Famous 20th Century Gymnasts

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Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Gymnasts

 1 
Mary Lou Retton
(Artistic gymnast)

Mary Lou Retton
18
Birthdate: January 24, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fairmont, West Virginia, United States

Retired gymnast Mary Lou Retton, known for her trademark, The Retton Flip, made history by becoming the first American female gymnast to win an individual Olympic gold medal and was the first gymnast named to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. She later became a motivational speaker.

 2 
Olga Korbut
(Gymnast)

Olga Korbut
6
Birthdate: May 16, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Grodno

Olga Korbut is a former gymnast who represented the Soviet Union in two Olympic Games, winning four gold medals and two silver medals. Nicknamed the Sparrow from Minsk, Korbut also participated in the 18th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships where she won two gold medals and four silver medals. In 1988, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. 

 3 

Shannon Miller
11
Birthdate: March 10, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rolla, Missouri, United States

Shannon Miller is a former artistic gymnast who is one of the most decorated US female gymnasts in Olympics history. She is the winner of seven Olympic medals, including the five she won at the 1992 Olympics, and 16 World Championships.  She is a member of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.   

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 4 

Dominique Dawes
13
Birthdate: November 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Known as Awesome Dawesome, Dominique Dawes is a retired star gymnast from the U.S. who was part of the gold-winning team at the Atlanta Olympics. She also became the first African-American to earn an individual Olympic medal, with her bronze. She is also part of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

 5 

Svetlana Boginskaya
5
Birthdate: February 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus

Known as the Belarusian Swan, Svetlana Boginskaya started off as a figure skater before moving on to gymnastics at age 6. By 14, she was part of the Soviet national gymnastics team. The three-time Olympic champion is now settled in Texas and owns businesses that provide gymnastics camps and apparel.

 6 

Nadia Comaneci
9
Birthdate: November 12, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Onești, Romania

Nadia Comaneci is a Romanian former gymnast. One of the best-known gymnasts in the world, Comaneci has five Olympic gold medals under her belt. Credited with popularizing gymnastics around the world, Nadia Comaneci was honored by the Laureus World Sports Academy by including her in their Athletes of the 20th Century list in 2000.

 7 
Mads Mikkelsen
(Danish Actor Known for His Role in Films: 'Pusher', 'Casino Royale' and the Series 'Hannibal')

Mads Mikkelsen
4
Birthdate: November 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Østerbro, Denmark

Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor best known for his portrayal of Le Chiffre in the 2006 spy film Casino Royale, which earned him international recognition. One of the most celebrated and decorated Danish actors of his generation, Mads Mikkelsen has received several prestigious awards such as the Bodil Award, European Film Academy Achievement award, and Cannes Film Festival Award.

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 8 
Nellie Kim
(Artistic gymnast)

Nellie Kim
5
Birthdate: July 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shurab, Tajikistan

 9 
Věra Čáslavská
(Czechoslovak Artistic Gymnast Considered the Greatest in Czech History)

Věra Čáslavská
4
Birthdate: May 3, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: August 30, 2016

Věra Čáslavská was a Czechoslovak artistic gymnast who won 22 international titles, including 11 European Championships, four World Championships, and seven Olympic gold medals. The most decorated gymnast in Czech history, Čáslavská is the only gymnast to have won at least one Olympic gold in each individual event. In 1998, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

 10 
Kerri Strug
(Artistic gymnast)

Kerri Strug
8
Birthdate: November 19, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tucson, Arizona, United States

Kerri Strug is a retired gymnast who was a member of the all-around women's gymnastics team that represented USA at the 1996 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. She began training in gymnastics as a child. She was mentored by coach Béla Károlyi and made her way to the US national team. She became a teacher after retirement. 

 11 
Dana Brooke
(Professional Wrestler)

Dana Brooke
12
Birthdate: November 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Seven Hills, Ohio, United States

Gifted with a chiseled body, Ashley Mae Sebera, better known as Dana Brooke, was initially a diver and a gymnast but switched to bodybuilding and fitness championships after repeated injuries. She later gained fame as a WWE wrestler. Equipped with a fashion degree, she also launched a boutique.

 12 

Ludmilla Tourischeva
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Grozny, Russia

 13 
Bart Conner
(Gymnast)

Bart Conner
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

American gymnastics legend Bart Conner is the only male gymnast from his country to have won gold medals at all levels of national and international competition. A 2-time Olympic gold medalist, he also has a journalism degree. He now runs a gymnastics academy with his wife and Romanian Olympic champion Nadia Comaneci.

