Olga Korbut's Style Not Cramped ... Yet

New York Times, July 16, 1973   Olga Korbut, the Soviet Union's triple Olympic gold medalist, is free to continue her tricky gymnastic performances, at least until November, Arthur Gander, president of the International Gymnastics Federation, said today.

A proposed rule that would bar some of Miss Korbut's most applauded feats as too dangerous still requires approval by the federation's assembly in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, next November, Gander explained.

"Therefore, she is free to show what she likes at next month's international University Games in Moscow and at the European championships in London next month," Gander said.

The rule, proposed by the federation's technical commission last January, would prohibit Olga's spectacular backward somersault on the balance beam and other elements of her free-style exercises as "liable to cause injury."

Earlier today, in Moscow, the 18-year-old Miss Korbut threatened to quit gymnastics rather than modify her style.

"If the decision is put into effect," she said in an interview published in the official sports organ, Sovietsky Sport, "then I simply do not see any place for myself in gymnastics."

"The point is not the fact that I would be compelled to replace my combinations in two events.  But more importantly, I was told without reservations to radically revise my point of view toward gymnastics.  It has always been considered that gymnastics has the right to determine its own style."

This page was created on October 8, 2004.
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