Facts about Larisa Latynina, the gymnast with most Olympic gold medals

Thu 26 August 2021 | 9:00

Here we would get to know some of the most intriguing top facts about Larisa Latynina who is widely revered as the record holder for the most Olympic gold medals by a gymnast, male or female, collecting 9 gold ones.

Larisa Latynina is a Ukrainian


who is honoured to make his national side, Soviet Union, a dominant force in gymnastics.

She succeeded to be the only woman to have won nine Olympic gold medals and is the only sport women who at some point has kept the record for most Olympic gold medals.

Needless to say, in the sport of gymnastics, she is regarded as the only woman who has received an all-around medal in more than two Olympiads, and the only female athlete who has won an individual event (floor exercise) in more than two Olympiads, as well as one of the only three women who have ever bagged each individual events at either the World Championship or Olympic level.

About more of her mind-blowing feats, one can suggest that she is also the only female gymnast to have won team gold, all-around gold and an event final gold at the same Olympics not for once but quite spectacularly for twice as she made these feats in 1956 and then the next four years, in 1960.

She managed to take a medal in every event she competed in, with the exception of the 1956 balance beam event where she earned the fourth.

Finally, she became retired following the 1966 World Championship and as a coach, she led the Soviet national gymnastics team until 1977.

Top facts about Larisa Latynina that you might want to know

Here we have put together everything there is to know in regard to top facts about Larisa Latynina from her performance in each Olympics to the slightest details of her personal life affairs.

Between 1956 and 1964 Larisa Latynina succeeded to get 14 individual Olympic medals as well as four team medals. This record of bagging a total of 18 Olympic medals remained unbeaten for a long period of 48 years.

Likewise, she kept the record for winning 14 individual event medals for around 52 years. That is to say from 1964 until 2012, she was assumed to be the Olympian who had the most medals anchored to her name more than anybody else.

She remained so until Michael Phelps (the man in the above image) smashed her record of 18 medals and moved it up to 22 medals. If you are eager to know who else was about to beat her record you can check in to the

Olympic games top 10 medal winners


In this regard, she indicated in the Time Magazine saying, "I'm quite happy there is a man in the world who can overcome my record, finally." Moreover, with winning 9 gold medals, she earned the second spot on the list of most Olympic gold medalists.

One of the most amazing

 facts about Larisa Latynina

is that while the Soviet Union hosted the World Gymnastics Championships in 1958, she managed to collect a total of six medals (5G, 1S).

This feat is still assumed to be the single greatest performance in the history of the World Championships. Most terrifically of all is that she performed so spectacularly while she was four months pregnant with her daughter Tatyana without the awareness of her coach or team members.

On that point, she quoted as saying in an interview with The New York Times: "I couldn't say anything because they wouldn't have allowed me to participate."

Larisa Latynina facts in brief

General information

  • Full name

    : Larisa Semyonovna Latynina

  • Date of birth

    : 27 December 1934

  • Age

    : 86

  • Place of birth

    : Kherson, Ukraine

  • Nationality

    : Ukrainian

Physical status

  • Height

    : 161 cm (5 ft 3 in)

  • Weight

    : 52 kg (115 lb)


  • Representing country:

    Soviet Union

  • Discipline

    : Artistic gymnastics

  • Level

    : Senior international

  • Gym

    : Round Lake national training center, Burevestnik Kyiv

  • Time of retirement

    : 1966

Personal information

  • Marital status

    : Married

  • Current spouse

    : Yuri Feldman 

  • Daughter

    : Tatyana Ivanovna Latynina

  • Mother

    : Pelageya Anisimovna Barabamyuk (1902–1975) 

  • Father

    : Semyon Andreevich Diriy (1906–1943)

Larisa Latynina childhood and family

Larisa Latynina was born to her mother Pelageya Anisimovna and her father Semyon Andreyevich Diriy in Kherson of Ukrainian SSR in an era of the cold war.

Therefore it is inferable that

Larisa Latynina life story

was not that of a cloudless one knowing that her father left his wife and daughter behind, as Larisa was just eleven months old and even had not even known her dad.

Her mother was still hopeful that her spouse would come back, so she wrote letters for him and until the arrival of the war she, fortunately, received a reply. It seemed that her husband was regretful about his deeds and asked for the pictures of his daughter.

