Soviet Union
TeamSoviet Union
Artistic GymnasticsArtistic Gymnastics
Olympic Medals
Games Participations2
First Olympic GamesMunich 1972
Year of Birth1955


Olga Korbut became the star of the 1972 Munich Games with a series of dramatic performances. She captured the public imagination with her charismatic and daring performances in the team competition at the 1972 Munich Games, aged just 17 year old. After her spectacular routine on the uneven parallel bars, Korbut later recalled, "It was amazing. One day, I was a nobody, and the next day, I was a star."

Errors prove costly

Unfortunately in the individual final two days later, disaster struck. Korbut made three errors on the uneven bars, the judges gave her a score of 7.5 and she wept with disappointment as she dropped to seventh place. Yet she recovered to claim gold in the floor exercise and beam to add to her victory in the team competition.

The Korbut Flip

The 17-year-old became the first gymnast to perform a back flip to catch on the uneven bars. In her honour the move has since become known as the Korbut Flip. Confirming her daring nature, she was also the first to do a backward somersault on the beam.

Further success

At the 1976 Montreal Games, Korbut was overshadowed by Romanian Nadia Comâneci’s astonishing “perfect 10” score. Nonetheless, Korbut still won the gold medal in the team event and a silver on the beam.


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