|— Gymnast —|
|Country represented||Soviet Union|
|Born||September 16, 1973|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
Natalia Vasiliyevna Laschenova (Russian: Наталья Васильевна Лащенова) (born September 16, 1973 in Jelgava, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union) is a retired Soviet gymnast. Laschenova competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 1989 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Laschenova is best known for her difficult skills, deceptive power, strong technique and highly expressive dance.
Laschenova began gymnastics at the age of 6, reaching the international gymnastics scene at age 12 with her first competition, the 1985 Riga International. Laschenova did well, placing 2rd[clarification needed] in the all around, 2nd on vault and 1st on balance beam. Laschenova continued to compete internationally at the 1986 Belgian Gym Masters, 1986 Moscow News and 1987 US vs USSR.
Laschenova competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics, contributing to a team gold medal for the Soviet Union and placing 5th in the all around. The following year she competed at the 1989 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where she won a silver medal in the all around along with a gold medal with the team.
Laschenova was hampered in 1990 by an injury. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Latvia did not compete with most of the former Soviet states as the Unified Team meaning that Laschenova would be unable to make the 1992 Summer Olympics. She retired in 1991.
In 2010 it was reported that Natalia and her family were facing deportation from the United States, where she now lives in Marysville, Ohio and coaches in Hilliard, Ohio.
- "Natālija Laščonova". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "Whatever happened to Natalia Laschenova?". GymnasticGreats.com. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "The Games of 24th Olympiad- Womens". GymnasticsResults. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Miller, Tim. "Government paperwork keeping gymnast, family from national honors, citizenship". April 25, 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.