 14 

Yelena Shushunova
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 16, 2018

 15 
Simona Amânar
(Artistic gymnast)

Simona Amânar
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Constanța, Romania

 16 
Aurelia Dobre
(Artistic gymnast)

Aurelia Dobre
8
Birthdate: November 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

Aurelia Dobre is a Romanian former artistic gymnast who won three gold medals at the 24th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 1987. In the same World Championships, she won two bronze medals. In 1988, she helped her team win the silver medal at the Summer Olympics. In 2016, she was made an inductee of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

 17 
Kurt Thomas
(Gymnast)

Kurt Thomas
4
Birthdate: March 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: June 5, 2020

Kurt Thomas was a gymnast who became the first American male gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 1978. He won six medals at the world championship in 1979 and was also the James E. Sullivan Award winner that year. He appeared in the 1985 film Gymkata. 

 18 

Daniela Silivaș
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deva, Romania

Daniela Silivaș is a Romanian former artistic gymnast. She is best known for winning six medals (three gold, two silver, and one bronze) at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She also earned six individual World Championships titles in her five-year tenure as a Romanian senior national team member. She became a coach after retiring in 1991. 

 19 
Alexei Nemov
(Gymnast)

Alexei Nemov
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tengushevsky District, Russia

 20 
Ecaterina Szabo
(Artistic gymnast)

Ecaterina Szabo
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zagon, Romania

 21 
Vitaly Scherbo
(Artistic gymnast)

Vitaly Scherbo
6
Birthdate: January 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus

 22 
Márta Károlyi
(Gymnastics coach)

Márta Károlyi
4
Birthdate: August 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania

Márta Károlyi is a Hungarian-born Romanian-American gymnastics coach. She was the former national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics. Her husband, Bela, is also a prominent gymnastics coach, and between them, the couple has trained nine Olympic champions, fifteen world champions, sixteen European medalists, and many US national champions. She retired from coaching in 2016. 

 23 
Valeri Liukin
(Gymnastics coach)

Valeri Liukin
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aktobe, Kazakhstan

Known as Olympic champion Russian-American gymnast Nastia Lukin’s father, Soviet gymnast Valeri Liukin has himself won 2 gold and 2 silver medals at the Olympics. Part of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, he became a successful gymnastics coach in the US and also coached the Brazilian national women's gymnastics team.

 24 

Oksana Chusovitina
6
Birthdate: June 19, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bukhara, Uzbek SSR, USSR

 25 
Regina Weber
(Rhythmic gymnast)

Regina Weber
4
Birthdate: April 12, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Winsen, Germany

 26 
Agnes Keleti
(Gymnast)

Agnes Keleti
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Agnes Keleti is a Hungarian-Israeli former artistic gymnast and coach. A former Olympic and world champion, Keleti won 10 Olympic medals including two bronze medals, three silver medals, and five gold medals. She is regarded as one of the most successful Jewish Olympians of all time. In 2001, Agnes Keleti was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.  

 27 

Larisa Latynina
6
Birthdate: December 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kherson, Ukraine

 28 
Dianne Durham
(Gymnast)

Dianne Durham
4
Birthdate: June 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: February 4, 2021

Dianne Durham was an artistic gymnast who won the all-around senior title at the women's US National Championships in 1983, becoming the first African American athlete to do so. She suffered from injuries that put a premature end to her brilliant career, and she had to retire in 1985. Later on, she ran the Skyline Gymnastics school in Chicago. 

 29 
Mitch Gaylord
(Gymnast)

Mitch Gaylord
5
Birthdate: March 10, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Apart from being an Olympic gold medalist, US gymnast Mitch Gaylord also experimented with acting. He scripted history by becoming the first gymnast from the US to score a perfect 10 in the Olympics. He later starred in American Anthem and worked as a stunt double in Batman Forever.

 30 
Vanessa Ferrari
(Artistic gymnast)

Vanessa Ferrari
3
Birthdate: November 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orzinuovi, Italy

 31 
Paul Hunt
(Gymnastics clown)

Paul Hunt
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Illinois, United States

Once a US national champion, gymnast Paul Hunt also made use of his sense of humor, often performing comic-relief routines, dressed in skirts, using pseudonyms such as Paulina and Pauletta. A talented coach, he was forced to shut down his gymnastics academy in Salt Lake City due to COVID-19.

 32 
Julissa Gomez
(Artistic gymnast)

Julissa Gomez
4
Birthdate: November 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Died: August 8, 1991

Though born to working-class parents, Julissa Gomez was encouraged by them to train for gymnastics at an early age. An Olympic hopeful, Gomez suffered a devastating head injury at an event in Japan, rendering her paralyzed and in a coma for days. She eventually died, prompting safety reforms in gymnastics.

 33 
Gina Gogean
(Athlete)

Gina Gogean
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Campuri, Romania

 34 
Liang Chow
(Sports coach, Artistic gymnast)

Liang Chow
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Beijing, China

Chinese former artistic gymnast and the owner of Chow’s Gym, Liang Chow has over 30 international gold medals in his kitty. He later moved to the US, where he focused on coaching. He is known for training Olympic gold medalists such as Gabby Douglas and Shawn Johnson.

