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Sofia Ivanovna Muratova


Sofia Ivanovna Muratova was a Soviet gymnast, who competed in the 1950s and 1960s, training at Dynamo in Moscow, and won eight Olympic medals.


Muratova's childhood passed in Leningrad during the Siege, her mother died there.


In 1941 Muratova was evacuated from the city, but due to the war, she had not the ability to go to school regularly. Meanwhile, going in for sports became dominant in her life from the very beginning. She began artistic gymnastics in 1943, entering a children's sports school, and just three months later she competed in the Russian SFSR Championships for girls.

In 1944 Muratova went to Moscow, where she continued training sessions at the Young Pioneers Stadium. Her trainer was Igor Zhuravlev. At the same time, she was sometimes fatally unlucky in the major international events.

Muratova missed the 1952 Summer Olympics due to injury, but one of the most disappointing was her injury at the 1954 World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics. She debuted at the 1956 Summer Olympics, winning the Team gold and two bronze medals in the all-around and on the uneven bars. Injuries haunted her on the way to the 1960 Summer Olympics, and many people didn't believe her participation there.

She presented her gold medal to Zoya Mironova as a token of gratitude. Sofia Muratova finished her competitive career in 1965 and worked as a coach for 34 years. She was awarded Order of the Red Banner of Labour in 1957.


  • In 1945 Muratova won her first major competition, the USSR Junior Championships, and four years later enjoyed the first international success, winning in the team competition event at the Hungary vs USSR Dual Meet in Budapest. She became one of the strongest Soviet gymnasts, and finally became the only one to win five all-around titles in the USSR Championships. Muratova won gold in the Team Competition event and was a leader on all apparatus in the all-around, but had broken her arm during the warming-up and was out.

    Her husband Valentin Muratov, who competed in the men's competition, swore to win a gold medal for her and had kept his word, becoming the all-around champion. At the rather unsuccessful 1958 World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics in Moscow Muratova won the team gold and two bronzes on vault and on the balance beam. But with the help from the professor Zoya Mironova (ru:Миронова, Зоя Сергеевна), who operated Muratova just three months before the Olympics, she managed to compete there and even won three medals — the team gold, all-around silver and bronze on the beam.

    Her two all-around medals (1956, 1960) in the sport was a rare feat - only 6 other woman gymnasts have accomplished this. She also successfully competed in the Nationals, where she won seven all-around titles, including the 1955 USSR Cup, held for the first time.