While working on an upcoming project I once again ran into some crazy outliers involving Oksana Chusovitina and they were so baffling I felt compelled to share them.
Oksana Chusovitina has been competing for so long that over half of all medals that have ever been awarded in women’s gymnastics came after Chusovitina’s Olympic debut in 1992. This statistic includes all medals from the World Championships and Olympics. If you are confused as to how this is possible, it is because the World Championships were held only once every four years prior to 1978. Despite women’s gymnastics being an Olympic sport since 1928, the 1993-1996 Olympic quad is the “midway point” when all medals are listed in chorological order.
In the most literal sense, most medalists in all of gymnastics history can say they competed against Oksana Chusovitina.
Oksana Chusovitina has competed in 17 World Championships and 8 Olympics for a total of 25 appearances. Because women’s gymnastics has been held at this level only 60* times, this means Chusovitina has been present in 42% of all Group-1 level competitions that have ever been held in women’s gymnastics history.
*The official number is 61 due to the “split” World Championships in 1994, but I refuse to measure it this way as it credits gymnasts with an extra appearance when there was no change to the number of medals awarded.
Oksana Chusovitina has qualified to vault finals a total of 17 times. Vault Finals wasn’t separated from the team competition until 1968. This means that a “true” vault finals has only been held 47 times in women’s gymnastics history and Chusovitina was present for 36% of them.
Because of the previously mentioned 1968 start date, Oksana Chusovitina’s first career vault finals was closer in time to the first ever vault finals than any vault finals from the 2016 Olympics and onwards.
In women’s gymnastics vault medals were first awarded as a distinct event that gymnasts were eligible to receive medals in starting at the 1950 World Championships. In the years since vault medal ceremonies have been held a total of 56 times. Because Oksana Chusovitina has won ten medals on vault over the course of her career, she has been present in 18% of all medal ceremonies ever held for this apparatus. Nearly 1 in 5 vault ceremonies have featured Oksana Chusovitina.