gymn Digest                 Mon,  7 Mar 94       Volume 2 : Issue  84

Today's Topics:
                          "Wus" Men's Sports
                         '94 Am. Cup - Finals
                        '94 Am. Cup - Prelims.
                     '94 AmCup - Prelims (2 msgs)
                             96 Olympics
                           [COL] GA v. BYU
                             American Cup
                    American Cup (Part 3) (2 msgs)
                         American Cup Report
                     American Cup Report (Part 1)
                     American Cup Report (Part 2)
           American Cup report and other comments (2 msgs)
                            coach question
                         College Scholarships
                             Cow calling
                          Israeli confusion
                            Onodi (3 msgs)
                       re: American Cup Report
                           Sharipov's Vault
             UF-W. Virginia Women's Collegiate Gymnastics

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Sat, 05 Mar 94 18:21:19 EST
From: ***
Subject: "Wus" Men's Sports

On the subject of the reputation artistic men's sports have, here's a good
example.  A friend forwarded a list of answers to the question "What did
Jeffrey Dahmer say to Lorena Bobbitt?" to me, and the following was among

5.   The whole men's figure skating team wouldn't even make a
     decent snack.

-- Gimnasta


Date: Mon,  7 Mar 94 01:43:00 BST
From: ***
Subject: '94 Am. Cup - Finals

During the finals competition, men and women alternate performing,
so it would be possible to catch every routine.  However, every time
I go to a meet there is someone 2 rows in front of me who has come
not to watch gymnastics but to get up every 10 minutes and head for
the concession stand.  Saturday's competition was no different. :-)
Sharipov began the meet on FX, opening with a double layout and ending
with a double tuck.  He must have made an error (8.875). PH claimed
its first victim in Supola (8.05), but Scherbo was spectacular (9.425).
Campbell (GBR) showed "easy" tumbles (piked full-in; double twist to
punch front 1 1/4; double tuck) but his form was excellent (9.05).
I missed Roethlisberger's 1st tumbling pass (food[C time for[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C the above-
mentioned person). His other 2 passes of front layout, punch front, punch
front; full-in were very nice (9.60). Umphrey sat on PH - he never
looked very confident - for a 8.60.  Wang (CHN) was the best tumbler:
full-in full-out (stuck) and closing double layout for a low 9.25.
Scherbo rearranged his middle tumble to a layout full to punch front
1 1/4.  His other 2 passes were a bit short, so he received 9.30.
Podkopayeva's piked front 1/2 showed great form but she hopped on both
landings (9.574), as did Piskun (9.706).  Lussac and Molnar did
Yurchenko fulls, Tsavdaridou had a huge step on her 2nd piked front,
and Fontaine fell on her 2nd vault for a 9.293.  I missed Dawes' 1st
attempt, but it must have been great since the audience went wild.
The men all performed well on R, with no major errors. Roethlisberger
got the high score (9.675) with nice inverted crosses and a stuck
full-in full-out.  Walther's exercise was one strength move after
another (e.g., inverted cross and press up to handstand).  Neat.
Finally, I had a chance to see all the men's vaults I'd missed the
night before.  Supola did a s[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[Dand[D[D[D Supola and Roethlisberger stuck their layout Tsuks
(9.3 and 9.35, respectively).  Scherbo did his vault perfectly for
a 9.70.  Sharipov showed a super RO 1/2 twist on to front tuck off
for 9.125.
Dawes and Piskun were the best bars performers.  Qiao overshot her
Pak salto to the LB and ended up balancing on her hips (9.10). What
a shame; she has a very interesting routine.  Lussac did a wrong-way
Tkachev to immediate Pak salto (I missed her prelim. routine), another
Tkachev (regular way) later on, and dismounted wiyth a double layout
for 9.60. Fontaine's routine was interesting, but she had some form
breaks and flat feet at times, which took her down to 9.162.  The
biggest shock was Podkopayeva's intermediate swing after her Gienger.
Tsavdaridou's double layout was slung out rather than up and I was
expecting that she'd land flat on her face.
Roethlisberger held a slight lead over Scherbo going into PB, but
unfortunately his exercise was a disaster with a fall (but an inter-
esting dismount) for 8.775.  A lot of the men did double backs between
the bars and almost all performed double pike dismounts.  With the
exception of Roethlisberger's dismount, it was a fairly dull rotation.
There were a number of falls on B and quite a few wobbles. Dawes' only
mistake was a small balance check after her punch front (9.85). Piskun
and Podkopayeva both had problems with their front flip mounts. Lussac
has incredible difficulty but completely missed her 2nd Rulfova (9.287).
Fontaine showed a nice double turn and stuck double back but seemed
rather stiff throughout (9.287).
With Roethlisberger out of contention for the title, I still wondered
if Scherbo could make it through HB without a problem (his warm-ups
weren't that great). His releases were good and the dismount was
stuck (9.725). Sharipov did a great piked Gaylord, then 2 huge
Tkachevs, but was very short on his triple back (8.925). Roethlisberger
looked like he was making up his routine as he went along in the
beginning (and his Jaeger didn't look good at all; thought he would
miss it), but he showed another unusual dismount (9.625 - a little
high?).  Campbell showed consecutive Tkachevs and a triple back, which
was a little short.  He's a good gymnast with nice form who's not
attempting skills which he's not ready for - a nice change.
Women's FX is always exciting, and Tsavdaridou got the crowd going
with Greek music (opening double layout) for 9.5237.  I[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[C[C[C[C[C[C think she
finished 6th or 7th at the Jr. Europeans.  Podkopayeva again had
problems (out of bounds on her 1st pass for 9.55).  Lussac and Qiao
used Spanish music and both had good choreography, with Lussac being
the much stronger tumbler.  Fontaine did only a double pike for her
1st pass; she's a better dan[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[C[C[C[C[Cgood dancer, though (9.40).  By now you all know
Dawes' FX, and it was great.  Fantastic tumbling, expressive dance,
etc.  She scored 9.85 and became the new Am. Cup champ.
It's too bad that Miller was injured, as a Dawes/Miller showdown would
have been very interesting.  If Dawes can perform the same in Brisbane,
I think she has a good chance for the world AA title. Lussac might also
have some success if she can perform without errors. Certainly, Piskun
and Podkopayeva will work hard to correct their mistakes here.  And
if Scherbo can clean up his dismounts, he may win his 2nd world AA
The final standings were:
WOMEN                         MEN
1. Dawes             39.387   1. Scherbo              57.075
2. Tsavdaridou       38.429   2. Roethlisberger       56.425
3. Piskun            38.393   3. Walther              55.450
4. Lussac            38.186   4. Umphrey              55.425
5. Podkopayeva       37.599   5. Sharipov             55.225
6. Molnar            37.143   6. Wang                   ??
7. Fontaine          37.142   7. Campbell             53.675
8. Qiao              36.755   8. Supola               53.000
(above scores are my figures; they may be off)


