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.
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 (opens in new tab).
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 (opens in new tab). "I want to be a mom and wife.”
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.
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