Natalia Yurchenko

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Natalia Yurchenko
Full name Russian: Наталья Владимировна Юрченко
Country represented  Soviet Union
Former countries represented Russia
Born (1965-01-26) January 26, 1965 (age 52)
Norilsk, Soviet Union
Hometown Russia
Height 155 cm (5 ft 1 in) (5'1")
Discipline Artistic gymnastics
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.

Personal life[edit]

Yurchenko was born on January 26, 1965 in Norilsk, Russian SFSR. In 1999, she emigrated to the United States. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Igor Sklyarov.


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.

Eponymous skills[edit]

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).

Post-competitive career[edit]

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.[1] In June 2015, she opened her own gymnastics academy, C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy, in Chicago's South Loop.[2]

In late 2015, Yurchenko launched 'Yurchenko Gymnastics' to provide quality gymnastics apparel, accessories and equipment to competitive gymnasts.[3]


Year Event AA Team VT UB BB FX
1982 World Cup 1st 1st 2nd 1st
USSR Cup 1st 1st
USSR Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st
1983 World Championships 1st 1st
USSR Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd
1984 Friendship Games 1st 1st 2nd
1985 World Championships 1st
USSR Championships 3rd


  1. ^ Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics
  2. ^ "C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy". 
  3. ^ Yurchenko Gymnastics

External links and sources[edit]

This article contains information from the website, incorporated into the Wikipedia with permission from its author E. V. Avsenev.