Date: Mon,  7 Mar 94 00:44:00 BST
From: ***
Subject: '94 Am. Cup - Prelims.

Greetings from FL!  This year's American Cup was good, with a nice
mix of established gymnasts and talented newcomers.  The gymnasts
seem to be more comfortable with the Code, although there were some
surprise errors from the leaders.
It was impossible to follow everything during prelims, since there
were few announcements as to which gymnast was up next and what
the scores were.  Anyway, here are some observations:
The Yurchenko to 1/2 twist front layout (Strug's vault) was used by
several girls (Miller, Borden, Fontaine, Thompson [all US],
Amanar [ROM], etc).  Miller's 1st try was overrotated with a huge
step forward, but the 2nd was solid.  Borden crashed her 1st vault
for 6.90 (I think) and the 2nd wasn't much better (7.963). Fontaine's
looked the best to me - nice and high with an excellent landing.
Dawes showed her usual vault, which was very well done. Piskun (BLR),
Podkopayeva (UKR) and Tsavdaridou (GRE) also showed nice air position
and controlled landings.
Defending champ. Scherbo began on FX with a layout full-out and ended
with a double layout (both stuck). Unfortunately, his middle pass of
layout front full to layout front was very short and he ended up on
his rear (in warm-ups he'd been overrotating it). Keswick had an
excellent 1st pass of piked 1 3/4 (out of bounds, though).
Wang Dong (CHN) and Roethlisberger did the best pommel routines in
my opinion.  Both of them performed with speed and great assurance.
Walther (GER) ended up winning this event, but I missed his exercise...
The biggest surprise of women's UB was that Miller withdrew from the
competition.  It seems that she ripped a stomach muscle recently. Now
the door was wide open for Dawes, but she missed a Shaposhnikova.
Qiao Ya (CHN) did a sky-high piked Jaeger to Pak salto - fantastic!
Piskun didn't perform the Def salto; now it's "just" a soaring
Deltchev. Her other release was a Chusovitina, and she took a step
on her double layout dismount.
The men showed lots of strength moves of R.  Burinca (ROM) was
absolutely fantastic here as was Durbin (USA), who crossed the rings,
did a few swings, then uncrossed them and ended in an L-seat. Keswick
stuck his double twisting double tuck, and Supola (HUN) also stuck
his triple back.
The only vault I caught from the men was Scherbo's double twisting
Yurchenko.  He was short and put his hands down.  Things weren't
looking too good for him....
There were some falls from B, but the top girls were fairly solid.
Dawes came back into contention with a perfectly performed routine for
a 9.90.  Podkopayeva showed impeccable form throughout, although she
had a balance check after her side leap which took her score down to
around 9.70. Borden and Fontaine both showed solid and secure
exercises (Fontaine's coach was happier than she was, I think!).
Perhaps the best routine came from Thompson.  Her full twisting back
tuck (a la Gutsu) was done perfectly, as was her FF to 3 layouts. If
she[C hadn't overrotated her full-in dismount she might have qualified
for the finals.  Amanar looks a lot like a young Silivas. She mounted
with a RO to layout (very high). She also did successfully a FF to
2 layouts (she fell every time during warm-up so I didn't think she'd
hit it).  I thought she was underscored at 9.35.
Scherbo at last looked like his old self on the last 2 events.  On PB,
his giants and Diamidovs were well-controlled; on HB, his 2 Tkachevs
were very high.  Umphrey did 5 release moves on HB (Tkachev to Gienger;
Tkachev, Tkachev, Gienger)!  Keswick's Kovacs and triple back were
perfect.  Roethlisberger was solid here, too, although his routine
wasn't too exciting (in my opinion).
Both Piskun and Podkopayeva showed new FX routines, Podkopayeva's
being exquisite in both tumbling and choreography.  I don't know
what the judges were looking for on this event, but she deserved a
share of the FX title.  Amanar's choreography was better than what we
usually get from the Romanians, and her tumbling looked good. She
scored 9.425.  Her coach was very upset; I thought he'd do a "Karolyi"
with the judges.  Borden ended a miserable evening by going out of
bounds after her Arabian double front.  Qiao had good dance but rather
weak tumbling; Lussac was strong but not very expressive.
After 4+ hours the competition ended, and the event winners were:
Men: FX - Roethlisberger; PH - Walther (GER); R - Dan Burinca (ROM);
    V - Norimasa Iwai (JPN); PB and HB - Scherbo.
Women: V, B and FX - Dawes; UB - Piskun.
Prelim. scores were:
1. Roethlisberger 56.450
2. Scherbo        56.000
3. Umphrey        55.700
4. Wang Dong      55.225
4. Sharipov       55.225
-. Keswick        55.150
6. Walther        54.675
6. Supola         54.675
8. Campbell       54.075
9. Iwai           53.500
10. Burinca       53.250
11. Kurov         52.900
12. Garcia        52.800
13. Luini         52.425
--. Durbin        52.375
14. Lopez         52.300
1. Dawes          38.825
2. Piskun         38.800
3. Podkopayeva    38.687
4. Lussac         38.537
5. Fontaine       38.325
6. Qiao Ya        37.712
-. J.Thompson     37.650
7. A. Molnar      37.425
8. Tsavdaridou    37.312
9. Amanar         37.275
10. Portuondo     37.250
11. Shani         36.737
12. Cousineau     36.337
--. Borden        36.287
13. Lebedeva      36.212
14. Maiers        35.662
15. Sugawara      35.137
16. Miller         9.625


Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 09:33:07 EST
From: ***
Subject: '94 AmCup - Prelims

I thought Debbie's report was *excellent*, but I have to disagree on one
thing.   She writes:

"Both Piskun and Podkopayeva showed new FX routines, Podkopayeva's
being exquisite in both tumbling and choreography"

 I thought Podkopayeva's choreography was absolutely *atrocious.*  (I was
disappointed because I saw her old floor once and remember liking it).  I get
really bad reception on NBC, but from what I could see, she stood around a
lot and wiggled a fair amount, all to great music (Havah Nagilah [sp?]),
which made it all the more disappointing.

