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Elena Davydova is best known for winning the Olympic AA title over Nadia Comaneci in 1980. Davydova’s rise to the top of gymnastics had actually started long before then. She had first squared off against Nadia all the way back in 1976 at the American Cup. But injury and simple bad luck had plagued Davydova’s career for most of the Olympic 1977-1980 quad.
After missing both the 1978 and 1979 World Championships, Davydova’s career caught fire in the months leading up to the 1980 Olympics. The timing could not have been any more perfect. Davydova would finally make her debut at the World Championships in 1981 where she won the second AA medal of her career. Despite all her previous accomplishment Davydova pressed on and continued to compete in 1982, refusing to quit until injuries finally caught up with her.
Few gymnasts possessed as much heart as Davydova due to her perseverance to continue high level competition even after winning the most prestigious prize in all of gymnastics. Davydova is currently a coach in Canada. Amongst her pupils are 2012 Olympian Kristina Vaculik and Ana Padurariu.
World Championships & Olympic Competition:
American Cup: 3rd-AA
Antibes International: 1st-AA
Chunichi Cup: 3rd-AA
Riga International: 2nd-AA, 1st-VT, 1st-UB, 1st-BB, 3rd-FX
USSR Championships: 2nd-AA, 3rd-VT
Champions All: 4th-AA
USSR Championships: 1st-UB
USSR Championships: 3rd-UB
USSR Cup: 3rd-AA
Chunichi Cup: 1st-AA
Coca Cola International: 4th-AA, 3rd VT, 4th UB, 4th BB, 1st FX
USSR Championships: 1st-AA
USSR Cup: 1st-AA
Olympics: 1st-AA, 1st-Team, 2nd-BB
World Championships: 3rd-AA, 1st-Team, 3rd-UB, 2nd-FX
USSR Championships 1st-AA, 1st-VT, 3rd-UB, 1st-FX
Results are taken from Score for Score, The Gymternet, GymnasticGreats, My Meet Scores, Gymn-Forum, the official websites of various national gymnastics federations, newspaper clippings, classic gymnastics magazines, and in some cases, were provided by the gymnasts themselves. An explanation for the meaning of these symbols can be found here.