If you’ve been following the Rio Olympics, you would have heard of gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. Affectionately known as Chuso, the 41-year old has been making waves all over the Internet for taking part in her seventh Olympics, making her the oldest gymnast in Olympic history.
Just think about it: she competed in her first Olympics in 1992, long before most of her competitors this year were born! (To put things in perspective, this year’s all-around champion Simone Biles for instance was born in 1997, just two years before Chusovitina’s son Alisher was born)
The mother’s determination, kooky personality, big heart and inspirational competitive journey is the reason why she’s our mum crush of the week.
Despite her age, her body is still in tip top #fitspo shape thanks to decades of gymnastics training (she’s been training since the age of seven).
Her high flying career and fame as a gymnast has provided her with opportunities to meet personalities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
She’s also had the chance to inspire and meet with budding gymnasts from around the world through International Gymnastic Camps aimed at encouraging young ones to be the next Oksana.
However, we think just like any mother, her favourite time is probably the time that she spends with her son Alisher, who she had with former Olympic wrestler Bahodir Kurpanov.
Alisher was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2002 and was the main reason why Oksana moved to Germany to train, as they needed money for his treatment. She competed for Germany at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she won a silver on the vault, as a thank you to the country for helping with her son’s illness.
Now 16, Alisher is the one who worries for his mum when she competes, often telling her to be careful when she does her routines and not to slip, as with her age comes a higher chance of injury.
However, that hasn’t stopped this powerhouse from competing and from performing dangerous moves such as the Produnova (nicknamed ‘vault of death’) that she attempted during the vault finals at the Rio Olympics.
Although she didn’t win a medal this time around, the inspiring gymnast is not resting on her laurels and has announced that she would be back to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. By then, she’ll be 45 but if her history is anything to go by, she will rise to the occasion and is living proof that age is but a number.