LATYNINA Larissa (1934) Ukraine / Gymnastics
This beautiful Soviet gymnast was queen of the floor for over 10 years. She remained unbeaten for seven whole years. She won three gold medals in that exercise in 1956, 1960 and 1964.Besides being so strong on the floor, she excelled on several different types of apparatus, making her the sportswoman who has won the most medals at the Games. In her twelve-year international career, she carried away 18 medals - 9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze. An absolute record!The ultimate perfectionist, the Ukrainian athlete composed the music to which she performed, based on folk songs. She revolutionised the floor exercises, creating completely original movements.At the end of her brilliant competitive career, she became a gymnastics teacher and was the national coach until the early Eighties.