by Anna Rose Johnson
From iconic floor routines to highlights from some of the sport’s biggest stars, we’ve compiled a list of highly memorable routines from past World Championships. Did we miss some of your all-time favorites? Tweet us at @InsideGym and join the pre-Worlds conversation!
Photo by Grace Chiu
Svetlana Boguinskaia—1989 Floor Exercise
Nicknamed “The Belorusian Swan” by her legion of fans, Bouginskaia was a master of dramatic yet delicate floor routines that have left a lasting impression. Her routine from 1989 Worlds is particularly unique!
Kim Zmeskal—1991 Floor Exercise
This peppy, jazzy routine is still a fan favorite nearly 30 years later! What’s not to love about those three astonishing whip-backs and Zmeskal’s engaging choreography?
Vitaly Scherbo—1993 Parallel Bars
Scherbo followed up his impressive six gold medals from Barcelona ’92 with an amazing performance at ’93 Worlds, winning the around title and capturing the gold on parallel bars with this crisp performance.
Mo Huilan—1995 Balance Beam
Among the most innovative and daring gymnasts in history, China’s Mo Huilan performed this glorious beam routine to capture the gold at the Sabae Worlds in 1995. Check out her stunning mount!
Svetlana Khorkina—2003 Uneven Bars
Known for her exciting combinations and pirouetting elements, Svetlana Khorkina won her third consecutive all-around title in 2003 with this classic, elegant routine:
Irina Krasnianska—2006 Balance Beam
Noted for her beautiful lines on beam and her elegant poise, Ukraine’s Krasnianska performed with an old-school style that is still as breathtakingly timeless as ever.
Kohei Uchimura—2011 Floor Exercise
Kohei Uchimura provided us with one of the best moments in gymnastics history when he won his third consecutive all-around title at Worlds, successfully sweeping the quad from 2009-2011! He also won the floor title in the apparatus finals with this awesome routine.
Epke Zonderland—2013 High Bar
It doesn’t get much better than Zonderland’s gravity-defying release combos, particularly this routine he debuted after the 2012 Olympics (in which he won the high bar gold). We love his incredible routines, and this marked his first-ever World gold on this event!
Four-Way Tie for Gold—2015 Uneven Bars
The four-way tie for uneven bars gold was a shock to everyone! In an unprecedented turn of events, four talented bars workers tied for the gold medal in Glasgow four years ago—USA’s Madison Kocian, China’s Fan Yilin, and Russia’s Viktoria Komova and Daria Spiridonova. Here’s a video of Kocian’s performance:
Simone Biles—2018 Vault
Biles sealed her first-ever World gold medal on vault last fall in Doha, after previously placing third at 2015 Worlds, second in 2014, and second in 2013. But her biggest vault moment in Doha came in the qualifying round, when she performed this unbelievable triple-twisting yurchenko!