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Bocharova, star of 1st Soviet Olympic gymnastics team, dies

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Nina Bocharova, an Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast in the first Soviet Union team sent to a games, has died. She was 95. The Ukraine-born Bocharova died in Rome on Monday, the International Gymnastics Federation said Thursday. The cause of death was not stated.

Bocharova was the Soviet all-around national champion in 1949 and ’51 then part of a dominant team at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, the governing body said. She won gold medals in the team event and individual balance beam, plus silvers in the all-around behind teammate Maria Gorokhovskaya and team event for portable apparatus.

“With women’s artistic gymnastics still in its infancy, Bocharova exuded strength and grace,” the FIG added.

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