|Birth Day:||May 16, 1955|
|Birth Place:||Grodno, Belarus|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
Her first trainer was the Olympic gold medalist Elena Volchetskaya.
Korbut was born in Grodno to Valentin and Valentina Korbut. After World War II, the family moved to Grodno from Dubniaki (small town near Kalinkavichy). She started training at age 8, and entered a Belarusian sports school headed by coach Renald Knysh at age 9. There, Korbut's first trainer was Elena Volchetskaya, an Olympic gold medalist (1964), but she was moved to Knysh's group a year later. Initially he found her "lazy and capricious" but he also saw potential in her great talent, unusually supple spine, and charisma. With him, she learned a difficult backward somersault on the balance beam. She debuted this at a competition in the USSR in 1969. The same year, Korbut completed a backflip-to-catch on the uneven bars; this was the first backward release move ever performed by a woman on bars.
She finished fifth at her first competition in the 1969 USSR championships, where she was allowed to compete as a 15-year-old. The next year, she won a gold medal in the vault. Due to illness and injury, she was unable to compete in many of the competitions before the 1972 Summer Olympics.
At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Korbut's acrobatics and open high-level gymnastics brought her much fame. To this day, the back tuck and Korbut Flip are still very popular (2003 world beam champion Fan Ye performed both in her routine).
Korbut, who has won four Olympic gold medals, is best known for her move, the "Korbut flip", a backflip performed on the uneven parallel bars, starting from a standing position on the high bar and then catching the same bar from below on the under swing. She was also achieved the flip on the 4" balance bar onto the straddle position and later the flip landing on her feet. Named after Korbut since she was the first to perform the skill at an international competition in 1972, the move has since been made illegal in the Olympic Code of Points. After the 1972 Olympic competition, she also met United States President Richard Nixon at the White House. About the meeting, Korbut said: "He told me that my performance in Munich did more for reducing the political tension during the Cold War between our two countries than the embassies were able to do in five years." In addition to greatly publicizing gymnastics worldwide, she also contributed to a marked change in the tenor of the sport itself. Prior to 1972, the athletes were generally older and the focus was on elegance rather than acrobatics. In the decade after Korbut's Olympic debut, the emphasis was reversed. Korbut, in her 1972, gold-medal Olympics, at 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m) and 82 pounds (37 kg), exemplified the deliberate and purposeful trend toward smaller women in the sport.
Korbut is most famous for her uneven bars and balance beam routines, as well as her charismatic performances that captivated audiences. Her Olympic achievement earned her ABC's Wide World of Sports title of Athlete of the Year. In 1973, she won the Russian and World Student (i.e., University) Games, and a silver medal in the all-around at the European Championships.
In a Peanuts comic strip published on 15 May 1973, the character Snoopy is seen doing balance beam positions with flawless precision on top of his doghouse for three panels until coming to a rest in the fourth one saying: "Olga Korbut has been bugging me for lessons!"
At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Soviet coaches and officials had designated Korbut as the woman who could beat the Romanian prodigy, Nadia Comăneci, but Korbut was injured and her performances in the games were sub-par. She was overshadowed not only by Comăneci, but also by her own teammate Nellie Kim. She did collect a team gold medal, and an individual silver medal for the balance beam.
Korbut graduated from the Grodno Pedagogical Institute in 1977, became a teacher, and retired from gymnastic competition thereafter. She married Leonid Bortkevich, who was a member of Belarusian folk band Pesniary. The couple had a son, Richard, born in 1979. In 1988 Korbut was the first gymnast to be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
In 1991, she and her family emigrated to the United States, because they were worried about the effects of fallout from the Chernobyl disaster on Belarus. They settled in New Jersey, where she taught gymnastics. They moved to Georgia two years later where she continued to coach. Korbut and Bortkevich divorced in 2000; she became a naturalized U.S. citizen the same year. In 2002 Korbut moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, to become head coach at Scottsdale Gymnastics and Cheerleading. Korbut faced Darva Conger on an episode of Celebrity Boxing which aired on 22 May 2002. Conger won by unanimous decision. Korbut lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. She now works with private gymnastics pupils and does motivational speaking.
In 1999 she spoke out about alleged sexual assault and rape she suffered at the hands of her coach, Renald Knysh, which he denied. Later in 2018 Korbut appeared in a TV show in which she again spoke out about several incidents in which she alleged that her coach sexually assaulted her. As a result of Korbut speaking out publicly, several other gymnasts who had also trained under Knysh spoke of similar incidents corroborating Korbut's allegations.
In 2017, Korbut sold her 1972 and 1976 Olympic medals amongst thirty-two lots (including two golds and a silver from the Munich Olympics) which fetched $333,500 at Heritage Auctions. This was reportedly done "to save her from hunger" though auction house spokesman Elon Werner and Korbut herself have strongly denied this claim.
Olga's son, Richard, was born in 1979. Olga was married to Leonid Bortkevich from 1978 to 2000.
Currently, Olga Korbut is 67 years, 1 months and 12 days old. Olga Korbut will celebrate 68th birthday on a Tuesday 16th of May 2023. Below we countdown to Olga Korbut upcoming birthday.
Birthday: Olga Korbut
Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 62.