Olga Korbut – Darling of the 1972 Olympics

By | May 16, 2012

The 1972 Summer Olympics had some very memorable events. There was the sad, the deaths of the Israeli athletics and the enjoyable, the seven Gold Medals won by American swimmer, Mark Splitz. But the show stopper was the young Gymnastic from Belarus, part of the the Soviet Union, Olga Korbut.

Olga Korbut was born on May 16, 1955. She began her training at the age of 8 and at 11 enter a sports school headed by former Olympian Renald Knysh.

In 1972 many of Gymnastic Athletics were older then the 17 year old Korbut. Her success, especially with her acrobatic routines on the uneven parallel bars and balance beam, caused a change in the sport. There was a focus prior to 1972 on elegance, afterwards it was more focused on athleticism.

In 1972 she won 3 Gold metals, the team Gold and two individual Gold in Balance Beam and Floor Exercise. Amazingly she finished only with the Silver for the Uneven Bars, it was her performance on the Uneven Bars during the team competition that wowed those in attendance and watching on TV. She missed the mount on the bars and this caused her to fall to second.

She returned to the 1976 games and again won a Gold metal for Team competition and a Silver in the Balance beam. The 1976 games had Nadia Comeneci as the darling of Gymnastics.


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