 -- Gimnasta


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 08:13:48 PST
From: ***
Subject: '94 AmCup - Prelims

      >I thought Podkopayeva's choreography was absolutely *atrocious.*  (I was
      >disappointed because I saw her old floor once and remember liking it).
        >I get really bad reception on NBC, but from what I could see, she stood
        >around a lot and wiggled a fair amount, all to great music (Havah

I have to agree here.  That seemed like all she did, besided a few tumbinling
runs.  I just couldn't get real excited/interested in it.

        >Nagilah [sp?]), which made it all the more disappointing.


Date: Sat, 05 Mar 94 18:46:12 EST
From: ***
Subject: 96 Olympics

Bad news for gym fans.  NBC has announced it will not have any cable or
Pay-per-view coverage, only regular broadcast (we all know how complete that
was in Barcelona).

I want Triplecast II!


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 1994 01:31:34 -0500 (EST)
From: ***
Subject: [COL] GA v. BYU

      The University of Georgia continued its quest for a second
consecutive national championship by defeating visiting BYU 196.725 to
192.725.  The tenth ranked Cougars weren't about to make it easy,
however.  Of the seven gymnasts who competed, all but one set a
personal season high on at least one event, and the team set season
highs on both bars and beam.  The Cougars' team score was their second
highest this season and their highest road score.

      In answer, Georgia posted their top score so far this season.
And five of the Lady Bulldogs posted personal season bests.  The team
swept the all-around and only allowed two third place finishes by BYU
gymnasts on individual events.  On the way, Lori Strong and Hope
Spivey-Sheeley scored perfect 10.0s each -- Lori on bars and Hope on
floor, making Hope's 23rd career ten.

-- Rotation Details

      The battle lines were drawn right from the beginning.  Georgia's
first two vaulters, Lisa Kurc and Lori, each set season highs with
9.90 on piked HSP fronts.  The Cougars answered by having five of
their six bar workers set or tie season highs.  Of note was Nanette
Thornock-Walker's Jaeger with a crossed grip regrasp.  Meanwhile,
Agina Simpkins added her own flair to her first piked HSP front: a
forward roll to the end of the mat!  Her second attempt, however was
good enough for a 9.85.  Behind her, Leah Brown and Hope each missed
perfection by the narrowest possible margin, a quarter of a tenth.

      BYU's Juliet Bangerter can smile through anything.  She started
the second rotation, performing for her first time this season on
vault.  She threw a HSP w/ 3/2 off which only has a start value of
9.40.  On each attempt, she missed the last 1/2 turn, yet to see her
salute to the judge afterwards, you couldn't help but smile, too.  She
loves this sport, and it really shows.  Finishing up for the Lady
Bulldogs, Agina performed clearly her best hop-full of the season and
Lori's breathtaking double layout dismount was perfect in the eyes of
the judges.

      Georgia found itself in trouble on the balance beam when the
first three gymnasts -- all freshmen -- fell in their routines.  BYU
looked to have an opportunity to gain some ground, but Christy Miles
and Kelli Rose both had falls early in the rotation.  Lori turned it
around for the Gym Dawgs with her third season high of the night and
set the stage for Nneka Logan and Hope to tie for first with scores of
9.90 each.  Nevertheless, BYU scored only a quarter of a tenth behind
Georgia in the third rotation.

      Emotions were running high by the final rotation.  With her
mother watching from the stands for the first time in her collegiate
career, Lori began her floor routine by hitting the pass that had
eluded her the week before at Auburn and in practice: a layout front
full punch front.  She looked to have the all-around sewn up until she
stepped out on her double full dismount.  BYU, meanwhile, had seen
Nanette miss a handspring layout and crash chest first into the beam.
Sophomore Leslie Durfey set a career high and Kelli's fall would have
to be counted.  Juliet attempted a double turn in which she almost
fell but fought to stay on, drawing applause for her efforts from the
crowd.  The Cougar's performance would be enough to defeat Georgia on
beam, but not enough to win the meet.  Coach Yoculan said after the
meet, "the Georgia team owns the floor exercise," and they did.
Despite a controversial step out judgement against Agina, Nneka would
finish third on floor with a 9.95, Leslie Angeles scored a 9.975, and
Hope was -- yet again -- perfection personified.


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 16:43:13 EST
From: ***
Subject: AmCup

Was I the only one who thought Dom was going to come off bars on her 1 1/2


Date: Sat, 05 Mar 94 18:21:08 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup

Just watching the American Cup and I really can't stand the absurdity of
layout front fulls being D's and 1-1/2's being E's.  At least it seemed a
couple of gymnasts made some effort to avoid it (Piskun, for doing two other
difficult passes well despite doing two 1-1/2's, and Lussac).  Dawes is just
in a category by herself in tumbling.

Kind of lousy meet overall, though.  What a lot of big mistakes!

