Olena Vitrychenko

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Olena Vitrychenko
Олена Вітриченко
Vitrichenko57dev00 480pxl.jpg
Olena Vitrychenko smiles during her farewell celebration at 2000 Deventer Grand Prix
Personal information
Full name Olena Ihorivna Vitrychenko
Alternative name(s) Elena Igorevna Vitrichenko
Country represented  Ukraine
Born (1976-11-25) November 25, 1976 (age 40)
Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, USSR
Discipline Rhythmic gymnastics
Retired 2000

Olena Ihorivna Vitrychenko, more known as Elena Vitrichenko (Ukrainian: Олена Ігорівна Вітриченко, Russian: Елена Игоревна Витриченко; born 25 November 1976 in Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, USSR), is an Individual Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnast. She is the 1996 Olympics bronze medalist, the 1997 World All-around champion and 1997 European All-around champion.

Career[edit]

Olena Vitrychenko was introduced to the sport in 1980 when she was four years old by her mother, Nina, herself a former rhythmic gymnast. Her mother coached her at the Deryuguina School in Kiev.

Vitrychenko made her international debut in 1986. At the 1992 European Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, she won a bronze medal as a member of the Ukrainian group. At the 1994 World Championships in Paris, she placed third in the hoop event final behind teammate, Ekaterina Serebrianskaya, and the Belarusian Larissa Lukyanenko who were both tied for the gold (9.875); but an upgraded score (9.825 to 9.875) for then Bulgarian World champion Maria Petrova knocked Vitrichenko out of the bronze medal position into fourth.

At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Vitrychenko seemed to be a contender for the gold medal, having placed first after preliminaries and second after the semi-finals. Despite a clean all-around performance in the final, she was given scores in the 9.8 range (the highest score received in the rope event was 9.866). She placed second behind teammate Ekaterina Serebrianskaya after the first rotation on the rope, but her ball routine score of 9.800 threw her out of the gold medal hunt, and she had to fight for the bronze with Russian rival Amina Zaripova. She was able to take the bronze medal[1] due to Zaripova's mishandling of the ribbon, stepping on it before her final toss. Vitrichenko would later say that she felt that she was robbed of the gold. In the following year she became both the World and the European All-Around champion.

Olena at 1999 European Championships

At the peak of a long and well-publicized feud with the head of the Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, Vitrychenko was placed 17th at the 2000 European Championships in Zaragoza, Spain, and withdrew in protest. After an official evaluation of videotapes determined that certain judges had clearly discriminated against Vitrichenko, the FIG sanctioned the following judges: Natalia Stepanova (Belarus), Gabriele Stummer (Austria), Galina Marjina (Latvia), Ursula Sohlenkamp (Germany), Natalia Lashtsinkaya (Russia), and Ukrainian Irina Diriugina.[2] Although Madame Abruzzini, the then-president of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee, wanted more severe punishment, such as life suspension, the judges were suspended for one year and excluded from a judging course in Rome. Their federations were forced to select other judges for the Sydney Olympics who met the requirements of FIG. The other 26 judges that were at Zaragoza received warnings and were not allowed to judge in Sydney.[3] It was the first time in the sport's history that severe inappropriate behavior was proven and penalized.

After the Europeans, Vitrychenko's own federation tried to deny her a spot on the Ukrainian Olympic team in 2000. She appealed to the International Olympic Committee who overturned the decision, and awarded her a spot on the team. She performed well at the Olympics, finishing in fourth place behind Alina Kabaeva.[4]

Vitrychenko retired from the sport after the 2000 Sydney Olympics, saying that the omnipresent judging politics would prevent her from achieving further success. She stated that she is not embittered by her controversial placings: "The most important thing that I have learned in elite sports is to experience other people's victories and to forgive people."[this quote needs a citation]. Over the course of her career, she won a total of nine World titles and ten European titles.

