Olexandra Tymoshenko

Olexandra Tymoshenko bigraphy, stories - Gymnast

Olexandra Tymoshenko : biography

18 February 1972 –



Olexandra Olexandrivna Tymoshenko () born 18 February 1972 in Boguslav, Ukraine, USSR) is a former Soviet Individual Rhythmic Gymnast. She is the 1992 Olympics champion, 1988 Olympics bronze medalist, 1989 World All-around champion, 1991 World All-around silver medalist and four time (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991) European All-around champion.


She started gymnastics in 1980 at age 8 and she retired at age 20 in 1992. She was coached by the famous mother/daughter combination of Albina and Irina Deriugina. Olexandra won the All-Around Bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics she won the Gold.

When Olexandra was seven, her father (a construction engineer) was invited to work in Kiev. There Alexandra started training at the Deriugins School of Rhythmics. Tymonshenko’s rise to gymnasts was when she placed 7th-place at the 1987 European Junior Championships on her first major international result. At age 14 , she became The Junior Soviet Champion and, shortly after, collected three medals at a European championships: a gold for the Rope, a silver for the Hoop and a bronze for the Ribbon. Then, during a regular Soviet competition, she placed second behind the top of the Soviets, Marina Lobach of Belarus, and so won the right to go to the 1988 European championships.

At the 1988 European Championships in Helsinki, Finland she shared the All-Around title with two Bulgarians, Elizabeth Koleva and Adriana Dunavska. There she also won 3 golds – Hoop, Clubs and Rope. Several months later she won the All-Around Bronze at the Seoul Olympics, and after that she became the USSR All-Around Champion for the first time.

Timoshenko continued her rise in 1989, taking five out of six golds at the Sarajevo World Championships. Her streak would continue through numerous other international competitions, although she started to feel the pressure from up-and-coming teammates. She would grab her second European title in 1990, but spent the rest of the year she begin to struggle with the steadily rising Oksana Skaldina. In 1991, Timoshenko seemed poised to earn her second World title after a very strong early season. However, in Athens Timoshenko’s difficulty level could not match Skaldina’s and the former World Champion had to settle for silver. Inconsolable, though at the event finals she was able to sweep the Gold medals on all 4 apparatus.

The ex-USSR countries went to the competition as a Unified Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona,Spain. Nevertheless, Timoshenko would set to win the Gold medal in All-around ahead of teammate and then reigning World champion Oksana Skaldina.


Although the Ukrainian Federation tried to convince her to continue after the 1992 Olympics, Timoshenko opted to retire from the sport at only 20 years old. She enrolled in the Goethe Institute to study German language, while simultaneously completing her studies at the Kiev University of Physical Culture and Sports. She spent some time coaching in Germany before getting married and making the permanent move to Wien, Austria.