-- Gimnasta


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 22:15:35 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup (Part 3)

To All:
   Many of you asked me how the lady gymnasts looked on the first day.  Well,
I've compiled all my notes and put them in one list-type format, so you can
look below to see your favorites.
   Just one quick note: the first day, they ran all the events at once, so my
head was swirling around, trying to catch something of everybody, both men
and women. Please keep that in mind if you see an error in one of my
descriptions of a move.
    Oh, if any of you have questions about the men on the first day, send me
a note and I'll compile my notes for you.
**Elena Piskun, Belarus
Bars: high deltchev, double-layout dismount
Vault: Yurchenko double, very nice
Beam: tuck-full on the beam, double-pike dismount

**Marilou Cousineau, Canada
Vault: Yurchenko full
Floor: new age-type music, full-in, 3 whips to double-back and a double-back

**Qiao Ya, China
Floor: High full-in, yucky dance

Annia Portuondo, Cuba
Floor: perfect double-layout!!!, full-in to end; she also "inch-wormed" on
the floor on her stomach
Beam: fell

**Elodie Lussac, France
vault: Great Yerchenko-fulls!
bars: wrong-way r-hecht to back-layout to low bar
florr: double-layout, ended with a full-in, expressive dance, big calves
(yes, I noticed that)

**Vasso Tsavdaridou, Greece
vault: front-pike. Great distance!!
bars: very fast!, giant-full to r-hecht, giant 1/2 to giant 1/2 to
double-layout dismount
floor: double-layout, full-in in last pass
beam: Yurchenko loop, full-twisting chest roll, also mounted with a chest

**Andrea Molnar, Hungary
floor: whip to full-in (step out), whip to triple, double-full punch front.
When she finished her routine, she sat down on mats stacked six feet from the
floor. When she sat down, she put her elbows on her knees and put her head
down. She was breathing heavy and exhausted after that floor routine.

**Mayo Shani, Israel
vault: piked front with a half. Very nice!!
floor: whip to 2 1/2 twist, 3 whipes to double-back

Risa Sugawara, Japan
bars: piked Yaeger, r-hecht, double-front dismount, landing on butt

**Simona Amanar, Romania
bars: giant full to Gienger, German giant on low bars, giant full to r-hecht,
full-in dismount
vault: Yurchenko-half front ( a 10.00 vault)
beam: connected three layouts

**Elena Lebedeva, Russia
vault: Yurchenko 1 1/2 tucked
beam: front-tuck mount, did a punch-front later on beam

**Lilia Podkopayeva, Ukraine
bars: hop-full, gienger, arabian double-front dismount

**Amanda Borden, U.S.A.
vault: Yurchenko-half front. Her hand almost missed the first time, and the
second time, she landed on her back
beam: excellent front-tuck on! had a series of back-h to back-h to
back-layout (to 2-foot landing)
Bars: dismounted with an Arabian double-front
floor: fell on Arabian double-front in her first pass (was having all sorts
of problems with it in her warm-ups)

**Dominique Dawes, USA
vault: Yerchenko 1 1/2. First one was bad form and short. Second one was
further and better
bars: fell on undercatch on high bar; did a 1 1/2 pirouette but finished that
last half almost at 90 degrees. My notes don't reflect *any* release moves,
other than the undercatch.
floor: 2 whips to a double-full punch front to a 2 1/2-twist punch front,
piked full-in for second, 2 1/2 twist for last, nice dance
beam: her layouts are looking better but still are a deduction in my book;
back-h to 3 back-layouts, punch-front, nailed a full-in dismount

**Larissa Fontaine
bars: 2 r-hechts, double-front with a half for a dismount
vualt: Yerchenko-half front
beam: chest-roll for a mount, double-turn, double-back dismount
floor: double-pike, front-handspring with two twists, plays up to crowd big
time. Her tumbling seemed weak to me when compared to the level of gymnastics
she throws on her other events.

**Tany Maiers, USA
Vault: Was throwing a Yerchenko layout. Why such a simple vault? She piked
the first one.
bars: r-hecht, double-layout dismount
floor: triple-full, double-pike, weak dance, danced to Miami Sound Machine's
beam: sheep jump (a yucky one that I wouldn't give credit), needle-scale,
fell on some easy move (I forget)

**Jennie Thompson, USA
vault: Yurchenko-half front
bars: r-hecht, nice form, double-layout dismount, stuck landing
floor: 3 whips to double-full, low full-in
beam: full-twisting back-tuck, 3 layouts, fell on full-in dismount

Phew!!!! My eyes and fingers are tired typing all this. Again, if you want to
know about the men, please ask me. I will type up my notes later in the week
so they can be logged in the digest, but I'm running out of time today to do
that. So if you have specific questions, fire away.
--- Ron in Fla.


Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 12:43:54 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup (Part 3)

Ron, thanks for typing up your prelim notes.  I think a lot of people are
interested in the prelims especially because they're not shown on TV.  (And
of course let's not forget our non-USA gymners, who didn't get to see it on
TV at all.)

> **Tanya Maiers, USA
> Vault: Was throwing a Yerchenko layout. Why such a simple vault? She piked
> the first one.

I think a layout Yurchenko (Start Value 9.6) is pretty darn good for a 12
year old girl who won't be 13 until October.  In early 1993 I saw Jennie
Thompson vaulting piked Yurchenko's (SV 9.5) in competition.  Now, one year
later, she is up to half-twisting layouts (SV 10.0).  I'm optimistic that
Maiers will have the vault she needs when it counts (ie in two years).

I wonder why Jennie Thompson isn't doing her Rulfova (full-twisting back
handspring swingdown) on beam any more.



Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 04:41:07 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup Report

Thanks to Ron for awesome reports from the American Cup!

re: Vasso
"Later, she does a back flip on the beam, sideways, catching the beam with
her hands and doing an immediate free-hip sideways on the beam. Very good!"

I believe that this is called a Yurchenko loop... (anyone please correct me
if I'm wrong).

Ron, you didn't mention Elena Piskun a whole lot... what did you think of
her?  What about the other gymners who attended the Cup (I know several of
you were there!)?  A couple people had told me that her form was improving--
is it true?

>    **When warm-ups started for the first night, someone with a quirky sense
> of humor played Anne Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass" over the
>    **The second night, going into one of the final rotations, someone
> Billy Joel's "Pressure" over the loudspeaker. I loved it.

Susan Baughman of the USGF is in charge of their music (among other things).
I don't know her official title, but she's in the events dep't.  She has
simply boxes and boxes of tapes. 

