Gymnastics Olympic Champions From 1988-2004

Here are the men’s and women’s all-around champions from the
last five Olympic Games — these are just brief
biographies, but they surely give you an idea of your
gymnast’s potential.
2004 Paul Hamm, Carly Patterson
Paul Hamm, the 2004 men’s all-around champion in
gymnastics, was born on September 24, 1982, and has a twin
brother by the name of Morgan. Paul was the first
American man to take the gold for the all-around
competition in a fully attended Olympic Game. He is
noteworthy for some controversy surrounding his title.
Carly Patterson was born on February the fourth, 1988, in
Baton Rouge,Louisiana, to a pair of loving parents – her
mother, Natalie, and her father, Ricky. She is the first
of a pair of girls (her younger sister is Jordan). In
2004, she became the first all-around Olympic champion for
the United States in more than two decades, and was also
the first to win for the US in the past two games. The
last female all-around gymnastics champion for the United
States won in 1984, when the Soviet Union had boycotted the
Olympics entirely.
2000 Andreea Raducan, Alexei Nemov
Andreea Madalina Raducan was born on the thirtieth of
September, 1983, in Birlad, Romania. She was trained under
Octavien Belu and Mariana Bitang of the Cetate Deva Club in
Romania and began gymnastics at the age of five. She has
several gold and silver medals under her belt from national
and international competitions. Though she is listed as
the official Olympic all-around female champion, the IOC
stripped her of her medal when she tested positive for
pseudophedrine (the active ingredient in many
decongestants) after having taken a cold pill given to her
by the Romanian Olympic Team doctor. Regardless of whether
or not she has the medal, she is a champion – and an
incredible one at that.
Alexei Nemov is considered to be one of the best male
gymnasts in the world, as well as being a pin-up for the girls.
He was born on May 28th, 1976, in Barashevo, Russia. His
start on gymnastics started early. At the age of five, his
mother took him to the local gym, thinking that gymnastics
would be an acceptable alternative to a more violent sport.
He has had his ups and downs in gymnastics — namely, with
many injuries to his arms and shoulders — but left the
Atlanta and Sydney Olympics with six medals each. In 2000,
he was crowned the men’s all-around gymnastics champion and
bore his gold medal proudly.
1996 Li Xiaoshuang, Lilia Podkopayeva
Li Xiaoshuang, men’s all-around gymnastics champion in the
1996 Olympics, was born on November 1, 1973, in Xintao,
Hubei Province, China. His career has been marked with
many successes. At the age of seven, he took up
gymnastics; two years later, he was part of his provincial
team, and at twelve years of age, he was part of the
Chinese national gymnastics team. He has won many gold
medals in his time, including two from separate Olympic
games – 1992 and 1996 – and three from the World Gymnastics
Championships. In 1995, he was awarded the well-deserved
title of International Master of Sports and continues, to
this date, to impress.
Lilia Podkopayeva was born on August 15, 1978 in Donestk,
Ukraine. Her coach, Galina Lossinskaya, brought her
through more than ten competitions all together, in which
she fared well. In the 1996 Atlanta Georgia Olympic Games,
she placed first in the all-around women’s competition and
since then has toured the United States in the John Hancock
Tour of World Gymnastics Champions.
1992 Tatiana Gutsu, Vitaly Scherbo
Tatiana Gutsu, women’s all-around champion in the 1992
Olympics, has an excellent record of performance. She was
born on the fifty of September, 1976 in the Soviet Union,
and was selected at a very young age by her coach and
trainer, Victor Dikii. In the 1992 Olympics, her career
became tarnished by conspiracy when she took the place of
Roza Galieva in the all-around competition, one for which
she did not qualify. It later became known that Galieva
was not really injured, and though it was apparently not
Gutsu’s idea to take over that part of the competition, the
two of them split the prize earnings and became bitter
acquaintances. Today, Tatiana lives in the United States.
Vitaly Scherbo, men’s all-around champion in 1992, has a
very impressive record. He won an unprecedented six
individual gold medals at the ’92 Olympics and, all told,
he holds more than fifty medals in total from championships
around the world. Coached by two of the best in the world
— Leonid Filipenok and Sergei Shinkar, he is truly an
impressive gymnast. Now, with his wife and daughter, Irina
and Kristina respectively, he runs the Vitaly Scherbo
School of Gymnastics in Las Vegas. The website for the
school of gymnastics can be found at
1988 Elena Shoushounova, Vladimir Artemov
Elena Shushonova, women’s all-around Olympic champion of
1988, was born in May of 1969 in Saint Petersburg, which
was, at the time, Leningrad. She trained under Viktor
Gavrichenkov at the Central Army Club in the then Soviet
Union. With two Olympic gold medals, a bronze medal and a
silver medal, and more than twenty other medals from
championships around the world, Elena Shushonova has an
illustrious history of gymnastic prowess, and in 2004, she
was added to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Born in the town for which he was named in December of 1964,
Vladimir Artemov came away with the all around gold medal
in the 1988 Olympics. In fact, he came away a champion
several times over, with gold or silver in all of his
events, a truly impressive finish. Trained under Viktor
Firsov at Burevestnik, at that time a part of the Soviet
Union, he also received thirteen other medals in all of his
other endeavors. Now, he lives in the United States with
his wife and children, and is a part of the National
Coaching Staff.
By Murray Hughes
Gymnastics Secrets Revealed
“The book EVERY gymnastics parent should read”

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