Vitrychenko coached rhythmic gymnastics in Spain for ten years. In March 2013, she began coaching at the Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastic Center.[5]

Olena Vitrychenko opened up her own club Vitrychenko Academy on the Chicago Northshore in November 2014. More information about her club can be found at www.vitrychenkoacademy.com

Routine music information[edit]

Year Apparatus Music title [6]
2000 Hoop Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Vanessa Mae
Rope (second) Bumble Bee Boogie by Robert Wells
Rope (first) Ty zh mene pidmanula by Vladimir Bustriakov (Ukrainian traditional)
Ball Apassionata by Secret Garden
Ribbon Plaza of Execution / Stealing the Map music from The Mask of Zorro by James Horner
1999 Hoop Steppe by Rene Aubry
Rope (second) Ty zh mene pidmanula by Vladimir Bustriakov (Ukrainian traditional)
Rope (first) Plaza of Execution / Stealing the Map music from The Mask of Zorro by James Horner
Ball Apassionata by Secret Garden
Ribbon (second) Harlem Nocturne by Sam Taylor
Ribbon (first) Theme from Rainman by Hans Zimmer
1998 Hoop Saltimbanco music from Cirque du Soleil: Saltimbanco by Rene Dupere
Clubs Birimbau (from Mystère, Cirque du Soleil) by Rene Dupere
Rope Seisouso music from Quidam by Benoît Jutras
Ribbon One Man's Dream by Yanni
1997 Hoop Saltimbanco music from Cirque du Soleil: Saltimbanco by Rene Dupere
Clubs (second) Birimbau (from Mystère, Cirque du Soleil) by Rene Dupere
Clubs (first) Latino by Anatoly Vekshin
Rope The Heat (from Birdy) by Peter Gabriel
Ribbon One Man's Dream by Yanni
1996 Ball ?
Rope Sing, Sing, Sing by Benjamin Goodman
Clubs ?
Ribbon Pink Panther, by Henry Mancini
1995 Ball Echano by Chuck Mangione
Rope (second) Sing, Sing, Sing by Benjamin Goodman
Rope (first) Toccata & Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Clubs ?
Ribbon (second) Scene from The Carmen Ballet by Rodion Shchedrin/ Bizet
Ribbon (first) Bolero by Maurice Ravel
1994 Ball Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Rope Marche en la by Ennio Morricone
Clubs Eclipse (from Nouvelle Experience, Cirque du Soleil) by Rene Dupere
Ribbon Peer Gynt Suite No.1: In The Hall Of The Mountain King music from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg
1993 Ball (second) Marche en la by Ennio Morricone
Ball (first) Peer Gynt Suite No.1: In The Hall Of The Mountain King music from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg
Hoop ?
Clubs Rhapsody in Blue / Fascinating Rhythm by George Gershwin
Ribbon ?

Detailed Olympic results[edit]

Year Competition description Location Music Apparatus Score-Final Score-Qualifying
2000 Olympics Sydney All-around 39.408 39.399
unknown music Ribbon 9.875 9.883
Sing, Sing, Sing by Benjamin Goodman Rope 9.825 9.850
Pink Dream by Anatoly Vekshin Ball 9.875 9.866
unknown music Hoop 9.883 9.800
Year Competition description Location Music Apparatus Score-Final Score-Qualifying
1996 Olympics Atlanta All-around 39.331 39.266
unknown music Ribbon 9.816 9.866
Sing, Sing, Sing by Benjamin Goodman Rope 9.866 9.750
Pink Dream by Anatoly Vekshin Ball 9.800 9.900
unknown music Clubs 9.849 9.750

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wallechinsky, David. The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics: Sydney 2000 Edition, p. 559. Overlook Press, 2000. ISBN 1-58567-046-4.
  2. ^ Associated Press. "Olympic judge Irina Deriugina appeals 8-year ban". ESPN.com, 22 May 2008. Retrieved on 27 May 2013.
  3. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer. "Freeman Runs Season's Best in 400". 19 August 2000. Retrieved on 27 May 2013.
  4. ^ BBC. "Olympics 2000 | Results". 1 October 2000. Retrieved on 27 May 2013.
  5. ^ Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastics Center. "Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastic Center Welcomes Ukraine Gymnast and Coach, Olena Vitrychenko". Chicago Tribune, 7 March 2013. Retrieved on 1 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Vitrichenko RG music list". rgforum.