But unluckily the war intervened and he was killed at the Battle of Stalingrad, when he was serving as a machine gun operator and did not find the opportunity to get acquainted with his daughter while his name has been carved on the monument in Volgograd among many other names.

Thus her mother who was an uneducated simple village woman, took the burden of that difficult life alone as she tried her utmost to raise her daughter in the most decent way with working as a cleaner in the days, and as a watchman at the nights.

With her tireless works, she gave Larisa everything that was needed to send her to school as Larissa tried to learn from the best of all so as to compensate for part of her sacrifices.


Larisa Latynina childhood

she had an outstanding and determined character who wanted to be the best in every field therefore she transcended other peers in all aspects of games, education, and hobbies.

Aside from studying, she was attracted to the ballet as a paid Studio was opened in the city, where she was taught by chiropractor Nikolai Stesso.

At that time she was aspiring to become a ballerina, as she was not forbidden by her mother in spite of the fact that the fee of classes was 50 rubles, which was almost half of their salary.

As she progressed in dancing, she was dreamed to become the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi theatre, and at the same time, because of her immense talent, she was redirected towards gymnastics by her teacher.

While she was so much immersed in both of the arts, she was receiving a barrage of praise from both of her choreographer, Stesso and her first coach, Mikhail Sotnichenko.

As both of the arts were pulling her into various paths, the move of her choreographer from Kherson, ended her dilemma. Therefore as the choreography Studio was closed and classes were stopped, she professionally pursued gymnastics.

As the basics of ballet gave her elasticity, expressiveness and the skill to improvise, she managed to perform beautiful movements that had the capability to exercise the soul.

When she quickly exceeded her friends in the gymnastics who were both older and more experienced than her, the coach, Mikhail Sotnichenko (the man in the image above) understood that she might get conceited.

Thus he made his bests to keep her grounded by giving her impossible assignments. That is to say, he enlightened her that she must earn the first spot not only in training and competitions but also in everyday life, with being always ready to help people and be on a par with others.

At the end of the world war in 1945, Larisa lost both of her parents while she graduated from high school in 1953, and then moved to Kyiv. She joined the Lenin Polytechnic Institute and went on with her training at the Burevestnik Voluntary Sports Society.

When she was 19 years old, she made her international debut at the 1954 Rome World Championships, winning the gold medal in the team competition so as to start cementing the Soviet dominance in gymnastics at the time when athletic prowess was used as a propaganda tool for the nation's Communist ideology.

Larisa Latynina gymnastics career

In regard to top

facts about Larisa Latynina,

it is pertinent to suggest that she was not an impeccable


right from the beginning, for instance as she failed to succeed at the all-Union championship of 1950 in Kazan, she cried alone for a few hours, yet there is no denying the fact that she was very talented.

But she was determined enough to be inspired by that unfortunate defeat and intensified her practices to the end of not only becoming the first master of sports in the city but also earned the fourth spot at the Kharkov championship of gymnastics among adult athletes.

Likewise, at the xiii world Championships in Rome in 1954, she represented the team of the USSR and became the champion by receiving his first gold medal for floor exercise.

Although she gained a huge honour and worldwide recognition there, it was proved to be just an auspicious start of a true illustrious sports career and as a result, her major colourful medals were yet to come.

When she was 21 years old, she debuted at the Olympics, in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. In the all-around event, she fought off tough competition so as to bag the gold medal.

She ended up being first in the vault, second in the uneven bars and the exercise on the floor and fourth in the balancing beam. She also grabbed a triumph in the Soviet Union Team Event.

Then she performed very successfully in the 1958 World Championships, and notwithstanding her being four months pregnant, she won five out of the six existing titles and collected medals from every event.

As she was the favourite for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, her participation saw the Soviet Union grab the first four places in the all-around event, and as a result, she also secured a victory in the team competition by a margin of nine points.

Besides, she defended her floor title, got silver medals in the balance beam and uneven bars events, and bronze in the vault event. Afterwards, at the 1962 World Championships by defeating Věra Čáslavská of Czechoslovakia, she won all-around titles.

But at the 1964 Summer Olympics, Čáslavská defeated her in the all-around competition. Yet, she managed to collect two more gold medals as she won the team event and the floor event both for the third time in a row.

Moreover, a silver medal and two bronzes in the other apparatus events made her tally of Olympic medals reach the eighteen numbers consisting of nine gold medals, five silver, and four bronze.

