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Natalia Shaposhnikova started her career training alongside Ludmilla Turischeva at the Dynamo club in Rostov-on-Don. From an early age the young Shaposhnikova was frequently seen in training footage as cameras frequently visited the legendary gym to film Turischeva, who at this point was the top ranked gymnast in the world. At the age of 14 Shaposhnikova was one of the final contenders for the 1976 Olympic team, but was not selected for the final lineup. Instead Natalia would make her lone Olympic appearance in 1980.
Shaposhnikova spent most of her career under the tutelage of Turischeva, first as a training partner and later as a coach. Shaposhnikova would then do the same for Natalia Yurchenko who was four years younger and trained in Shaposhnikova’s shadow. Turischeva, Shaposhnikova, and Yurchenko were something of a dynasty having all belonged to the same club in the 1970s. All three gymnasts are members of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Shaposhnikova is credited with being the first to do a giant swing on the uneven bars in women’s gymnastics. The skill would make her one of the most recognizable names amongst fans. Many know the move simply as “Shaposh” and it has since become a ubiquitous gymnastics term.
World Championships & Olympic Competition:
USSR Championships: 3rd-AA, 2nd-FX
World Cup: 3rd-AA, 1st-VT
USSR Cup: 1st-AA
USSR Championships: 3rd-AA, 1st-VT, 2nd-UB, 2nd-BB
World Championships: 3rd-AA, 1st-Team
World Cup: 3rd-AA, 1st-VT, 2nd-BB, 2nd-FX
World Championships: 2nd-Team
European Championships: 3rd-AA, 3rd-VT, 1st-BB, 2nd-FX
USSR Cup: 1st-AA
USSR Championships: 1st-AA, 3rd-UB, 1st-BB, 2nd-FX
USSR Cup: 2nd-AA
Olympics: 1st-VT, 3rd-BB, 3rd-FX, 1st-Team
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.