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Best Female Gymnasts of All Time

  • Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina won 9 Olympic gold medals
  • Romanian Nadia Comeneci received a perfect 10 at the age of 14
  • American Simone Biles has the most, 25 medals from World Championships
best female gymnasts of all time

Gymnastics is one of the toughest sports even though the athletes made the movements very graceful. But there are years of hard training behind all exercises with only the most persistent athletes achieving medals and titles in the big events. The best female gymnasts of all time could also bring something new to the sport, either a new element or a new technique besides winning in the most important moments. 

Gymnastics competition is one of the most-watched events in the Olympic Games, and one of the toughest to get tickets for. Everyone loves to watch the gymnasts who are doing amazing exercises often against all the rules of physics and gravity. Drama is often part of the sport, where a wrong move can mean the end of a career. Female gymnasts are more likely to have a huge rivalry between themselves, as only the best can compete in the Olympics. The following gymnasts all managed to do that and became legends of the sport. 

7. Olga Korbut

Olga Korbut was a member of the USSR team in the 1972 Olympics, where she performed unique elements on the uneven bar. Like a standing backflip, which was named after her the Korbut flip. But even this performance wasn’t enough for the gold, she won the silver in this event. She got the gold in the balance beam, floor exercise, and team events though. At her next Olympics in 1976, Korbut won another gold with the team, and she retired soon after at the age of 22. 

6. Vera Caslavska

The Czechoslovakian gymnast won 22 international titles between 1959 and 1968 including seven Olympic gold medals. She is one of only two gymnasts to win the all-around gold in two consecutive Olympics. But she was also terrific in the individual events, winning gold in all of them in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. Caslavska wasn’t only a great athlete but a brave woman as well, as she openly supported the democratic movement in her home country and opposed the Soviet invasion in 1968. She was forced to retire after and could only work in gymnastics at the end 1980s. You can also make bets now on political topics on the biggest online gambling sites like Intertops

best female gymnasts of all time
Vera Caslavska in 1967 – Image source: Ron Kroon / Anefo via Wikimedia Commons

5. Nastia Liukin

Nastia Liukin is the all-around champion from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a four-time world champion. The American gymnast was famous for her ballet style and perfect execution. As a daughter of famous athletes, she had a straight path to being a member of the US team. The only reason she couldn’t take part in the 2004 Olympics was her young age, with her results she could have got the bronze medal. Liukin also wanted to return for the 2012 London Olympics as online sportsbooks news in the US were reporting but after several falls she gave up and retired. 

4. Svetlana Khorkina

The tall Russian gymnast, Svetlana Khorkina wasn’t only successful but very creative as well, creating several new movements and elements. She got eight named elements in the vault, beam, uneven bar, and even a jump in the floor exercise. She was called the “Queen of the Bars” after winning the Olympic gold in the event in 1996 and 2000. Khorkina also won seven world championship titles between 1995 and 2001. Even though she couldn’t win the all-around gold in the Games, she won it three times in the World and European Championships. The now-retired athlete won 20 World Championship medals during her career which is the second most any gymnast could total. 

3.  Larisa Latynina

In the best female gymnasts of all time, we can find Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina who got an amazing 18 Olympic medals.  It was a record for 48 years until US swimmer Michael Phelps could break it in 2012. Latynina had the most Olympic gold medals by a gymnast with 9. She was the floor exercise champion on three consecutive Games between 1956 and 1964. Also the all-around champion in 1956 and 1960. Besides she also won gold in the team and vault events. Latynina was known about her elegant style on the floor in a time when exercises were less technical and more focused on artistry. She also won 9 gold in the World and 7 gold medals in the European Championships. After retiring at the age of 32 she became the coach of the Soviet national team which won further medals in the following Olympics. 

2. Nadia Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci didn’t get as many medals as Latynina but probably she is more famous all around the world. She was competing two decades later, in the 1970s and 1980s representing Romania coached by Bela Karolyi and his great team.  The young gymnast became world-known in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. There she achieved a perfect 10 on the uneven bars in the team event at the age of only 14. She received six more 10.00 on the Games and won the all-around, the uneven bars and the balance beam events. In the following Olympics in 1980 Comaneci won two more gold medals, making her a five-time Olympic champion. She made the sport globally popular with her dynamic and acrobatic style. She also created new elements which were named after her. Comaneci was the first Romanian gymnast to win a gold in the Olympics, followed by other champions later. 

best female gymnasts of all time
Simone Biles in 2016 – Image source: Agência Brasil Fotografias / CC BY via Wikimedia Commons

1. Simone Biles

The US gymnast Simone Biles has changed the world of gymnastics and became a world sensation after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was already a big favorite before the Games, after winning 10 World Championships titles between 2013 and 2015. In the Olympics Biles won four gold medals in the all-around, vault, floor exercise, and team events. Also a bronze in the balance beam. After a year break, she returned back in 2018 and continued at a similar level.  She’s won 9 more gold medals in the world championships. So far she has 19 gold and 25 medals from there which is a record number. Online gambling sites in the US are predicting more victories for her in the next Olympic Games in 2021 Tokyo where she will be again a top favorite.

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