Gorokhovskaya was a winner of seven medals at the 1952 Olympic
Games in Helsinki, two gold and five
silver. She was the top performer
among all athletes, men and women, at
the 1952 Games.
She won gold in the Individual
and Team All-Around events and silver
medals in each of the five other gymnastic events: Vault, Parallel
Balance Beam, Floor Exercise, and
Team Hand Apparatus.
In the history of the modern
Olympic Games, Gorokhovskaya’s seven
medals rank eleventh (tie) in total
medals won by one woman athlete.
And, her five silver medals rank second
(tie) among all Olympic women. Even
more remarkable, compared to peers
ranked higher on these lists, Gorokhovskaya
is the lone athlete who competed
in only one Olympiad.
1952 was the Soviet Union’s debut year in the Olympic
Games, and Gorokhovskaya’s first gold medal was her
country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal. She was 31
years old at the ’52 Games, an ancient age for world-class
gymnasts, and competed until she was 37. The Soviet Union
awarded Gorokhovskaya its highest sports honor, the Order
of Red Banner, and the Honorary Master of Sport.
to 1954, Gorokhovskaya won numerous Soviet and Russian
championships. In 1954, she competed in the World
Gymnastics Championships and, though a factor in the Soviets
road to a Team gold medal, managed only an Individual bronze
in Floor Exercises.
Gorokhovskaya volunteered for military
service in World War II. She served in Leningrad (now St.
during the German army’s three year siege of the
city, which cost the lives of nearly one million Russians,
nearly her own. She was decorated with the Order of the
Great Patriotic War, as well as other honorable citations.
In the year 2000, Russia issued several sets of stamps
representing the greatest Russian achievements in 20th
century. The nation’s
first Olympic gold medal, won by Gorokhovskaya at the Helsinki
Games in 1952, was commemorated with a two ruble stamp
depicting a pair of images of the celebrated gymnast.
Gorokhovskaya emigrated to Israel
in early 1990, and it was only then that
it became known that she was Jewish.