DETROIT – Tatiana Gutsu keeps a constant reminder around her neck about her time competing at the Olympics: a necklace with the five Olympic rings.
"This is my life," Gutsu said. "This is what I did. This is what I achieved and it represents something special, a special memory."
Gutsu competed for Ukraine during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. She won two gold medals for the women's gymnastics team and the women's all-around competition, a silver for the uneven bars and a bronze for her floor exercise.
"I think that was the proudest moment in my life, to stand on the podium and actually win such a highest award in my life," Gutsu said. "Standing on the podium and watching people, knowing people around the world is watching you and voting for you, cheering for you, or worried for you, just to make sure nothing has happened, that was the proudest moment of my life."
Gutsu said she trained for 10 years to compete at the Olympics, and credits her coaches for helping her master unique and difficult moves.
"I had a very, very good coach who led me to follow my dream," Gutsu said.
She came to the United States for contract work as a coach, first in New Orleans, Louisiana and then Metro Detroit. She fell in love with Michigan and decided to stay.
Gutsu has spent the last 22 years coaching, and opened Tatiana Gutsu Gymnastics in Farmington Hills this past January, a first step in fulfilling a new dream. She would like to return to the Olympics as an Olympic coach.
"Right now, this is a different dream," Gutsu said. "This is somebody's dream that I'm trying to do, absolutely the same work as what my coaches did, and it's not an easy job. It's an interesting job. It's an exciting job ... It's part of the coach's job to actually find something to put in their athletes, something that no one else does. My coach and me, we succeeded in that particular Olympics in 1992. We succeeded in showing few of the tricks that no one does in the world."
Gutsu is working with her gymnasts now and they will compete later this year.
For more information on the Tatiana Gutsu Academy, click here.