Russian artistic gymnast, born January 19th 1979. Olympic gold medalist 1996 and 2000, World Champion 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999, mostly on the uneven bars which are her best discipline. Led the world gymnast ranking list from the Olympic Games 1996 until December 2000.

Khorkina's most remarkable feature is her height: at 1,64m she is about 20 cm taller than most of her competitors. At first, this was considered a serious problem, and she was advised to switch to rhythmic gymnastics instead. However, she developed this handicap into an advantage, collecting high scores for her graceful movements. Especially on floor, her dance sequences really are that, dance, instead of a way to kill time between tumbling and acrobatics sequences.

Khorkina's successes may have been one of the causes of the recent development away from "little girls' gymnastics" and back to "women's gymnastics". Nowadays, it is not unusual to have participants in their mid-twenties even in Olympic Games and World Championships, when 10 years ago, everyone was trying to smuggle 13 year olds into the contests.

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