Svetlana Khorkina
From claiming Biles doped to believing there was a conspiracy against her in Athens, legendary Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina is convinced that she deserved the gold medal on floor exercise over her teammate Elena Zamoloditchkova at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

In Sydney, Zamoloditchkova had a very difficult floor routine competing a double twisting double back tuck, one and a half twisting layout indirectly connected to triple twisting layout, and a full in tuck. She also did a whip to double twisting layout to forward tuck.

While Khorkina, who came in second place, had a much less difficult routine than her. She competed three tumbling passes only, a whip to double back pike, triple twisting layout and two and a half twist to forward tuck.

In her book, whose highlights were tweeted by gymnastics blogger Luba Baladzhaeva, the legendary Russian gymnast claimed that her teammate was awarded the gold medal only because the latter competed after her.

Khorkina was the sixth gymnast to compete during that night while Zamoloditchkova was the last.

The seventh gymnast was China's Yang Yun who finished in fifth place. 
Elena Zamoloditchkova

It is worth mentioning that Khorkina originally qualified to the vault final but gave up her spot for Zamoloditchkova who went on to win the gold medal.

Both gymnasts competed together at following Olympic Games where they won bronze in the team final.

Khorkina also spoke about Yelena Produnova in her book, who was also her teammate during that time. 

She described her as scatterbrain who was not serious about her training. She said that Yelena never realized how talented she was.


Produnova is best known for originating the most difficult vault in women's gymnastics, forward handspring double front tuck, as well for her powerful skills.

Despite setbacks in the team and all around finals, the Sydney Olympics was the most successful games for the Russian women's gymnastics team having won eight medals - three of which were gold.

The two time Olympic champion declared in her book that her performance on all four events during the team final at Athens Olympics, which she considers one of her best, was the sole reason why the team won the bronze medal.

The Russian athlete had the highest score among the Russians on uneven bars and floor exercise in the team final, while Anna Pavlova and Elena Zamoloditchkova had higher scores on vault. Pavlova scored two tenths more than Khorkina on balance beam.

After the team final, the Russian gymnasts accused the judges of deliberately trying to get them finish off the podium.

The Russian team left the games with three Olympic medals, bronze in the team final and on vault (Anna Pavlova) and silver in the all around (Svetlana Khorkina).

Written by Gigi Farid

Photos by Sing Lo


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