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Olga Korbut, Soviet gymnast.

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Olga Korbut

Korbut, Olga, Soviet gymnast, winner of three gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany.

Born in Hrodna, in the former Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR; now the republic of Belarus), Korbut entered a government sports school at age 11 and by the end of the 1960s was among the best Soviet gymnasts. Although she lost the individual all-around competition at the 1972 Olympics to a teammate, she attracted attention with her three gold medals and youthful enthusiasm. She received one of her gold medals as a member of the winning Soviet team and also took individual gold medals in the balance beam and the floor exercises, plus a silver medal on the uneven bars.

In 1973 her presence on a Soviet gymnastics team touring the United States attracted record crowds.

She was also a member of the Soviet team for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Although she was overshadowed by the rising young Romanian star Nadia Comaneci, Korbut won a gold medal as a member of the winning team and a silver medal for her performance on the balance beam.

She subsequently retired from international competition and eventually became a gymnastics instructor.

Korbut was active in relief efforts in the wake of the Chernobyl' nuclear reactor accident in 1986, which took place near her home in Minsk, in what is now Belarus. She subsequently moved with her family to the United States, settling in Atlanta, Georgia.

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