Eight-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina gets standing ovation after vault in Tokyo qualifications

Posted at 3:08 AM, Jul 25, 2021

There are few gymnasts who could draw a standing ovation in an empty arena, but eight-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina received a warm reception from her competitors and judges after competing on vault in the fourth subdivision of the women's artistic gymnastics qualifications. The 46-year-old has competed in every Olympics since 1992 and has represented the Soviet Union, Germany and Uzbekistan. 

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Chusovitina competed for Uzbekistan in Tokyo and was selected to be the flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony, though she did not walk due to her competition starting so soon after. Born in 1975, the veteran gymnast has been competing since before most of the gymnasts competing in Tokyo were born. Chuso, as she is affectionately called by the gymnastics community, is a legend of the sport not only for her longevity but also her continued success. She won her first Olympic medal, a gold, in the 1992 team competition and added a silver on vault in Beijing. 

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During qualifications, Chusovitina competed two vaults with the goal of qualifying to the event final. Her average score of 14.166 was not high enough to place among the top eight and advance, but her appearance at these Olympics remains historic. She has indicated that Tokyo would be her last Games and seemed to give an emotional farewell after competing, but if the past eight Olympics are any indication, you should never count Chuso out.