gymn Digest                 Thu, 12 May 94       Volume 2 : Issue 123

Today's Topics:
                      Boys Class 1 Compulsories
                          GBR v ROM - part 2
                       Gymnastics film (2 msgs)
                   L10 Junior Nationals/ Allentown
                          leftover questions
                      NCAA coaching and coaches
                       personal intro (2 msgs)
                  personal introduction and interest
            response to a response to a response (4 msgs)
                    response to response (2 msgs)
               Response to Strug and Anorexia (2 msgs)
                      strug anorexia ! (2 msgs)
                   TOPs stuff and growth impairment
                Womens European Championships (2 msgs)
                    your message about Kerri Strug

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Sun, 8 May 1994 21:59:43 -0400 (edt)
From: ***
Subject: Boys Class 1 Compulsories

Just came back from Men's J.O. Nationals in Augusta Ga.  Excellent meet -
Sorry I don't have results - had to catch a plane before they were printed.

Most important announcement of the meet:

The Jr. Elite Class I Compulsory is being dropped for next season!  You
should have heard the groan ;-) as all the gymnasts and coaches realized
they would only have to concentrate on such enjoyable things as optionals!

The rational behind the move is that the compulsory has served its
purpose over the last 2 years - being a leadup to the 1996 Olympic
Compulsory.  Gymnasts competing the next two years will probably not make
the 96 team, and therefore are not going to graduate up to the 96
compulsories.  Therefore this set of JO compulsories becomes a hindrance
towards the development of this group of boys who may have their sites
set on the year 2000.

Not only that, after this week's FIG Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland,
there might not even be compulsories at the 96 Games.  Wait and see. 
Anyway, look for changes to be made in the Boys Program by the JO Program
Committee in the next month or so, with a final report at the Congress.



Date: Mon, 09 May 94 22:21:53 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Extravaganza

My gym club had an exibition today and John rothlisberger was there. he did
some fx and ph. exellent.
     I also got his autograph. he is REALLY nice. said sure when i asked him
for his auto.
     if you ever get a chance to get his auto, don't hesitate to ask him for


Date: Tue, 10 May 94 17:05:13 BST
From: ***
Subject: GBR v ROM - part 2

Here's some more bits and pieces on the GBR v ROM meet on 19th March, 1994:
(as written by my friend Rachael Twomey):

"Ana Maria Bican was supposed to be competing as the fifth ranked Romanian and
judging from her performance in the '92 jnuior Europeans, I'd guess that she
was supposed to be competing on the bars. Unfortunately, Bican was injured
just hours before the competition and Daniela Maranduca didn't have a bars
routine to compete in her place. Maranduca would be a reserve in a World team
competition and, I think, was just in Britian to make up the numbers. She is
good, but really not in say Gogean's or Cacovean's league.

As a matter of fact, there were a few British there! Karin Szymko and Zita
Lusack are on good form but Jackie Brady looks a bit ungainly and heavy on bars
and floor and she fell on her full-in on FX. Annika Reeder, aged fourteen, is
really very good. She is the smallest and youngest of the British seniors and
starts her FX with a VERY high full-in. She has a difficult beam routine but
unfortuantely this cost her a fall on her roundoff back somi and a big wobble
on her flip-layout-flip-layout series.

As for when I was in the Romainians room after the competition, I was only in
there a total of four minutes but I'll remember every second because it'll never
happen again! The Romanians didn't say anything. Milosovici was smiling and
signing autographs like a pro at it (she should be by now). Cacovean gave this
sweet little smile when asked for her autograph (when I handed her my pen and
programme she got the idea) and Gogean... sigh... stared gloomily into space!"

Sherwin (relating Rachael's experience)


Date: Wed, 11 May 94 17:20:38 BST
From: ***
Subject: Gymnastics film

Hi all,

On one of the movie channel here yesterday they showed a gymnastics
film called 'American Anthem' starring Mitch Gaylord (amongst others)
and was produced in 1986. I'm sure many of you guys must've heard of
it (I haven't though before yesterday), anyway just thought you'd
like to know.



Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 13:26:47 -0400
From: ***@cleveland.Freenet.Edu
Subject: Gymnastics film

Regarding Mitch Gaylord in *American Anthem* - here's another
bit of trivia for everyone.  I just came across an *old* issue
of Glamour magazine (February 1986 - ok, ok, I should've thrown
it out AGES ago!!), and it had a list of the *14 Sexiest Men* and
Mitch was among them - it was right after the movie came out.

Inquiring minds want to know. . . . <grin>


Date: Wed, 11 May 94 12:05:07 EDT
From: ***
Subject: L10 Junior Nationals/ Allentown

This is from the USAG BBS... (thought I'd save Toby a bit of typing).

[I'm working on Gymn Poll #2 and will send that later today or tomorrow.]

L10 Junior Nationals
Allentown, PA

AGES 9-12

TEAM            TOTAL SCORE       RANK
Region 5A       185.500 (Tie)       1
Region 3A       185.500 (Tie)       1
Region 7A       185.325             3
Region 1A       184.525             4
Region 8A       184.200             5
Region 4A       183.625             6
Region 6A       183.175             7
Region 8B       182.250             8
Region 5B       182.025             9
Region 1B       181.150            10
Region 7B       180.650            11
Region 4B       178.800            12
Region 3B       178.150            13
Region 2A       176.800            14
Region 6B       175.000            15

(Top 7 become the Junior Olympic National Team)

GYMNAST, CLUB (STATE)              AA Score  Region  Rank

Michiko Ishikawa, Dynamo (OK)       37.800    3A       1
Katie Taylor, Kentwood (MI)         37.375    5A       2
Sara DiPasquale, Parkettes (PA)     37.425    7A       3
Cari Zawistowski, Gym XL (NY)       37.400    6A       4
Melinda Baimbridge, Cypress (TX)    37.300    3A       5
Maureen LaRocque, Kips (So.CA)      37.225    1A       6
Lindsay Waddell, Capital (VA)       37.175    7A       7
Ashley Lamb, Capital City (NE)      37.075    4A       8
Kinsey Rowe, Cypress (TX)           37.050    3A (Tie) 9
Lindsay Wing, Gymnastics World (AZ) 37.050    1A (Tie) 9


Katie Taylor, Kentwood (MI)          9.413    5         1
Lindsay Trainham, World Cup (NY)     9.325    6         2
Shawna McClung, Dynamo (OK)          9.288    3         3

Katie Taylor, Kentwood (MI)          9.750    5         1
Michiko Ishikawa, Dynamo (OK)        9.700    3         2
Jeana Rice, Browns Central (FL)      9.475    8         3

Kinsey Rowe, Cypress (TX)            9.500    3         1
Jacquelin Coatsworth, Desert Heat(NV)9.450    1         2
Melinda Baimbridge, Cypress (TX)     9.300    3         3

Gail Kachura, Capital (VA)           9.600    7         1
Cari Zawistowski, Gym XL (NY)        9.575    6         2
Allison Caciatore, American Acad.(IL)9.500    5         3

AGES 13 - 14


TEAM            TOTAL SCORE       RANK
Region 3A       187.100             1
Region 5A       186.350             2
Region 7A       186.275             3
Region 8A       186.125             4
Region 8B       184.925             5
Region 1A       184.425             6
Region 3B       183.925             7
Region 4A       183.825             8
Region 1B       183.550             9
Region 6A       182.700            10
Region 7B       182.575            11
Region 5B       182.325            12
Region 4B       180.800            13
Region 6B       180.500            14
Region 2A       180.350            15

