Ludmilla Tourischeva

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Ludmilla Tourischeva
— Gymnast —
Tourischeva cortada.JPG
1972 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Full name Ludmilla Ivanovna Tourischeva
Country represented  Soviet Union
Born (1952-10-07) October 7, 1952 (age 63)
Grozny, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Hometown Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Elite
Head coach(es) Vladislav Rastorotsky

Ludmilla Ivanovna Tourischeva (Russian: Людми́ла Ива́новна Тури́щева (alternative spellings: Ludmilla Turischeva; Ludmilla Tourischcheva; Ljudmila Ivanovna Turichtchieva;), born October 7, 1952) is a former Russian gymnast and a nine-time Olympic medalist for the Soviet Union.


Tourischeva began gymnastics in 1965 and began competing for the Soviet team as early as in 1967, at age 13. Coached by Vladislav Rastorotsky (who later trained Natalia Shaposhnikova and Natalia Yurchenko), she represented the Soviet Union at the 1968 Summer Olympics just after her 16th birthday, sharing the gold medal with the USSR team and placing 24th in the all-around.

Two years later Tourischeva became the leader of the Soviet team. From 1970 to 1974 she dominated almost every major international competition, winning the World Championships all-around gold in 1970 and 1974, the European Championships in 1971 and 1973 and the World Cup in 1975. She was considered to embody the classic Soviet style: grace, elegance, impeccable form and strong technique.

At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Tourischeva was a medal favorite, but found herself overshadowed by the sudden popularity of her younger compatriot Olga Korbut. After Korbut faltered on the uneven bars, however, Tourischeva won the all-around gold medal. She was less successful in the event finals, qualifying for all four, and winning a silver and a bronze. Tourischeva was one of the first female gymnasts to use two separate pieces of music for her floor exercise routines at an international competition. For the team competition there was March from the film Circus by Isaak Dunaevsky, while for the all around – the music to the film Die Frau meiner Träume by Franz Grothe.

At the 1975 European Championships, Tourischeva lost the all-around competition, placing third to 13-year-old Nadia Comăneci, who also won the vault, bars, and beam apparatus finals. Tourischeva's teammate, Nellie Kim, placed second and won the floor exercise competition. Nevertheless, Tourischeva rebounded later that year to sweep the World Cup.

After struggling with a back injury, Tourischeva competed in her third Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, winning her third team gold with the Soviet squad. In the all-around she finished third behind Romania's Comăneci and her teammate Kim. Although Tourischeva lost to Kim on both vault and floor exercise in the event finals, she overcame Comăneci on them and won silver medals, bringing her total Olympic medal count to four gold, three silver and two bronze.

Tourischeva was known for her calm, serene demeanor while in competition. In 1980, British journalist David Hunn wrote of Tourischeva, "(she) never had the cheek of some of her rivals, but for serenity she was supreme."[1] This type of demeanor was famously illustrated during the 1975 World Cup at Wembley Stadium in London, when a broken hook holding support cables of the uneven bars caused the apparatus to fall apart and crash to the ground just as Tourischeva landed her dismount. Saluting the judges, she calmly walked off the podium without even turning around to look at the remains of the apparatus. She went on to win the all-around and every single event final gold. Years later, she said of the incident that at that moment she remembered only one thing – she must complete her routine and "stick it".[2] Her trainer Vladislav Rastorotsky said about her: "Ljudmila would fight to death in any situation".[3]

Tourischeva was also known for her gracious manner. At the 1976 Olympics, she walked around the podium to personally congratulate champion Nadia Comăneci and shake her hand before accepting her own medal.[4]

In 1977, she married the sprinter Valeriy Borzov, a two-time Olympic champion in 1972. She was elected to the Women's Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in 1981.[5] Tourischeva has remained involved in gymnastics as a coach, an international judge and an official with the Ukrainian gymnastics federation. One of her protégés was Lilia Podkopayeva, the 1996 Olympic all-around gold medalist.

Tourischeva has received many honors for her contributions to gymnastics, including the Women In Sport trophy by the International Olympic Committee. In 1998 she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.[6]

Ludmilla Tourischeva is one of only two women (Yelena Shushunova being the other) who have won the grand slam of all-around titles: Olympics, World Championships, World Cup, and European Championships.

Tourischeva is also one of only two women to win four gold medals at a single World Championships (she won four at the 1974 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships), the other being American Simone Biles who won four at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Eponymous skills[edit]

Vault: Tsukahara tucked (4.0)

Achievements (non-Olympic)[edit]

Year Event AA Team VT UB BB FX
1967 USSR Cup 1st
1968 USSR Cup 3rd
1969 European Championships 3rd 3rd 3rd
USSR Championships 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd
USSR Cup 1st
1970 World Championships 1st 1st 3rd 2nd 1st
USSR Championships 1st 1st
USSR Cup 3rd
1971 European Championships 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
USSR Championships 2nd 3rd 2nd
USSR Cup 1st
1972 USSR Championships 1st 1st 1st
USSR Cup 2nd
1973 European Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
USSR Championships 1st 1st
USSR Cup 1st
1974 World Championships 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 1st
USSR Championships 1st
USSR Cup 1st
1975 World Cup 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
European Championships 3rd
USSR Championships 3rd 1st
1976 USSR Cup 2nd

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hunn, David; (1980). The Complete Book of Gymnastics. London: Ward Lock Ltd. ISBN 99903-963-2-9. 
  2. ^ "And the steel was broken". Olympic Panorama (3): 33–34. July–September 1990. 
  3. ^ "National Property". Novaya sportivnaya gazeta. 2003-03-26. 
  4. ^ Comăneci, Nadia (2003). Letters to a young gymnast. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-01276-0. 
  5. ^ "Within International Federations" (PDF). Olympic Review (162): 253. April 1981. Retrieved 2006-04-11. 
  6. ^ "LUDMILLA TOURISCHEVA". International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 12, 2007. 

External links[edit]