1970sGymnasticsHighlightsSportsWorldTeam USSR

Gymnastics – 1977 – World Cup Championships – Womens All Around Vault – USSR Elena Mukhina

The sad truth about USSR world champion gymnast Elena Mukhina….seen in this video herewith…..is that she spent the final 26 years of her life in bed or in a wheelchair….after sustaining a spinal injury attempting a dangerous men’s element the Thomas salto during a floor exercise routine just three years after this 1977 World Chp….whereby her condition caused different problems in his heart….which led to her death on December 22, 2006 at age 46.  

The truth remains that Elena Mukhina was one of the greatest gymnasts of all time….while performing elements that are still seen today in gymnastics….such as the deadly pirouette on the ground.  Shortly after her injury, the Thomas salto was banned in women’s gymnastics….and excluded from the scoring code….cuz the risk was too high. Many Soviet gymnasts of the time feel that her coach knew it was too dangerous….but cared little about anything other than achieving his dream of Olympic gold for Mukhina…..who after the accident said….“A human life is worth little compared to the prestige of the nation; they have taught us to believe this since childhood.”

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