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1968 Mexico City Olympic Games
370px-1968 Mexico emblem
Official logo

City

Mexico City, Mexico

Venue

National Auditorium

Team Gold Medalist

USSR

All-Around Gold Medalist

Věra Čáslavská (TCH)

Vault Gold Medalist

Věra Čáslavská (TCH)

Uneven Bars Gold Medalist

Věra Čáslavská (TCH)

Balance Beam Gold Medalist

Natalia Kuchinskaya (USSR)

Floor Exercise Gold Medalist

Věra Čáslavská (TCH)
Larisa Petrik (USSR)

Preceded by

1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

Succeeded by

1972 Munich Olympic Games

The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Mexico City, Mexico, in October 1968.

These were the first Olympic Games to be staged in Latin America, the first to be staged in a Spanish-speaking country, and the first to be staged in a developing country. They were also the third Games to be held in autumn, after the 1956 Games in Melbourne and the 1964 Games in Tokyo. The Mexican Student Movement of 1968 happened concurrently and the Olympic Games were correlated to the government's response.

Format of Competition

The scoring in all the events was basically the same, as for gymnastics events at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Each country was allowed to enter a team of eight gymnasts, but in contrast to the previous Olympics not more than six of them were allowed to participate in all exercises. Nations with incomplete teams, could enter one to three gymnasts for the individual competition. Six best gymnasts on the apparatus in the team competition (by sum of two scores - for compulsory and optional routine) qualified for that apparatus finals. The new feature of the competition was in women's events: each of them was judged by four judges. The highest and lowest marks were dropped and an average of two remaining marks constituted the score.

The scoring in the team competition was different from the one at the previous Olympics, its principle became the same: five best scores constituted the team's score for the routine; these scores constituted the overall team's totals.

Results

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Team Flag of the Soviet Union USSR

Lyubov Burda
Olga Karasyova
Natalia Kuchinskaya
Larisa Petrik
Ludmilla Tourischeva
Zinaida Voronina

Flag of the Czech Republic Czechoslovakia

Věra Čáslavská
Marianna Krajčírová
Jana Kubičková
Hana Lišková
Bohumila Řimnáčová
Miroslava Skleničková

Flag of East Germany East Germany

Maritta Bauerschmidt
Karin Janz
Marianne Noack
Magdalena Schmidt
Ute Starke
Erika Zuchold

All-Around Flag of the Czech Republic Věra Čáslavská
Czechoslovakia (TCH)
Flag of the Soviet Union Zinaida Voronina
Soviet Union (USSR)
Flag of the Soviet Union Natalia Kuchinskaya
Soviet Union (USSR)
Vault Flag of the Czech Republic Věra Čáslavská
Czechoslovakia (TCH)
Flag of East Germany Erika Zuchold
East Germany (GDR)
Flag of the Soviet Union Zinaida Voronina
Soviet Union (USSR)
Uneven Bars Flag of the Czech Republic Věra Čáslavská
Czechoslovakia (TCH)
Flag of East Germany Karin Janz
East Germany (GDR)
Flag of the Soviet Union Zinaida Voronina
Soviet Union (USSR)
Balance Beam Flag of the Soviet Union Natalia Kuchinskaya
Soviet Union (USSR)
Flag of the Czech Republic Věra Čáslavská
Czechoslovakia (TCH)
Flag of the Soviet Union Larisa Petrik
Soviet Union (USSR)
Floor Exercise Flag of the Soviet Union Larisa Petrik
Soviet Union (USSR)

Flag of the Czech Republic Věra Čáslavská
Czechoslovakia (TCH)

N/A Flag of the Soviet Union Natalia Kuchinskaya
Soviet Union (USSR)

Notable Moments

  • Czechoslovakia's Věra Čáslavská had publicly voiced her strong opposition to Soviet-style Communism and Soviet invasion. At the Olympics, she continued to subtly voice her views. After appearing to have won the gold medal on floor outright, the judging panel curiously upgraded the preliminary scores of Soviet Larisa Petrik, and declared a tie for the gold instead. All of this occurred on the heels of another very controversial judging decision that cost Čáslavská the gold on beam, instead awarding the title to Soviet rival Natalia Kuchinskaya. Clearly disheartened and angered by the politics that favored the USSR, she protested during both medal ceremonies by quietly turning her head down and away during the playing of the Soviet national anthem.

Medal Count

Rank Country Gold-medal Silver-medal Bronze-medal Total
1 Flag of the Soviet Union USSR 3 1 5 9
2 Flag of the Czech Republic Czechoslovakia 4 1 0 5
3 Flag of East Germany East Germany 0 2 0 2

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