Tatiana Gutsu – photo shoot

The 1992 Olympic Champion, Tatiana Gutsu, was never one of my favourite gymnasts. I recall being very disappointed that she won in Barcelona.

I’ve not heard good things about Tatiana as a coach, either. (I hope I heard wrong.)

Gymnastics…and other things linked to quite a good recent photo shoot, however.

LT Photo Studio

I didn’t have the heart to embed a horrible fluff video. Nor a horrible Gutsu montage.

If you’ve got something good to say about the Olympic Champion, please add a comment.

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

52 thoughts on “Tatiana Gutsu – photo shoot”

  1. She came to my gym for a clinic when I was 10 and had just made the team. I remember it as quite a good experience actually. Maybe if I’d had her as a long-term coach I’d think different. I remember she had us do this toe-curl race that was extremely difficult and I came in last :( But she did pick me to do some demonstrations on beam! She was showing me correct posture and handstands, and there is this picture of me with her doing the demos and my face is beet-red…I was trying so hard to impress her that I forgot to breathe! One thing she did say during that time that stuck with me was to imagine pinching a penny with your shoulder blades in order to have good posture when your arms are out to the side.

  2. It makes me sick seeing her with that medal. She cheated. The Soviets cheated. The judges cheated and no one wants to fix it.

    She is now an adult living in the US. It’s about time she be a grown up and give back the medal she cheated to get.

    YES I know she was 15 and did what he coaches told her to do when she entered an AA she didn’t earn but that doesn’t change the facts that now 18 years later she know’s she cheated and needs to fix it.

  3. That video montage is disturbing. Bad taste.
    Didn’t mind her as a gymnast, good skills, decent choreography, just nothing that “overly amazing” about her gymnastics. The early nineties was a fantastic time in our sport, with some of the most memorable and beautiful performers, and yet, although she won gold at Barcelona, she doesn’t stick in my mind as even making my top 10 of that time… Maybe that’s just me!

    1. sickofthis is referring to the fact that she did not actually qualify for the AA final. But that the Russian coaches scratched another gymnast so she could get in. And win.

  4. I think Gogean had a better double layout, actually. She was quite good on bars. Sure, she had tricks on beam but she was boring to watch. Her beam dismount was cool. In 1991, her whip through to double layout pass on floor was awesome, but her floor routines were always unbearable to watch. She actually had a really good meet at the 1992 Euros and looked crisper than the Olympics.

  5. I am refering to the judges also. Nelli Kim giving out ten’s to most of the soviet gymnasts on bars including Bogi . She tried to cheat and succeeded.

    Gutsu knows she didn’t deserve to be in that AA and that is cheating .

  6. “I’ve not heard good things about Tatiana as a coach, either. (I hope I heard wrong.)”

    What’s up with hinting at gossip?

    1. No, that’s about accurate. … Perhaps 10 different people told me that, as a coach, she was arrogant and self-obsessed. Not one had anything good to say about her coaching.

      On the other hand, I’ve never met the woman. So I’m not SURE that’s true.

  7. I always like to meet people and experience them first-hand before I make an opinion, but if you get the same opinion from numerous people, you tend to listen a little bit.

  8. Sickofthis, please get your facts right before posting:
    – No gymnast (Soviet or not) got a 10.00 during the TF/AA in Barcelona. In fact, the only 10.00s rewarded were to Lu Li on bars and Lavinia Milosovici on floor and that was not until the Event Finals.
    – As far as I can remember, Boginskaya has never scored a 10.00 on bars in international competition (Worlds or Olympics).
    – Nellie Kim was just a judge in Barcelona, not singlehandedly responsible for the scores given out by the rest of the judges. Besides, she wasn’t elected to FIG’s Technical Committee until 1996.
    – Gutsu was in no position to defy her coach, she did what she was told to do and did great. And I find it amazingly gracious that at the age of 15 she showed class beyond her years, splitting her prize money with Galieva.
    – For every single fan/gymnast/coach who claims Gutsu didn’t deserve to win the gold medal, you’ll find just as many who think she did. If Tatiana needs to give her medal back, so should Paul Hamm (who has been officially asked by FIG to do so, due to a judging error that prevented Yang Tae Young from being declared the rightful AA champion in Athens).

