Tamara Manina

Tamara Manina

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Tamara Manina

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Tamara Ivanovna Manina () (born September 16, 1934, Petrozavodsk) is a retired Soviet Olympic gymnast and a sports scientist. She competed for Burevestnik sports society, in Leningrad.

Her family lived in Petersburg (and later in Leningrad), but Manina was born in Petrozavodsk, where her father was on a long mission. During the German-Soviet War she was evacuated from besieged Leningrad into Tashkent. She returned into Leningrad in 1944 and began gymnastics at the Leningrad Young Pioneer Palace in the same year. She was called "Monia the bird" by groupmates for her graceful and light vault.

Competing as a junior, she won the all-around title at the USSR Nationals in 1953, and became a candidate for the USSR team. In the same year Manina debuted at the senior USSR Championships, placing 12th in the all-around. Between 1953 and 1964 Manina successfully competed in many national and international events.

One of Manina's most successful performances took place at the 1954 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where she earned several gold medals on vault, on the floor and in the team competition. At the 1956 Olympics she rivalled Ágnes Keleti, Larisa Latynina, as well as other strong competitors, and placed 6th in the all-around, but managed to win silver medals on vault and balance beam. She also contributed to the team's gold and bronze medals. The USSR team won more gold medals, than any other country at that year's Olympics. In one of her interviews Manina said,...
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