Gymnastics History: Olympic Champions – WAG Beam


This is the fourth post in our new series “Gymnastics History: Olympic Champions”. Over the coming months we will be looking back at former Olympic Champions and also a chance to see how our sport has developed over the years. Every Friday in the lead up to the Olympics in July, Full Twist will post a new article in this series. We will continue this series with the Women’s Balance Beam Champions of Olympics past. Where possible we have included results,scores and videos where available.

1952 Helsinki Olympic Games

  1. Margit Korondi (HUN)
  2. Maria Gorokhovskaya (URS)
  3. Agnes Keleti (HUN)

1956 Melbourne Olympic Games

1. Agnes Keleti (HUN) 18.799

2. Eva Bosakova (TCH) 18.633

2. Tamara Manina (URS) 18.633

1960 Rome Olympic Games

  1. Eva Bosakova (TCH)
  2. Larissa Latynina (URS)
  3. Sofia Mouratova (URS)
1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

  1. Vera Caslavska (TCH) 19.449
  2. Tamara Manina (URS) 19.399
  3. Larissa Latynina (URS) 19.382
1972 Munich Olympic Games

  1. Olga Korbut (URS) 19.400
  2. Tamara Lazakovich (URS) 19.375
  3. Karin Janz (GDR) 18.975
1976 Montreal Olympic Games

  1. Nadia Comaneci (ROM) 19.950
  2. Olga Korbut (URS) 19.725
  3. Teodora Ungureanu (ROM) 19.700
1980 Moscow Olympic Games

Nadia Comaneci (ROM)
Elena Davydova (URS)
Natalia Shaposhnikova (URS)
1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games
1. Simona Pauca (ROM) 19.800
1. Ecaterina Szabo (ROM) 19.800
3. Kathy Johnson (USA) 19.650
1988 Seoul Olympic Games

  1. Daniela Silivas (ROM) 19.924
  2. Elena Chouchounova (URS) 19.875
  3. Gabriela Potorac (ROM) 19.837
1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

1. Tatiana Lysenko (EUN) 9.975
2. Li Lu (CHN) 9.912
2. Shannon Miller (USA) 9.912
1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

  1. Shannon Miller (USA) 9.862
  2. Lilia Podkopayeva (UKR) 9.825
  3. Gina Gogean (ROM) 9.787
2000 Sydney Olympic Games

  1. Xuan Liu (CHN) 9.825
  2. Ekaterina Lobazniouk (RUS) 9.787
  3. Elena Prodounova (RUS) 9.775
2004 Athens Olympic Games

  1. Catalina Ponor (ROM) 9.787
  2. Carly Patterson (USA) 9.775
  3. Alexandra Georgiana Eremia (ROM) 9.700
2008 Beijing Olympic Games

  1. Shawn Johnson (USA) 16.225
  2. Nastia Liukin (USA) 16.025
  3. Cheng Fei (CHN) 15.950
Provided that they are selected to compete in the London 2012 Games, many gymnasts from this quad could become the 2012 Olympic Balance Beam Champion. Who do you think it might be? Jordyn Wieber, Catalina Ponor, Aliya Mustafina, Larisa Iordache, Viktoria Komova, Sui Lu? Who did I leave out who is also in contention?  Leave a comment below and let’s discuss.


  1. Susan says:

    wow its crazy to see how much beam has changed from olga korbuts simplicity and grace to shawns difficulty and power! as regards 2012? Im not sure but i think komova has a great beam WHEN she hits. It will be interesting to see what liukins beam is like.

  2. Admin says:

    It is amazing to see how beam has evolved, I’ve really found that with doing the WAG apparatus in this series. It’s so strange how a backwalkover in the 70’s was a “wow” move!

  3. Sherajn says:

    oh How i miss 3 or 4 LOSO’s in a row 🙁

  4. Aoife says:

    Amazing that Daniella Silivas and Catalina Ponar had almost identical tumbling passes in their routines – Flip, layout layout and flip layout two foot landing even though they won their titles almost twenty years apart.

  5. Larisa says:

    Romania rules!!!

  6. Joe says:

    I want Ponor to win!

  7. Laura Anne says:

    So many gymnasts that could potentially medal… one of the Americans could get gold – you’re going to have 5 potentially great beam routines whoever makes that team. Iordache and Ponor have a chance. Mustafina if she can hit. Lauren Miller has had 2 silvers during this quad, and now she’s back from injury and no longer doing bars, she has more time to focus on cleaning up and getting confidence on her routine. I’d love to see Whelan getting a medal – her difficulty was up there with the Romanians at Euros, if she can clean up on execution…and hit…anything could happen.

    Beam is one of those funny competitions where a great beamer can come in 8th if they have a fall. I mean Johnson fell twice in the 07 finals, then next year was beam olympic champion!

  8. Tough-Crowd says:

    Just discovered these articles, they are awesome!!!!

    Although there’s no doubt beam evolved a lot over the years, I feel like these days it has became so very predictable.
    Expect to see the same combos and almost no originality at all.
    It seems like EVERYONE does a “front walkover+back flip+layout”, for example.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge gymnastic fan and I do find thrilling to watch it, but it seems like in the old days there was always something unexpected coming at our way.
    I rarely see gymnasts taking chances, perhaps they are not being rewarded enough, so… why risk it, right?
    I wonder if code changes will be made after the Olympics.

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