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Ma Yanhong is simply put, a legend. Not only was she the first star gymnast to emerge out of the Chinese program, Ma Yanhong was the first gymnast to break Eastern Europe’s stranglehold on the sport. Gymnasts such as Cathy Rigby and Marcia Frederick had managed to win an occasional medal for the American program, Ma Yanhong was the first person to do it repeatedly.
For as impressive as her career was, Ma Yanhong was even better than her medal count suggests. Politics denied her the opportunity to compete at both the 1978 World Championships and the 1980 Olympics. She also competed as a Chinese athlete in an era where allegations of anti-Chinese judging bias bore particular scrutiny in competition reports.
World Championships & Olympic Competition:
Asian Games: 1st Team, 1st UB
Shanghai International: 1st AA, 1st UB
World Championships: 4th Team, 1st UB
Alternate Olympics: 6th AA, 1st BB
TBS Cup: 1st UB, 2nd VT, 1st BB
USA-CHN Dual Meet: 3rd AA
World Championships: 2nd Team, 4th AA, 2nd UB, 5th FX
Chinese Championships: 1st AA, 1st UB, 2nd BB
USGF International Invitational: 6th AA, 1st UB, 1st FX, 4th BB
World Cup: 4th AA, 4th UB, 4th BB, 4th FX, 7th VT
Chinese Championships: 6th AA
TBS Cup: 1st UB, 1st BB
World Championships: 5th Team
Beijing International: 1st AA, 1st VT
Catania Cup: 7th AA
Olympics: 3rd Team, 6th AA, 1st UB, 5th BB, 6th FX
USA-CHN Dual Meet: 1st UB, 1st BB, 3rd AA
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.