Oksana Omelianchik

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Oksana Omelianchik
— Gymnast —
Оксана Омельянчик.JPG
Oksana Omelianchik
Personal information
Full name Oksana Alexandrovna Omelianchik
Country represented  Soviet Union
Born January 2, 1970 or December 31, 1969 (disputed)
Ulan-Ude, Russian SSR, Soviet Union
Height 140 centimetres (4 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight 31 kilograms (68 lb)[1]
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior international
Gym Round Lake national training center; Spartak Kiev
Head coach(es) Valentina Panchenko, Valery Tupitsy, Galina Perskaya
Music 1987: Ballet Russe
Retired 1989

Oksana Alexandrovna Omelianchik (Russian: Окса́на Алекса́ндровна Омелья́нчик; alternative transliterations: Oksana Alieksandrovna Omiel'jantchik; Oksana Omeliantchik; Oksana Omelyanchik) is a retired Soviet gymnast and the all-around gold medalist of the 1985 World Championships. Omelianchik was most known for her enthusiastic showmanship, difficulty and originality, including pioneering back-to-back tumbling.

Early life and career[edit]

Omelianchik was born on January 2, 1970 or December 31, 1969 in Ulan-Ude, USSR. She was originally a figure skater, and participated in her first skating meet at the age of 6. She began gymnastics on the recommendation of her skating choreographer, who believed she had potential in the sport.[1] She trained at the Spartak club in Kiev, where her coaches included Valentina Panchenko, Valery Tupitsy and Galina Perskaya.[2]

By 1983, Omelianchik was competing internationally for the USSR. At that year's Junior Friendship Tournament (Druzhba), an important meet for junior gymnasts, she earned gold medals on the floor exercise and uneven bars and placed fourth in the all-around competition. At her first USSR Championships in 1983, she placed fifth in the all-around. The next year, she competed in both the junior and senior USSR Championships, winning the all-around silver medal at the former and finishing fourth at the latter, and was selected as the alternate for the Soviet team at the 1984 Friendship Games (also known as 'Olomouc', after the city in which the competition was held).[2]

Senior career[edit]

In 1985, Omelianchik won the Soviet National Championships, beating the future Olympic champion Elena Shushunova. She also competed at the European Championships for the first time, winning the balance beam title showing a triple twist dismount. She also won a bronze medal in the all-around behind Shushunova and East German Maxi Gnauck, silver on the floor exercise and bronze on the uneven bars.[2]

Omelianchik was a member of the first place Soviet team at the 1985 World Gymnastics Championships in Montreal, but struggled in the team competition and did not qualify for the all-around final. However, Soviet team officials decided to pull Olga Mostepanova and Irina Baraksanova, who had both qualified for the finals, and substitute Omelianchik and her teammate Shushunova. The decision proved to be sound; the two Soviet gymnasts tied for the all-around gold and became Worlds co-champions. In the event finals, Omelianchik won the floor gold medal with her "Birdie" exercise, which would become her most well-known routine.[3][4]

Omelianchik continued to compete for the Soviet team after the World Championships, placing third in the all-around at the 1986 Goodwill Games and third all around at the World Cup in Beijing. She also won the balance beam title and placed second on uneven bars and vault and third on floor exercise. The following year at the World Championships the Soviet team lost the title to a dominant team from Romania. Omelianchik debuted her new vault which introduced the half on technique in the roundoff family of vaults. She also showcased a new floor routine to Ballet Russe and a new triple full to a tuck front rebound, but suffered an uncharacteristic fall in the team competition. She placed fifth all around and failed to qualify for any event finals.[5]

Despite maintaining consistent results within the top the 7 in the USSR Cup and USSR Championships for years, she was not selected for the 1988 Olympics. She was named as an alternate to the team and traveled with them to Seoul, but was not called upon to compete. Her final competition was the 1989 USSR Cup, where she placed 2nd in the all-around.[4]

Post-retirement[edit]

Omelianchik remains heavily involved in gymnastics as a choreographer, coach and judge. She heads the women's technical committee for the Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation and choreographs routines for many of Ukraine's top gymnnasts, including Alina Kozich and Olga Roshupkina.[4][6]

In a poll in Inside Gymnastics magazine, she was chosen as one of the "Top Ten All-Around Gymnasts of All Time."[7]

Skills[edit]

Omelianchik was noted for her innovative skills, clean execution and energetic, inspired presentation. She is also the originator of two skills, which are named after her in the Code of Points.

Floor exercise: Omelianchik was one of the pioneers of back-to-back tumbling, a series of skills in which a gymnast completes one full tumbling run from one end of the FX mat to the other, rebounds, and performs another complete tumbling run in the opposite direction without stopping.[4]

Vault: On vault, "the Omelianchik" is a round-off half-on front pike.[8]

Balance beam: Omelianchik's namesake skill is a back handspring-3/4 turn to handstand, which was rated as a 'D' in the 2005-2006 Code.[9]

Achievements[edit]

Year Event AA Team VT UB BB FX
1984 USSR Championships 3rd
1985 World Championships 1st 1st 1st
European Championships 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd
USSR Championships 1st 2nd 2nd
1986 World Cup 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st 3rd
Goodwill Games 3rd 1st 2nd
USSR Championships 2nd
1987 World Championships 2nd
USSR Cup 3rd
USSR Championships 3rd
1988 USSR Championships 3rd 2nd
1989 USSR Championships 2nd

References[edit]

External links and sources[edit]