On This Day

Olga Korbut

Gymnast Olga Korbut

Profession: Gymnast

Nationality:
Russia
Russian

Why Famous: Olga Korbut burst onto the world gymnastic scene at the 1972 Munich Olympics and revolutionizing women's gymnastics in the process.

With her small frame, she was nicknamed 'the Sparrow from Minsk' Korbut showed off a new more athletic style of gymnastics. She was the first to perform the backward aerial somersault on the balance beam and the first to do a backwards release on the uneven bars. Korbut won 3 gold medals and a silver in Munich. In 1976 at the Montreal Olympics she was again part of the Soviet gold medal-winning team and won another silver.

While paving the way for other younger gymnasts such as Nadia Comaneci, Korbut helped move the sport away from its former emphasis on ballet-like elegance. Korbut retired in 1977 aged just 22 and went on to become a gymnastics teacher.

Born: May 16, 1955
Birthplace: Grodno, Belarus, Soviet Union
Age: 65 years old

Generation: Baby Boomer
Chinese Zodiac: Goat/Sheep
Star Sign: Taurus

Events in the Life of Olga Korbut

  • 1972-08-28 Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut becomes media darling at the Munich Olympics; wins gold in the teams all-round ; follows with 2 gold and a silver
  • 1972-08-30 Amidst Olga Korbut mania at the Munich Olympics, Soviet team mate Ludmilla Tourischeva wins the gymnastics individual all-round competition, her 2nd gold medal of the Games
  • 1972-08-31 Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut wins balance beam & floor exercise gold medals at the Munich Olympics; follows gold in the teams all-round

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