Olympian to teach here

Local gymnastics hopes to encourage more youngsters to get into the sport through the visit of a former Olympic gold medallist.

Svetlana Boginskaya is coming to the Cayman Islands this weekend. The Belarusian gymnast is slated to host clinics and training session with local youth participants 1-2 April.

A representative of the now defunct Soviet Union, Boginskaya participated in three Olympic Games.

In 1988 at the age of 15 she earned four medals: gold in the team competition and vault, silver in the floor exercise and bronze in the all-around competition.

In total she has five Olympic medals. In addition she won gold at the 1989 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

At 5ft 2in Boginskaya is regarded as one of the taller female gymnasts at the world-class level.

She retired from competitive gymnastics after the 1992 Olympics at age 19. However she would launch a brief comeback in 1995 after moving to Houston, Texas.

She competed at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 for Belarus, propelling the country to a sixth place overall finish.

Boginskaya, 38, retired from international competitions in 1997 and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2005.

Boginskaya is being brought in by Motions Unlimited gym, in partnership with the Cayman Islands Gymnastics Association.

She is hosting the clinics while on vacation in Cayman.

The association issued a brief statement about her visit, it read: “The association so happy to be able to host Svetlana on that Friday and Saturday.

Svetlana has made her mark upon a sport that has long been dominated by young girls. Almost unheard of, she has been able to maintain her competitiveness in gymnastics for more than a decade.

“We encourage everyone to please save the date and meet Svetlana. Everyone is invited to come and see the development of the sport of gymnastics in the Cayman Islands.”