Otherwise stated, she won a medal in every event she took part in, aside from the 1956 balance beam where she was placed in the fourth position.

Eventually in 1963, in Tokyo, Latynina for the last time captained the Soviet gymnastic team, and after a few more years that she contributed to the international tournament, she gradually receded into the background.

One of the most incredible top

facts about Larisa Latynina

is that as of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, she and Věra Čáslavská are still considered to be the only gymnasts to receive the gold medal in the individual all-around in successive Olympic Games.

Larisa Latynina Coaching career

With gaining such a welter of experiences in her gymnastics career, it is no wonder to see her become the coach of the USSR for a span of full ten years, from 1966 to 1976.

At the helm of the women’s national team of the USSR, they received gold medals at the Olympic games in 1968, 1972 and 1976.

She also succeeded to raise prominent


s, including shining stars as the likes of Lyudmila Turischeva, Olga Karasev, Larisa Petrik, Lyubov Burda, Tamara Lazakovich, Nellie Kim, Antonina Koshel and many others.

Larisa Latynina personal life

Considering top facts about Larisa Latynina, it is notable to indicate that she married three times. So it is no surprise to see her personal life to be suffused with many twists and turns.

Firstly, while she was studying at the Polytechnic Institute, she met her first husband Ivan Latynin who was a merchant Navy. It seemed that they had a happy life together so Laura gave birth to her first child, a daughter called Tatiana in 1958.

But their happiness did not last for a long time as the spouses found that they are strangers to each other rather than companions.

So they broke down their relationship very quietly and without any kind of scandals as Laura prefers to forget that chapter of her life.

It is crystal clear that the family for Larissa was always in the second priority after sport since she performed at the World Cup being four-month pregnant with her daughter Tatiana.

That is to say, Tatiana was born just after five months that her mother got a world all-around title. Not to mention that seven months after her birth, Latynina contested at the national championships as well.

But hopefully, she did not hesitate to raise and bring up her daughter with all of her passion and enthusiast. One of the top facts about Larisa Latynina is that her daughter did not follow in her footsteps.

Because Tatiana choose dancing as a profession and danced in the legendary ensemble «birch» for a while and went on tour abroad, where she eventually met her future husband, Rostislav.

Although back then the marriage between the daughter of a Soviet champion and a foreigner was turned out to be a true scandal; as time goes by, everything has changed.

Currently, Tatiana has a happy life with her husband as they are blessed with two children and live in Moscow possessing a chain of restaurants there.

But apparently, Larisa's love life did not end with her first marriage as she got married to another man whom she prefers not to reveal his identity.

Although he gave Larisa, some of the best moments of her life, after he lived with Larisa for about ten years from her being 36 years old to 46, he left her too.

The one who had given her the most blissful moments of her life, deceived her by the illusion of love and made her go through a hardly curable wound.

But her sorrow and suffering were intensified as her son Andrew who had a special place in her heart passed away as well for an undisclosed reason.

As she was left with such a huge mountain of agonies, another man entered her life and helped her to be healed from that dismal memories.

They first met each other at the recreation centre. Her romance with Yuri Feldman began with some usual small talks and then culminated in marriage as they are still together since 1985.

Yuri Izrailovich Feldman is a part of the Russian Academy of Electrotechnical Sciences and is a retired competitive cyclist as well.

Currently, the couple lives in their own house joyfully, as Larisa Semenovna enjoys agriculture, gardening, breeding livestock and poultry. Hopefully, she found that missing happiness in simple family pleasures, that she was deprived of in her tight athletic youth.

Larisa Latynina body measurements, net worth and social media

A huge part of Larisa's success in her gymnastics profession was due to her pretty and stunning body frame. Precisely as saying she stands 5 feet 3 inches tall (161cm) and weighs around 52 kg (115 lbs). She also has a blonde dark brown hair color.

As she has established a successful career, it is no wonder to see she has been earning a whopping amount of money.

More specifically it is to be said that

Larisa Latynina net worth

is estimated to be around $1.5 million US dollars as she might be living a lavish and luxurious lifestyle.

Moreover, as she has currently a non-public life, perhaps because of her old age, she does not have any activity on Instagram or other social networks. But at the times, she comments on various occasions.


Read More:

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.