(Top 7 - including tie - to J.O.National Team)
NAME, CLUB (STATE)                  SCORE    RGN   RANK
Alexis Norman, Hills Angels(MD)     37.625    7A     1
Suzanne Poretz, Karons (VA)         37.575    7A     2
Maria Taylor, Atlanta School (GA)   37.550    8B     3
Ashley Fedderson, Dynamo (OK)       37.475    3A     4 (Tie)
Ashley  Stewart, Cypress (TX)       37.475    3A     4 (Tie)
Jane McIntosh, Great Lakes (MI)     37.450    5A     6
Stacy Wong, GymTowne (N.CA)         37.425    1A     7(Tie)
Alison Stoner, National Gym (S.CA)  37.425    1B     7(Tie)
Suzanne Sears, Cobb Gymn. (GA)      37.400    8A     9
Wendy Wheaton, Hills Angels (MD)    37.375    7A    10



Emily Chell (Gym Carolina)    Region 8   9.625
Jill Gunter (Splitz)          Region 1   9.563
Ashley Fedderson (Dynamo)     Region 3   9.500


Megan Beuckens (All Amer.)    Region 4   9.700
Stacy Wong (GymTowne)         Region 1   9.675
Wendy Wheaton (Hill's Angels) Region 7   9.650


Alexis Norman (Hill's Angels) Region 7   9.575
Maria Taylor (Atlanta Sch.)   Region 8   9.525
Ashley Stewart (Cypress)      Region 3   9.475


Suzanne Sears (Cobb)          Region 8   9.575
Anissa Lowery (Gwinnett)      Region 8   9.475 (Tie)
Suzie Krug (American Twisters)Region 8   9.475 (Tie)


Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 20:11:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***@leland.Stanford.EDU
Subject: leftover questions

gymnasta writes:


> >>Also, who competed for the U.S. (men's and women's)
> in '86 and '90?
> The other girls were Yolande Mavity and Alyssa Solomon (alt).  Incidentally,
> three of the seven ended up going to Stanford, all class of '92 [(Sey,
> Solomon, Yamashiro --teammates and classmates of mine =)]
> -- gimnasta

FYI, and to my great dismay as a Cardinal fan, these three gymnasts
contributed a grand total of one routine (Solomon's 8.4 bar routine)
during their Stanford careers. :(

Reasons for this are many and, I imagine, vary greatly depending on the



Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 11:49:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: NCAA coaching and coaches

This is the first letter I have put into the network, I hope I'm doing it
right.  I am an optional level coach in Indiana.  I coach at a YWCA and don't
have much room for advancement in the area.  I would like to know how the
coaching staff at the NCAA level got started and how they moved into coaching
college level.  I really enjoy coaching and I have been aware that I'll never
get paid very much, which I think we all know.  I guess I am getting restless.
My girls now are great, I love coaching them, but I am wondering what to do.
I cannot coach at the YWCA forever, how do I move on without leaving gymnasts
behind who need me.
      OK I am straying from the point.  What does it take to get into NCAA
coaching.  How do you get into it, and is it worth it as opposed to club
coaching.  How much time do you get to spend with the gymnasts and how long
is season.
      I'll make this easier.  Tell me everything you know about coaching at
the NCAA level.  Thanks.
You can write directly to me if you would like.


Date: Wed, 11 May 94 11:25:40 MDT
From: ***
Subject: personal intro

I have been signed onto this list for 3 weeks and am on my 3d
attempt to post a message.  Thank goodness I wasn't signed up
for 12 weeks.
I have three major interest in life:
1.  raising my 3 children to be content, productive and passionate
    adults (i'm more or less on track-I think)
2.  being the CEO of the world's most innovative, exciting, stimulating
    and "value added" organization (whatever that might eventually mean)
3.  being slim, trim and fit (fat chance!-some hair would be nice, too)

So why sign onto gymn, you ask?

Interest #1, my 13 year old saughter whose passion is acrobatic tumbling.
Is this cousin to gymnastics of interest to this group?  Should I write
up my impressions of the June "Canadian trials to the worlds" held in
Vancouver?  Is this thread (tumbling) likely to go anywhere or am I out
of luck?  Cheers.


Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 12:16:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***
Subject: personal intro

> 3.  being slim, trim and fit (fat chance!-some hair would be nice, too)

You will need to look hard because here in the US, gymnasts out of college age
are largely ignored and left "to the wolves" but I asure you that there are
some adult gymnastics programs out there and someday we will be able to beat
the US Gymn Federation over the head and force them to create a "masters
program".  Until then, there are various "rigor mortis meets" every year.
Get into a program yourself and then you can participate WITH your kids.
(Geez! I can hardly wait till my nieces are old enough for gymnastics !)
There is a woman who did gymnastics her first time at 57 and now at age 65 she
is the "stud of the balance beam"

> So why sign onto gymn, you ask?
> Interest #1, my 13 year old saughter whose passion is acrobatic tumbling.
> Is this cousin to gymnastics of interest to this group?  Should I write
> up my impressions of the June "Canadian trials to the worlds" held in
> Vancouver?  Is this thread (tumbling) likely to go anywhere or am I out
> of luck?  Cheers.
Close enough for me, dude !  Welcome aboard !
(Now put on your sweats and "chalk-up" with us)



Date: Thu, 12 May 94 09:32:20 BST
From: ***
Subject: response to a response to a response

Interesting answers to my question but still no
firm answers, okay then has anyone else
got an answer to this question.

The way that I understood the condition of
Anorexia Nervosa as recently reported on ITN
news at Ten was that the condition is a
psycholgical affliction whereby the sufferer
is convinced that they are overweight even
though they are not, they therefore stop
eating food in an attempt to lose weight,
the body responds by using body fat as energy
to replace the energy that would have been
got from eating food. Thus reducing the body
fat level dangerously low.

Ok with me so far, now then the very unhealthy
eating habit shows the same symptons a dangerously
low level of body fat, reduced body weight and
general lethargy.

So the question is whats the difference.



Date: Thu, 12 May 94 2:44:39 PDT
From: ***
Subject: response to a response to a response

    [description of Anorexia]

    Ok with me so far, now then the very unhealthy
    eating habit shows the same symptons a dangerously
    low level of body fat, reduced body weight and
    general lethargy.

    So the question is whats the difference.

The Cause, of course, and thus the treament.  I mean both cholera and
salmonella cause diarreha, but that dosen't make them the same.

More closely related would be the difference between someone who can't
"hold their liquor" and an alcoholic...



Date: Thu, 12 May 94 12:00:40 BST
From: ***
Subject: response to a response to a response

>The Cause, of course, and thus the treament.
>I mean both cholera and salmonella cause diarreha,
>but that dosen't make them the same.

Well thats stating the obvious isnt it
of course the causes are different.
But the symptons for two apparantly different
illnesses are the same, so how do you determine
which it is they have got. As you can appreciate
its quite important to work out which it is.

>More closely related would be the difference
>between someone who can't "hold their liquor"
>and an alcoholic...

Thats the point isnt it, one persons anorexia
is anothers very unhealthy diet so where do you
draw the line and say this is anorexia and this
is a very unhealthy diet.



Date: Thu, 12 May 1994 08:14:26 +1000
From: ***
Subject: response to a response to a response

>Thats the point isnt it, one persons anorexia
>is anothers very unhealthy diet so where do you
>draw the line and say this is anorexia and this
>is a very unhealthy diet.

When the person goes to the hospital, has tubes put in their body you can
rest assured that they are suffering from anorexia.  An unhealthy diet
still equals a diet - some sort of food is getting in - not necessarily
what the body needs , but still something (even a little) is being eaten. 

Often times an unhealthy diet is a clue that anorexia may be developing.  I
remember very clearly a young woman asking me how many calories Oregano had
in it.  This was a really strong clue that she could suffer from anorexia,
what told me that she was not there yet is the fact that she was asking
about the caloric intake - eg. she is STILL eating.

