Svetlana Leonidovna Boginskaya (Belarusian: Святлана Леанідаўна Багінская, romanizedSviatlana Lieanidauna Bahinskaya; born February 9, 1973) is a former artistic gymnast for the Soviet Union and Belarus of Belarusian origin. She is a three-time Olympic champion, with an individual gold medal on vault from the 1988 Summer Olympics and team gold medals from the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics.

Svetlana Boginskaya
Personal information
Full nameSvetlana Leonidovna Boginskaya
Alternative name(s)Svyatlana Leanidaŭna Bahinskaya (Святлана Леанідаўна Багінская)
Nickname(s)Belarusian Swan, Goddess of Gymnastics
Country represented Belarus
Former countries represented CIS ( Unified Team),  Soviet Union
Born (1973-02-09) February 9, 1973 (age 51)
Minsk, Soviet Union
Height158.5 cm (5 ft 2 in)
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior International Elite
Head coach(es)Tatiana Grosovivich
Former coach(es)Lyubov Miromanova
Medal record
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 3 1 1
World Championships 5 3 1
European Championships 9 1 0
World Cup Final 1 1 1
Goodwill Games 2 1 1
American Cup 0 1 0
Total 20 8 4
Representing  Soviet Union
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Team
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Vault
Silver medal – second place 1988 Seoul Floor Exercise
Bronze medal – third place 1988 Seoul All-Around
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1989 Stuttgart Team
Gold medal – first place 1989 Stuttgart All-Around
Gold medal – first place 1989 Stuttgart Floor Exercise
Gold medal – first place 1991 Indianapolis Team
Gold medal – first place 1991 Indianapolis Balance Beam
Silver medal – second place 1987 Rotterdam Team
Silver medal – second place 1991 Indianapolis All-Around
Bronze medal – third place 1987 Rotterdam Balance Beam
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1989 Brussels All-Around
Gold medal – first place 1989 Brussels Vault
Gold medal – first place 1989 Brussels Floor Exercise
Gold medal – first place 1990 Athens All-Around
Gold medal – first place 1990 Athens Vault
Gold medal – first place 1990 Athens Uneven Bars
Gold medal – first place 1990 Athens Balance Beam
Gold medal – first place 1990 Athens Floor Exercise
World Cup Final
Gold medal – first place 1990 Brussels Floor Exercise
Silver medal – second place 1990 Brussels All-Around
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Brussels Vault
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1990 Seattle Team
Gold medal – first place 1990 Seattle Floor Exercise
Silver medal – second place 1990 Seattle All-Around
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Seattle Balance Beam
Representing  CIS ( Unified Team)
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Team
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1992 Paris Vault
Representing  Belarus
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1992 Nantes Balance Beam
European Championships
Silver medal – second place 1996 Birmingham All-Around
American Cup
Silver medal – second place 1996 Fort Worth All-Around

Early life edit

Boginskaya was born in Minsk, Belarus on February 9, 1973.[citation needed] She practiced figure skating before beginning gymnastics at age six,[1] after seeing Nadia Comăneci compete at the Olympics.[2] Two years later, she moved to Moscow to train full-time at the Round Lake Gymnastics Center, where she trained with Lyubov Miromanova.[citation needed]

Gymnastics career edit

Boginskaya became a member of the Soviet national team at age 14. She competed internationally for the first time at the 1987 World Championships, where she placed third on balance beam; the team placed second. She went on to compete in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, where she won four medals: gold in the team competition, gold on vault, silver on floor, and bronze in the individual all-around.[1]

Three days after the Olympics, Boginskaya's longtime coach, Lyubov Miromanova, died by suicide. Miromanova had been a surrogate mother to Boginskaya, coaching and caring for her after she moved from Minsk to train full-time in Moscow.[citation needed]

After Miromanova's death, Boginskaya began training with Tatiana Grosovivich. Under Grosovivich's tutelage, Boginskaya competed at the 1989 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where she received gold in all-round, vault, and floor. Later that year, she placed first in all-around, floor, and team events at the 1989 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships,[1] eventually dedicating her performance to her late mentor.

The following year, Boginskaya became the fourth woman to win the gold medal in every individual event at the European Championships. She also competed at the FIG World Cup, where she placed first on floor.[1]

In 1991, Boginskaya won gold at the World Championships on beam and silver in the all-around; the team won gold.[1] In a controversial finish,[according to whom?] Boginskaya lost the gold medal in the all-around to American gymnast Kim Zmeskal.[citation needed]

In 1992, Boginskaya competed at the European Championships, where she won gold on beam[1] with a score of 9.95. However, she fell during her final event, the floor exercise, ultimately finishing fifth in the all-around. Her teammate, Tatiana Gutsu, received the all-around title. Despite Boginskaya's fall on floor, she remained a favorite to win the all-around title at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.[citation needed] At the World Championships, Boginskaya won gold on vault and was selected for the Unified Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics.[1] Many in the gymnastics world expected a duel between Boginskaya and Zmeskal at the Olympics, and the media promoted this story.[citation needed] At the Olympic games, Boginskaya won her third Olympic gold in the team competition;[1] in the individual competition, she faltered on the uneven bars and finished fifth in the individual all-around; Zmeskal finished tenth.[citation needed]

Following the 1992 Olympics, Boginskaya retired. However, she returned to the sport in 1995, stating that she had been inspired by Katarina Witt who had a memorable comeback at the 1994 Winter Olympics.[1] Boginskaya moved to Houston, Texas to train with Bela Karolyi and upgraded the difficulty of her routines.[citation needed] At the 1995 European Championships, she won silver in the all-around.[1]

