Top 10 Greatest Gymnasts Of All Time

October 19, 2021 By Sourav

Top 10 Greatest Gymnasts Of All Time

The sport of gymnastics consists of several physical exercises that verify agility, balance, and strength, many of which require special equipment. Therefore, in order to become one of the greatest gymnasts, an athlete must devote a lot of time and effort. 

Everyone can perform gymnastics, and it is a fun activity. The participants in gymnastics learn how to move as well as roll, jump, swing, and turn upside down.

Nevertheless, it takes years and years to be regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Here are the top 10 greatest gymnasts who have a huge impact worldwide. We can’t wait to reveal them. 


Greatest Gymnasts – All-Time Ranking


10. Nikolai Andrianov - Soviet Union
9. Viktor Chukarin - Ukrainian SSR
8. Boris Shakhlin - Soviet Union
7. Alexander Dityatin - Soviet Union
6. Akinori Nakayama – Japan
5. Takashi Ono – Japan
4. Sawao Kato – Japan
3. Alexei Nemov – Russia
2. Kohei Uchimura – Japan
1. Vitaly Scherbo – Belarus

Don’t Miss

Greatest Gymnasts – All-Time Infographics
FAQs Regarding Greatest Gymnasts


Gymnastics is not just one of the most difficult sports to master but is also one of the toughest sports in the world. However, there are many great gymnasts around the globe who showed immense expertise. And here they are!


10. Nikolai Andrianov - Soviet Union


Nikolai Yefimovich Andrianov was a famous Russian gymnast. Michael Phelps broke his record for the most Olympic medals for men at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing when he won 15 awards. In terms of cumulative Olympic medals, Andrianov is third behind Phelps with 28 and Latynina with 18.

He is ranked on the 10th spot among the top ten greatest gymnasts of all time. Besides, he was widely regarded as one of the fittest male athletes of his time.

Moreover, he contributed to the Soviet national men’s junior team as a head coach from 1981-1992. Due to his appreciable coaching services, he was also invited by the Japan Olympic gymnastics team for coaching from 1994 to 2002.

Besides, he was also awarded the civilian award of the Order of the Badge of Honour by the Soviet Union. Being the most successful athlete, Andrianov was appointed to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001. Unfortunately, after suffering from degenerative neurological disorder for so long, he died at the age of 58. 


9. Viktor Chukarin - Ukrainian SSR


Viktor Ivanovich Chukarin was the greatest male gymnast of his time. At the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics, he won eleven medals, including seven golds, and he was the all-around world champion in 1954.

During the Summer Olympics of 1952, he finished as the most successful Olympic athlete. And till now, even after his retirement, he is dubbed as one of the best Ukrainians the gymnastic circuit has ever produced.

We have ranked Viktor Chukarin at the 9th position among the top 10 greatest gymnasts of all time. While playing in a team competition in Rome, Chukarin won the World Championships four times in 1954. He is considered the first of the great Soviet gymnasts who dominated the Olympics in Helsinki in 1952.

Along with Larisa Latynina, Chukarin was awarded the first-ever Order of Lenin given to an athlete in 1957. Furthermore, after his gymnastic career Chukarin started coaching the Armenian gymnastics team in 1961. After retirement, he became head of gymnastics at the L’viv Institute of Physical Culture in his native Ukraine.


8. Boris Shakhlin - Soviet Union


Greatest Russian male gymnasts Boris Anfiyanovich Shakhlin was a world champion all-arounder and the 1960 Olympic all-around champion. The most successful athlete at the 1960 Summer Olympics, he won 13 medals, including seven golds.

Among the top 10 greatest gymnasts of all time, Boris got the 8th spot. Besides, he is also among the top athletes who retired too early. Furthermore, as a team member in the combined exercises, Shakhlin won gold medals for pommel horse at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

In addition to the Red Banner of Labor in 1956, Shakhlin was also awarded the Order of Lenin in 1960. Thus, he is considered one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history. After suffering a heart attack, Shakhlin got retirement from international competitions at the age of 35.

And then, in 1968, he joined the FIG Men’s Technical Committee and worked there until 1992. Besides, due to his substantial career achievements, Shakhlin was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2002. 


