By Anna Rose Johnson
Dramatic, heartwarming, and brilliant, these moments from the past ten World Championships are among our all-time favorites. From close-call victories to the reaffirmation of legendary athletes, these storylines have threaded themselves into the remarkable narrative of gymnastics history!
2017: Morgan Hurd’s delightful victory in the all-around
Placing only sixth in the all-around at 2017 U.S. Nationals due to an injury, Morgan Hurd rallied magnificently over the next two months, making the U.S. team for Worlds and catapulting to success in Montreal.
Video via FIG Channel
2015: Great Britain’s team bronze
The British women stole the show in the team final at 2015 Worlds in Glasgow, winning a team medal for the first time ever at Worlds. It was a joyful moment that these women (and the gymnastics world!) will never forget!
Video via BGtv British Gymnastics
2014: A podium of legends
Four years ago in Nanning, USA’s Simone Biles won her second consecutive World all-around title, with Romania’s Larisa Iordache placing second and USA’s Kyla Ross finishing third. This trio of immensely talented gymnasts put on a show, resulting in one of the most exciting all-around finals in recent years!
Video via NastiaFan101take11
2013: Aliya Mustafina’s beam gold
Noted primarily for her prowess on uneven bars, Aliya Mustafina rose to success on a different apparatus in Antwerp, winning gold on balance beam in a tight field of talented competitors.
Video via Universal Sports Network
2011: Oksana Chusovitina’s vault silver
In this unforgettable vault final–in which USA’s McKayla Maroney take home the gold with her sky-high Amanar–the one-and-only Oksana Chusovitina—then representing Germany—won the silver, making it her third World vault silver medal. (She also won the silver in 1991 and 2001—in addition to gold in 2003.)
Video via Dee
2010: Rebecca Bross’s rebound after disappointment
After an uncharacteristic fall off beam in the World all-around final, USA’s Rebecca Bross delivered the best floor routine of her life, demonstrating near-flawless execution to score a 15.233 and secure the all-around bronze.
Video via Dee
2009: Kayla Williams’s unlikely journey to gold
In 2009, Kayla Williams upgraded her J.O. National Championships gold medal on vault to a World Championships vault gold—in a span of just six months!
Video via 21najafast
2007: The U.S. Women’s surprise team gold
In one of the most incredible moments of U.S. gymnastics history, team captain Alicia Sacramone rallied her team to push past mistakes, put on a performance and never give up. In the end, the U.S. women captured the gold over China by a little less than a point.
Video via 481095ymg2
2006: Cheng Fei’s dual victories
Two years before she helped the Chinese team to glory in Beijing, Cheng Fei captured two gold medals in the apparatus finals at 2006 Worlds—on vault and floor. Fei had such a strong presence on floor!
Video via ciciginastica
2005: The Almost-Tie for the All-Around Title
The final World Championships to utilize the 10.0 scoring system, 2005 Worlds will forever be remembered as the competition in which Chellsie Memmel and Nastia Liukin mathematically tied for the all-around gold—but the scores were truncated, and Memmel was officially awarded the gold, while Liukin received the silver.
Video via 481095ymg2
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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com