Gymnastics is a very competitive field that has attracted a lot of fans over time due to its grace and aesthetic pleasantness. Over time there have been female gymnasts that made their countries proud with their performances, and made millions of people who were watching fall in love with them because of their talent and devotion. These women have sacrificed their youth to be the best of all time, and in the following lines we will be ranking the 10 best female gymnasts in history, to remind ourselves of their incredible performances.
10. Ludmilla Ivanovna Tourischeva
She is a former Russian gymnast who began competing for the Soviet team at the small age of 13, and was a nine-time Olympic medalist for her national team. She was very gracious and calm, keeping her cool even when her apparatus broke during the 1975 World Cup. She didn’t get mad, and she calmly walked off the podium without looking back. Fortunately, she won the all-around gold medal, proving that a little patience takes you a long way.
9. Polina Astakhova
Polina competed for the Soviet Union, and all-around, she won five gold single medals throughout her career, and 2 gold medals with her team at the World Championships. She is known to be one of the most gracious gymnasts of all time, earning this way her nickname as “The Russian Birch”. After retiring, she coached her national country, Ukraine, and was inducted in 2002 into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
8. Maria Kondratyevna Gorokhovskaya
Maria is best known for the fact that she is the only gymnast to win seven medals in a single Olympics, achieving this still unsurpassed performance at the 1952 Summer Olympics. She retired after one last appearance at the 1954 World Championship, where she was a part of the winning Soviet team.
7. Viorica Daniela Silivas
Daniela is a real example of how you can achieve excellency in sport. The former Romanian gymnast is the only one from both male and female gymnasts, to medal in all the single events of the 1988 Summer Olympics, earning 7 perfect 10.0 scores. This performance alone is mind blowing, if you think about the difficulty of the exercises. She was very popular because of her artistic flair, charming performances, and her technical excellence.
6. Agnes Keleti
Agnes is considered to be one of the most successful Jewish Olympic athletes in history, being the best athlete of the 1956 Summer Olympics, where she won ten medals, five of which were gold medals. Her career lasted between 1937 and 1956, being interrupted because of World War II. Even if she lived in a hard time for all Jewish people, she managed to win the Championships title ten times, overcoming any emotional stress that was upon her.
5. Lavinia Corina Milosovici
“Milo” is considered as one of the most prolific all-around female gymnasts. She won a total of 19 World Championships and Olympic medals in a span of only 6 years. Also, she is the last gymnast to achieve the perfect 10, along with Lu Li. She made herself known for her performances that she achieved through her versatile set of skills, longevity, and consistency.
4. Vera Caslavska
She is the most decorated Czech gymnast of all time, and an all-time record holder among female Olympians due to the seven Olympic gold medals she won in individual events. Overall, she won 22 international titles, being one of the most prolific gymnasts ever.
3. Svetlana Khorkina
This Russian artistic gymnast won twenty World Championship medals and seven Olympic medals throughout her career. She is one of the most successful gymnasts of all time, and was known not only for her amazing performances, but for her beauty and grace as well. Svetlana was the first gymnast to win three all-around titles at the World Championships, and was the only one to do so until 2015, when Simone Billes achieved this performance as well.
2. Larisa Latynina
Larissa was a record holder for her 18 Olympic medals for 48 years, being surpassed three years ago by Michael Phelps. She won 14 of these medals at individual events, and the other 4 were team medals. Even though her overall record has been broken by Phelps, she still holds the record for most individual event medals. This gymnast combined skill, grace, and beauty, to become one of the best female gymnasts of all time.
1. Nadia Elena Comaneci
This former Romanian gymnast is known for her astonishing performance at the 1976 Summer Olympics, where she was the first gymnast ever to receive the perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. Throughout her career, she won 21 gold medals in all the big international gymnastics competitions. She ranks number one because she is probably the best-known gymnast of all-time, and a real example of dedication and hard work for all gymnasts throughout time.