>    **In warm-ups the first night, Amanda Borden really screwed up a vault
> and was heading for an injury-potential, on-her-head major spill. Kevin
> stepped in quickly, smacked Amanda on the butt hard while she was still in

Which gym is Kevin working with?  I thought he had left Cincinatti?



Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 02:35:18 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup Report (Part 1)

To All:
    It was more of the same for the men and a breath of fresh air for the
women at the McDonald's American Cup in Orlando, Florida.
    I was sent to the American Cup as an official reporter for Gymn, and it
was kind of interesting to hear the responses I got when I told people who I
was representing, but once they understood, their eyes lit up and they were
eager talk.
     So, that being said, let me go ahead and tell you all the juicy stuff:
    Dominique Dawes utterly dominated her rivals to win the women's side, and
a lackluster Vitaly Scherbo, who has incredible talent but doesn't seem to
have enough time to practice, took first in the men's side..
    Here are the scores before I go on further:
1. Dominique Dawes, USA 39.387
2. Vasso Tsavdaridou, Greece 38.429
3. Elena Piskun, Belarus 38.393
4. Elodie Lussac, France 38.186
5. Lilia Podkopayeva, Ukraine 37.599
6. Andrea Molnar, Hungary 37.143
7. Larissa Fontaine, USA 37.142
8. Qiao Ya, China 36.755
1. Vitaly Scherbo, Belarus 57.075
2. John Roethlisberger, USA 56.425
3. Oliver Walther, Germany 55.450
4. Chainey Umphrey, USA 55.425
5. Rustam Sharipov, Ukraine 55.225
6. Wang Dong, China 54.600
7. Marvin Campbell, Great Britain 53.675
8. Zoltan Supola, Hungary 53.000

    Okay, let's go ahead and talk about the women first. Dominique Dawes was
clearly, head and shoulders, above her competition. I think even Shannon
Miller would have had trouble beating her if she had not pulled out with a
slightly injured stomach muscle.
    "It was one of my better performances," Dawes said in an understatement
after the competition.
    Just look at her various events. On vault, she threw a Yerchenko 1 1/2,
arguably the hardest vault in the competition. (Piskun of Belarus threw a
Yerchenko double, but on that vault, you can see the ground before you land.)
On bars, Dominqiue had good form and did a giant 1 1/2, as well as a full-in
dismount. On beam, she not only connected a back-handspring to 3 back-layouts
but tumbled to a nice full-in landing. And floor? Well, she was just plain
awesome. I'm sure you guys saw it on television.
    Her first pass was  2 whips to a double-full to a punch front through to
a 2 1/2-twist to a punch front. Her second pass was a piked full-in, and her
third pass was a 2 1/2 twist. On top of all of that, she had nice dance, good
height, nice splits.
    And while Dawes dominated the competition, fresh new faces made their
appearance and brought smiles to the crowd. There were three new stars:
Tsavdaridou of Greece, Elodie Lussac of France and Maya Shani of Israel.
    The Greek girl is so tiny and so cute that when you see her, you want to
pat her on the head, squeeze her cheeks and adopt her. When she was brought
to the press room for interviews afterward, it was like a whole new
experience for her.
   (As an aside, when they announced in the press room that the Greek girl
took second, Vitaly Scherbo, in disbelief, turned to Dominique and said, "She
took second?" Dominique turned to him and said, "Yeah, she's good."...I have
some great Scherbo stories later in this report.)
    Through an interpreter, Vasso said: "I was surprised to place this high.
I tried my best. I was very enthusiastic about it."
    Let me tell you about some of the Greek girl's neat moves: On vault, she
threw a high handspring-front piked. On bars, she threw a giant-full to a
reverse-hecht and dismounted with a beautiful double-layout. On beam, she
mounts with a chest roll. Later, she does a back flip on the beam, sideways,
catching the beam with her hands and doing an immediate free-hip sideways on
the beam. Very good! And, finally, on floor, she opens with an easy
double-layout (grin), follows that with a front-tuck to a double-back and
closes with front-tumbling to a front with 2 twists. And just for extra kick,
for her gymnastics requirement, she connects a Popa (jump full turn) to a
Shushonova. Wow!
    Then there's Elodie Lussac of France. She took fourth the first night,
and like the Greek girl, she seemed to be shocked by the attention she was
getting. "I came here to do my work and to be known by the American judges,"
she said the first night.
    If it wasn't for a fall on beam, she would have taken third, beating the
Belarussian. Again, like the Greek girl, Elodie of France threw world-class
stuff. No longer do the former Soviets, Chinese and Americans have the lock
on those moves. Her vault was a Yerchenko-full; her bars routine had one of
the oddest combinations I've seen in a while: a wrong-way reverse-hecht to a
back-layout flip to catch the low bar. Wow! On beam, she tumbled into a back
chest roll!!!!! In fact, she fell later, but that was because she was doing
so well, she got too overconfident and went too fast. When she went to do a
second chest roll, she jumped too high before coming down and sort of bounced
sideways and off the beam. On floor, she opened with one of those easy
double-layouts again (grin), followed that with two whips to a double-full
and ended with a full-in.
    And let's not forget the gymnast who wasn't shown on television because
she didn't make it to the second night. Maya Shani of Israel is a gymnast to
watch. I wasn't able to write down everything about her, but on  vault, she
threw a strong, high handspring-front piked, with a half-twist. They both
were solid. On floor, she threw a whip to a 2 1/2 twist and then followed
that with three whips to a double-back (ala Kim Zmeskal).
   Oh, and let me mention Annia Portuondo of Cuba. She has a floor worth
drooling over. Her first pass is a stunning double-layout and her last pass
is a full-in! She also has a quirky moved on floor where she inches her body
along like an inch-worm would (a big crowd pleaser).
    (For a complete breakdown of my notes on the first night, I'll post a
second note a little later.)
    Okay, let's talk about the men.
    It was only a two-horse race, and the greatest gymnastics horse of all
time, Vitaly Scherbo, kicked butt, to put it politely.
     The first night, he just looked yucky. He got in late, didn't practice
much and seemed angry all the time. He had to count two falls, and yet,
Roethlisberger only beat him by .525 the first night. The second night, he
was much better, but gymnasts and the media alike kept saying, "You know, he
could be much better."
    Vitaly has so, so, so much talent, but all the worldwide tours and
exhibitions he's doing to earn money has put a hamper on his training. It
seems like the rest of the world is catching up, skill-wise. But you sort of
know in your heart that if Vitaly had a year off from tours, he'd come back
with all sorts of new stuff to dazzle us.
    In the press room interviews, Vitaly was his normal self. I don't need to
comment about his attitude. Just look at his quotes:
    "I worked very hard for this competition ... I expected to win this
competition, but I didn't expect it to be so hard... When I compete, I just
know one way -- to win. I don't know second place."
    (More on Vitaly later)
    John Roethlisberger has established a reputation for himself of being
consistent. And that's just what he did at the American Cup. The first night,
he was on fire, nailing routines and thrusting his fist into the air each
    "Wow, I was excited," John said after the first night. "I did all the
stuff I was training. I did my thing and had a lot of fun...It definately was
one of my better meets."
    On the second night, John was again hot, except for P-bars, where he just
sort of...well, let John describe it: "I choked," he said. "I could have done
better. I wasn't calm."
    I guess the sad part about the men's competition is that no one was
really close to John or Vitaly. When other competitiors came up, it was like,
"Sigh. Who is that? Boy, that's boring."
     But there were notables:
    **Chainey Umphrey wowed the crowd with a gabillion strength moves on
rings and then manhandled the bars with THREE REVERSE-HECHTS IN A ROW!!
    **China's Wang Dong did high, remarkable flairs while traveling the
lenghth of the horse
    **Rothlisberger threw a double-twisting double back on floor and on
pommells, he travels across the horse with one lunge of his hand across the
horse. Very difficult, I'm told.
    **Scherbo had a laid-out full-in on floor. Wow!
    **Hungary's Zoltan Supola did a double-back on the rings without letting
    **Ukraine's Rustam Sharipov mounts P-bars from the side, pressing to a
handstand. Neat. He also did the only Gaylord of the night on bars.
     Okay, on a final note, here are the Vitaly stories I promised you.
Vitaly and John Roethlisberger apparently are good friends, and they like to
pick on one another in front of the press.
    When Vitaly was on the podium to talk to the press, he was doing some
serious nose picking. John leaned forward, and whispered loud enough for the
press to hear, "Hey, stop picking your nose."
     When I asked Vitaly the difference to him between Friday's competition
and Saturday's, he said, "Well, Thursday, I went to bed at 11. Then, Friday,
I went to bed at midnight."
     I was confused. Vitaly then said, "That was a joke. Why are you so
     Then, later, somebody said that Dominique had a bobble on beam. "What's
a bobble?" he said, trying to figure out the English word. Everybody's
hopping around on one foot, trying to show him what a beam bobble looks like.
So I tell Vitaly, "Oh, a bobble's equivalent to about a dollar." He glared at
me, then realized I was making fun of the Russian "ruble." He smiled.
     And then, in the funniest moment of the night, somebody asked Vitaly how
his son was doing. With a very serious face, he looked at John Roethlisberger
and then looked back at the press.
    He said: "It looks like John, talks like John and walks like John."

