Photograph by AFP/Getty Images
Oksana Chusovitina, Barcelona 1992 – Rio 2016
If longevity was an Olympic event, gymnast Oksana Chusovitina would certainly be in the running. She’s competed in seven Olympic games, which is impressive for any athlete but downright astonishing when it comes to a sport usually reserved for teenagers like gymnastics. Her first medal, a gold for the team competition, came in 1992 with the unified team made up of former Soviet Union republics. She competed in the next three games with her native Uzbekistan, but after her 3-year-old son Alisher was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, she moved with her family to Germany so he could receive treatment. In 2008, competing with the German team 16 years after her first Olympic medal, she won a silver in the vault competition. This year, as the 41-year-old mother of a teenage boy, she finished seventh in the Rio vault competition.
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