|KORBUT Olga Belarus
Discipline: Womens Artistic
|Last update: 05/09/2011|
|Date of birth:||16/05/1955||Age:||59|
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|Olga first appeared at the 1972 Olympics, when the public knew little about gymnastics. The television crews had some spare time to fill in between other sports, so they went to the gymnastics arena to see if there was anything going on. They were pleasantly suprised! Amongst all the superior ladies doing their elegant routines was a cheeky looking girl in pigtails, doing the most fantastic acrobatics. She also had a name most people could pronounce - Olga Korbut.
The next day all the journalists in Munich were "better" motivated to find out more about the Soviet gymnast. Aged 17, which was very young at that time, everyone was captivated by her beaming smile and daring routines. She was one of the two gymnasts ever to do a back somersault on beam (and in this competition) and she caused such a sensation that nobody ever noticed the other gymnast. On the day of the finals, she completely messed up her bar routine, scoring 7.50! Olga burst into tears, gaining the sympathy of several millions all over the world. She took gold medals on beam and floor and silver on bars, which included the famous Korbut loop - a layout back from standing on high bar, to recatch. In the process, Olga revolutionised the sport and became a household name.
In 1977 she officially retired and married Leonid Borkevitch, a folk singer and had a son Richard in 1979. For many years, Olga led a secluded life in the Soviet Union, working as a gymnastics coach, but she often felt bored. She claimed the USSR authorities just ignored her after her retirement and she felt bitter.
In 1991, Olga went to the USA for medical checks, complaining that she was suffering from the radiation that had polluted large areas of Belarus after the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986. Thankfully, she was given the all-clear along with her husband and son.
She lives now in the US and works as a coach. She also worked hard raising money for victims of the Chernobyl disaster.Gym Stars.
|All Around||2||38.550||1975||LONDON||1st Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Final|