    PS: That comes from someone who doesn’t even like Gutsu’s gymnastics and believes that Miller was by far the better gymnast.

  9. Paul Hamm and Tatiana Gutsu are not the same situations. PH did not in any way, shape, or form cheat to get his medal. Yeah, the judges made a mistake but that put the ball squarely in YTY’s court and he fumbled that shit! He took a massive nosedive. People don’t understand this because he didn’t fall off the apparatus. The rules are part of the sport and messing up in that area means the gymnast can lose just as badly as if they fell off the podium and onto the judges’ table.

  10. Wow… hard to believe people are being so critical of such an incredible gymnast! This girl did a standing back 1/1 on beam eighteen years ago!!! Not to mention the layout-layout and full-in dismount, all of which she did with a lightness (couldn’t hear a sound) that we rarely see. And on bars, she hit handstands, pirouetted lightning quick, and had high release moves… again, 18 years ago! Plus, she could vault and tumble – remember, whip to double layout, plus the original split double layout!! Yes, her dance and choreography needed work, but she still had clean lines and great execution. Besides, there is no recent all-around champion who had absolutely no weakness (Lilia – not exactly the best beam acro; Amanar – also poor dance, weak bars, weak line; Mary-Lou – where to start? etc, etc)

    The gymnastics purists are critical because of her weak dance and lack of expression, but remember that this is only one component and take a second look at her other jaw-dropping qualities!

  11. too TP.
    wow gina gogean is my all time favorite gymnast(stop laughing!!) but even i’ve never say’d she was “quite great on bars”
    of course before you tube i had only seen her post 1993

  12. Gogean’s double layout in 1992 was fantastic. Then her personal coaches lost hold of her after Euros and she was sucktastic.
    I think when people talk about so and so getting a ten, they mean by one judge. Many judges handed out tens for many routines, but only on two routines did enough hand them out at once to give the gymnast a ten.
    We know all the great tricks she did – thanks – but tricks don’t necessarily equal the best gymnast. Miller did lots of tricks too, but with better form and polish. I like tricks as much as the last person, but it’s not what it’s all about, ya know?

  13. Ian yes Gutsu did get a ten on bars in the AA. Go check the scores. The judge that gave her a ten was Nelli Kim.
    Bogi also got a ten by Nelli Kim. Next time you start yelling at someone maybe you should check your own facts.

    I never blamed Gutsu for listening to her coaches. I said 18 years later she is now an adult living in a free society and she needs to fix the cheating. She knows she cheated and she doesn’t care. That says a lot about her as a person.

    It wasn’t just that she didn’t earn her way the judges just ignored how she almost put her hand down and the mistake she made was the biggest mistake any of the top 4 made in that AA. Yet Tatiana was the ONLy one that didn’t get deducted. She pretty much got the same score on floor no matter what she performed.

    and before you start whining Ian I agree with you 100% that Paul Hamm didn’t earn that medal. Not on the floor and not actually. I agree that Yang Tae Young is the rightful AA winner and I think he should be given his medal back.

  14. I totally agree with gym-step, that’s why I don’t find it ridiculous that Gutsu won (much less when she won by only 0.012). It could have gone either way and either result would have been unfair for the silver medalist.
    Alexandrite105, I’m pretty sure Galiyeva wouldn’t have medaled had she competed instead of Gutsu. As much as I disagree, I think Aleksandrov made the right choice.

  15. gym-steph

    Lilia’s beam was fine it was her bar routine that should have been in the 9.5 range at that Olympics.

    It is kind of ironic that the Nastia fans say she should have beaten Shawn because she is an artist (which is a joke) but these same poeple defend Gutsu’s horrible dance and all trick performance with no presentation and bad form.

