What if I tell you that an athlete has competed in every Olympics since 1992?
Yes, you heard me right! Oksana Aleksandrovna from Uzbekistan has spent more than a quarter-century participating in every Olympics since 1992.
Oksana Chusovitina is the one and only female gymnast in the history of the Olympics to compete in 8 Olympic games. Also, she is one of the two female gymnasts who competed at the Olympics under 3 different National teams. Firstly, in 1992 she competed under the United team. Secondly, she competed under Germany in 2008 and 2012. Lastly, in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2016, 2020 she competed under Uzbekistan. Interestingly, she is not only continuing a long career in the Olympics. She has been a part of four Asian games 3 Goodwill games, and 16 world championships.
She started doing gymnastics at age of 7 in 1982. Through a lot of hard work passion and determination, she became an important part of the Soviet team. Soon she started competition taking in several International means. She received the gold medal at the 1990 Goodwill games. In the 1990 World Sports Fair in Japan, she won the all-around and every event except the uneven bars.
In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, she participated in the Olympics for the first time at the age of 17. In her very first Olympics, the champion won the gold medal. Since 1992 she hasn't missed a single Olympics and even took part in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics at the age of 46.
She is one of those very few female athletes who joined the field after becoming a mother. Her son, Alisher was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2002. She was offered help from the head coaches of the Toyota cologne club and she decided to move to Germany for her son's advanced medical treatment. She received German citizenship in 2006 and started competing under Germany. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she won the silver medal in the vault final with a score of 15.575.
She also made a record of competing in the Olympic Games as the oldest gymnast at the age of 41 and 2 months in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Also, she made the record of being the only gymnast ever who competed in 7 consecutive olympiads by surpassing the record of Yordan Yovchev of Bulgaria in 2012 who appeared in 6 consecutive olympiads.
Oksana Chusovitina won the gold medal on the vault in the 2003 World Championships after 12 years of her debut. While representing the Soviet Union, she has won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the World Championships. She has won 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals while representing Uzbekistan in the World Championships. Lastly, as a German citizen, she has won a silver medal and bronze medal in the World Championships.
The list of her achievements is unending. Starting at a very early age and still continuing playing even in her 40s requires lots of determination. Her devotion and grit towards the game is inspiring and will definitely inspire a lot of athletes in the future.