Alexander Moskalenko announces his retirement

The most titled trampolinist in history, Alexander Moskalenko (RUS) announces his retirement.
(FIG press release)

Alexander MoskalenkoMoutier : 21 Decembre 2004. After having dominated the international trampoline scene for almost 15 years, Alexander ”Sasha” Moskalenko, 5 times World Champion and the 2000 Olympic Champion, has announced his retirement from competitive trampolining.
The 35 year-old Russian was appointed Chief of the Sports Committee in the region of Krasnodar some weeks ago. To combine a career in world-class sports and his new job simply wasn’t possible, that is why Sasha now announces that he will not pursue his competitive career. Thus, the world of trampoline gymnastics will lose it’s greatest performer ever.
Alexander Moskalenko, born on November 4th 1969, made his big debut on the international scene at the 1989 European Championships where he, still relatively unknown, he easily crushed all opposition including reigning World Champion Vadim Krasnochapka.

He won the 1990 and 1992 World Championships and then decided to retire, unable to find ”the right motivation”. However, as the 1994 Worlds approached, Sasha decided to have another go at the title and teamed up with his long-time coach Vitaly Doubko to prepare for his come-back. Once again he proved unbeatable and won his third consecutive World title.

Alexander MoskalenkoOnce more Moskalenko, already then considered a legend in his sport, withdrew from competing.
It wasn’t until 1998, when it had been decided that trampoline would be a part of the 2000 Olympic Games that Sasha, 28 years old at the time, took the decision to put on his competition attire again.

At this stage, not many thought that even the great Moskalenko could once again beat the other top performers of the world, some of which were 10 years younger than him.
It took a bit longer this time for him to get in his usual shape, but when it was time for the 1999 World Championships he was back on the throne, winning by a superior 1.50 points.

In Sydney the year after, at the Olympic debut for trampolining, many ”experts” still doubted that the then almost 31 year old Russian would stand a chance. But again he proved the doubters wrong. In fact, no-one was even close to beating him. In the final, he beat the silver medalists by an astonishing 2.40 points! Moskalenko, the Pelé, Nadia Comaneci, Carl Lewis or Muhammad Ali of trampoline gymnastics, finally had captured the only title he didn’t have, the finest one -the Olympic Title!
Sydney 2000 : Mathieu Turgeon, Alexander Moskalenko and Ji Wallace

He continued to dominate the international scene for some more time and outclassed everyone at the 2001 World Championships, and also won the 2002 European title. In 2003, aged 33, only the tie-breaking rules decided that he lost the World Championships title to the young German Henrik Stehlik (they had the same score in the final).

Alexander Moskalenko, Yuri Nikitin and Henrik StehlikIn this year’s Olympic Games in Athens he looked more determined than in many years and frightened most of his younger rivals during training. He performed excellent routines in the competition and was very close to reaching his second Olympic title, but the small inaccuracies caused him to lose to Ukrainian Yuri Nikitin with a mere 0.30 points and finished runner-up and got a well-deserved silver medal.
Athens proved to be ”the Governor’s” (another nickname) last major competition. Recently he announced his retirement, as a result of his new appointment. However, to become Chief of the Sports Committee is a very suitable continuation for a man who has spent the better part of his life, since becoming involved in trampolining at the age of 6, working hard for sports. Be sure that Sasha will continue to work for the development of sports in general and gymnastics and trampolining in particular.

Alexander MoskalenkoHorst Kunze, President of the Technical Committee since 1990 has the following comments:
”Alexander is without doubt the greatest star in trampoline history, and like other stars and great personalities in our trampoline community, he is a star you can touch, you can talk to and you can share jokes with.
Open-minded also for discussions about the development and progress of our sport discipline.
I had the honor and joy to be present at most of the greatest moments of his exceptional career. For sure he will do great in his new career and of course he has the best wishes from the FIG Trampoline Technical Committee.”

The FIG and the world of trampoline gymnastics hereby sends it’s warmest thanks and best wishes for the future to Sasha, the most successful and one of the most influential trampolinist of all times. The King of Trampoline has abdicated and he will be missed.

The FIG Trampoline TC through H. Kunze and U. Andersson

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