A member of the Soviet Union's gymnastics team at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics (the first time the Soviets sent a delegation to Olympic competition), Gorokhovskaya won seven medals; two gold and five silver!
She won gold in the individual and team all-around events. Maria also won silver medals in the vault, parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and team hand apparatus. Her seven medals ranks her 11th in total medals won by a female athlete, but she is the lone athlete to have won all seven of her medals in only one Olympiad.
Born in the Ukraine, Gorokhovskaya won her first Soviet championship in 1948 in the balance beam. Four years later, she was a member of the Soviet team that dominated the Olympic Games. Then, at the 1954 World Championships, Maria finished third in the floor exercise, fourth in the vault, and seventh in the all-around and helped the Soviet Union capture the gold medal in the team event. It was her final international competition.
Based on archived world rankings from www.worldgymrank.com, Gorokhovskaya was the world's top ranked female gymnast from 1952-1954. In 1955, she was ranked No. 2. Gorokhovskaya emigrated to Israel in 1990, and only then was it learned that she was Jewish. Following this discovery, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 17, 1921
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)