When Slava Corn was just a child, her family fled the Communist regime of Czechoslovakia, and arrived in Canada in 1951. Her father contracted the family to work on a sugar beet farm in Alberta to pay for the trip from Hamburg to Halifax.
Corn grew up in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto. Her family got involved in the Czech activities as well as the Sokol gymnastics program. Corn was her mother’s partner in mass demonstrations of gymnastics and calisthenics know as Sokol slets in various cities in the U.S. and Canada.
The Sokol ideal of a sound mind in a sound body has provided Corn with the proper foundation which has led to her impressive leadership successes.
Corn was always interested in gymnastics, but more as a coach. From 1960 to 1974, she was the gymnastics coach and club director for the Sokol. From 1978 to 1985, she served as an international gymnastics judge. Throughout the 1990s, she served in various roles in the Canadian gymnastics federation, and as chairman of the board.
Born July 16, 1943, in Czechoslovakia, Corn has been a member of the International Gymnastics Federation Executive Committee since 1992. She has also chaired the FIG Media and Communication Commission. She was also instrumental in developing and implementing the highly successful FIG Academy program—an international coaching education system that helps experienced coaches spread their knowledge in countries who are trying to bolster their gymnastics programs.
She has also been director of programming at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of women in sport in Canada.
In 2014, the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach named Corn to the IOC’s Women in Sports Commission. Just after taking up his duties in 2017, FIG President Morinari Watanabe decided to mandate a working group to review the federation’s existing rules concerning emotional and sexual abuse and to reinforce them. That working group includes Slava Corn.
Slava Corn retired from the FIG after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is still an honorary vice president for the FIG and will serve as an advisor to the newly elected FIG Executive Committee.
Corn has experienced and worked in some capacity at eight Olympic Games and more than 50 World Championships. She has been acknowledged at the Canadian Sports Awards as one of Canada’s most influential women. And on May 19, 2018, she was recognized as the 2018 International Order of Merit Honoree from the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.