4x Olympic Gold Medalist
2x Olympic Silver Medalist
In 1994, Olga was named one of the Sports Illustrated ‘s 40 greatest athletes. Also included were: Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Orr, Arnold Palmer, Pele, Richard Petty, Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Secretariat and among others.
Olga is a highly decorated athlete with four Olympic gold medals to her credit, but it is not this feat for which she is most remembered. The media whirl which surrounded her 1972 Olympic debut caused a surge of young girls to join their local gymnastic clubs, and a sport which had seldom been noticed previously now made headlines. 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.
In 1988, Olga was the first gymnast to be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
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