Jul 26, 2021 - Sports

46-year-old gymnast Oksana Chusovitina takes final bow at her 8th Olympics

Photo of Oksana Chusovitina standing in a final pose
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Oksana Chusovitina, a record-setting gymnast representing Uzbekistan, took her final Olympic bow before a standing ovation in Tokyo this week.

Driving the news: Chusovitina made history when she became the first gymnast to compete at seven Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. Tokyo marks her eighth and last Olympics, closing the door on a career that has spanned three decades.

  • Though she averaged 14.166 on her two vault attempts and failed to advance to the final, she finished her competition to cheers and embraces. Fellow athletes lined up to pose for selfies with her.
  • "Forever an icon," former U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman tweeted with a video of Chusovitina performing at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Her background: Chusovitina won a gold medal in the team event at her Games debut in 1992.

  • Since then, she has won 11 medals at 17 world championships and represented the Soviet Union, Germany and Uzbekistan at the Olympics.
  • At 33, she won a silver medal in vault at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ten years later, she finished fourth at the 2018 World Championships in vault.
  • At the 2018 Asia Games, she set a record by winning the silver medal and becoming the oldest gymnast to ever medal at the event.
  • The legendary athlete has five moves named after her.

What she's saying: "It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time," the gymnast said, according to the International Federation of Gymnastics.

  • "I didn't look at the results, but I feel very proud and happy. I'm saying goodbye to sports."
  • "There were ups and downs! There were tears of joy and tears of grief, but I don't regret it for a single minute!" she later posted on Instagram.
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