Larisa Latynina – Soviet gymnast
Larisa Latynina (nee – Diriy) is a Soviet gymnast, nine-time Olympic champion (1956, 1960, 1964), Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1956), repeated World and European champion (1957- 62), the USSR champion (1956-64) in the individual and team competitions, honored coach of the USSR (1972), honored worker of physical culture of the Russian Federation.
Until 2012 record of US swimmer Michael Phelps – 22 medals, Larisa had the largest collection of Olympic medals in the history of the sport – 9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals. Latynina is also known for the fact that at the European Championship in 1957 she won all the gold medals.
Larisa Semenovna was born on December 27, 1934 in Kherson, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. Her father, Diriy Semyon Andreyevich (1906-1943), was killed in the Battle of Stalingrad. Her mother, Barabanyuk Pelagia Anisimovna (1902-1975), was a cleaning woman. Since her childhood Larisa dreamed of the ballet. She joined choreographic studio at House of Folk Art. When the studio was closed Larisa became involved in gymnastics. In 1950 she became a member of the national team of Ukraine at the Championship in Kazan.
In 1953, Larisa graduated from high school and entered the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. She successfully performed at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Bucharest, where she received her first gold medal. Soon she transferred to the Institute of Physical Culture.
In 1954, the USSR national team won the first place at the world championship, and Larisa won the first gold medal of the world champion.
She was an absolute Olympic champion in 1956 and 1960. In 1958 and 1962 Larisa became an absolute world champion, and the world champion in the team competition in 1954, 1958, 1962; the absolute champion of Europe in 1957, 1961.
In 1968, 1972, 1976 Latynina was a coach of the Olympic team of the USSR in gymnastics. She was a member of the organizing committee Olympics-80.
Larisa is an author of the books: Balance (1975) and Gymnastics through the years (1977) and some others.
Latynina was awarded the Order of Lenin (1957), the Order of Friendship of Peoples (1980), Badge of Honor (1960, 1965, 1972), the Order For Services to the Motherland (2015, 2010, 2004), the Order of Honor (1999), the Order of Princess Olga (2002), the silver Olympic Order.
In 2012, Larisa Latynina and Michael Phelps became the faces of the brand Louis Vuitton.
Ivan Ilyich Latynin was her first husband. Their daughter, Tatiana Latynina, was born in 1958. They have two grandchildren – Konstantin (born in 1981) and Vadim (born in 1994).
Larisa’s son Andrei died.
Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Academician of the Russian and the International Academy of Science in Electrical Engineering, Yuri Izrailevich Feldman, became her third husband.