46-year-old gymnast takes on her eighth Olympics

Olympic gymnast Oksana Chusovitina announced she would be retiring after the Tokyo Olympics

Oksana Chusovitina of Germany competes on the Beam aparatus in the Women's qualification during day two of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Tokyo 2011 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on October 8, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Image credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Oksana Chusovitina has landed herself the honor of being the oldest Olympic gymnast ever to compete. This year, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marks both her eighth and final year of competing in the games. The 46-year-old has previously said this in the past, leading some to believe she may come back, but according to sources, this time she really means it.

"My body and mind feel it and I know for the first time in my life that it's time for me to go," she told Inside Gymnastics Magazine.

Chusovitina has made a name for herself throughout the years, beginning her Olympic career at just 17-years-old in 1991. She’s represented the former Soviet Union, Germany, and her native country of Uzbekistan (which she is currently representing for her final games). With retirement in her near future, we may see the gymnast trade early morning training for the relaxing views of the world’s most amazing beach

Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina laughs as she trains in Tashkent on January 15, 2020.

(Image credit: YURI KORSUNTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

As an Olympic medalist, she’s proven that age doesn’t define your ability to compete. In 2018, she finished fourth on vault and has won numerous medals in World Cup championships as well. Vault is one area of gymnastics where she excels at and will be the only portion of the games she competes in at the Tokyo Olympics. Throughout the years, Chusovitina’s impeccable skills and workout motivation haven’t gone unnoticed either as she’s had five skills named after her in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points

Oksana Chusovitina of Germany competes on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Vault final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 5, 2012 in London, England.

(Image credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

While the sport has evolved over the years, that hasn’t stopped her from maintaining her edge. In the past, she was quoted saying, “I only got better, like fine wine.”

Her love for gymnastics motivated her to continue the sport throughout the decades, but looking towards the future, Chusovitina wants to focus on spending time with her son.

“My son is 22-years-old and I want to spend time with him," Chusovitina told USA Today. "I want to be a mom and wife.” 

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.