It is now 9:55 pm Saturday, June 16, 2001 |
The Swan of Belarus
Svetlana Boguinskaia has made her mark upon a sport that has long been dominated by young girls. Almost unheard of, she has been able to maintain her competitiveness in gymnastics for more than a decade. Boguinskaia has participated in three Olympic Games. In 1988 at the age of 15, while competing for the Soviet Union, Svetlana earned four medals: Gold Medals in the team competition and vault, Silver in the floor exercise and Bronze in the all-around competition. In her first major competition after the Olympics, Svetlana won three golds at the 1989 European Championships. Her success continued as she won the all-around competition and the vault in addition earning gold as part of the Soviet Team at the 1989 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
Svetlana participated in her second Olympic Games in 1992 as part of the "Unified Team" that took home the Gold Medal in the team competition. She also finished the Games in fifth place in the all-around competition. Boguinskaia retired from competitive gymnastics after the 1992 Olympics. After a two year hiatus, Svetlana launched a comeback in 1995. She moved to Houston, Texas, and trained with Bela and Marta Kirolyi. The first international meet of her comeback was the 1995 Visa Challenge where she took fourth in the all-around after a disappointing fall on floor exercise. At the age of 23, Svetlana Boguinskaia competed in her third Olympics. This time she competed under the flag of Belarus...Svetlana has earned a total of five Olympic medals and seven World Championship medals in her career...Svetlana is especially renowned for her dramatic movements and artistry in the floor exercise. She is one of the tallest female gymnasts at the world-class level.
Svetlana Boguinskaia began gymnastics in 1981 after competing in figure skating as a child. She was born and raised in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Her father is a carpenter and mother is a nursery school teacher. Her mother lives in the apartment in Belarus that Svetlana was given for her gymnastics success. She has an older brother, Igor, who works for a movie equipment factory. Svetlana moved to the United States in February 1994. When she first arrived, she lived in Massachusetts where she learned to ride horses. Svetlana enjoys riding in her free time...Svetlana's future plans include modeling, product endorsements and one day opening a gym of her own. She also aspires to a career in broadcasting...When Svetlana is not training, she enjoys cooking, relaxing with friends and dancing. She also takes lessons to perfect her English.
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