This 41-Year-Old Gymnast Is Making History In Rio

Oksana Chusovitina shows no signs of quitting anytime soon.
Oksana Chusovitina at the London 2012 Olympics
Oksana Chusovitina at the London 2012 Olympics
Brian Snyder / Reuters

Oksana Chusovitina is making major waves in this summer’s Olympic games.

The 41-year-old, representing Uzbekistan, is making history this year in Rio as the oldest female Olympic gymnast in history. She also happens to be the mother of a teenaged son.

Chusovitina’s accomplishments are even more remarkable considering those she’ll be competing against ― she’s almost double the age of the oldest member of the US Olympic team, 22-year-old Aly Raisman, and she’s only one of a handful of women to compete in international games after giving birth.

“I know I can still do more,” she told the BBC. “When I was younger, I was quicker and I ran and never got tired....Now I train more with my head.”

The US Women's Olympic team was announced in July.
The US Women's Olympic team was announced in July.
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Chusovitina’s Olympic career began in the 1992 Barcelona games, and she gave birth to her son in 1999. In 2002, her son was diagnosed with leukemia ― but by 2008, she’d taken home a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics and her son was declared cancer-free.

Despite almost retiring a handful of times, she has returned to compete in all of the Olympic games proceeding 1992. In previous games she has represented Germany, but having been born in the ancient Silk Road city of Bukhara, Chusovitina told the BBC that this year, “I have only one is to win a medal for my home country, Uzbekistan.”

We can’t wait to see what this shero does in Rio.


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