Olympic gymnastics is one of the few sports dominated by tiny competitors. Frequently teenagers, gymnasts are usually small because this is an advantage when it comes to performing gracious acrobatic feats, such as somersaults and handsprings.
At 5 feet 5 inches tall, Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina is the tallest female Olympic gymnast to date. As this height is unusually tall for the sport of gymnastics, Khorkina had to incorporate new moves into her routines that worked with her stature while showing off her skills. There are eight moves named after Khorkina in the Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points, which is an unprecedented number for any gymnast.
Khorkina first competed at the Olympic Games in 1996 in Atlanta at 17 years old, winning a gold medal on the uneven bars. Her final Olympic appearance was in Athens in 2004, where she lost out on the gold medal to United States gymnast Carly Patterson.
After retiring from gymnastics, Khorkina went into politics. She has held several positions within national and international gymnastics federations. Despite towering over her competitors, Khorkina is regarded as one of the best gymnasts of the 1990s and early 2000s.Learn more about Olympics