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Tamara Lazakovich
Tamara lazakovich.jpg
Lazakovich at the 1972 Olympic Games

Full name

Tamara Vasilyevna Lazakovich

Country represented

Flag of the Soviet Union.png USSR


March 11, 1954
Gusevo, Russian SFSR, USSR


November 1992 (age 38)
Vitebsk, Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus

Current status


Tamara Vasilyevna Lazakovich (Russian: Тамара Васильевна Лазакович), born 11 March 1954 in village Gusevo in the Pravdinskiy rayon of the Kaliningrad region of Russia, was an Soviet gymnast whose competed at the European, World, and Olympic level during the early 1970s.

Described as a "perky sparrow" with a "purity of line", Lazakovich was spotted by her compatriate, Olympic Champion before her, Larisa Petrik, in 1961, and brought to prominent coaches in the Belarussian system. She made a name for herself early on, winning many gold and silver medals at the 1968 and 1969 USSR Jr. Championships. Lazakovich debuted as a senior rather inauspiciously, however, at the 1970 World Championships as a part of that year's World Champion Soviet Team - a low score of 8.00 on the balance beam during the compulsory segment of the team competition dropped her down to 21st place in the all-around, the lowest ranked of the Soviet team. Just a brief glance at her scores and results from that year's Worlds, however, reveals no indication of the tremendous haul of medals she would receive at major competitions over the next two years.

Her crowning achievement came the 1971 Europeans, where she tied her teammate, European, World, and Olympic All-Around Champion Ludmilla Tourischeva for the European All-Around title. She also took two of the four individual event titles (Uneven Bars, Balance Beam), and won silver on the other two (Vault, Floor Exercise). Interesting to note is that in addition to being co-champions in the all-around, she or Tourischeva occupied the Gold and Silver positions on the podium on all 5 individual events, keeping German Erika Zuchold in 3rd place on 4 out of 5 of them.

The next year, at the 1972 Olympics where Tourischeva dominated the all-around and Soviet teammate Olga Korbut stole the crowd's and media's attention with her daring moves and charismatic personality, Lazakovich quietly worked her way onto the individual podium three times, winning the bronze medal in the individual all-around and floor exercise, plus winning silver on the balance beam. Also of note is that her four-event total of 38.25 was the highest of any gymnast in the team compulsories segment of the competition.

Unfortunately, this accomplished gymnast struggled with alcoholism, much like her contemporary, Soviet gymnast Zinaida Voronina. As a result, she spent several years in jail, and died aged 38 in Vitebsk in November 1992.

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1967 USSR Cup 2nd
1970 Ljubljana World Championships 1st
Chunichi Cup 2nd
USSR Cup 4 1st 4
USSR Championships 1st 3rd
1971 Minsk European Championships 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd
USSR Cup 5
USSR Championships 1st 4 1st 3rd 3rd
Riga International 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd
1972 Munich Olympic Games 1st 3rd 2nd 3rd
USSR Cup 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd
USSR Championships 1st 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd

European All-Around Champions
Larisa Latynina • Natalia Kot • Larisa Latynina • Marjana Bilic • Věra ČáslavskáKarin JanzTamara Lazakovich | Ludmilla TourischevaLudmilla TourischevaNadia ComăneciMaxi GnauckOlga BicherovaElena ShushunovaDaniela SilivaşSvetlana BoginskayaTatiana GutsuGina GogeanLilia PodkopayevaSvetlana KhorkinaAlina KozichMarine DebauveVanessa FerrariKsenia SemenovaAnna DementyevaAliya MustafinaGiulia SteingruberEllie DownieMélanie de Jesus Dos SantosViktoria Listunova

European Uneven Bars Champions
Larisa LatyninaPolina Astakhova • Thea Belmer • Věra ČáslavskáKarin JanzTamara LazakovichLudmilla TourischevaNadia ComăneciNadia Comăneci | Elena MukhinaElena MukhinaMaxi GnauckEcaterina SzaboElena Shushunova | Oksana OmelianchikDaniela SilivaşHenrietta ÓnodiSvetlana Boginskaya | Natalia Kalinina | Mirela PaşcaTatiana GutsuSvetlana KhorkinaSvetlana Khorkina | Simona Amânar | Lilia PodkopayevaSvetlana KhorkinaÉmilie Le PennecBeth TweddleDariya ZgobaKsenia SemenovaBeth TweddleViktoria KomovaAliya MustafinaBecky DownieDaria SpiridonovaBecky DownieNina DerwaelAnastasiya IlyankovaZsófia KovácsAngelina Melnikova

European Balance Beam Champions
Larisa LatyninaVěra ČáslavskáPolina Astakhova • Eva Rydell • Věra ČáslavskáKarin JanzTamara LazakovichLudmilla TourischevaNadia ComăneciElena MukhinaNatalia ShaposhnikovaMaxi GnauckLavinia AgacheOksana OmelianchikDaniela SilivaşGabriela Potorac | Olesya DudnikSvetlana BoginskayaGina GogeanRoza GaliyevaYevgeniya KuznetsovaSvetlana KhorkinaLudmila EzhovaCătălina PonorYulia LozhechkoKsenia SemenovaYana DemyanchukAmelia RaceaAnna DementyevaCătălina PonorLarisa IordacheMaria KharenkovaAndreea MunteanuAliya MustafinaCătălina PonorSanne WeversAlice KinsellaLarisa IordacheMélanie de Jesus Dos Santos