Oksana Chusovitina along with three other gymnasts have been inducted to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and were honored at the 21st annual International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) ceremony on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.
The IGHOF Class of 2017 Inductees are:
- Shun Fujimoto (Japan): Gold medalist at the 1976 Olympics
- Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan): 1992 Olympic gold medalist and 7-time Olympian
- Alexei Nemov (Russia): 2000 Olympic all-around champion and 12-time Olympic medalist
- Alicia Sacramone (USA): 4-time World champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist
In addition to the four Hall of Fame inductions, there will be two special awards presented that evening. The Frank Bare Award will be presented to Mike Jacki, former president of USA Gymnastics (1983-1994). The AAI International Order of Merit will be presented to Norbert Bueche (Switzerland), former Secretary-General of the International Gymnastics Federation.
Chusovitina was born on June 19, 1975, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, and it was at the age of 15 that the gymnastics world first got a glimpse of her brilliance, when she attended the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle. The following year, she represented the Soviet Union at her first World Championships, where she helped her team win the gold. She tied for the floor exercise title, and earned the silver on vault.
Chusovitina’s strongest event has always been vault, where she has won nine World medals—and that’s before and after two torn Achilles tendons. At 41, Chusovitina attempted the most difficult vault in the Rio Olympic event finals, a handspring followed by a double somersault. Even though she fell and placed seventh, it was a remarkable feat, nonetheless.
While many female gymnasts retire in their early 20s, Chusovitina has continued to improve. Her former teammate, and fellow International Gymnastics Hall of Fame honoree Svetlana Boguinskya, has provided support and coaching for the last several years.
Chusovitina has been a trailblazer of sorts. She has five skills named after her in the International Gymnastics Code of Points. Two on vault include the handspring layout front with one-and-a-half twists. She has two skills on uneven bars—the hop full pirouette, and the full-out dismount. She also has one eponymous skill on floor exercise, the laid-out double back with a full twist in the second flip.
This inspiring gymnast continues to compete in 2017, winning the gold on vault at two World Cup events: Baku, Azerbaijan, and Doha, Qatar. She even has her eyes set on a shot at her eighth Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
As an honored member of the Class of 2017, Oksana Chusovitina made history again—as the only gymnast who is still competing to be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Founded in 1987, the IGHOF was originally located in Oceanside, California. In 1996, it was relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where it has developed a solid foundation of private support.