|— Gymnast —|
|Country represented||Unified Team|
|Former countries represented||Soviet Union|
18 February 1972 |
Bohuslav, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for Unified Team|
|Competitor for Soviet Union|
|European Cup Finals|
|Junior European Championships|
|Competitor for Ukraine|
Olexandra Olexandrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Олександра Олександрівна Тимошенко, born 18 February 1972) is a former individual rhythmic gymnast who competed for the Soviet Union. She is the 1992 Olympics champion, 1988 Olympics bronze medalist, 1989 World all-around champion, 1991 World all-around silver medalist and two time (1988, 1990) European all-around champion.
When Tymoshenko was seven, her father (a construction engineer) was invited to work in Kiev. She started training in gymnastics in 1980 at age eight at the Deriugins School, coached by the mother/daughter combination of Albina and Irina Deriugina. She placed seventh at the 1987 European Junior Championships, her first major international result. At age 14, she became the Soviet junior champion and, shortly after, collected three medals at a European championships: a gold for the Rope, a silver for the Hoop and a bronze for the Ribbon. At a Soviet competition, she placed second behind the top Soviet competition, Marina Lobach of Belarus, and so won the right to go to the 1988 European championships.
At the 1988 European Championships in Helsinki, Finland, Tymoshenko shared the All-Around title with two Bulgarians, Elizabeth Koleva and Adriana Dunavska. There she also won three golds - Hoop, Clubs and Rope. Several months later she won the All-Around bronze at the Seoul Olympics, and after that she became the USSR All-Around champion for the first time.
Tymoshenko continued her rise in 1989, taking five out of six golds at the Sarajevo World Championships. Her streak would continue through numerous other international competitions, although she started to feel the pressure from up-and-coming teammates. She would grab her second European title in 1990, but spent the rest of the year struggling against the steadily rising Oksana Skaldina. In 1991, Timoshenko seemed poised to earn her second World title after a very strong early season. However, in Athens Timoshenko's difficulty level could not match Skaldina's and the former World champion had to settle for silver. At the event finals she was able to sweep the gold medals on all four apparatus.
Although the Ukrainian Federation tried to convince her to continue after the 1992 Olympics, Timoshenko opted to retire from the sport at the age of 20. She enrolled in the Goethe Institute to study German language, while simultaneously completing her studies at the Kiev University of Physical Culture and Sports. She spent some time coaching in Germany before getting married and making a permanent move to Vienna, Austria.