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'Reborn' Chusovitina Celebrates 38th Birthday
(11 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Celebrating her 38th birthday today, six-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina told IG she is healthy and happy as she prepares for another competition this weekend in Anadia, Portugal. Pictured: Chusovitina enjoyed her birthday by doing some shopping in Portugal.

Celebrating her 38th birthday today, six-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan) told IG she is healthy and happy as she prepares for another competition this weekend.

"I feel great!" said Chusovitina, who is also a wife, mother and coach. "As if I've been reborn!"

Chusovitina competing for Uzbekistan in 2013

A gymnastics phenomenon, Chusovitina is by far the oldest competing female gymnast internationally. Today, the majority of her competitors were not yet born when she competed in her first Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. She is as an inspiration to gymnastics fans, as well as to many gymnasts, who frequently cite her as an example that female gymnasts can be successful after their teen years.

Chusovitina is in Portugal, where she will compete at the FIG World Cup Challenge in Anadia. The competition means her birthday celebration will be delayed.

"I will celebrate after the competition at home in Tashkent with my friends!" she said.

The Tashkent native represented the Soviet Union at the 1991 Worlds, where she won titles with the team and on floor exercise. She also won the silver medal on vault, her first of nine world medals on the event, including gold in 2003. At the 1992 Olympics, she helped the Unified Team win the gold medal. Since 1991, she has competed in every world and Olympic Games with the exception of the world championships in 1994 due to a registration issue (though she traveled to the event in Brisbane), 1997 due to a torn Achilles, and in 1999, the year she became a mother to son Alisher.

In 2002, she moved to Germany to seek treatment for Alisher, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Alisher underwent treatment in Cologne, and today is healthy and leukemia free. Chusovitina's gratitude led to her decision to compete for Germany. She gained German citizenship in 2006. She helped the German women qualify a full team to the 2008 Olympic Games, after a 16-year absence. In 2008, she won her second Olympic medal with the silver on vault.

In addition to her many medals, Chusovitina has pioneered three skills for women: the piked handspring front full on vault; the hop full and full-out dismount on uneven bars; and the full-twisting double layout on floor exercise.

She represented Germany again at the 2012 Olympics, a record sixth appearance she shared in London with Bulgarian veteran Jordan Jovtchev. But in 2013, she decided to once again represent Uzbekistan for sentimental reasons and told IG she is thrilled.

"I'm so happy that I can once again compete for my country," she said. "I have no words — I am the happiest!"

If Chusovitina can make it to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she will stand alone in the record books as gymnastics' only seven-time Olympian.

But next up is this weekend's competition in Portugal, where she's scheduled to compete on vault, balance beam and floor exercise. And then she has her sights set on the 2013 World Championships in Belgium.

"I'm getting ready for the world championships," she said. "This is my first goal!"

Check out International Gymnast Magazine's Facebook page for a photo gallery of Oksana Chusovitina through the years!

Comments (3)add comment

Ella said:

This woman is amazing. I couldn't believe it when I first read about her, She must have a very smart training programme to stay injury free for so long.
A true inspiration, a mother and a gymnast too! She is great for the sport.
June 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Keri said:

Well done, Oksana. I hope you make it. Michael Phelps may be more decorated, but I hold you and Ian Millar (11 time Equestrian Olympian) as having the far greater achievement.

Ian is intending on going to Rio as well. Should they both be there, NBC, you should do a feature on both of them at a neutral time, maybe around opening or closing ceremonies. These achievements need to be honored.
June 24, 2013
Votes: +2

Vicki said:

Thankyou for being so amazing! At the top of the sport and still going strong. I am competing Rhythmic Gymnastics at 30 (perceived as "old" in australia") and it is so wonderful to see womens gymnasts break that mould that we all have to be 15. Men are well in their late 20's as well as Rhythmic only peaking at mid 20's. Ballet dancers go well into their 30's!

A gymnast who can go to this age will see a vast change in maturity, I know i have. Me 5 years ago vs me now is very different.

Well DOne! smilies/cheesy.gif
November 13, 2013
Votes: +0

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