I’m Trying Not To Cry (And Failing) At Eight-Time Olympian Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina’s Last Vault Routine

At age 46, the athlete waved goodbye to the audience at her last Olympic Games.

Everyone give it up for gymnast Oksana Chusovitina!

Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

The eight-time Olympian and two-time medalist representing Uzbekistan received a proper and more than well-deserved send-off as she competed at her last Olympics in Tokyo.

Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

She has also previously represented the Soviet Union and Germany, competing in every Olympics since the 1992 Barcelona Games. That year, she won a team gold with the Soviets, and in Beijing’s 2008 Games, she won a silver medal in the vault competition for Germany.

The 46-year-old finished her historic Olympic career with a vault performance, which failed to qualify her for the finals. Her emotional parting elicited many tears and cheers — from spectators, fellow competitors, and even judges.

Standing ovation and not a dry eye in the house for the #ArtisticGymnastics legend Oksana Chusovitina 🇺🇿 as she takes her final @Olympics bow. The 46-year-old today became an 8⃣-time Olympian, competing on Vault for the last time at @Tokyo2020 ❤️ #Tokyo2020 #Olympics

10:00 AM – 25 Jul 2021

Twitter: @gymnastics / Getty Images

I’m fully sobbing right now?!

Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina has officially competed at her EIGHTH Olympic Games. At 46 years old, she competed for one last time and received a standing ovation from her competitors. #TokyoOlympics

01:35 AM – 26 Jul 2021

Twitter: @NBCOlympics

The iconic athlete waved goodbye and tearfully hugged her coach.

“I think I am one of the pioneers to let every woman know that you can be a wife, you can be a daughter, you can be a mother, and you can be an Olympic athlete and an Olympic medalist. Anything is possible, and age is just a number,” she told Inside Gymnastics Magazine back in May.

Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

And she’s right.

Here’s a closer look at her legendary career, which includes 11 world medals and a place in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame beginning in 2017:

Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

She competed in her first Olympics five years before Simone Biles was born.

Oksana Chusovitina 1992 Olympics floor. This is Oksana Chusovitina 8th Olympics!! No words to describe how impressive that is. Forever an icon. Wishing Oksana the best of luck! I’m so excited to watch.

02:03 PM – 24 Jul 2021

Twitter: @Aly_Raisman / Via Twitter: @Aly_Raisman

Here she is, flying her way through her balance beam routine in Barcelona, when she was just 17 years old.

Jean-loup Gautreau / AFP via Getty Images

Here she is in 2004, getting ready to do her vault routine in Athens.

Adrian Dennis / AFP via Getty Images

Here she is just casually upside-down at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Lars Baron / Bongarts/Getty Images

Here she is in the same Olympic Games, sticking the landing after competing on the uneven bars, like the queen she is.

Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP via Getty Images

Here she is with her silver medal — an absolute icon, if I do say so myself (along with thousands of other people more knowledgeable in gymnastics than myself).

Lluis Gene / AFP via Getty Images

Here, she once again defies gravity on the vault during the 2012 London Olympics.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Here she is just absolutely killing it with her landing at the 2016 Rio Games. That’s history right there, and she knows it.

Hector Vivas / LatinContent via Getty Images

Here she is giving a hug to Simone at the same Olympics, which is very personal to me.

Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP via Getty Images

Trying to hold back tears and failing.

And finally, here she is at this year’s Olympics. Her. Last. One.

We will miss you dearly, Oksana!

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