7. Alexander Dityatin - Soviet Union


On number 7, we have ranked Alexander out of the top 10 greatest gymnasts of all time. Best looking Russian gymnasts Alexandr Nikolaevich Dityatin was a three-time Olympic champion and a Soviet master of sports. He achieved the highest medals of any type at a single Olympic Games in 1980, with eight in total.

Besides his international appearance, Dityatin also competed for the Leningrad Dinamo sports society. On a different note, he is still dubbed one of the hottest Olympic Athletes of all time.

In addition to 1976 silver medals, he also won an award in each event contested in 1980’s men’s artistic gymnastics. While competing in 1979 at the Fort Worth World Championships, Dityatin won four gold medals. He was regarded as one of the best gymnasts in the USSR.

Furthermore, in his final World Championship in 1981, Dityatin won three more gold medals, to count it a total of 12 world medals. After the 1980 Olympics, Dityatin was intensely injured and said goodbye to his career. Moreover, he was also inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2004. 


6. Akinori Nakayama - Japan


Gold medalist Akinori Nakayama was a Japanese gymnast. Nakayama graduated from Chukyo University in Nagoya. He is a native of Aichi Prefecture. In rings, Nakayama became a double Olympic champion in 2002. The first was Albert Azaryan. In our ranking of the ten greatest gymnasts ever, we have placed Akinori at number 6.

During his heydays, he was not just popular but was also among the highest-paid athletes in the gymnastic circuit. While competing in the Olympic Games in Mexico City, he won four gold medals in 1968.

And again, in 1972, he achieved two more gold medals at the Olympic Games in Munich. Moreover, in 1966 at the World Championships, he won six gold medals in the horizontal bar, team all-around, and the floor exercise. 

Being one of the most gymnasts at the Olympics, he was also appointed to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2005. Besides, he also contributed as a gymnastics coach at his alma mater, Chukyo University. Furthermore, after getting retirement, he was selected as the vice-president of the Japanese Gymnastics Federation.


5. Takashi Ono - Japan


The retired gymnast Takashi Ono is a Japanese rhythmic gymnast. He won five golds, four silvers, and four bronze medals in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964. During the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games, Ono was the flag bearer for Japan. 

We have ranked Ono on the 5th spot among the top 10 greatest gymnasts of all time. In 1962 at the World Championships, he won two gold medals in Prague in the horizontal bar and team all-around.

Ono is considered a dominating force athlete due to his significant achievements in Men’s artistic gymnastics in the 1950s and 1960s. He is also one of the athletes who dominated their sports like a boss.

Moreover, he also accomplished the title of World Championship an astonishing 20 times in his active gymnastic career. In 1998, he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Besides, after his retirement, in 2011, he was a professor at John Hopkins University and now resides in Japan with his family.


4. Sawao Kato - Japan


Former gymnast Samawao Kato was one of Japan’s most successful Olympians. During his Olympic career, he won twelve medals, including eight golds. As a result of his achievement, he ranked 4th among the most significant Japanese gymnasts of all time. 

In 1968, he made his international debut as a participant of the Japanese team at the Mexico City Summer Olympics. However, while playing in 2004 in Athens, he was involved in a controversy in the Men’s team competition. But yes, he has an immense contribution to make gymnastic one of the most popular sports in the USA as he has a massive fan following in North America.

Besides, out of his eight gold medal wins, he won seven awards at the Olympic Games in the team all-round, floor exercise, and parallel bars. And Kato won the last gold medal at the World Championship in Varna in 1974.

Considering his career wins, he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001. Further, after getting retirement from the gymnastic world, he is currently working as a professor at the University of Tsukuba. 


3. Alexei Nemov - Russia


Former gymnast Alexei Yurievich Nemov is one of the most celebrated gymnasts from Russia. He achieved a total of 4 Olympic medals during his career. But, his achievements include five world championships and three European championships.

Alexei Nemov is worthy to rank at the 3rd position among the top 10 greatest gymnasts of all time. He is considered a Russian legend and has the third most medals for a male gymnast in Olympic history. Moreover, he made his debut at the 1993 World Championship and placed fifth in the floor event. 

