Maria Gorokhovskaya

Maria Gorokhovskaya bigraphy, stories - Gymnast

Maria Gorokhovskaya : biography

October 17, 1921 – July 22, 2001

Maria Kondratyevna Gorokhovskaya ( ; October 17, 1921 in Yevpatoria – July 22, 2001 in Tel Aviv) was a Ukrainian-born Soviet gymnast. At the 1952 Summer Olympics, she won seven medals, the most medals won by any woman in a single Olympics.

Competing for Stroityel Kharkov, Gorokhovskaya won her first USSR title on the balance beam in 1948. She came to the Helsinki Olympics as the twofold national champion. Soviet gymnastics had never competed at major international tournaments before, and it was the first Olympics in which the country participated.

The Soviet gymnasts dominated the competition, with Gorokhovskaya leading them. In all four individual apparatus events – the balance beam, floor exercise, the vault and the uneven bars – Gorokhovskaya finished second. This performance earned her the gold medal in the all-around competition, finishing ahead of team-mate Nina Bocharova by eight tenths of a point.

With seven of the eight Soviet gymnasts finishing in the top ten, it was clear that the team gold medal would go to them. Gorokhovskaya won her seventh medal in the now discontinued team exercise with portable apparatus, where the Soviet team finished second behind Sweden.

Gorokhovskaya made one more international appearance as a part of the winning Soviet team at the 1954 World Championships, and retired afterwards. She then worked as a judge (international since 1964) and a lecturer.

In 1990, Gorokhovskaya, who was Jewish, emigrated to Israel. In 1991 Maria was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall Of Fame.

Achievements (non-Olympic)

Year Event AA Team VT UB BB FX RG HB
1947 USSR Championships 2nd
1948 USSR Championships 2nd 1st
1949 USSR Championships 3rd 3rd 2nd 1st
1950 USSR Championships 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st
1951 USSR Championships 1st 3rd 2nd 1st
1952 USSR Championships 1st 3rd 1st 2nd 1st
1953 USSR Championships 1st
1954 World Championships 1st 3rd
USSR Championships 2nd 1st