In 1996, at age 23, she placed second in the all-around at the American Cup behind one of Karolyi's pupils, Kerri Strug. She also placed second at the European Championships in Birmingham behind the defending world champion Lilia Podkopayeva. She then progressed to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was one of a number of older gymnasts competing.[citation needed] Boginskaya competed in the all-around and vault finals, but did not medal. The Belarusian team came in sixth.[1]

Following the 1996 Olympics, Boginskaya retired from gymnastics.[1]

Boginskaya is among a small group of women to have competed in three Olympic Games; and due to the break-up of the Soviet Union, she competed at each Games under a different flag: USSR, the Unified Team, and Belarus. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2005.[3]

Boginskaya has remained active in both the American and international gymnastics communities, and works as a consulting guest coach. In the early 2010s, she frequently supported former teammate Oksana Chusovitina, who continues to compete in her late 40s, and has appeared on the competition floor as her coach.[citation needed]

Post-gymnastics career edit

Boginskaya runs several businesses, including an online gymnastics apparel retailer and a summer camp for gymnasts.[2]

In popular culture edit

After the 1992 Olympics, Boginskaya appeared alongside her compatriot Vitaly Scherbo in the music video for the song "Revolution Earth," by The B-52's.

Trademarks edit

Boginskaya's floor routine at the 1988 Olympics was done to the music of Georges Bizet's Carmen, and another routine she performed in parts of 1990 and 1991 was choreographed by the Bolshoi Ballet. Her uneven bars exercise included a signature giant to handstand with 180° split into a toe-on element. Commentators and reporters cited her height and slim stature as elements she used to her advantage through attention to posture and body alignment; meanwhile they also suggested that she relied more on execution and presentation than difficulty, though she did usually fulfill requirements and earn 10.0 start values. She frequently landed dismounts and vaults with her right foot placed slightly in front of her left, an intentional touch of artistry that also helped her stick landings.

Competitive history edit

Overview of competitive history
Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
1987 World Championships 2nd 3rd
1988 Olympic Games 1st 3rd 1st 2nd
1989 European Championships 1st 1st 4th 4th 1st
World Championships 1st 1st 8th 1st
1990 European Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Goodwill Games 1st 2nd 3rd 1st
World Cup Final 2nd 3rd 4th 4th 1st
1991 World Championships 1st 2nd 5th 1st 7th
1992 European Championships 5th 8th 4th 1st
World Championships 2nd 6th
Olympic Games 1st 5th 4th 5th
1995 World Championships 8th 16th
1996 American Cup 2nd 1st 1st 1st
European Championships 4th 2nd 6th 6th 4th 6th
Olympic Games 6th 15th 5th
Detailed competitive history
Year Competition Description Location Competed For Apparatus Final Qualifying
Rank Score Rank Score
1991 World Championships Indianapolis Soviet Union Team 1st 396.055
All-Around 2nd 39.736 1st 79.548
Vault 5th 9.850 1st 19.837
Uneven Bars WD 1st 19.912
Balance Beam 1st 9.962 2nd 19.887
Floor Exercise 7th 9.862 1st 19.912
1990 World Cup Final Brussels All-Around 2nd 39.586
Vault 3rd 9.912 1st 9.937
Uneven Bars 4th 9.887 6th 9.825
Balance Beam 4th 9.887 2nd 9.887
Floor Exercise 1st 9.962 1st 9.937
European Championships Athens All-Around 1st 39.874
Vault 1st 9.943 1st 10.000
Uneven Bars 1st 9.950 1st 9.975
Balance Beam 1st 10.000 2nd 9.962
Floor Exercise 1st 10.000 1st 9.937
1989 World Championships Stuttgart Team 1st 396.793
All-Around 1st 39.900 79.262
Vault 19.925
Uneven Bars 8th 9.450 19.925
Balance Beam 19.425
Floor Exercise 1st 10.000 1st 19.987
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona CIS Team 1st 395.666
All-Around 5th 39.673 2nd 79.287
Vault 4th 9.899 8th 19.800
Uneven Bars 10th 19.787
Balance Beam 5th 9.862 2nd 19.800
Floor Exercise WD 1st 19.900
World Championships Paris Vault 2nd 9.943
Vault (Semi−Final) 1st 9.912
Vault (Qualification) 1st 9.900
Balance Beam 6th 9.750
European Championships Nantes All-Around 5th 39.136
Vault 8th 9.675 2nd 9.937
Uneven Bars 4th 9.850 2nd 9.937
Balance Beam 1st 9.950 1st 9.937
Floor Exercise 44th 9.325
1995 World Championships Sabae Belarus Team 8th 375.512
All-Around 16th 38.261 14th 76.461
Vault 23rd 18.925
Uneven Bars 29th 19.124
Balance Beam 20th 18.975
Floor Exercise 15th 19.437
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta Team 6th 381.263
All-Around 13th 38.499 25th 76.223
Vault 5th 9.712 9th 19.474
Uneven Bars 64th 18.587
Balance Beam 27th 18.850
Floor Exercise 24th 19.312
European Championships Birmingham Team 4th 114.546
All-Around 2nd 39.106 4th 38.898
Vault 6th 9.662 5th 9.737
Uneven Bars 6th 9.725 7th 9.737
Balance Beam 4th 9.575 5th 9.662
Floor Exercise 6th 9.600 3rd 9.762

Personal life edit

Boginskaya lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two children.[2]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Svetlana BOGINSKAYA". Archived from the original on 2023-02-28. Retrieved 2024-04-13.
  2. ^ a b c "Olympic Champion Svetlana Boginskaya". Russian American Business. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  3. ^ "SVETLANA BOGINSKAYA". International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 7, 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2007.

External links edit