Five-time world champion Valentin Mogilny has died at age 49, the Russian Gymnastics Federation announced Monday.
The federation stated Mogilny died Sunday of a heart attack in France, where he has lived the past 20 years.
Known for his artistic mastery and flair, Mogilny was born December 18, 1965 in Kokhanivka, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, Soviet Ukraine. He began gymnastics in Dobropillia, Donetsk region, before moving to Leninsk-Kuznetsk in Siberia to train with Vladimir Astafyev at the boarding school set up by coaches Innokenty Mametyev and Galina Mametyeva. Mogilny later moved to Moscow to train under coach Alexander Alexandrov.
Mogilny amassed six world and 10 European championship medals from 1985 to 1990. He was a five-time world champion, winning three golds in 1985 (team, pommel horse,parallel bars) and two in 1989 (team and pommel horse). He was the alternate to the Soviet team to the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. He was also the world all-around silver medalist at the 1989 Worlds in Stuttgart, where he scored three of the competition's four perfect 10.0s in the men's competition.
He also won six gold medals at the European championships, including the all-around title in 1990.
He was married in 1986 to fellow world champion Olga Bicherova. The couple moved to France, where Mogilny acquired citizenship and hoped to continue his career. The couple had a son, Alex Moguilnyi, who was a national-level gymnast in France and is now a coach. Bicherova and Mogilny later divorced.
Valentin Mogilny worked as a coach in France but was plagued by poor health in later life.
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