Chusovitina defies age
Doha (QAT) March 15, 2017: Competing at 42, Oksana Chusovitina defies age. Not every athlete hangs around for a medal, but the vault specialist, who became the world’s oldest athlete at the Rio Games last year, won five world medals and an Olympic gold, simply loves her sport.
“It was amazing to see the arrow pierce through the Olympic rings. It went on fire as the ceremony started. It’s still my best memory,” Chusovitina said of her maiden Olympics in 1992.
The fans in Doha can see her in full flow at the FIG Artistic Individual Apparatus World Cup on March 24 and 25 at the Aspire Dome.
In modern sport, there are few like Chusovitina. She wants to carry on and execute those eye-catching vaults.
Chusovitina was born in 1975 in Uzbekistan, and learned the sport through training in the rigid Soviet Union system. She won the all-around as a 13-year-old in 1988 at the USSR’s junior national championships.
In 1991, at her first World Championships, she earned three medals, including gold on floor where she mounted with a full-twisting double layout. It was a move so difficult that it was named after her.
She represented Uzbekistan from 1993 to 2006 and competed for them at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and 1994 and 2001 Goodwill Games. During that era, she was one of the top performers, earning more than 70 medals in international competitions and thrice qualified for the Olympics.
Chusovitina was granted the title of “Honored Athlete of the Republic of Uzbekistan” by the Uzbekistan Ministry of Cultural and Sports Affairs for her contributions to the sport.
She was also named as the first WAG representative to the international gymnastics federation (FIG) Athletes Commission.
After she moved to Germany due to her son’s treatment in Cologne, Chusovitina did not stop her training. While her son, Alisher, underwent treatment, she trained hard with the German team. Later, she obtained German citizenship in 2006 and competed at the 2006 World Championships, where she won a bronze in vault and came ninth in the all-around.