Oksana Chusovitina holding her Guinness certificate with Svetlana Boguinskaia. Photograph: Oksana Chusovitina
The woman of records has a new one to add to her long list: veteran gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, 41, is officially in the Guinness Book of Records!
The Guinness Book of Records is a selection of records and record holders from all over the world, drafted every year by a specialised commission.
Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina was awarded a special place in this year’s Guinness Book as the gymnast with the highest number of Olympic participations. Chusovitina competed in seven Olympic Games, from Barcelona 1992 to Rio 2016.
It is a time span of 24 years, which is huge for an athlete and unprecedented for a gymnast.
Chusovitina won two Olympic medals. Gold with the team in Barcelona 1992 with the CSI team (Commonwealth of Independent States) and silver on vault in Beijing 2008, as a member of the German team.
During her long career, Chusovitina represented five different countries or unified teams, and won a world or Olympic medal with all of them. She represented, in chronological order, the Soviet Union (until 1991, when it ceased to exist), the CSI in 1992, the Unified Team also in 1992 (such team was created for the Olympic Games and was formed of several former Soviet countries), Uzbekistan from 1993 to 2006 and from 2013 to the present, and Germany from 2006 to 2012.
Chusovitina decided to compete for Germany in 2006, after her son was successfully treated for leukaemia in Cologne, Germany.
Representing the Soviet Union, Chusovitina won three medals at the World Championships in Indianapolis in 1991: gold with the team and on floor and silver on vault.
With the CSI, she won bronze on vault at the World Championships in Paris 1992.
As a member of the Unified Team, she won gold with the team at the Olympics in Barcelona 1992.
Representing Uzbekistan, Chusovitina won five world medals, all on vault: gold in Anaheim 2003, silver in Ghent 2001 and Melbourne 2005, and bronze in Birmingham 1993 and Debrecen 2002.
Finally, representing Germany, she won silver on vault at the Olympics in 2008, and two world medals also on vault: bronze in Aarhus 2006 and silver in Tokyo 2011.
At the last Olympics in Rio this summer, Chusovitina qualified for the vault final, where she was only one of two gymnasts to compete the most difficult vault in women’s gymnastics, a Produnova.
Oksana Chusovitina is not done yet. She has declared that her next goal is to qualify for Tokyo 2020!
By Talitha IlacquaAdvertisement