Aug. 18, 2008

Oksana Chusovitina

Oksana Chusovitina, a 33 year old gymnast, won the silver medal in the vault event final, yesterday. That's pretty amazing, when you think about the fact that her career in gymnastics has lasted for twenty years. Early on in her career, she competed for the Soviet Union and later Uzbekistan- now she's a member of the German team. The Beijing games are her fifth Olympics, she also competed in 10 World Championships and won a record setting eight World Championships on the vault.

Her son Alisher was born in 1999. In 2002, he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. She went to a local hospital and was told that in order for the doctors to save her son, she would have to pay an enormous amount of money. She didn't have the money, but she did have some contacts to coaches of a Cologne Club. With their help, prize money and donations from all around the world, she was able to send her son to the University of Cologne hospital to start treatment and Oksana started training in Cologne.

In 2006 she received the German citizenship and started competing for Germany.

Not only is she the oldest female gymnast to ever win an Olympic medal, she's also a very inspiring person. She recently said in an interview that she planned to continue competing in the vault events and I hope we'll hear a lot more from this remarkable athlete and strong women!


Brian Dowd said...

There have been some great stories coming out of the Olympics and this is one of them.

BTW - Congrats on getting over $1,000 on your fundraising! Great Job!


Henrike said...

It sure is. Plus, she's competing in a sport that isn't really big in Germany due to a lack of success, I think, so she's not really someone you hear from. I'm glad she got some moments to represent her sport in the media. She sure deserves it.