It had been rumored for a while, and now it's been confirmed on the website of Chusovitina's own team, Cologne's Toyota Team: In addition to her own competitive gymnastics career, Oksana Chusovitina has been appointed head coach of the Uzbek national team. The news is somewhat surprising in that Chusovitina recently said in an interview that she didn't want to coach elite gymnasts as she didn't like having to be tough on her pupils. Looks like she has changed her mind...
Oksana Chusovitina is about to embark on a fourth life - as a national team coach
This is what the Toyota Team site had to say on the matter, in an entry about Chusovitina's receiving a major German sports award:
She is currently recovering from two operations on her Achilles tendon and back and is now getting ready for a third operation on her shoulder. [Note: As far as we know, Chusovitina has already had her shoulder surgery and is currently getting ready for back surgery.] She responded in her own characteristic way: "Now all I need is new arms, and then I'll have had a complete overhaul and will be able to compete in a world championships without pain for once." In the meantime, however, some new and important tasks are awaiting her. As of January 1, 2009, she is no longer just a gymnast, but national coach of the female gymnasts of her fatherland, Uzbekistan. She will try to run the program from her adopted home country, Germany, and will get her pupils together for a first training camp in Germany in early February."
We have no idea about the logistics involved in this arrangement - whether the Uzbek girls will travel to Germany on a regular basis (does the Uzbek national program have that kind of money?), whether Chusovitina will travel to Uzbekistan on a regular basis, or what. We hope to find out more soon.