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Soviet Union Wins 90% of Medals At A Single Olympic Games

You want to see real domination, try the Soviet gymnastics team at the 1960 Olympic games. The Soviet gymnastics team, consisted of P...

You want to see real domination, try the Soviet gymnastics team at the 1960 Olympic games.

The Soviet gymnastics team, consisted of Polina Astakhova, Lidia Ivanova, Larisa Latynina, Tamara Lyukhina, Sofia Muratova and Margarita Nikolaeva, dominated the Rome Olympics which was held in 1960 by winning every single possible medal except one.

In a time where there was no two per country rule, the Soviet Union won all medals in the individual finals except just one medal which was gold on balance beam won by Czechoslovakia’s Eva Bosakova. 

The all around medals went to Larisa Latynina (gold) who successfully defended her Olympic all around title and is one of only two gymnasts who won two Olympic all around titles, the other gymnast being Vera Caslavaska of Czech republic in 1964 and 1968,  Sofia Muratova (silver) who was the all around bronze medalist at 1956 Melbourne Olympics and Polina Astakhova (bronze). This was the first time for three gymnasts from the same country to dominate the all around Olympic podium, only 40 years later it happened again when Andreea Raducan, Simona Amanar and Maria Olaru of Romania dominated swept the all around in Sydney Olympics. It was also the second time in  in women’s Olympic individual event final as eight years earlier, three gymnasts from the Soviet Union dominated the podium at the vault final. 

On vault, Margarita Nikolaeva won gold, her only individual medal at Olympic games. Sofia Muratova took silver while the bronze went to the Olympic title defender on the apparatus at that time, Larisa Latynina.

Polina Astakhova defended her Olympic title on uneven bars. The silver and bronze went to Larisa Latynina and Tamara Lyukhina respectively.

While the gold medal went to Czechoslovakia’s Eva Bosakova, the silver went to the then reigning balance beam world champion Larisa Latynina and the bronze to Sofia Muratova.

Larisa Latynina successfully defended her Olympic title on floor, her teammates Polina Astakhova and Tamara Lyukhina went on to win silver and bronze respectively.

In the team competition, Czechoslovakia won silver while Romania took the bronze.

This kind of domination was the first and last of its kind. Due to the two per country rule where only two gymnasts from the same countries are allowed to compete in the same individual final, this kind of domination is impossible to occur, even if the rule changed and that’s due to the popularity the sport has gained over the years and the amount of difficulty it requires. 

Written by Gigi Khaback Farid

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