He almost dominated one of the toughest endurance sports, competitive gymnastics, during his heydays. While defeating his second-place teammate and World Silver Medalist Aleksei, he won his first major all-around title at the Goodwill Games in Saint-Petersburg.

Furthermore, in 2017 Alexei Nemov was appointed into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. After getting retirement, he joined the Laureus Foundation, which seeks to use sports as a tool for social change.


2. Kohei Uchimura - Japan


In 2nd place, we got Kohei Uchimura out of the top 10 greatest gymnasts of all time. Besides, he is still regarded as one of the hottest gymnasts of all time, even after his retirement from active sports.

Physicist Kohei Uchimura was an artistic gymnast at the world championships. Three of his golds and four of his silvers came from the Olympic Games, and he has won 21 medals from the World Cup. 

At the Rio Games in 2016, Uchimura won all-around and became the first male gymnast to retain his Olympic title in the event. Uchimura is well known for delivering difficult and precisely executed routines. Besides, he has been a staple at the top of the sport for more than a decade. 

At Japan’s national championships, he placed 7th in the all-around and on-floor exercise in 2007. Moreover, Uchimura received the Prize for elegance at the world championships in 2011, 2013, and 2014. However, after failing to qualify horizontal bar in the final of the only event at the home games, he ended his appreciable Olympic career in 2020.


1. Vitaly Scherbo – Belarus


Here you go, folks! The number 1 greatest gymnast of all time. A former artistic gymnast, Vitaly Venediktovich Scherbo, now lives in California. His world titles are the only ones ever won by a male gymnast in all eight events, making him one of the most successful gymnasts of all time.

Besides competing in World Championships, European Championships, and in the Universiade, he won 25 gold medals for his incredible gymnastic skills. While representing Belarus at the Olympic Games in 1996, he won four bronze medals in Atlanta. As a participant of the USSR team, Scherbo made his international debut at the World Championship and the World Cup in 1990.

Moreover, Scherbo is known for his unique entry, a spectacular twist within the back-handspring between the vaulting table and the springboard. And for his sports and artistic abilities, he is dubbed as one of the best gymnasts of all time.

Further, he won the World All-Around title and the American Cup twice consecutively in 1993 and 1994. He was on his way to more incredible achievements, but at the 1997 World Championships, he broke his hand in an accident and then retired soon. Presently, Scherbo owns a gymnastic school in Las Vegas.



That is all, everyone! Here are the top picks in our list of the greatest gymnasts of all time. Our goal is to provide you with engaging and informative content. Since gymnastics involves so much fitness, power, and flexibility, it is an exciting sport to participate in. Observing athletes and having a healthy lifestyle are always the topics we encourage our readers to follow.


Greatest Gymnasts – All-Time Infographics


FAQs Regarding Greatest Gymnasts


Q. Who is considered the greatest gymnast of all time?

The greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles, has cemented her status in recent years. At the age of 24, Biles has become the most decorated female gymnast in World Championship history. The total number of gold medals won at World Championships stands at 25, including 19 gold medals.

Q. Who qualifies for gymnastics all-around?

Among the 24 gymnasts who qualified from the qualifying round, Biles was the top qualifier. Furthermore, only two gymnasts from each country will compete to give as many countries a chance to participate.

Q. Has any gymnast gotten a 10?

Nadia Comaneci from Romania became the first gymnast in Olympic history to receive a perfect score of 10.0 in Montreal in 1976. She performed on the uneven bars. Nadia is still known as a champion. Furthermore, her record remained unbreakable till now.

Q. What is the highest gymnastics score ever?

As a rule, artistic gymnastics achieved a perfect score of 10 as the highest score. Before 2006, a gymnast's routine began with a start value of 10 and progressively deducted points throughout

Q. Who is the youngest level 10 gymnast?

Coach Craig Zappa trains Olivia Dunne, a level 10 gymnast, at ENA Paramus. Among the youngest gymnasts in the country, the ten-year-old is a Level 10 athlete in the USAG. Duncan was a regional qualifier for the Olympic Games in 2012.

Leave a Reply

Sports Show