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Svetlana Baitova-USSR

Svetlana trained at Trade Unions Club in Mogilev, USSR, under her coaches Oleg Mischenko, an G. Kharkevich. She began gymnastics in 1980. Svetlana was the 1986 USSR National Champion, and was second at the 1987 USSR National Championships. She won vault and beam, and was fourth in the all around at the 1987 USSR Cup. She had a disapointing Europeans, only placing tenth. At the 1987 Worlds won a silver with her team and placed 4th in three event finals and in the all around. At the 1988 American Cup she was first on vault, bars, and floor, and was second in the all around. At the USSR Cup, she didn't do as well as she had before, this time placing sixth in the all around and third on beam. At the 1988 Olympics, 1989 US vs. USSR meet, and at the 1989 World Championships she served as the lead off gymnast, going first on almost all events. Because of this, she did not shine individually but her team won gold. Photo by Robert Kensit.

Oana Ban-Romania

Oana is just one of the young Romanians to watch out for. Oana was born on January 11, 1986 in Romania. She was second all around, third on vault, and seventh on floor and beam at the 1999 Jr. Int'l in Japan. At the 1999 Top Gym Tournament in Belgium, she won the all around and was fourth team. Photo by GYMPHOTO.

Irina Baraksanova-USSR
Irina was born in Tashkent, USSR, on July 4, 1969. She was third all around, second floor, third vault, and third on bars at the 1984 Chunichi Cup. She was first team at the Olomouc Games. She was first all around and bars, and second on vault and floor at the 1984 Jr. Europeans. She was second all around, first vault, and first floor at the 1984 Moscow News, and second on bars and beam at the Tokyo Cup. She was sixth all around, first floor, second vault, and third beam at the USSR Cup. She was first bars, second floor, and third beam at the 1984 Jr. USSR Nationals. She was first on bars, and second in the all around and on beam at the 1985 Riga International. She was third at the 1985 USSR Nationals. She was second all around and first beam at the USSR Cup. She helped USSR bring home gold at the 1985 Worlds. She was third at the 1986 American Cup, and first at the Int'l Mixed Pairs. She was firs team and 12th all around at the 1986 USA-USSR Dual Meet.

Alyssa Beckerman-USA

Alyssa is the 1999 Co- National Bronze Medalist on Bars. She trains with Mary Lee Tracey in Cincinati. She made the last spot on the 1999 World Team, but due to a wrist fracture she had to step down :( Photo by Ron Kennedy.

Laetita Begue-France

Laetita was born in Monaco on September 30, 1980. She was a member of the 1992 Junior European Team that brought home a surprising silver to France. And at age 12 she was second on bars at the 1992 Trophee Massilia. She was eigth all around and seventh on bars at the 1993 Jr. Euros. She was sixth at the 1993 World Stars. At the 1993 Int'l Jr she was third on bars, fourth all around, and fifth on beam. At the 1994 Jr. Euros she was second all around, fourth on bars, fifth on beam, and eigth on floor. She tied with Elodie Lussac for the 1994 French National Championship. She won the 1994 City of Popes Cup. At the 1995 French Telecom she won bars, was second on floor, and fourth on vault. At the 1995 French Nationals she was eigth all around, first on vault, and second on beam and floor. She was sixth team and 13th all around at the 1995 Worlds. She was eigth all around, 11th on vault, and tenth on bars at the 1995 Atlanta Invitational. She was the 1996 French National Champ. She was also third on bars, and fourth on beam and floor. At the 1996 USA-FRA Dual Meet she was second team and floor, third on beam, and fifth on bars. She injured her knee while vaulting one day, but her coaches asured her of a spot at the Olympics, and told her to focus on healing her knee. But shockingly Laetita was not on that team. She left Marsilles, and later competed for Monaco at the 1997 Seventh Games of the Small States. She was fourth team, 18th all around (only competed on two events), first on bars, and fourth on beam. Photo by Heather

Ana Maria Bican-Romania

Ana Maria was born on March 3, 1980 in Zarnesti, and began gymnastics in Onesti at the age of 6. She was one of the best vaulters on the 1996 Romanian Olympic Team, but due to a knee injury she sufered during practice, she was not able to compete. At her first international meet, the 1992 City of Popes Junior International, she was fourth in the all around. At the 1992 Jr. European Team Championships, she helped Romania win the gold. At the 1993 Swiss Cup she was fifth, and sixth at the Arthur Gander Memorial. She was sixth in the all around at the 1993 ROM-FRA Dual Meet, and helped Romania win. She was third in the all around, and first team at the 1993 Jr. Europeans. She helped Romania win at the 1994 USA vs. Romania. At the 1994 Goodwill Games, Ana was fourth on the vault, and second with her team. At the 1994 Soapberry Shop Challenge, she was first on vault, third in the all around, and third on bars. She was second at the 1995 American Cup, behind Kristy Powell. But she got her revenge at the 1995 International Mixed Pairs event, and she and her partner (?) won the all around. She was ninth at the 1996 BLR-ITA-ROM-RUS Invitational, and second with her team. Many people believe that if she could have competed in Atlanta, Romania could have won the gold, or atleast the silver.