Where do you draw the line - this is another one of those situations, where
the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - if you
notice someone is NOT eating, and they are compulsively discussing how fat
they are, even when they are obviously VERY THIN -  then you may want to
consider enlisting the help of a doctor. Don't look for a line, look for a
very grey area. 

I hope this helps.



Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 14:29 MST
Subject: response to response

Dear Clive,

>Can I just ask what the difference is between a very
>unhealthy eating
>habit and Anorexia, is it a medical difference or is it just a
>difference in terms but they mean the same thing really.

I am not a psychiatrist or other physician who deals with anorexia
either.  I will just tell you what I know.  First, anorexia is
a constellation of symptoms/problems that are often overlapping
and somewhat vague.  The error I wrote about before is simply one
of jumping to conclusions in the face of too little evidence.  The
diagnosis of anorexia can only be done by a physician qualified in
this area.  Since there was no physician qualified to do this when
she was tested with the DEXXA scanner, no diagnosis of this type
could be made.  At this point I am unaware of any diagnosis of
anorexia having been made then or since.  My understanding was that
the athlete had a goal of being the leanest person of her team.
Although one might question the wisdom of this goal, it can be
interpreted in a variety of different ways: goal directedness,
eating disorder, commitment, competitiveness, and so forth.  The
evidence at the time, and since to my knowledge, has been leading
but not conclusive.  Speculating on this reminds me of a story given
by Carl Sagan (if you'll indulge me for a moment).  In the early
days of the telescope scientists pointed the telescopes toward
Venus and noted that Venus was covered with clouds.  They speculated
well, what are clouds made of?  Water of course.  So there must be
a lot of water of Venus.  Where would the water come from?  There must
be lots of oceans and swamps on Venus.  Wow, if there are oceans
and swamps then there must be capabilities for life.  What life
lives best in swamps?  Why lizards and dinosaurs.  So there you have
it.... Observation - you can't see a thing (because of the clouds).
Conclusion - dinosaurs.  By the way I believe that the clouds are made
of methane and not water in the first place.  I see the same thing
occurring with these last few postings regarding anorexia.  Interestingly,
I was there, and I am not prepared to say that anyone has anorexia.
For people who weren't there to make such assumptions smacks of the
same problems shown in the early observations of Venus.
      I may show some symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly around
mid terms, however, I am not schizophrenic (I think) because I don't
have enough of the constellation of symptoms to justify this diagnosis.
How can anyone make similar judgments based on hearsay, telephone
conversations, or postings on the net regarding anorexia?  Finally,
although I do not agree with these types of leaps to conclusions, I will
defend to the death anyone's right to speak their mind.  After all, that
is what I am doing now.  Frankly, I think a healthy discussion of the
type of question you asked is a far better use for the net than the
gossipy things I have read so far.  Just what is anorexia (as I wrote
earlier, I am not one to give you a detailed answer)?  How do leotard
cut and color impact scores?  Is there any evidence to indicate that
leotards do affect scores?  Can we find some?  Does the coverage of
the networks of gymnastics events reveal anything that sociologists could
use to determine the view of the "public" of gymnastics?  These
are intensely interesting questions to me.  With all the brainpower
resources of the people on the net, how about some survey type questionaires
that could lead us to understand these and other questions.  For example,
to my knowledge, no one knows the prevalence of anorexia, bulimia, and so
forth among gymnasts.  Is there a way we could find out?  I think flaming
is a good enterprise if evidence is acquired as a result and some
conclusions (however tentative they may be) result from them.  Finally,
the issue is well raised in that if the house is on fire we don't need to
wait for precise evidence that a threat is present before doing something.
In this particular case, the evidence was not conclusive, but given the
potential damage that could be done through neglect, the USAG proceeded
with the worst case scenario as far as confidentiality and good judgement
would allow.  In short, a very bad eating habit does not equal anorexia.
Best Wishes,


Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 21:57:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: response to response

> gossipy things I have read so far.  Just what is anorexia (as I wrote
> earlier, I am not one to give you a detailed answer)?  How do leotard
> would allow.  In short, a very bad eating habit does not equal anorexia.

