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Svetlana Boguinskaya: The Original Mean Girl

In an interview, translated by Rewriting Russian Gymnastics, Svetlana Boguinskaya admits to having a difficult character back in her days as a young athlete.



The interview is from a press conference she gave while visiting her home country of Belarus. She talks about the state of the Belorussian Gymnastics program and talks about various things. I'm not going to give a blow by blow of the interview, but if you want, you can read it here.

Svetlana is quite the gymnastics unicorn. She was a three time Olympian ( '88, '92 and '96), a world champion, European Champion and just all around awesome. These days,  Svetlana is an entrepreneur, she owns and runs Olympia Gymnastics Camp as well as owning and running a pizza restaurant with her husband in Houston, Texas. On top of that, she's a mother to a daughter and a son. Svetlana is remembered for her unique style of gymnastics as shown in her World Championship winning floor routine from 1989 that earned her a perfect ten.



Back in the day, before she became a household name and a gymnastics legend, she was a scrappy young gymnast trying to make her mark. Svetlana has talked about her competitive drive in multiple interviews. She spoke to Gymcastic in June and said she'd always try and go above and beyond what was expected of her and she reiterated the same point when discussing the state of Belorussian gymnastics.

"I worked my guts off like hell in the gym! They would say, “do a thousand V-ups,” I would do 1200. I would die and do it."


She also told the Gymcastic crew about her Mean Girl antics back in the day.  It's on par with a Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo) of Make It Or Break It and would make Regina George (Rachel McAdams) blush. Svetlana said back when she was a young gymnast, she'd psych out her competition by kicking and biting her competition. It worked. Those who were faint of heart would not show up to practice again the next day. A bit more direct than Lauren Tanner, who passive aggressively changed the distance between the vault table and the spring board to cause Emily Kmetko to crash on her vault during a qualifying meet. Maybe a little more on par with the psychological warfare Regina George used to control Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls.
On Wednesdays, we wear pink.


"I was a bitch in gymnastics. Ugh, it must have not been easy for others around me. Now I can only ask for forgiveness from everyone who came in contact with a gymnast named Boginskaya for her antics. But who knows, maybe the only way to reach the top is to burn yourself in the fire of self-improvement. "



Read the interview at Rewriting Russian Gymnastics
The Gymcastic Episode featuring Svetlana Boguinskaya

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