c

First Olympic women's aerials champ Cheryazova dies at 50

MOSCOW — Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died "following a lengthy illness," without giving further details.

Competing for newly independent Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold when aerials skiing became an official Olympic event — it had earlier been a demonstration sport — in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Competing despite a training injury, Cheryazova pulled off a triple flip to win gold by less than one point despite nearly falling on the landing.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before. Her mother had been severely wounded in an industrial accident and reportedly asked that Cheryazova not be told of her death until after the competition.

Cheryazova's career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, striking her head on the ramp during a jump, and spent days in a coma.

She retired after the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she failed to qualify for the final. With poverty widespread in Uzbekistan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cheryazova moved to Russia, where she helped to raise funds for skiers and appeared at government events to popularize sport and fitness.

Cheryazova remains Uzbekistan's only medalist at the Winter Olympics, and the only woman to win a gold medal at the Summer or Winter Olympics for the Central Asian nation.

___

This story has been corrected to state Cheryazova qualified for the 1998 Olympics, but she did not qualify for the final.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Related News

US coach: Bode Miller aiming to race next season at age 40

Dec 29, 2016

Bode Miller is still planning on racing again

Tande wins 2nd leg of Four Hills Tour, Stoch takes lead

Jan 1, 2017

Daniel Andre Tande beat Kamil Stoch of Poland to win the second leg of ski jumping's Four Hills Tour but couldn't prevent the double Olympic champion from claiming the tournament lead on Sunday

Hideki Matsuyama hopes to extend his hot streak

Jan 4, 2017

Unbeatable at the end of the year, Hideki Matsuyama went home to Japan and nearly met his match _ his father, who taught him the game and remains his only teacher

Search
Broaden News

5 Stars Discovery brings you to the stories from people around the world sharing on the finest luxury resorts, high-end city hotels, and exclusive hideaway to make sure you’ll get the premium experience.

Contact us: sales@starsdiscovery.com