Munich's darling Korbut arrested for shoplifting

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Famed Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut, the woman who as an elfin teenager created a sensation at the 1972 Munich Games, has been charged with stealing $19 worth of items from an Atlanta-area supermarket.

Korbut, 46, was arrested late on Thursday on a misdemeanor charge that she took cheese, chocolate syrup, figs, tea and seasoning mix from a Publix store in Norcross.

Korbut's attorney, Thomas C Nagel, said that the four-time gold medalist denies the allegations. Her manager, Kay Weatherford, insisted that the incident was a misunderstanding. Weatherford said Korbut explained to her that the confusion occurred when she tried to leave the grocery store with her shopping cart and retrieve her wallet that she had left in her car.

A store security guard alleges she saw Korbut put items inside her handbag before leaving the store. Korbut will appear before a Gwinnett County magistrate on Tuesday.

Korbut was born in Belarus in 1955 and achieved world-wide stardom at the 1972 Munich Games when she won three gold medals. She won another at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, before retiring a year later

After marrying folk singer Leonid Bortkevich in 1978, she trained young hopefuls, worked as a television commentator and became an accomplished equestrienne. In 1991, she and her family emigrated to the US, and she now works as a gymnastics coach in the Atlanta area.