Zinaida Voronina

Zinaida Voronina

Zinaida Voronina, born 'Zinaida Borisovna Druzhinina' (also 'Druginina') (Russian: Зинаида Борисовна Дружинина Воронина), on 10 December 1947 in , Russia, was a Soviet gymnast who competed at the European, World, and Olympic level from the mid 1960s to early 1970s.

Voronina's major debut came at the 1966 World Championships in Dortmund, Germany, where, as a member of the 1966 Soviet team, she also won a bronze medal on the floor exercise with an enthusiastically received 9.933, which was the highest individual score of any gymnast - male or female - at those games. (Due to scores carried over from the team competition, Natalia Kuchinskaya and Vera Caslavska placed higher than Voronina in the medal standings.)

She went on to further successes at the European and Olympic level, winning several individual medals over the next 4 years, most notably at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics where she won the individual all-around silver behind Caslavska.

Around the time of the 1968 games, she married fellow soviet gymnast, European and World All-Around Champion and Olympic Vault and High Bar Champion Mikhail Voronin. She had a child with him shortly thereafter and came back to further successes at the 1970 World Championships, among other games. She attempted to make the Soviet team for the 1972 Olympics, but in a deep field including Ludmilla Tourischeva, Olga Korbut, and Tamara Lazakovich, she only placed 10th in the individual all-around at that year's USSR Championships and did not make it onto the team for that summer's games in Munich.

Saddled with a very difficult childhood (alcoholic mother, father she never met), Voronina's post-competitive life was punctuated by, as a gymnastics coach, struggling with alcoholism. She was divorced from her husband, Mikhail, in 1980, and spent the remainder of her years working in a factory in Balashikha, Russia, dying in March, 2001, at only 53 years old.

In 1969, she was awarded the Soviet award for gymnasts, "Order of the Badge of Honor".


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