Larysa Latynina

A great gymnast from the Soviet Union, Larysa Latynina, is regarded as the most bemedalled female athlete of all-time in the Olympics.  She collected a total of 18 medals in the sport of gymnastics (nine of them are gold).

In the 1956 edition of the Olympic Games, she captured gold medals in the all-around, floor exercise, horse vault and the team events. In 1960, she reigned supreme in the all-around and floor exercise and helped Russia capture the gold medal in the team event. In 1964, she won her third straight gold medals in the floor exercise and team competitions.

Latynina’s record-setting overall medal haul of 18 in the Olympiad was unbroken in 48 years and her total individual event medal of 14 was untouched for 52 years. A prolific swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States smashed the two records that were established by Latynina.

She also happens to be one of only four athletes to have captured nine gold medals and one of only three female athletes to win the same event (team event and floor exercise) at three consecutive times. 

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