Gymnast: Vitaly Scherbo

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Vitaly Scherbo is one of the most successful male gymnasts in history. He was unstoppable in the early to mid-'90s in men's gymnastics, winning dozens of world and Olympic medals.

Olympic Prowess:

Scherbo had one of the most dominant Olympic competitions of all time in Barcelona in 1992. He won gold with the Unified team, and then in the all-around, pommel horse, rings, vault, and parallel bars. It was an incredible performance, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in gymnastics.

Only swimmers Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps have won more golds in a single Games.

In 1996, Scherbo proved that his Barcelona success was no fluke. He won four more bronze medals, in the all-around, vault, parallel bars, and high bar. Though frustrated not to win any golds, Scherbo showed he was still at the top of the sport, four years later.

A World Title on Everything:

To add to Scherbo's impressive Olympic resume, he is also the only male gymnast so far in history to have won a world title on every event, as well as the all-around and with his team. Scherbo won the all-around in 1993; floor in 1994, 1995, and 1996; tied for the pommel horse gold in 1992; win rings as well in 1992; vault in 1993 and 1994; parallel bars in 1993 and 1995; and high bar in 1994. He was part of the Soviet team that won gold in 1991.

All in all, he earned 12 world championship gold medals.

The All-Time Best:

Scherbo has been considered to be on the short list as the greatest male gymnast of all time, with many (including About.com) ranking him at the top.

His record has gone unchallenged until recently, when Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura has made his own case for the no. 1 spot. Uchimura won three consecutive world titles from 2009-2011, as well as the all-around silver at the 2008 Olympics and all-around gold in 2012. Though his overall medal count doesn't match Scherbo's yet, and he hasn't won titles across nearly as many events (he's won a world title on floor in addition to the all-around) -- Uchimura is still currently competing, with ample opportunity to add to his medal haul.

Personal Life:

Vitaly Scherbo was born Jan. 13, 1972, in Minsk, Belarus. He competed for the Soviet Union until 1991, then as part of the Unified team at the 1992 Olympics, once the USSR was dissolved. After 1992, he represented Belarus in international competition.

Scherbo is married to Irina Tchernilevskaya, and the couple has one daughter, Kristina, born in 1993. Scherbo opened the Vitaly Scherbo School of Gymnastics in 1998 in Las Vegas, Nev., where he is currently the owner and boy's team head coach.

Gymnastics Results:

International:
  • 1996 Olympic Games: 3rd all-around; 3rd vault; 3rd parallel bars; 3rd high bar
  • 1996 World Championships (Only Individual Events Contested): 1st floor; 2nd parallel bars; 3rd high bar
  • 1995 World Championships: 2nd all-around; 1st floor; 3rd vault; 1st parallel bars
  • 1994 World Championships: 3rd all-around; 1st floor; 1st vault; 1st high bar
  • 1993 World Championships: 1st all-around; 2nd floor; 2nd vault; 1st parallel bars; 3rd high bar
  • 1992 Olympic Games: 1st team; 1st all-around; 1st pommel horse; 1st rings; 1st vault; 1st parallel bars
  • 1992 World Championships (Only Individual Events Contested): 2nd floor; 1st pommel horse (tie); 1st rings
  • 1991 World Championships: 1st team; 2nd all-around; 2nd floor; 2nd vault; 3rd high bar


Next:
Men's Gymnastics Basics
Men's Gymnastics Rules & Judging
The Illustrated History of the Sport
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