First of all, a bit about myself. I have studied eating disorders in
psychology. Anorexia is an form of eating disorder. And no, bad eating
habit and Anorexia are not at all the same thing.

When a patient has Anorexia, he/she begins to think he/she is fat. Even if
in truth she's very thin. She sees only what she wants to see. I've seen
cases where even though the girl is so thin you can see her bones, when
you hold up a mirror to her and ask her what she sees, she will tell you
that she's fat, and she can even point out to you where the fats are.
(even though there is none).

Bad eating habits is not life threatening. But Anorexia is. The patient
simply stops eating. In some cases, an IV tube is attached to the patient
so the body won't strave. However, the patient will try to pull the IV
tube away whenever possible, thinking that every drop entering her body is
making her fatter. In extreme case, the body simply start consuming the
internal organs for nurishment.


Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 10:24 MST
Subject: Response to Strug and Anorexia

>I certainly don't think the USAG has any humanitarian reasons for this. With
>the whole and very public Christie Henrich situation I'd say they were
>covering their butts and making a VERY token appeal at action. From what I
>have seen the US federation cares a lot more about medals in their pockets
>than the health of their gymnasts...of course, I'm cynical and no I can't
>conclusively prove that so I'll just leave it at that.

     As one who was peripherally involved in this problem let me say that I
cannot believe the level of uninformed visciousness that seems to
surface when anorexia and all of the various spinoff accusations occur.
Kerri was shown to have a drastically low level of body fat based on
DEXXA scans (dual xray absorptiometry) while at a training camp in
Atlanta.  This merely confirmed what her coaches already knew.  It was
NOT diagnosed as anorexia, only as a very unhealthy eating habit.  USAG
brought this information to the attention of the coaches and decided that
they could not condone this, given that they had REAL and not hearsay
evidence of what was occurring. 
     Both the team sport psychologist and the team nutritionist
were consulted in offering help.  Mr. Nunno did not contact either
of these people when dealing with this problem.  Neither the sport
psychologist nor the nutritionist believed that they could initiate the
contact because of confidentiality issues and federal legislation to that
effect.  A few days later Mr. Nunno was questioned about the status
of this problem by USAG and he reported that he was dealing with it
through resources he had in Oklahoma.  The parents were evidently
informed of the problem and potential ramifications and were satisfied
that Mr. Nunno was handling it appropriately in Oklahoma.  The falling-
out of Keri and Mr. Nunno may have been related to this problem, but
was apparently much more complicated than this alone.  Beyond this it is
none of anyone else's business.
     In the future, I would recommend that before putting such
inflammatory and potentially litigious information on the net, that
everyone check their facts.  Having been involved with USAG for over
20 years, and this instance in particular, I can tell you that
considerable mental sweat went into how to handle the problem.  Contrary
to the uninformed information broadcast here, the USAG has been VERY
concerned about the health of each child.  Unfortunately, because
USAG is a committee-run and volunteer organization, it may appear that
other agendas are being pushed.  Sometimes I am sure this does happen, but
I have NEVER seen this happen when the health of a child is at stake.  You
should also appreciate that USAG cannot interfere in the conduct of
an independent business nor the decisions of parents with regard to
their child.  That some might decide differently, is not enough cause
to level accusations that are uninformed and devoid of facts.  Inferring
someone's moral character by what they eat, seems to me to be the height
of pretentiousness.  Regarding Christy Henrich, the last time the USAG
knew anything about Christy she weighed 112 pounds and was doing fine.  The
unfortunate disorder that led Christy to such serious health problems
was not in evidence when she was in contact with USAG personnel.  Since
that time, USAG has gone to considerable lengths to assist Christy and
her family.  
     With regard to other decisions, there have been some very close
calls that needed to be made, such as team memberships.  I have not
always agreed with them.  But, these decisions were NEVER arrived at
capriciously nor without consultation with many people directly and
indirectly involved.  I would be the first to say that I do not always
agree with every decision that is made in gymnastics on a variety of
fronts.  However, I have found that the people involved at USAG have
unimpeachable character.  Like everyone they are forced to deal with
incomplete and sometimes inadequate information.  As with any governmental
process, they make good decisions, and with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight,
sometimes they could have made better decisions.  Why don't we devote
more effort here on the net to identifying problems, proposing solutions,
and helping these kids.  Given the global nature of the net, why don't
we seek help from anyone who can assist with these problems?  We are still
searching for predictive information that could alert coaches and parents
that an eating disorder is coming.  Some work has been done, but only the
first baby-steps.  How about using the net to set up an injury database?
How about using the net to gain international perspectives on these
problems?  Or, let's just bellyache.



Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 13:17:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Response to Strug and Anorexia

Bill wrote:

| everyone check their facts.  Having been involved with USAG for over
| 20 years, and this instance in particular, I can tell you that
| considerable mental sweat went into how to handle the problem.  Contrary
| to the uninformed information broadcast here, the USAG has been VERY
| concerned about the health of each child.  Unfortunately, because

Just to restate what I understated earlier (now there's a mouthful),
at the Hilton Challenge, USAG people were really quite concerned about
Strug.  I don't know if that's when they first noticed something might
be wrong, but the concern was certainly genuine.

And though it's redundant, I feel compelled to agree with Dr. Sands
about USAG's concern for the health of their gymnasts.  When I
interned there, my direct supervisor was Steve Whitlock, Director of
Safety and Educational Services; ie. it was his job to worry about
this kind of thing.  He, and everyone else I met, seemed to be
sincerely concerned about the safety and health of gymnasts.

And for one more "I second that", even though it is mentioned in the
welcome letter, please do be aware that every single word that anyone
sends to Gymn is archived and stored on a computer at Penn State.
*Anyone* with ftp or gopher access (ie millions of people) can access
this computer if they so desire; so be careful, as words can come back
to haunt you.  Gymn is not the private little forum that many seem to
think it is. 

Also, aside from the above thread, I'd like to publicly welcome Dr.
Sands to Gymn.  For those who are unaware, Dr. Sands is the Chair of
the Sports Science Advisory Committee (did I get that right?) for
USAG, and has done extensive research in the field of gymnastics (in
particular, I remember studies determining the likelihood of gymnasts
to repeat on Olympic teams, and other studies on the lengths of
gymnastics careers).  Among other things, Dr. Sands is also very
involved in the TOPs program.  So, welcome to Dr. Sands!



Date: Mon, 09 May 94 10:00:24 BST
From: ***
Subject: strug anorexia !

>Most common are "right hand leads" where people decide they
>dont want their kid to be a "southpaw" so they resort to
>"reach for your milk with the left hand again and Ill
break it!"
>(I'm one of these)
I always wondered what "southpaw" meant, anyway it doesnt
matter as long as you have your fork in your left hand

Anyway after that little derivation on to the real subject

>Also, re whether it was good of USAG to boot her off
the Nat'l team,
>if she had extraordinarily low body fat.  Just to play devil's
>advocate (not saying I agree, but just pointing this
out)... well, say
>they left her on the team.  In a way, this could be
interpreted as
>condoning it, in a sense.  Having a supposedly
anorexic gymnast on the
>team... it would just be very difficult for USAG to
defend that, I

Ok point taken, however have you thought the problem
will be cured
more easily if the pressure to get back on the team was removed,
at least if she stays on the team they can keep an eye on her
if they kick her off she will probably end up worse off.
I cant see anyone moaning if USAG said yes we know she is
allegedly anorexic but we feel we can give her the support
she needs to get other this rather than if we kicked her out
which would make the problem worse not better.

What you want out of a governing body of a sport is a proactive
response rather than a reactive response.