Olga Bicherova-USSR

Olga was born in Moscow, USSR, on October 26, 1966. She was coached by Boris Orlov at Spartak Moscow. She was second at the 1979 Jr. GDR-USSR Dual Meet. She was seventh a year later. She won the all around, vault, and beam at the 1981 Chunichi Cup. She was 23rd in the all around, and fourth on vault at the 1981 Europeans. She won the Junior Friendship Tournament in 1981. She was fourth at the 1981 USSR Nationals. Olga won the 1981 Worlds, her team shared gold, and she was 8th on bars. She tied with Natalia Yurchenko for the all around at the 1982 World Cup. Olga also won vault and floor, and was second on bars and third on beam. She was seventh at the 1982 USA-USSR Dual Meet. She won the 1983 Europeans in the all around, vault, and floor. She helped USSR capture the 1983 Worlds, and she was fifth on vault. She helped her team win the 1985 University Games. She was sixth at the 1986 Leningrad International. She was first team and 8th alla round at the 1987 USA-USSR Dual Meet. She was tenth at the 1988 Champions All. She married Valentin Mogilny, and they have a son named Alexander. Photo by Robert Kensit.

Yang Bo-China

Yang Bo won the 1988 Moncada Cup. She was the 1989 Chinese National Champion. At the 1990 Paris Grand Prix she was first on bars and beam. She won the 1990 China Cup. At the 1990 World Cup she won beam. At the 1992 Olympics she was fourth with her team. She is the inovator behind the Yang Bo jump that so many gymnasts do today. Photo by Matthew Barber.

Svetlana Boginskaya-Belarus


Svetlana was born on Feb. 9, 1973, in Minsk, USSR. She is a three-time Olympian; a feet that has not been accomplished since Ludmillia Tourischeva in 1972- 27 years ago. She is the 1988 Olympic Vault champion, silver medalist on floor, bronze medalist in the all-around, and gold medalist in team. She is also the 1989 World Champion, and 1991 World Beam Champion. She won a gold medal in the team competition at the 1992 Olympics. She owns an amazing amount of medals: 14! Nine of them are gold! In January, Boginskaya married William Yee in Paris. They met in Houston, where they lived in the same apartment complex. They honeymooned in Hawaii and are expecting their first child, a girl, in September.

Cristina Bontas-Romania

Cristina was born in Onesti, Romanian, on December 15, 1973. Cristina trained at the CSS Onesti under her coaches Mihai and Dorina Sandulescu, until moving to Cetate Deva. Until her retirement she was coached by Octavian Belu. Cristina was the leader of Romanian gymnastics before anyone had even heard of Lavinia, Simona, and Gina. At her first international meet, the 1987 International Japan Junior Invitional, she was second all around, first on vault, second on bars, and second on floor. At the 1988 Jr Euros, Cristina was third all around. At her first World Championships in 1989, she was second team, fourth all around, second on vault, and third on floor. She was third at the 1989 and 1991 Chunichi Cup. She was the 1990 Romanian National Champ. She was the silver medalist at the 1990 Euros on floor. She was fourth at the 1990 and 1991 DTB Cup. At the 1991 Worlds, Cristina was third all around, third team, fourth vault, seventh on bars, eight on beam, and she tied for the gold on floor. She was one of the few gymnasts who qualified for all four events. At the 1992 Olympics, Bontas anchored her nation through the 1992 Olympic Games to the silver. In the all around, she was fourth, behind her teamate and close friend, Lavinia Milosovici. She was fourth on beam and third on floor. After her retirement Bontas coached in Romania before moving to Canada with teammate Vanda Hadarean to work at Mountain Star Gymnastics in Ontario. Earlier this year, Bontas, and her husband, a Romanian who coaches with her at Mountain Star, had their first child. Photo by Sato Takeo.

Amanda Borden-USA
She was born on May 10, 1977. She began gymnastics at age 7. Amanda's teamates voted her team captain of the 1996 Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team. She has been a team gold medalist at the 1996 Olympics, team silver medalist at the 1994 World Championships, alternate at the 1993 World Championships, and 1994 National bronze medalist in the all Around, floor, and bars. She is now a gymnastics commentator.
You can write to Amanda @:
Amanda Borden
c/o Cincinnati Gymnastics
3635 Woodridge Blvd.
Fairfield, OH 45014



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