Olga Korbut Biography
Talent Shows Early, Raising The Bar In Gymnastics, A Worldwide Favorite, Athlete Turns ActivistCONTACT INFORMATION
Olga Korbut brought qualities to Olympic gymnastics that few had seen before. She brought innovation—her backwards flips from the balance beam and the uneven bars became a staple of the sport's repertoire. She brought youth—Korbut and her American peer Cathy Rigby were the standard-bearers of gymnastics' new breed of teenage prodigies. And she brought a smile—Korbut freely expressed the joy and pain behind her craft, countering the image of Soviet athletes as stoic and inaccessible. As Sports Illustrated writer Leigh Montville put it, "she was 85 pounds of pigtailed détente, flipping her way into the American consciousness."
Sketch by Susan Salter
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