Li Li (gymnast)

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Li Li
Country represented  China
Born Xingning, Guangdong
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International
Eponymous skills "Li Li" (uneven bars)
"Li Li" (balance beam)
Retired 1994

Li Li (李莉, born February 26, 1975 in Xingning County, Guangdong Province) is an artistic gymnast from China. She competed during the early 1990s, and retired in 1994. An Olympian, World Cup medallist and national champion, the beam was her best apparatus. Here, she pioneered the exceptionally difficult and innovative 114 turn on back in kip position, to which the skill is named after her.[1] No other gymnast has been able to perform the maneuver with as many spins.


Li made her international debut at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle, USA, where she wowed the world with her trademark 114 back spin on the beam, as well as a rare German giant into a Tkatchev on the uneven bars. Later the same year, she won one gold (team) and silver (bars) at the Asian Games, followed by another silver (beam) at the World Cup (her teammate Yang Bo took the gold). The following year, she competed at the 1991 World Championships in Indianapolis where the Chinese team placed fourth.

At the 1992 Olympic Games, Li finished 14th in the all-round, and made the bars final where she placed eighth (9.887).[2] Her teammate Lu Li won the gold with a perfect 10.0, one of only two 10s awarded at those games. Again the Chinese women finished fourth in the team competition.[2]

Li Li took the early lead in the all-around of the 1993 World Championships in Birmingham after performing on her best event, the beam. She stunned the crowd with a Yurchenko loop followed by the 114 back spin, and scored 9.837, the second highest score awarded on that night (Tatiana Lysenko got a 9.862 on her first vault). Li dropped to ninth place overall in the end after mediocre performance on other apparatus. She was in contention to win the beam gold in the event finals, but after a mistake on her Yang Bo jump, she decided to duplicate the element and as a result went over-time, which cost her two-tenths of a point and dropped her to fourth place (9.600). Without the deduction, she would have taken the silver. Another favorite for the gold, Shannon Miller, had a disastrous performance, falling from the beam twice and sitting on her dismount (7.850). The gold went to Lavinia Miloșovici (9.850), who had a simple and plain routine in comparison to Miller's and Li Li's.

Li went on to win the beam title in the 1993 East Asian Games and also the 1993 Chinese National Games. She was in the 1994 World Championships in Brisbane but failed to make the beam final, earning a 9.237. She retired from the sport soon after.

She is now a women's gymnastics coach at Buckeye Gymnastics in Westerville, OH.[3]

Eponymous Skills[edit]

Apparatus Code Name Description Difficulty
Uneven bars 5.303 Li Li Clear rear pike support (legs together) on high bar – full circle swing backward with stoop out backward to hang on high bar.[4] C
Uneven bars 5.403 Li Li Clear rear pike support (legs together) on high bar – full circle swing backward with counter flight backward straddled.[5] D
Balance beam 3.308 Li Li 1¼ (450°) turn on back in kip position (hip-leg angle closed).[6] C


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Li Li". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ FIG Code of Points 2009-2012, page 84.
  5. ^ FIG Code of Points 2009-2012, page 84.
  6. ^ FIG Code of Points 2009-2012, page 117.

External links[edit]