    Talk about being a hypocrite

  16. Ian you think it was right to cheat?

    Sorry but Roza was at her best in 1992. She did a double layout on floor. I think she had a full in off beam. She just wasn’t hyped. Now she benefited from being Soviet but she was never the star.

    Someone owes someone an apology111111111

  17. actually, i am a nastia fan and incredibly dislike that tatiana gutsu was in the all around.

    as for paul hamm, i think he did deserve the gold, because, have you seen yang te young’s high bar routine? how in the world did he end up with that score?!?! and his rings were a bit of a gift as well, but i suppose i can at least live with that score. check out the american gymnast blog, andy just did a great piece on it.

  18. also, no, alexandrov did not make the right decision, as he cheated and broke the rules, lying in the process and being downright cruel to roza galiyeva.

  19. @ alexandrite105: The fact that I can see Aleksandrov’s point doesn’t mean I agree with it (haven’t I pointed that out already?). But I do think he did it for the team’s interest. Gutsu had the greatest potential and was already a medalist at Worlds, not to mention the reigning European Champion. And we all know that reputation in gymnastics is everything (yes, judges are that stupid). Besides, Gutsu was only 0.030 behind Galieva even with a fall.

    @sickofthis: I agree, Gutsu was overscored on FX (though I believe the judges acknowledged the huge difficulty of her routine) but I’m afraid you’re overly dramatic; the landing on the double layout wasn’t as bad as you describe it. Yes, she took a big step forward, but that would have been a -0.3 even by today’s standards, let alone in 1992. No way was she about to put her hand down! And she DID get deducted (though not as severely as she should have been); I’m pretty sure she would have scored in the 9.975 range had she hit that opening pass.
    In all fairness, Miller took just as big a step backwards for an easier skill and wasn’t severely deducted either. FYI, I don’t think Gutsu’s form was that horrible nor that she had awful dance and presentation (sure, it was worse than Miller’s but definitely not horrible). I also don’t find Miller particularly artistic and most definitely not in 1992. There were gymnasts like Boginskaya, Lyssenko and Mitova who could dance circles around her. But she did an excellent job hiding that fact, I’ll give you that.
    If you’re willing to go through the scores of the individual judges (I admit I haven’t; I was just looking at the final scores, you know the ones that really matter), you’ll probably realise Miller/other gymnasts were just as overscored. I can see why one/more judges gave a 10.00 for Gutsu’s bars (hit handstands, huge release moves, great form, stuck dismount) but I can’t see how they gave out 9.950s for Miller’s beam with two rather noticeable balance checks and no amplitude on her dance elements. I can’t see why one score -as biased as it can be- can influence the outcome of the competition when it’s gonna be dropped anyway. Besides, I’m pretty sure Nellie Kim wasn’t the only judge to be biased in favour of her compatriots.
    So no, I don’t think Gutsu, Hamm or any gymnast accused of cheating/overscoring/favouritism should return their medals. What’s done is done and it’s been a hundred years. Get over it.

  20. Ah yes, but a big step forward out of a backwards element and a big step backwards out of a backwards element tell the judges different things. On the first, she is under-rotated and therefore there is a technique issue and not enough power. And not only did Gutsu take a huge step forward, but with enough under-rotation that her back leg couldn’t stay on the ground and she bounced onto her front leg for support. Miller’s was almost as bad, but over-rotation at least indicates plenty of power and better technique. Of course, that is getting nit-picky. Gutsu landed it best in event finals and scored her lowest score. What the heck?!
    Also, remember that team scores built up back then. Galieva was behind because she was first or second up. The first or second person, no matter how spectacular they were (think Kalinina in 1991 worlds) could only score so high because they needed to leave room for the next few gymnasts. Had she done those exact routines in an all-around competition, she’d have been up on the top 5 I am sure. She was a fantastic gymnast.
    And the only score that “really matters” is not just the final score, but the other scores that were given out to help make that score. If Kim did indeed give out the highest scores to the Unified Team regardless of how impressive other gymnasts were, that is cheating. And there are many controversies surrounding Kim about her days as a judge. Whether it made a huge difference or not, it’s still known that her scores were often biased towards or against certain countries.

