9 Things You Need to Know About Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina

9 Things You Need to Know About Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina

The gymnast is one of the oldest competitors in this year's Olympic games, making her also the coolest

The gymnast is one of the oldest competitors in this year's Olympic games, making her also the coolest

Text: Jillian Selzer

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has been full of scandals and surprises, but among the drama, one athlete, in particular, stands out: Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. At 41 years old, Chusovitina is one of the oldest Olympians competing this year, making her a force to be reckoned with among her competitors. If you haven't heard of the living legend, now is the time to get familiar. V rounded up need-to-know facts about the record-breaking gymnast as she competes in her seventh Olympic competition, qualifying for the individual vault finals.

1. Rio 2016 is the gymnast's seventh Olympics and the only female gymnast to compete in seven separate Olympic Games. She has previously competed in London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000, Atlanta 1996 and Barcelona 1992

2. When her son was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2002, he was offered treatment in Germany. To thank the country for their generosity, Chusovitina competed as a German olympian for the 2008 games.

3. She has competed on behalf of Germany, Uzbekistan, and the former Soviet Union.

4. She has torn her Achilles tendon and undergone two shoulder surgeries in the past decade.

5. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Chusovitina earned silver representing Germany in her chosen concentration of vaulting. Her team previously won gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

6. In an interview with ESPN, the gymnast says she spends significantly less time than other competitors in the gym, designating just two and a half hours for practice and relying on muscle memory to perfect her moves.

7. In 2009 she claimed she would be retiring from competing, but returned to international championships in 2010. She then announced the 2012 Olympic Games would be her last competition before focusing on coaching. Again, she then announced she planned to continue on to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

8. She married a fellow Olympian in 1997: wrestler and fellow Uzbek Bakhodir Kurbanov.

9. In a competition that sees fresher and fresher talent, Chusovitina is competing against athletes as young as her child

Credits: Photo Courtesy of FIG Channel

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