Svetlana Boginskaya

Svetlana Boginskaya

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Svetlana Boginskaya

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Svetlana Leonidovna Boginskaya (born February 9, 1973 in Minsk) is a Soviet/Belarusian gymnast. She was called the "Belarusian Swan" and the "Goddess of Gymnastics" due to her height, balletic grace, and long lines. She is especially renowned for the drama and artistry she displayed on floor exercise. Boginskaya is a three-time Olympic Champion, winning an individual gold medal in Vault at the 1988, and team golds in 1988 and 1992.


Boginskaya was a figure skater for several years, but began gymnastics at age six. Two years later, she moved from Minsk to train full-time at the Moscow Round Lake Gymnastics Center. By age fourteen she was a member of the Soviet national team. She won her first medal, a bronze for balance beam, during the 1987 World Championships. She became one of the best gymnasts on the Soviet team and was expected to place very well at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. She finished the games with 4 medals - team gold, gold on Vault, silver on the Floor and the All-Around bronze. It was a huge accomplishment for the young athlete in an Olympic Games that revolved around the duel between her teammate Elena Shushunova and Romania's star Daniela SilivaƟ.

However, the joy from her success would be short-lived. Boginskaya's long-time coach Lyubov Miromanova tragically committed suicide just three days after the Olympics. Miromanova had been a surrogate mother to her, as she coached and cared for Boginskaya since she moved...
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