275
Floor Exercise 189 0.000
European Championships Amsterdam All-Around 6 57.450 11 56.700
Vault 2 14.725 3 14.237
Uneven Bars 24 13.525
Balance Beam 9 15.150
Floor Exercise 6 14.450 8 14.450
2006 World Championships Aarhus Team 16 222.125
All-Around 9 58.950 10 59.075
Vault 3 15.100 4 14.937
Uneven Bars 19 14.800
Balance Beam 28 14.850
Floor Exercise 25 14.400
  • Competitor for Uzbekistan
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2005 World Championships Melbourne Vault 2 9.418 3 9.381
Uneven Bars 23 8.987
Balance Beam 12 8.962
2004 Olympic Games Athens Vault 23 8.800
2003 World Championships Anaheim All-Around WD 16 36.136
Vault 1 9.481 4 9.424
Uneven Bars 27 9.137
Balance Beam 69 8.537
Floor Exercise 30 9.025
2002 World Cup Final Stuttgart Vault 1 9.412
Uneven Bars 5 8.387
Balance Beam 3 9.025
Floor Exercise 4 8.925
World Championships Debrecen Vault 3 9.387
Vault (Semi−Final) 1 9.350
Vault (Qualification) 4 9.212
Uneven Bars (Qualification) 30 8.200
Balance Beam 8 8.312
Balance Beam (Semi−Final) 6 9.200
Balance Beam (Qualification) 10 8.862
Floor Exercise 6 9.137
Floor Exercise (Semi−Final) 8 9.287
Floor Exercise (Qualification) 10 9.137
Asian Games Busan Team 5 133.350
All-Around 2 36.400 3 36.700
Vault 1 9.450 1 9.375
Uneven Bars 4 9.300 7 9.100
Balance Beam 2 8.975 5 8.900
Floor Exercise 1 9.350 1 9.325
2001 World Championships Ghent All-Around 19 35.023 17 35.524
Vault 2 9.349 2 9.425
Uneven Bars 65 8.162
Balance Beam 12 8.900
Floor Exercise 19 9.037
2000 Olympic Games Sydney All-Around 45 36.450
Vault 24 9.375
Uneven Bars 80 8.450
Balance Beam 90 9.150
Floor Exercise 25 9.475
1998 Asian Games Bangkok Team 5 133.350
All-Around 4
Vault 8
Floor Exercise 6
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta All-Around 10 38.743 30 75.822
Vault 20 19.274
Uneven Bars 29 19.237
Balance Beam 61 18.137
Floor Exercise 34 19.174
1995 World Championships Sabae Team 16 360.515
All-Around 18 38.180 15 76.386
Vault 6 9.612 16 18.962
Uneven Bars 30 19.112
Balance Beam 17 19.012
Floor Exercise 23 19.300
1994 Asian Games Hiroshima All-Around 4 38.675
Vault 3 9.631
Uneven Bars 3 9.600
Balance Beam 4 9.462
1993 World Championships Birmingham All-Around 18 37.205 12 38.030
Vault 3 9.718 9 9.643
Uneven Bars 8 8.325 7 9.650
Balance Beam 19 9.437
Floor Exercise 24 9.300
  • Competitor for CIS
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona Team 1 395.666
All-Around 30 78.111
Vault 14 19.750
Uneven Bars 77 18.849
Balance Beam 10 19.675
Floor Exercise 7 9.812 7 19.837
World Championships Paris Vault 3 9.937
Vault (Semi−Final) 3 9.887
Vault (Qualification) 4 9.875
Floor Exercise 7 9.800
  • Competitor for Soviet Union
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
1991 World Championships Indianapolis Team 1 396.055
All-Around 8 78.986
Vault 2 9.918 6 19.762
Uneven Bars 8 19.762
Balance Beam 13 19.612
Floor Exercise 1 9.962 4 19.850

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pearce, Linda (22 November 2005). "Love for her son drives Olympic medallist on". The Age. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "In our Spotlight: Oksana Chusovitina". International Gymnast. February 2001. Archived from the original on 17 April 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  3. ^ "Photo report on the Tashkent Training Center". Official Team UZB Web. Archived from the original on 1 June 2000. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Turner, Amanda (19 June 2008). "Ageless Chusovitina Turns 33". International Gymnast. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Our Stars". Ministry of Cultural and Sports Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  6. ^ "IG Online interview: Oksana Chusovitina". International Gymnast. 2001. Archived from the original on 6 October 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "For petite gymnast, burly wrestler, it was a match made at the Games". Associated Press. 6 October 2002. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  8. ^ Oksana Chusovitina. sports-reference.com
  9. ^ a b "German women, Chusovitina, tune up in Utah". International Gymnast. 31 July 2003. Archived from the original on 27 February 2004. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  10. ^ a b Wessel, Markus (31 January 2007). "Kleine Frau, großes Herz". WDR.DE. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Gymnastics community rallies to help sick child". International Gymnast. 26 October 2002. Archived from the original on 21 November 2002. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  12. ^ "Oxana Chusovitina spurred on by son's illness". Reuters. October 2002. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  13. ^ "Uzbekistan veteran Chusovitina to compete for Germany". Xinhua/People's Daily Online. 15 October 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  14. ^ "Chusovitina, Hambüchen Win German Nationals". International Gymnast. 22 July 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  15. ^ "Chusovitina springt unglücklich an Gold vorbei". Sport.de. 6 April 2007. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  16. ^ Turner, Amanda (6 April 2008). "Four Nations Golden as Europeans Conclude". International Gymnast. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  17. ^ "Results – All Around Women's Individual Final". The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2008. 
  18. ^ "Team qualifying round apparatus scores". NBC Olympics. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  19. ^ "Vault event final scores". NBC Olympics. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2008. 
  20. ^ "Chusovitina hat das Ende ihrer Karriere vor Augen". Focus Magazin. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2009. 
  21. ^ Sancetta, Amy (26 July 2012). "At 37, gymnast Chusovitina still a medal contender". USA Today. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  22. ^ Gymnastics: Chusovitina ends inspirational career happy, healthy. Reuters, 5 August 2012
  23. ^ OLYMPIC IDOL AWARD for Oksana Chusovitina ... and her sensational remarks ...! GYMmedia, 31 October 2012

External links[edit]