|Full name||Russian: Наталья Владимировна Юрченко|
|Country represented||Soviet Union|
|Former countries represented||Russia|
January 26, 1965 |
Norilsk, Soviet Union
|Height||155 cm (5 ft 1 in) (5'1")|
|Level||Senior Elite Gymnast|
|Eponymous skills||Yurchenko, Yurchenko loop|
Natalia Vladimirovna Yurchenko (Russian: Наталья Владимировна Юрченко) (born January 26, 1965) is a retired Soviet artistic gymnast, who won the women's all-around gold medal at the 1983 World Championships. Renowned for her innovative and daring gymnastics, she is best known as the originator of the Yurchenko vault family, which is a round-off back handspring entry onto the vault, and then performing a series of twists and flips off.
Yurchenko was coached by Vladislav Rastorotsky at the Dinamo sports society in Rostov on Don. Her first international competition was the 1978 Junior Friendship Tournament, where she placed 5th all-around and won gold medals in the team competition and on bars. In the same year she debuted in the senior Riga International meet, earning the bronze on the floor.
Four years later, she won the all-around title at the USSR Championships, USSR Cup, at the prestigious Moscow News tournament and the World Cup. In 1983, she won almost all gold medals (except for the floor exercise) at the University Games and the USSR Championships. She also became the all-around World Champion, achieving two perfect 10s in the process. She qualified to all the event finals, but withdrew from the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise finals after an injury during the vault final, leaving with two world championship titles.
At the Friendship Games in Olomouc, Yurchenko, returned from injury, battled with Olga Mostepanova and managed to win the gold medal on the vault and in the team competition. In 1985 she once again won almost all events at the University Games (except vault and the balance beam) and contributed to the team's gold medal at the World Championships.
Yurchenko was awarded the title of Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR. She retired from gymnastics in 1986, but made an appearance at the 1991 World Professional Championships in Fairfax, Virginia.
The Yurchenko vault and Yurchenko loop are named after her. The Yurchenko family is now a group of vaults based on the entry she used in her original Yurchenko vault (a round-off onto the table, followed by a back tuck, which is currently worth 3.80 points in the 2013-2016 Code of Points).
Yurchenko coached at LVSA, a gymnastics club in Pennsylvania, for almost nine years, at Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania and at the Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics] in Chicago Illinois. In June 2015, she opened her own gymnastics academy, C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy, in Chicago's South Loop.
In late 2015, Yurchenko launched 'Yurchenko Gymnastics' to provide quality gymnastics apparel, accessories and equipment to competitive gymnasts.
- Natalia Yurchenko Official Site
- Yurchenko Gymnastics Official Site
- C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy Official Site
- Natalia Yurchenko at the International Federation of Gymnastics
- List of competitive results at Gymn Forum
- Whatever happened to Natalia Yurchenko?
- Video of Natalia Yurchenko performing Yurchenko vault - 1985 Summer Universiade in Kobe, all-around