  21. I hate Nellie Kim (didn’t like her as a gymnast, didn’t like her as a judge, absolutely loath her as the Head of the Technical Committee), but if you think she was the only/one of the few judges that were corrupt in Barcelona you’re just deluding yourself.
    Scores that built-up, big lobbies and ranking by reputation are some of the reasons people are losing interest in gymnastics.

  22. Gutsu never came close to a 9.975 on floor in Barcelona so that scored you pulled out of your bum.

    The Soviets didn’t do anything for the team in 92. Pulling Roza was not for the team the team competition was over. They did it to cheat for their Country.

    Miller did not score a 9.950 on beam in the AA in 1992 either. The beam judges awarded difficulty. Both Shannon and Tatiana had mistakes on beam but even with them they had the best routines and most difficulty. Those judges were the most fair of all. They judged everyone the same. The floor judges did not.

    This discussion will never end. You can watch a routine for 15 years and come up with a lot of things. Those judges had one shot to look and Tatiana’s first pass was a hot mess. Bad technique and should have been over a point deduction.

  23. Tatiana Gutsu will always be one of my favorite gymnasts of all time and it sickens me to see some negative comments on here. During the 1992 games, she had the most innovative and risk taking routines. It wasn’t her fault that she was put in the all-around…which is common practice today anyway. Her beam routine in my opinion was the best in the entire competition. She is absolutely gorgeous as well and I wish her nothing but the best.

  24. I’m tired of hearing that Shannon deserved to benefit from the Unified Team being strong. I refuse to look at the rule as cheating, because the rule wasn’t exactly fair to begin with. Shannon would have easily qualified for the All Around with a fall, because the USA didn’t have four strong All Arounders like the Unified Team. Tatiana actually had a higher All Around qualification score than Kim Zmeskel.

    The rule put unfair amounts of pressure on the Unified Team because they knew they had four strong athletes, whereas someone like Shannon went into the events knowing she could make All Around with a fall? How exactly was that fair?

    I don’t blame Alexandrov one bit for saying “screw that” we are putting up our best athletes. Countries should be able to choose between their qualifiers.

    1. I’ve been through that argument many a time, becca. And I actually agree with you.

      In the vast majority of sports the coach can choose to put any of his “team” into the “game”.

      In gymnastics, because of the way the rules were written, to make the switch gymnasts had to claim injury. File a written statement to withdraw. At 1985 World Championships the Soviets pulled #1 and #2, putting in two other gymnasts. It was common practice.

  25. I’ve got something to say about this young lady. Yes it was a disappointment for the whole team but when tatian stepped out on that floor, she reminded me so much of how mary lou retton was when she was a gymnast. She is the best foreign gymnast I have ever seen. I actually applauded her for her performances. You can’t take anything away from her because she’s awesome.

  26. i actualy dated her back when we were 13-14 i was also born in odessa and we ended up in the same hospital when i was around 12 ish and meet there and she was the coolest person. we dated for about few month untill i moved to united states just to see her on tv win the gold in 1992.

  27. I met her once a long time ago. She came across as a very serious and stoic person (but that may be something cultural from the Ukraine :/ ) I remember I was stretching and she walked by and said: “You can do better than that!” then pushed me farther into my stretch before walking off.

  28. Unless I missed somebody, Khorkina was the only gymnast to win more international medals (Oly; Worlds; Euros) than Gina Gogean. I’m amazed at so many people being barely able to stomach Gina. As to Gutsu – she did what she was told to do and she won a gold medal. The race between her and Shannon was too close to call. I prefer Shannon.

  29. From the moments that I’ve spent with Tatiana, I can honestly say that she is every bit as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. If you ever read this, know that I will always, always love you.

