Tatiana Gutsu (URS/UKR)

Photo by Matthew Barber

1990 Junior European Championships: 1st AA
1990 USA vs.USSR: 4th-AA
1990 World Sports Fair
1990 International Japan Junior Invitational:
1991 World Championships: 1st T, 2nd beam, 2nd bars, 5th AA
1991 European Cup: 1st AA, 1st V, 1st UB, 1st BB, 1st FX
1991 Moscow News: 1st AA
1991 USSR Cup: 1st AA
1991 European Cup: 1st AA
1992 Moscow World Starts: 1st AA
1992 Europeans: 1st AA, 1st V, 1st UB
1992 Olympics: 1st AA, 1st T, 2nd UB, 3rd FX
1992 DTB Cup: 5th AA

The majority of these results were compiled from information found at Gymn Forum

Tatiana Gutsu, often called the "painted bird of Odessa," began gymnastics in the Soviet system at the age of five when she was chosen from her kindergarten class to become a gymnast. The daughter of a railroad worker father and factory worker mother, Tatiana lived in a small apartment with her parents and three sisters. She quickly excelled at gymnastics, and was chosen to move to the Round Lake training center. Her family was rewarded for 'sacrificing' their daughter to the State: they were given a large apartment overlooking the Sea.

Photo used with the expressed permission of OEFC

Despite a lack of form and polish at times,  Tatiana became a lock for the 1992 Olympic team. She was capable of throwing a extremely high degree of difficulty, far beyond that of all of her competitors, and the Soviets were not going to leave her behind. Strong performances at the 1990 Junior Euros (1st AA), 1991 World Championships (5th AA), and 1992 European Championships (1st AA) helped earn her the respect of the judges and gymnastics community, setting her up nicely for a strong showing at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.

At the 1992 Olympic Games, in a controversial move, the Unified team coaches withdrew Roza Galieva from the AA, citing an knee injury that even Galieva did not know she had (!). They replaced Galieva with Tatiana, who originally did not qualify for the AA competition due to an unexpected fall on the balance beam. Tatiana went on to win the title by a narrow margin, becoming the first Olympic Champion to represent her home country of Ukraine. Tatiana split her prize earnings with Galieva, though the two have endured a bitter relationship ever since.

Tatiana's life since the Olympic Games has had its peaks and valleys. Immediately following the Olympics, Tatiana combined exhibition appearances with competitive gymnastics. Due in part to old injuries and as a result of conflict with the Ukrainian system, Tatiana retired from competition in 1993. After a short-lived marriage, Tatiana moved to the United States with her coach, Viktor Diki.

Once in the USA, Tatiana began coaching at a gym in Indianapolis. She was later joined by former Olympic teammate Tatiana Lysenko, and the two roomed together  for awhile. According to IG, Gutsu left the sport of gymnastics altogether for some time and moved to Chicago to work in a department store. Around 1996 she returned to coaching, this time in Detroit.

In 1997, Tatiana appeared in the 1997 Rock 'n Roll Championships. Although she came to the competition ill prepared, it was a pleasant surprise to see her compete once again (even though only at a professional level).

Suffering back pain throughout much of her elite career, Tatiana began appearing in an advertisement for Health Quest, a chiropractice company based in Michigan. This same company serves the Detroit Lions. In her testimonial, Tatiana comments that this therapy has helped her deal with recurring pain.

Tatiana recently attended the 2003 Worlds, where she enjoyed meeting up with friends Alexei Nemov and Valeri Liukin. At the time, Gutsu reported to be busy with choreography. She mentioned working with the Japanese team in the near future.

Gutsu meets up with Nemov and Liukin at the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim, CA in August
Photos courtesy of Grace Chiu

Perhaps THE most surprising comeback for Athens is Tatiana Gutsu, announced in January of the Olympic year. Having gained U.S. citizenship in 2003, Gutsu is no longer able to represent the Ukraine and will try for a spot on the U.S. team (as a three event gymnast, choosing not to train bars). Regardless of the success of the endeavor, Gutsu seems focused on a career in acting in the near future. "I think Hollywood can wait for me [laughs]," Tatiana told IG.

Gutsu was born on September 5th, 1976.

. This page was created on May 1st, 1999 and last updated August 29, 2003.

 

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