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HOME: Russian / Ukrainian Sports: Gymnastics in Russia, Ukraine

Russian, Ukrainian Gymnastics

 

Russian gymnastics has earned a high level of respect both at home and abroad. Thanks to a strong tradition of training developed during the Soviet era, Russia, Ukraine and many other ex-Soviet states remain highly competitive in international competition. Throughout Russia and Ukraine novice athletes have the opportunity to train at one of the many distinguished gymnastics clubs which employ some of the most respected coaches in the sport.

 

 

Rhythmic Gymnastics in Russia and Ukraine

 

 

Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport that combines elements of ballet, dance, and apparatus manipulation (rope, hoop, ball, clubs, or ribbon). While the smaller of the two gymnastic disciplines (exclusive to only female athletes), it has undoubtedly seen a great deal of success for Russian and Ukrainian competitors. Throughout the years there has been a long list of international champions.

 

 

 

Famous Russian Rhythmic Gymnasts

  • Yanina Batyrchina - Five time Gold medalist at World Championships and Silver medalist in all-around at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Yulia Barsukova - Helped earn a Gold medal for Russia in the team competition at the 1999 World Championships as well as an Olympic Gold medal in individual all-around at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
  • Alina Kabayeva - Won ten World titles, a Bronze medal in individual all-around at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and an Olympic Gold in individual all-around at the 2004 Games in Athens.
  • Irina Tchachina - Won three Gold medals at World Championships and a Silver medal in individual all-around at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

 

Famous Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnasts

  • Alexandra Timoshenko - Won ten World Championship Gold medals, one all-around Olympic Bronze medal at the 1988 Games in Seoul, and an all-around Gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
  • Elena Vitrychenko - Won eleven World titles, ten European titles and one Olympic Bronze medal (all-around individual) at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Kateryna Serebrianska - Eight time Gold medalist at World Championships and Gold medalist in individual all-around at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Anna Bessonova - Two time Bronze medalist in individual all-around competition (2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics). 2007 World Champion in individual all-around competition.

 

 

 

 

Artistic Gymnastics in Russia and Ukraine

 

Artistic gymnastics, a discipline with both male and female competitors, is a very popular sport within Russia and Ukraine. Split into men’s and women’s gymnastics, men typically compete in six events: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar, while women compete four events: Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise. Here are some of the most respected Russian / Ukrainian / Soviet gymnasts who have enjoyed success over the years.

 

 

Russian Artistic Gymnasts

  • Sofia Muratova - Three time Gold medalist at World Championships and eight time Olympic medalist (2 Gold, 2 Silver, 5 Bronze) from the 1956 and 1960 Summer Games.
  • Nikolai Andrianov - Soviet gymnast who held the record for men for the most Olympic medals (15 - 7 of which were Gold), prior to Michael Phelps. Andrianov competed in the 1972, 1976, and 1980 Olympic Games.
  • Natalia Shaposhnikova - Remembered for her original skills on the beam and floor, Shaposhnikova won a Gold medal in team competition at the World  Championships, plus two Gold and two Bronze at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
  • Alexander Tkachyev - First gymnast to perform a popular element on the horizontal bar (now called the "Tkachyev" in his honor), Alexander was a three time Gold medalist at the World Championships and a three time medalist (2 Gold, 1 Silver) at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.  
  • Yelena Davydova - Won a Silver (balance beam), Gold (team competition), and Gold (all-around) at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and helped earn a Gold medal in the team competition at the 1981 World Championships.
  • Yelena Shushunova - Renowned for her dynamic vaulting and tumbling skills, Shushunova is a five time Gold medalist at the World Championships and a four time medalist (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze) at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.
  • Alexei Nemov - One of the most medaled gymnast of all time, Nemov has won 5 World Championship Gold medals, plus a remarkable 12 Olympic medals (4 Gold, 2 Silver, and 6 Bronze) from the 1996 and 2000 Summer Games.
  • Svetlana Khorkina - Earned an impressive nine World Championship Gold medals and seven Olympic medals (2 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze) from the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Summer Games.

 

Ukrainian Artistic Gymnasts

  • Maria Gorokhovskaya - Won two Olympic Gold medals (team competition and all-around) at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, and helped win another Gold medal in team competition at the 1954 World Championships.
  • Larissa Latynina - Soviet gymnast who has more Olympic Gold medals (9) than any other female athlete and more total Olympic medals (18) that any other female. Latynina competed in 1956, 1960, and 1964 Olympic Games.
  • Tatiana Gutsu - 1992 Olympic all-around champion. Renowned for completing high difficulty routines.
  • Lilia Podkopayeva - 1996 Olympic all-around champion. Widely regarded as one of the best gymnasts in history.
  • Viktoria Karpenko - Silver medalist in all-around competition at the 1999 World Championships.
  • Alexander Vorobiov - Bronze medalist on rings at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

 

 

 

Gymnastics Clubs / Training Schools in Russia and Ukraine

  • Deriugin's School, Kiev (rhythmic gymnastics)
  • Gazprom School, Moscow (rhythmic gymnastics)
  • School of Sports and Rhythmic Gymnastics (Penza, Russia)
  • "Leninsk-Kuznetsky" School of Gymnastics (Leninsk-Kuznetsky, Russia)