--- Ronald Dupont, Jr. in Gainesville, Florida


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 02:35:51 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup Report (Part 2)

To All:
    Here are some random notes from both nights of competition:
    **The big talk of the first night was Henrietta Onodi. Gymnasts,
broadcasters and the press passed around my copy of "International Gyymnast,"
looking at her picture and going, "My God. That's her?" If you haven't seen
Henrietta lately, she's gained lots and lots of weight, so much so that her
face has become fat, making her actually look like a different person.
    **Tim Daggett told me that lots of big-name male gymnasts smoke,
including Scherbo.
    **When warm-ups started for the first night, someone with a quirky sense
of humor played Anne Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass" over the loudspeaker.
    **The second night, going into one of the final rotations, someone played
Billy Joel's "Pressure" over the loudspeaker. I loved it.
    **It's official. Dominique has signed a letter of intent to attend
Stanford IN TWO YEARS. She will spend next year attending classes part-time
at the University of Maryland. There's only one glitch in this whole plan.
Dominique has not yet been accepted to Stanford.
    **During the march-out ceremonies, tiny gymnasts from Brown's gym were
supposed to hold up these large flags on the end of poles so that the
competitors could walk out under them in dramatic fashion. Just one problem:
as the ceremony wore on, the girls got tired and the flags got lower and
lower and lower and.....
    **USA's Tany Maier didn't really belong at the American Cup. Her
gymnastics is severely lacking. When she went to vault a plain ol' Yurchenko
layout, she did it piked. Steve Nunno was *not* happy. "You did the wrong
vault!" he said to her as he walked her back. "It's a layout-vault. Now run
down there and do the right one this time."
    ** The Ukrainian gymnasts wore leotards that were fluorescent pink and
fluourescent green. You could have turned out the lights and still seen them.
Whenever they competed, the judges put on sunglasses.
    **In warm-ups the first night, Amanda Borden really screwed up a vault
and was heading for an injury-potential, on-her-head major spill. Kevin Brown
stepped in quickly, smacked Amanda on the butt hard while she was still in
the air and the smack was enough to turn her over so that she landed on her
back. I don't think people realize how important that one spot might have
been to Amanda's career.
    **On the first night, Tanya Maiers fell on beam at the same exact time
that Amanda Borden fell on floor (on an Arabian-double-front).
    **Tanya's floor music is to the Miami Sound Machine's "Conga" song.
    **Lilia Podkopayeva of the Ukraine must take a 15-hour train ride each
week to get to her gym, where she stays for a week.
    **If memory serves me correctly, China's Qiao Ya gets to see her family
only two weeks a year. Period.
    **When Dominique did her first vault well, somebody yelled extremely loud
from the crowd, "You go girl!!!!" It made everybody laugh.
    **Germany's Oliver Walther serves in the German army.
    **Elena Lebedeva of Belarus is coached by her mother.
--- Ronald Dupont, Jr. in Gainesville, Florida


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 15:52:47 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup report and other comments

Elodie Lussac won Jr. Europeans last year and I think Maya Shani did very
well there as well (didn't she win vault or something?  Definitely there was
a very good girl from Israel there, and I'm pretty sure it was she).
Interesting that despite the dive Soviet-bloc gymnastics has taken, the
European Junior Championship remains a showcase for the best young talent.

