41 er ikke alderen til at stoppe gymnastik karriere!
Oksana Chusovitina is a really outstanding gymnast who celebrates her 41st birthday. Age does not influence her. She still practices gymnastics and is willing to perform at her seventh Olympic Games. It is a record in Gymnastics.
Oksana Chusovitina used to say after the 2012 Olympic Games that they were going to be the last for her: “I said that four years ago, but that’s how women are! They say one thing and then change their minds," – that’s what she said when she got a right to perform in Rio.
"One day I just felt that I still had more to give, and that I should at least try, to make sure I had no regrets in the future. That’s why I decided to carry on," - she explained.
If someone had told Oksana Chusovitina in 1992 that she would still perform at the age of more than forty years old, she would have been the first person to laugh. What do we see now? She is 41 and she still performs. People admire her and crave to know her secret.
"I don’t know, I really don’t,"- she says, laughing. "I train for two hours a day and otherwise I live a normal life."
Even now, as at the last Worlds in Glasgow in October, Oksana is loved by everyone. Her performances evoke sincere delight. "It gives me even more strength, it motivates me a lot," - she said.
Oksana Chusovitina was born in Tashkent, the USSR. She started her gymnastics career under the Soviet banner. She got two World titles - gold on Floor and with the Soviet team – in Indianapolis in 1991.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, It was expected that she would compete for Uzbekistan, flying the flag for them by winning her third world title on Vault in Anaheim in 2003.
Later she had to move to Germany in order to treat her son who suffered from leukemia. After assuming German nationality in 2006, she brought an Olympic medal back to her adopted country: silver on the vault at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
After the London Games, Chusovitina returned to Uzbekistan. “I always promised to end my career in the country where I was born and trained," -she recalled.
In Rio, she will break another record – that of the oldest gymnast, male or female, ever to compete in the Olympics. But most of all, Chusovitina is setting out to add to her rich collection of medals and trophies. On Vault she remains competitive against adolescents of half her age, as she proved once again at the Test Event. She has been fine tuning two Vaults but won’t perform the Produnova, the vault with the highest points start value, which she attempted at the 2015 Worlds.
Judging by her freshness, it is clear that her retirement is a taboo subject. What’s more, when asked what the chances are of seeing her at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, a smile twitches at the corner of her mouth as she replies, “Never say never!”
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