Former world vault and floor exercise champion Oksana Chusovitina will now compete for Germany, and will represent her new country at the Gymnastics World Championships this week.
Chusovitina was born in Uzbekistan but has lived in Germany since 2002, when her son, Alisher, was treated there for leukemia. Chusovitina became a German citizen this year, and the International Gymnastics Federation announced Tuesday she can compete for Germany at all its events, including worlds.
"Well, this decision came as a result of all that has happened to me and my family over the last four years, and I must say, without the help and support of the gymnastics community in Germany, my son Alisher could have been long gone," said Chusovitina.
"To all those people in Germany who helped him come back to life, and to all the International Gymnastics community who supported me all the way through to today, I am deeply grateful.
"I did not and do not have any other choice than working hard to cover the fees. Alisher remained full time in the hospital for two years. Then we were allowed to take him home with Control examinations held every two weeks. Gradually, the frequency of these checks was reduced to one visit every three months," she added.
The 31-year-old Chusovitina is a four-time Olympian and two-time world champion. She won the world title on floor in 1991 and on vault in 2003.