Olympic person of the month

Each month, the European Olympic Academies selects an important, inspiring figure who embodies the Olympic Values. Find all portraits in the listing below and on our Facebook site.

Each month, the European Olympic Academies selects an important, inspiring figure who embodies the Olympic Values.
Sebastian Coe is one of the most decorated and acclaimed athletes in Olympic history.
The British middle-distance runner won four Olympic medals, including back-to-back 1,500m gold in Moscow and LA in the 1980s, plus two Olympic silver medals.
Lord Coe is currently President of World Athletics and has enjoyed an immensely successful career since retiring from athletic competition, where he set numerous world and European records on the track.
He spearheaded his country’s successful bid to host the Olympic Games a decade ago, acting as chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Games.
Lord Coe is one of the most recognisable faces within the Olympic Movement, with his achievements on and off the track acting as inspiration for lovers of sport across the globe.
His accomplishments, high standards, enthusiasm and dedication encapsulate so many of the integral values which have shaped the Olympic philosophy for decades.
Lord Coe is an Olympic champion who embodies what it means to be a successful athlete and role model.
He is the European Olympic Academies’ inaugural “Olympic Person of the Month.” 👏

For the October instalment of the “Olympic Person of the Month”, the European Olympic Academies has chosen the history-making gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya who was born one hundred years ago this month.

Born on October 17, 1921 in Yevpatoria, on the Crimean Peninsula, Gorokhovskaya represented the first USSR gymnastics team to ever compete at the Olympics and also became the first female athlete to be awarded 7 medals at a single Olympics at Helsinki in 1952.

Gorokhovskaya won gold medals for her performance in the Team and All-Around events. Her silver medals were awarded for performances in the Team Portable Apparatus, Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise competitions.

Since 1952, Gorokhovskaya remained the only woman to have achieved such a high number of medals at a single Olympics until 2021, when Australian swimmer Emma McKeon won 7 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Games and drew level with Gorokhovskaya’s record.

Following her achievements at the Helsinki Olympics, Gorokhovskaya was awarded the Soviet Union’s Order of Red Banner and Honorary Master of Sport. Maria Gorokhovskaya made one further international appearance before her retirement at the 1954 World Championships and subsequently worked as a gymnastics coach, international judge and physical culture lecturer.

Maria Gorokhovskaya’s impressive medal record and dedication to her sport as a coach and judge embody the spirit of Olympism and highlight the alliance between sport and education. 

After emigrating to Israel in 1990, Gorokhovskaya was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of her sporting achievements and continued to work as a gymnastics coach until her death in 2001. This year she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.


Other info: Maria Gorokhovskaya (U.S.S.R.) – Class of 2021 – International Gymnastics Hall of Fame