Tuesday, March 16, 2010


If there ever was a gymnast in the Russian tradition who reminded me most of Svetlana Khorkina, it had to be Olga Chudina.  She had the same kind of twiggy grace, a presence of personality and a flair for performance.  Though she was such a flash in the pan (in fact,barely even a flash) that she had no chance of ever gaining the kind of attention Khorkina did, she certainly captured attention on the few occasions she did perform.  Marvellously inconsistent, but emminently watchable, I am a big fan of Olga's.

I am not one of those epople who can reel off lists of my favorites, especially in terms of floor routines, but I reckon it would be safe to say that Olga's 1987 floor routine would be in my top five, if not my top three at least.  It is extraordinary.  The chorey is so, so clever and so fitting with the music and Olga performs it with incredible flair and maturity.  It is HOT!


Injuries are the apparent reason Chudina never got to perform as much as was expected of such talent.  In fact Gymnastics Greats reported that she performed at the Champions All in 1988 on a broken ankle and though she finished fifth to qualify to the 19988 Olympic Games, she missed out due to the politics of the moment.  She is now a coach in the USA.  I wish we'd seen more of her. Watch a wobbly, but skillful beam set HERE.



  1. Yes, the "Era of the Shiney Yellow Leotard" produced a lot of good ones. It was just too crowded for Olga of be a success. I remember another good little one; a bit earlier though, maybe '85, Tatiana Kim.

  2. It's such a shame that we lost so many brilliant gymnasts to the depth and consistency of the Soviet team--especially in the mid to late 80s. I mean, Chudina, Frolova, Lebedinskaya, Groshkova, Pryakhina...the list goes on. Coincidentally, most of my favorite FXs of all time fall into this list.