Vitaly Scherbo

Vitaly Scherbo
Vitaly Scherbo 1995 stamp of Nicaragua.jpg
Personal information
Country represented  Belarus
Former countries represented  CIS (Olympic flag.svg Unified Team),  Soviet Union
Born (1972-01-13) 13 January 1972 (age 50)
Minsk, Belorussian SSR, USSR
Height 169 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Discipline Men's artistic gymnastics
Medal record
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 6 0 4
World Championships 12 7 4
European Championships 9 5 2
Universiade 1 2 0
Total 28 14 10
Representing  Belarus
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Atlanta All-Around
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Atlanta Vault
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Atlanta Parallel Bars
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Atlanta Horizontal Bar
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1993 Birmingham All-Around
Gold medal – first place 1993 Birmingham Vault
Gold medal – first place 1993 Birmingham Parallel Bars
Gold medal – first place 1994 Brisbane Floor
Gold medal – first place 1994 Brisbane Vault
Gold medal – first place 1994 Brisbane Horizontal Bar
Gold medal – first place 1995 Sabae Floor
Gold medal – first place 1995 Sabae Parallel Bars
Gold medal – first place 1996 San Juan Floor
Silver medal – second place 1993 Birmingham Floor
Silver medal – second place 1995 Sabae All-Around
Silver medal – second place 1996 San Juan Parallel Bars
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Brisbane All-Around
Bronze medal – third place 1995 Sabae Vault
Bronze medal – third place 1996 San Juan Horizontal Bar
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1994 Prague Vault
Gold medal – first place 1996 Broendby Floor
Gold medal – first place 1996 Broendby Vault
Gold medal – first place 1996 Broendby Parallel Bars
Silver medal – second place 1994 Prague Horizontal Bar
Silver medal – second place 1996 Broendby All-Around
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Broendby Horizontal Bar
Universiade
Gold medal – first place 1995 Fukuoka Vault
Silver medal – second place 1995 Fukuoka Parallel Bars
Silver medal – second place 1995 Fukuoka Horizontal Bar
Representing  CIS (Olympic flag.svg Unified Team)
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Team
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona All-Around
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Pommel Horse
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Rings
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Vault
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Parallel Bars
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1992 Paris Pommel Horse
Gold medal – first place 1992 Paris Rings
Silver medal – second place 1992 Paris Floor
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1992 Budapest Pommel Horse
Gold medal – first place 1992 Budapest Vault
Silver medal – second place 1992 Budapest Floor
Silver medal – second place 1992 Budapest Rings
Silver medal – second place 1992 Budapest Parallel Bars
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Budapest All-Around
Representing  Soviet Union
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1991 Indianapolis Team
Silver medal – second place 1991 Indianapolis All-Around
Silver medal – second place 1991 Indianapolis Floor
Silver medal – second place 1991 Indianapolis Vault
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Indianapolis Horizontal Bar
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1990 Lausanne Floor
Gold medal – first place 1990 Lausanne Vault
Gold medal – first place 1990 Lausanne Horizontal Bar

Vitaly Venediktovich Scherbo (or Shcherbo; Russian: Виталий Венедиктович Щербо, Belarusian: Віталь Венядзіктавіч Шчэрба, Vital' Venjadziktavich Shcherba, born 13 January 1972) is a Belarusian former artistic gymnast. One of the most successful gymnasts of all time, he is the only male gymnast ever to have won a world title in all 8 events (individual all-Around in 1993, team in 1991, floor in 1994, 1995 and 1996, horizontal bar in 1994, parallel bars in 1993 and 1995, pommel horse in 1992, rings in 1992, vault in 1993 and 1994). He was the most successful athlete at the 1992 Summer Olympics, winning 6 of 8 events – team, all-around, and 4 of 6 event finals.

Early life

Scherbo was introduced to gymnastics at age 7 by his mother. The coaches at his local club arranged for him to be sent to a state boarding school for young athletes where he continued to make progress as a gymnast.

Career

His first international performances were in 1990–1991, when he competed for the USSR team at the World Championship and the World Cup. He was the 1991 World All-Around silver medalist behind teammate Grigori Misutin; scored a perfect 10.0 on the vault at the European Championships in 1990; and starred at the Goodwill Games in Seattle. He had occasional bouts of inconsistency and as the 1992 Barcelona Olympics approached, the Unified Team coaches regarded him as less of a medal prospect than his more experienced and reliable teammates. In one of the most dominant performances in history, Scherbo won six out of the possible eight awarded gold medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. His golds came in the team event, the all around, pommel horse (tie), rings, vault, and parallel bars. Only Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz have ever won more golds in a single Olympic Games, and only Phelps and Eric Heiden have won as many individual gold medals (five) at a single Olympic Games.[citation needed]

Soon after the 1992 Olympics, Scherbo married his wife Irina. However, life in Scherbo's native Belarus became increasingly turbulent, and his family was frequently victimized. Their apartment was burgled, wherein money, valuables, and Olympic memorabilia was stolen. No one was home at the time, and his six gold medals from Barcelona were safely at his mother's house. The family promptly relocated to the United States, settling in State College, Pennsylvania. The move enabled them to take advantage of Scherbo's Olympic success. He followed up on his Olympic triumph by winning the 1993 World All-Around title, and the 1993 and 1994 American Cup, as well as numerous individual apparatus medals on the way.[citation needed]

On 13 December 1995, his wife Irina was involved in an horrific single car accident, in which she skidded off a road, and slammed into a tree. She suffered multiple fractures to her ribs and pelvis, lapsed into a coma, and her internal injuries were so severe that doctors told her husband that she only had a 1 in 100 chance of surviving. Scherbo stayed with his wife every day, and abruptly stopped his training altogether. He gained 15 pounds, and began abusing alcohol. After a month, Irina finally woke up from her coma, and insisted that her husband resume his training for the upcoming Olympic season. As his wife made a miraculous recovery, Scherbo similarly began to regain tip top physical condition winning yet another World title in 1996. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, his performances reflected his lack of preparation time, due both to his wife's accident and to a recent shoulder surgery. His performances were marred by uncharacteristic mistakes, and the gold medals that had made him so famous were not forthcoming. Though Scherbo was clearly disappointed and frustrated at his inability to win gold, he was a decided crowd favorite, and they clearly viewed his four bronze medals as an impressive triumph after a tumultuous year. His popularity was demonstrated when he received a rapturous reception from the crowd at the post competition gala. Scherbo had planned to compete in the 1997 World Championships but broke his hand in a motorcycle accident before then and retired soon after.

Alleged rape

In October 2017, former Soviet gymnast Tatiana Gutsu accused Scherbo of raping her when she was 15.[1]

Eponymous skills

Scherbo (vault) – a Yurchenko-style vault defined by its unique entry, specifically a full twist within the back-handspring between the springboard and the vaulting table.

See also

References

  1. ^ Flaherty, Bryan (17 October 2017). "Amid #MeToo, former Soviet gymnast Tatiana Gutsu accuses fellow Olympic gold medalist of rape". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 19 October 2017.

External links

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