Olga Korbut Performs Her Incredible Flip At The 1972 Olympics

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Gymnastics has always been my favorite Olympic sport to watch and root for every time they roll around again.

Sure, the other events are pretty exciting too, but the way these athletes can swing their bodies around in gravity defying flips and tumbles will never fail to make my jaw drop. Even goofy acts, like comedian Paul Hunt, still require an intense level of training and dedication that can’t be topped.

Of all the amazing skills shown off — floor routines, balance beams, and more — the one that always keeps me on the edge of my seat? The uneven bars. I’m constantly afraid one of the athletes will conk their head on one of the bars, but so far I’ve never seen that actually happen.

There have been plenty of other exciting moments, though, like when Ludmilla Tourischeva performed her routine with class and grace despite the apparatus collapsing at the end.

At the 1972 games, Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut amazed everyone with her own unique spin on the uneven bars. And by spin, I mean she was spinning in the air like gravity meant nothing to her. The short routine includes what would become known as the “Korbut Flip” at about the :10 mark, and it is seriously incredible!

Despite the breathtaking move, however, Korbut only managed to tie for the silver medal that year. The famous flip has also since been banned from competitions due to safety fears, which is completely understandable as you anxiously watch Korbut fly through the air. Just imagine having that much of an impact on your sport at only 17 years old!

Take a look at the stunning routine below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

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