Yurchenko used to do a crossways ff to back hip circle, but I'm not sure if
the whole combination or just the back hip circle is known as a Yurchenko
loop.  I tend to think of it as the whole combination, but her name isn't
listed with it in the Code.
Just to elaborate a little on Ron's report, Lussac did *full twisting* "chest
rolls" (back dive, back handspring swing down, or whatever you care to call
it), called a "Rulfova."  A Popa is a *straddle* jump with a full turn.
Incidentally, on the subject of Lussac's ff-layout-ff-Rulfova, do people
remeber Yang Bo's ff-layout-Rulfova ('89)?  One less element than Lussac's
series, but the Rulfova was directly out of a *layout*.  That's still the
hardest, craziest series I've ever seen, I think.

Annia Portuondo is not exactly new.  She made bars finals at the Birmingham
Worlds.  I might add that at the '90 Central American-Caribbean Games, she
won five gold medals (all but one, and I think she had a sixth medal, not
gold).  At the same meet in 1993, she topped her own record and took all SIX
golds!!  An unbeatable record unless another event is added. . .

Personally, I think Dawes should get deducted for her form on her flip-flops.
 There are gymnasts who do them without knee bends and leg separations
(Prince, Laschenova), and it's not fair to them that Dawes doesn't get
penalized.  But at least Dawes finally took out that ugly straddle-V to
flopping on her back at the beginning of the routine (she did, didn't she?  I
have really lousy reception on NBC).  It always looked like she fell.  I kind
of wish she'd left in her full-twisting whip back in her first pass on FX.
But her dance is a lot better.  I wonder why Lisenko always steps out of
bounds doing a ro-ff-2 1/2 twist-punch front and Dawes doesn't step out when
she has a much longer pass of punch front-ro-3 ff's-2 1/2 twist-punch front?

The day gymnastics meets start paying the way figure skating, tennis, golf,
and bowling do, gymnasts like Scherbo will be able to make enough on less
meets and shows, and that will give them more time to train.

Not at all surprising that NBC won't do the triplecast again  -- they lost
money BIG TIME on that in '92, and at the time, a friend of mine who worked
for them told me they weren't going to do it again.

-- Gimnasta


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 20:15:19 EST
From: ***
Subject: American Cup report and other comments

Annia Portuondo has been around quite a while.  She was the top Cuban in 91
(I think she was only 11 or 12), but an injury kept her out of Pan Ams.


Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 10:02:05 -0500
From: ***
Subject: coach question

While watching the competition this weekend, I thought I recognized someone that
I used to compete against.   His name is Keith Avery and he competed for Temple
back in the late 70s - early 80s.  It looked like he was John Roeth.'s coach,
or asst. coach since he was seen a few times talking with John.

By the way, he was a very good gymnast.



Date: Sat, 05 Mar 94 18:20:32 EST
From: ***
Subject: College Scholarships

I'd like to add one more thing, since Lynda asked about scholarships in the
Ivy League:  Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships at all
(well, not explicitly anyway, and certainly not for gymnastics), and they're
also pretty hard to get into (though, as someone said, a coach wanting you
might be the factor that puts you over the top).

-- Gimnasta


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 23:50:05 EST
From: ***
Subject: Cow calling

On an old thread -- I'd meant to clarify why I mentioned cow calling and frog
jumping in the discussion of the future (or lack thereof) of men's
gymnastics.  Ron said that unless some drastic measures are taken, there
won't be anything left to fix.  My point was merely that however bad things
get, there *will* always be at least *something* to salvage, just as there
are dozens of obscure ("niche," someone said, aptly) sports.  I didn't ever
mean to equate gymnastics and cow calling, I just meant that I don't think
men's gymnastics will ever disappear so completely that we can't work on its

: )


Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 01:14:27 EST
From: ***
Subject: Hechtless

All -

Does anyone know why Dominique took out her reverse hecht on bars? She
doesn't have any major release moves now does she? I like her very much, but
was this a smart move?
Also, does anyone know if her beam routine is now worth a 10.0? I remember at
Nationals they said it was out of a 9.9. I didn't see any changes in the
routine, but she got a 9.85 with a bobble, so it must be out a ten now, no?
Lee  :)


Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 13:00:49 EST
From: ***
Subject: Israeli confusion

Looking in my Jan.94 _IG_, the Israeli who won vault at the Jr. Europeans and
did so well all-around (5th place) was Michal Shahaf.  I think we may have
confused Maya Shani, the Israeli in the American Cup, with Shahaf.

I seem to remember that Israel was one of the countries that have usually had
trouble funding international trips.  It's nice to see them making a move in
international competition.



Date: Sat, 05 Mar 94 18:23:52 EST
From: ***
Subject: Loussac

Interesting competition at American Cup.  I was very impressed by Elodie
Loussac, and think we will see more of her in the future...

Does anyone know what happened to Steve Nunno's kids in prelims?  Larissa is
interesting (particularly her normal bars set), but her injury really seemed
to hurt her performance.  I don't understand how she could have beaten Jennie
Thompson & Tanya Maiers in this meet unless they had problems.  Anyone?


