Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, 46, receives emotional standing ovation from her fellow competitors in Tokyo after bowing out of her record EIGHTH consecutive Olympic Games
Oksana Chusovitina, the 46-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan, has received an emotional standing ovation after bowing out of her record eighth Olympics.
The veteran has competed at every Summer Olympiad since Barcelona 1992, and has said the Tokyo Games this summer will be her last one.
When she exited following Sunday’s qualifying round with an average score of 14.166 after two vaults, she was hailed loudly by her fellow competitors and coaches, reducing her to tears of joy.
Oksana Chusovitina received a standing ovation from the crowd, reducing her to tears of joy
She said: ‘It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time.
‘I didn’t look at the results, but I feel very proud and happy. I’m saying goodbye to sports. It’s kind of mixed feelings.
‘I feel very good to be here. But this will for sure be my last Olympics. I’m 46 years old. Nothing is going to change it. I’m alive, I’m happy, I’m here without any injuries, and I can stand on my own.
The Uzbekistan gymnast (pictured), 46, was competing at her record eighth Olympic Games
‘When I started gymnastics, I never thought about the Olympics. I just started with the sport and loved to do gymnastics. I’m very proud of what I have achieved, to be in the sport, and want to thank everyone involved in it.’
In response to the ovation, she waved, made the ‘OK’ sign and held up a heart with her hands.
In a long, storied, decorated career, Chusovitina has won one Olympic and three World Championship gold medals, was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2017 and surpassed countless expectations.