 35 
Jaycie Phelps
(Artistic gymnast)

Jaycie Phelps
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Part of the Magnificent Seven that won the US its first Olympic gold in the women’s team gymnastics competition, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Jaycie Phelps had started training at age 4. She now runs the Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center in Indiana, training the kids of her hometown.

 36 
Bridget Sloan
(Artistic gymnast)

Bridget Sloan
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Bridget Sloan is an American artistic gymnast who won the silver medal in the women's artistic team all-around competition at the Olympic Games in 2008. The following year, she won the gold medal in the all-around event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Bridget Sloan has also won gold medals at the Pan American Games and the Pacific Rim Championships. 

 37 
Christy Henrich
(Artistic gymnast)

Christy Henrich
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Independence, Missouri, United States
Died: July 26, 1994

A US National Championship silver medalist, gymnast Christy Henrich was once told by an event judge that she was fat and was required to lose weight. This reportedly pushed her into an irreversible downward spiral of anorexia nervosa, which eventually caused her death at 22 and later triggered major gymnastics reforms.

 38 
David Jacobs
(Trampolinist gymnast)

David Jacobs
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sheboygan, Wisconsin, United States

American trampoline gymnast David Jacobs first gained attention after winning the synchronized trampoline title at the 1966 Trampoline World Championships. He later won 2 more World Championship golds and a silver. He is also known for an impromptu appearance on the hidden-camera reality show Impractical Jokers.

 39 
Gabby Logan
(Presenter and a former international rhythmic gymnast)

Gabby Logan
5
Birthdate: April 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leeds, England, United Kingdom

 40 
Dwain Weston
(Skydiver, BASE Jumper)

Dwain Weston
4
Birthdate: January 31, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Australia
Died: October 5, 2003

 41 
Maddy Curley
(Actress, Artistic gymnast)

Maddy Curley
4
Birthdate: December 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tallahassee, Florida, United States

Maddy Curley was initially part of the UNC-Chapel Hill gymnastics team. She later also starred in the gymnastics movies Stick It and Chalk It Up. In the film Terminator: Dark Fate, she performed as a body double for Linda Hamilton. She has also been part of the Teach for America campaign.

 42 
Samantha Peszek
(Artistic gymnast)

Samantha Peszek
4
Birthdate: December 14, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Part of the Olympic silver-winning team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Samantha Peszek has also won a gold each in the World Championship and the Pan American Games. The daughter of a USA Gymnastics senior official, Luan Peszek, Samantha reportedly received death threats amid the Larry Nassar sex-abuse case.

 43 
Elena Mukhina
(Gymnast)

Elena Mukhina
4
Birthdate: June 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 22, 2006

 44 
Amanda Borden
(Artistic gymnast)

Amanda Borden
4
Birthdate: May 10, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Amanda Borden captained the gold-winning US gymnastics team, known as the Magnificent Seven, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The Cincinnati-born athlete is now a mother of three and runs the Arizona-based Gold Medal Gym, where she trains budding young gymnasts. She also works as an commentator for sports channels such as ESPN.

Gísli Örn Garðarsson
4
Birthdate: December 15, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Iceland

 46 
Tim Daggett
(Artistic gymnast)

Tim Daggett
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Part of the team that scripted history by winning the US its first men’s gymnastics Olympic team gold, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Tim Daggett himself scored a perfect 10 on the high bar. His career was also riddled with injuries. Post-retirement, he became a coach and an NBC analyst.

 47 
Laurent Landi
(Gymnastics coach)

Laurent Landi
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Antibes, France

Laurent Landi is a French-American retired gymnast who represented the French national team during his competitive career. Landi is best known for his achievements as an artistic gymnastics coach. Over the years, he has coached accomplished gymnasts like Madison Kocian, Simone Biles, Alyssa Baumann, and Briley Casanova.

 48 
Tatiana Gutsu
(Gymnast)

Tatiana Gutsu
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Odesa, Ukraine

 49 
Li Ning
(Gymnast)

Li Ning
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Liuzhou, China

Legendary Chinese gymnast Li Ning not only has 3 Olympic gold medals in his kitty but is now also a billionaire entrepreneur and the owner of a self-titled sports apparel and equipment brand. Starting training at age 8, he later earned the unofficial title of the Prince of Gymnastics in China.

 50 
Bela Karolyi
(Gymnastics Coach Known for Developing the Romanian Centralised Training System for Gymnastics)

Bela Karolyi
15
Birthdate: September 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Bela Karolyi is a prominent gymnastics coach who developed the Romanian centralized training system for gymnastics.  His wife, Márta Károlyi, is also a gymnastics coach and together they have trained numerous Olympic, European, and World champions. The couple has been credited with transforming gymnastic coaching in USA. Many gymnasts have called him out for his abusive coaching style.