Oksana Chusovitina, a name synonymous with longevity and excellence in gymnastics, has announced that her time as an Olympic athlete has come to an end. At 48 years old, Chusovitina’s professional career, which spanned nearly 35 years and included eight Olympic Games, faced a sudden halt due to an injury during podium training at the Asian Gymnastics Championships in Uzbekistan.

The gymnastics legend shared her heartbreak on Instagram, stating, “Yesterday, while training on the podium of the Asian Championships, which is taking place in Tashkent and is a qualifying event for the Olympic Games in Paris, I was injured during the floor exercise. I will not be able to take part and I am very upset as I have been preparing for this competition for a long time.” She added a poignant message for her supporters: “But, unfortunately, tomorrow you will not see me among the participants. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, but you can come and support our girls. That’s what I’m going to do tomorrow!”

Chusovitina’s illustrious career began in 1990 when she first competed for the Soviet Union. Following the dissolution of the USSR, she represented the Unified Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, where she achieved her first and only Olympic gold medal in the team event. Her individual prowess was further recognized with a bronze medal in vault at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Throughout her career, she has amassed a remarkable tally of 35 medals in international competitions.

Born in Uzbekistan, Chusovitina’s personal life took a dramatic turn when her son, Alisher, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This led her to move to Cologne, Germany, where Alisher received treatment at the University of Cologne. During this period, Chusovitina gained German citizenship and competed for Germany until her return to Uzbekistan after her son’s health improved, following six years of treatment.

Despite initially planning to retire after the 2012 Summer Olympics, Chusovitina’s passion for gymnastics saw her return to international competition, proudly representing Uzbekistan once again. She holds the record for the most Olympic appearances by a gymnast and is the oldest gymnast ever to compete at the Olympics.

Though she did not specifically mention retirement, Chusovitina’s focus on Olympic qualifications in recent years, and her injury at a crucial qualifying event, suggest that her Olympic career might truly be at its close. With the next Olympics scheduled for 2028 in Los Angeles, at which point Chusovitina would be 52, the gymnastics community is coming to terms with the possible end of an era.

As Chusovitina steps back from Olympic competitions, the world of gymnastics bids farewell to an extraordinary athlete whose perseverance and dedication have inspired generations.



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