Golden Olympic Moments – Gymnastics – Balance Beam
Olympic balance beam champions of women’s artistic gymnastics from 1972 to 2008.
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Olga Korbut (USSR/Belarus) – 1972 Munich
Olga Korbut performed one of the most famous balance beam routines of all time and earned the gold in the process. The routine featured two of her signature skills: the Korbut flip and the standing back tuck, which are still popular moves today.
Nadia Comăneci (Romania) – 1976 Montreal & 1980 Moscow
14-year-old Nadia Comăneci received her 7th perfect 10 score during the beam event finals at the 1976 Games, setting the record for the most number of 10s ever given at a single Olympic Games. Though not in her most perfect physical condition, she successfully defended her Olympic beam title at the 1980 Moscow Games.
Ecaterina Szabo (Romania) and Simona Păucă (Romania) – 1984 Los Angeles
Despite controversially losing the all-around title by 0.05 points to Mary Lou Retton, Ecaterina Szabo made a strong comeback in the event finals capturing gold vault, floor exercise and the beam title. Her teammate, Simona Păucă, the bronze all-around medalist, tied for the gold medal with her innovative and difficult routine.
Daniela Silivaş (Romania) – 1988 Seoul
After a disappointing silver medal finish behind eventual champion Yelena Shushunova by only 0.025 points, Daniela Silivaş redeemed herself by winning a silver on vault and 3 gold medals in bars, beam and floor event finals.
Tatiana Lysenko (EUN/Ukraine) – 1992 Barcelona
Tatiana Lysenko stole the limelight with this immaculate and difficult routine to win the 1992 Olympic beam title over silver all-around medalist Shannon Miller of the United States and the uneven bars champion Lu Li.
Shannon Miller (United States) – 1996 Atlanta
After a disappointing 8th place finish in the all-around competition, Shannon Miller redeemed herself by becoming the first American to capture the balance beam title at the Olympics and the first United States woman to win an individual gold medal at a non-boycotted Olympics.
Liu Xuan (China) – 2000 Sydney
Liu Xuan made the right decision to continue with gymnastics for another 4 years after a disappointing failure to qualify for the beam finals and all-around competition at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. At the 2000 Sydney Games, she won bronze in the all-around competition and the Olympic beam title with a stunningly graceful but difficult routine.
Cătălina Ponor (Romania) – 2004 Athens
Cătălina Ponor won every event she entered at the 2004 Athens Games: the team competition, floor exercise and her best apparatus, the balance beam. She was the only gymnast in that Olympic Games to use the difficult full-in dismount from beam.
Shawn Johnson (United States) – 2008 Beijing
More articles on Greatest Athletes series:
- (Almost) Greatest Female Gymnasts in History
- 10 Greatest Male Gymnasts in History
- 10 Greatest Female Gymnasts in History
- Greatest American Female Gymnasts
- Greatest American Male Gymnasts
- 10 Greatest Female Figure Skaters of All Time
- 10 Greatest Male Figure Skaters of All Time
Articles on the Olympics:
- Unforgettable Summer Olympic Stories
- More Unforgettable Summer Olympic Stories
- Unforgettable Winter Olympic Stories
- More Unforgettable Winter Olympic Stories
- Unforgettable Moments of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
- Unforgettable Moments of The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
- Michael Phelps: The Greatest Olympian of All Time
Golden Olympic Performances:
- Men Singles Figure Skating
- Ladies Singles Figure Skating
- Men’s Gymnastics – Floor Exercise
- Men’s Gymnastics – Pommel Horse
- Men’s Gymnastics – Still Rings
- Men’s Gymnastics – Horizontal Bar
- Men’s Gymnastics – Parallel Bars
- Women’s Gymnastics – Uneven Bars
- Women’s Gymnastics – Balance Beam
- Women’s Gymnastics – Floor Exercise