Maria Gorokhovskaya made history by winning seven medals in gymnastics at the 1952 Olympics, the greatest number of medals a woman had won in a single Olympic Game. Gorokhovskaya volunteered as a nurse at a Leningrad hospital during WWII throughout the brutal German siege of the city, and was awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War. She then focused on her gymnastics, winning her first national title in the USSR in 1948, which made her an obvious choice for the 1952 Olympics—the first time the USSR participated. At the Olympics, she won silver medals for balance beam, floor exercise, horse vault, and uneven parallel bars, racking up a cumulative high score that earned her a gold medal for all-around competition. She also led her team to a silver medal for portable equipment events (such as balance beam and parallel bars) and a gold medal for all-around performance. Two years later, at the World Championships, she won a bronze medal for floor exercises and helped the USSR win the gold medal for the team event. She then retired and became a gymnastics coach. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Gorokhovskaya made Aliyah to Israel in 1990. In celebration of her athletic accomplishments, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Maria Gorokhovskaya." (Viewed on December 15, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/gorokhovskaya-maria>.