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 16:35:15 EST
From: ***
Subject: Onodi

People are wondering "what happened" to Henrietta Onodi.  **Nothing**
"happened" to her.  She's 20 years old, a woman, and no longer a prepubescent
little gymnast working out 8 hours a day, which tends to keep fat percentages
down and delay development.  She's gained weight (and she *should*); I
wouldn't say she's *fat* (and what if she is?  Btw, I don't think she looks
like a different person at all).  If you'd never seen her (and others) in an
abnormally delayed state of prepubescence (which is not to say I disapprove
of it; that's just the way it is when you train so much, though many of these
girls probably would have developed later than others anyway, and that's how
they were able to become so good in the first place, before the hard training
delayed it even more), you'd never have given that picture a second thought.
After retiring from that level of competition, many of the gymnasts become
slightly overweight kind of suddenly and then grow out of it (though not
going back to Olympic form, and it's a good thing).  I'm all for gymnasts
becoming normal women, and they should be free of the demanding and
unrealistic expectations to remain looking like 11 year olds (though I've
never seen a complaint about the size of Nadia's or Daniela Silivas' chests;
maybe Onodi should get liposuction under her chin and then get breast
implants).  It's that kind of expectation that makes women anorexic and
bulimic (like Christy Henrich), and it's awfully destructive.  So cut it out.

>: (


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 21:18:56 EST
From: ***
Subject: Onodi

gimnasta is absolutely right regarding Onodi.  There is nothing wrong with
the way she looks.  Perhaps you should be more concerned with whether she is
happy than what she weighs.


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 1994 12:09:48 -0500 (EST)
From: ***
Subject: Onodi

> gimnasta is absolutely right regarding Onodi.  There is nothing wrong with
> the way she looks.  Perhaps you should be more concerned with whether she is
> happy than what she weighs.

First of all I would like to apologize for being the one that started the
Onodi bussiness.  Personally, I love the woman.  She was spectacular in
the 92 Olympics.  All I am is just concerned.  I didn't mean to offend
anyone.   Read she is going to school in Austin, Texas.  Is that true.  I
would love to meet her, and maybe get an autograph.  :-)



            "She was hungry, she required me, entirely."

                                          - Front 242


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 13:41:54 EST
From: ***
Subject: re: American Cup Report

Kevin Brown is currently still in Cinci and still involved with Amanda
Borden's coach. Just to gossip, he was involved with her before his break-up
with Rita. Also, Rita is selling Brown's and moving on.

The reason that Vitali may have been a bit put out by the question "How is
your son doing" is because he has a DAUGHTER  not a son. Her name is Kristina
and she was born last year the day before the American Cup prelims. Irina,
Vitali's wife, didn't understand English and there was no-one at the hospital
that spoke Russian so Vitali gave  her instructions over the phone. After the
American Cup he flew home to see his new daughter and then came back to
Atlanta for the  International Mixed Pairs. He went straight from the airport
to the competition and had only about 10 minutes to warm up. (note: He &
Elena Piskoun defeated Strug& Waller for the Mixed Pairs title)

About smoking; many of the Eastern European athletes in various sports smoke.
It is thought of quite differently in thier countries. Gutsu, Wecker, Onodi,
Bilozercehv, Sceherbo do just to name a few. To show how little they realize
the effects Vladimir Gogoladaze used to smoke and upon moving to the US
couldn't understand the censure he got for doing so. He eventually quit
saying "In the Soviet Union we had no idea that it could cause serious health
problems . . .everyone smokes. . . it's not an issue". In fact Scherbo was
heavily condemned by the British press for leaving the arena DURING the men's
AA in '93 (In a breach of security since the princess Anne was there) to
smoke. The newspapers dubbed him "Puffing Scherbo".  At last years American
Cup  a similar incident took place, the medal ceremony was held up while they
went looking for Vitali . . .they found him outside having a smoke.

Last Note. . . If  Ron thought that Umphrey's 3 consecutive Tkatchev's were
impressive . . . Rustam Sharipov, who had a disastruos meet at the American
Cup, has shown as many as TWELVE in a row (in France  after Barcelona '92)
and the 12th was higher than the first!  When I asked him how many he'd ever
done in practice he said he thought "maybe 20".  Now that deserves a WOW!!



Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 09:33:27 EST
From: ***
Subject: Sharipov's Vault

On TV, the announcers said Sharipov's vault (RO-1/2 on-front tuck off) was
invented by Omelianchik.  It was, the difference being that she did it piked,
but I thought I'd mention, for the sake of trivia, that the exact one
Sharipov did -- tucked -- is attributed to Ivancheva (BUL?).

: )


Date: Sun, 06 Mar 94 22:17:25 EST
From: ***
Subject: UF-W. Virginia Women's Collegiate Gymnastics

To All:
  Breaking the oldest-standing record in the University of Florida's
gymnastics history books, the Gators set a new school standard on vault en
route to a 193.925-188.875 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers in a
rare Sunday afternoon meet in Gainesville.
  For years, the Gator's Achille's heel has been its vaulting, where the
record of 48.5 was set in 1989. Against West Virginia, the Gators nailed at
least one handspring-front vault from each performer to score a 48.80 on that
  "This is great," an ecstatic Gator Head Coach Judi Avener said afterwards.
"I was so psyched after vault. We're getting stronger and gaining momentum.
We're gaining intensity and we're not backing off."
  For the Mountaineers of West Virginia, the bright spot was Lajuanda Moody
and Kristin Quackenbush. Moody won the all-around with a 39.150, with her
trademark being raw power. Quackenbush, last year's Level 9 national
champion, is tall for a gymnast (5-foot-5), but has high-level skills,
including a handspring-front, piked, on vault, a reverse-hecht and crisp
swing on bars, three double-backs (the second piked) on floor and a beam
mount of back-handspring connected immediately to two more back-handsprings.
  The team's main weakness was falls on beam and floor and extra swings on
bars; the Mountaineers lost at least three points to those errors.
  "Everything was a little shaky," Mountaineer Head Coach Linda Burdette
said. "We've got to learn to get a little more mentally tough."
  On beam, Moody was virtually rock solid, and she won that event with a 9.8.
Gator Lisa Panzironi won the vault with a 9.8 and the floor with a 9.85, and
Gator Kristen Guise won the bars with a 9.9.
  Items of note: Mountaineer Junior Janine Rankin, who had a highly
successful career on the Canadian national team, retired from the sport
because of a recurring back injury. Also, Avener announced to the crowd that
the Gators will be bidding to host the 1997 national championships.


End of gymn Digest