  30. All of you people are Monday morning quarterbacks!!! How dare you sit and cast judgement on someone you have never met and no nothing about. I would like to see any one of you grow up in communist Ukraine under Soviet rule even survive let alone survive and win a gold medal in the Olympic games. maybe all of you should look in the mirror and say what have I done with my advantage of being born free in the good old USA. I bet none of you did a dam thing with those advantages. I met the girl and she had the courage of a lion to do what she did and be taken from her family at a young age with no choice in the matter. maybe you all should take a lesson and realize that none of you would of overcome the hurdles that a young lonely scared little girl did to become who she is.

  31. Actually that “Goodbye Girl” montage could ONLY have been made for Tatiana. She’s the only gymnast for whom a song that horribly sickeningly sweet and pathetic would work.

    She’ll always be one of my favorites even though I will forever say that, IF (big if) all scoring was correct going into the vault, Shannon should be the AA champ because vault #1 was perfect. Rick – do you feel that way? You know this stuff a lot better than me – was Shannon’s first vault perfect, or were there flaws most of us couldn’t see that caused them to give her a 9.975?


  32. She was an amazing gymnast with one of the most difficult routine I’ve ever seen on the beam.
    I was two when she won Barcelona and I remember being so exausted of Miller’s false smile. I began to love gymnastics because of Tatiana Gutsu, I was sure she was a superhero who can fly.
    I have seen these Olympic games so many times since 1992, and I’m still convinced she deserved to win.

  33. To Sarah, Tatiana deserved a better score on the beam : she was so much stronger than the other girls !
    So there are also some IF on Tatiana’s side
    And when the competition is not fair that’s most of the time in favour of americans (Paul Hamm, Atlanta and the awful public…)
    Judges just prefered Tatiana’s perfect gymnastic (and perfect double layout !)

  34. Happy Birthday Tatiana! I will always, always love you. I will always, always pray for your dreams to come true. If anyone in the world deserves to be happy, it is you. You are the best girl in the world. :)

  35. Happy Valentines Day Tatiana! @–>– You are the best girl in the whole world. :-* My highest prayer is that you are taken into paradise, so that all of your dreams come true. 😡 If there is ever anything that I can do to make your life better, let me know. I love you. <3

  36. The emoticons in my post from five minutes ago didn’t display properly, so I will translate: @–>– is a long-stemmed rose, :-* is a kissing smilie, the smilie that did display displayed improperly, he was supposed to have a heart on his cheek, meaning “love struck,” and <3 is a heart.

  37. she was actually my gymnastics coach when i was a kid and i loved her, so did my family, she is a very nice woman and i have a picture of us together and we both have hugh smiles on our faces. and she was not self obsessive, she was teaching little children how to do something that they loved and was haveing fun doing it.

  38. She was only 15; she is not responsible for the coaches decision (which I agree might have been wrong).
    Still, she gave the best performance and she deserves every piece of that gold medal.

  39. The decision was made to put Tatiana in because she had a better chance of producing a medal. Not the first or the last time that a team has done that even though it is technically against the rules. I watched it back then, and if I was judging then (which I wasn’t!) I would say that she did edge the gold. Only just, but yes she did. That’s my opinion. I have seen plenty reruns of 92 since and that’s still my opinion. So to me suggesting that an athlete that produced the best performance in any competition should return their winning medal because of a decision made by a team coach or manager or whoever is ridiculous. She didn’t take drugs or stealthily alter equipment when nobody was looking!! Punish that coach or manager – ban them if you like. But Tatiana was put in the competition and once you’re in you owe it to yourself and the team and the other competitors and the audience to put in the best performance that you are capable of otherwise you’re not being fair. In 92 in that arena she was better than the others. That got her a medal (several actually) that she deserves to keep.

  40. Wow, this is not about gymnastic skills or performance. This is a moral issue, yes, Gutsu took this opportunity and did well! But it was not hers! It was Galievas chance and whether or not she’d have medal, we’ll never know cause her earned chance was taken away from by her coaches. Cheating her of this opportunity! It’s ironic to say that Gutsu was great by sharing her prizes with Galieva. No —-! That gold medal it’s either Galievas or Millers.

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