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Olga Karasyova

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameOlga Dmitryievna•Karasyova (Kharlova-)
Used nameOlga•Karasyova
Original nameОльга Дмитриевна•Карасёва (Харлова-)
Born24 July 1949 in Bishkek (KGZ)
Measurements164 cm / 55 kg
AffiliationsCSKA Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation


The 1968 Olympics saw a close battle developing in the women’s team all-around gymnastics competition. Lead by the popular Věra Čáslavská, Czechoslovakia came close to beating the Soviet Union, but ended up 0.65 points short. A quarter of a century later, Karasyova made headlines when she apparently revealed that the USSR had used dubious methods to win the gold medal. Their coaches and doctors had discovered that during pregnancy, more red blood cells are being produced, which leads to an increas in lung capacity and muscle power. In addition, the progesteron hormone is produced, which makes the muscles and joints more supple. As Karasyova was believed to have told German television in 1994, she and her team mates were forced to become pregnant shortly before the Olympics. Girls that did not have a boyfriend or husband were forced to have sex with their coach. Refusal led to being thrown off the team. After ten weeks, the girls had an abortion. While rumours of such practices with Soviet, Scandinavian and East-German girls had been around since the 1950s, no proof was ever given until Karasyova’s disclosure and the story fell apart when it was revealed that the person who was interviewed was not Karasyova but an imposter using her name.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1968 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) URS RUS Olga Karasyova
Individual All-Around, Women (Olympic) =7
Team All-Around, Women (Olympic) Soviet Union 1 Gold
Floor Exercise, Women (Olympic) =5
Horse Vault, Women (Olympic) =10 r1/2
Uneven Bars, Women (Olympic) =7 r1/2
Balance Beam, Women (Olympic) =18 r1/2

Olympic family relations