>Also, on their bios, many gymnasts list their favorite food as
>"pizza"... ;)

My favourite foods are pizza or lasagne, but I dont eat either
of them every night of the week usually once a month actually.
Just because it is my favourite it doesnt equate that I only eat
that food.



Date: Mon, 9 May 94 12:23:51 EDT
From: ***@BBN.COM
Subject: strug anorexia !

"Southpaw" now means any left-handed person, but it started out
meaning left-handed baseball pitcher.  Baseball diamonds usually
are built with a certain orientation, and that's where the
"south" part comes from. 

Treatment of lefties has improved over the years, but
being naturally left-handed can cause problems even
if your parents are enlightened (or even left-handed themselves).
My grandfather almost came to blows with a parochial school nun
when he discovered she was "teaching" my mother by lashing my
mother's left hand to her desk in an attempt to force her
to write right-handed.  I'm a rightie, so I never had to deal
with this problem.  Ironically, my brother, without any pressure
from anyone at home, seems to have decided by himself that
right-handed was the way to go (apparently this does happen;
kids are often smart enough to notice early on which chirality
has the clear majority), and suffered from many classic
symptoms of that (stuttering, poor spelling, etc.) as a child.
He did go in for some sports in school, but it was cross country
running, which doesn't depend on knowing right from left.
(He did discover at some point that, like me, he had
allergy-induced asthma, ideal for a distance runner :-)!
[We've both gotten much better as adults, thanks.])

I'm very sorry to hear that Strug is anorexic.   Much as I admire
her as a gymnast, and would like to see her on the US team,
if it's a choice of gymnastics or her health, her health wins
hands down.  I think the USAG's reaction would be appropriate
if she had been discovered to be taking steroids or otherwise
violating the rules, but not for a treatable medical condition,
as long as she wants to continue in gymnastics, is physically
capable to make the team, and is getting treated for the
condition (i.e., the same reaction as if she'd been injured).
Is the idea to force her to give up gymnastics, or to help
her get back to full health?



Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 14:31 MST
Subject: TOPs stuff and growth impairment

>I have heard (perhaps it is only a rumor) that this year at T.O.P.S
>testing, they'll only test them for strength and flexibility at the
>regional level and then if they pass those tests they'll be able to
>show skills at the National level. 

      The TOPs program has continued to evolve, mostly beyond my control.
The direction, and specific contents of TOPs began as a very long paper
that I wrote a few years ago for the development of the program.  The first
two years of the program basically followed the format that I had set in
the paper.  The first year had almost 500 athletes participate nationwide,
the second year had almost 1100 athletes participate.  We expect the program
to grow again this year, perhaps doubling again.
      The rumor you heard is essentially correct.  The TOPs testing has
been reduced due to the vote of regional elite development directors and
statistical analysis of the previous year's data.  My analysis of the
data indicated that some of the tests were redundant, and that some of
the tests appeared very difficult for the testers to do properly.  These
tests were eliminated in my proposal.  I did not want to eliminate the
skills.  Unfortunately, to my thinking, the skills were eliminated by
the vote of the committee mentioned above.  The reason for this radical
change was due to two important factors: 1. the large number of athletes
testing and the feasibility of getting the testing done in one day, and 2.
the regional elite folk did not want to be placed in a position of having
to judge their friends athletes.  The program has grown beyond all
expectation, and as with many things in amateur sport, has taken on a
life and direction of its own.  I continue to have input, but unlike the
first two years, the committee structure is now used to administer and
regulate the program.  As with most committee decisions, I agree with
some and not with others.  I am afraid that with the reduction of TOPs
to just physical abilities tests, our ability to differentiate between
athletes will be greatly diminished.  The approach now is to take the
regional qualifiers to the national testing, have the national staff
evaluate skills, and NOT perform the physical abilities testing again
at the national level.  This is basically a sound idea, I think, if the
regional testing will be done validly.  It remains to be seen how this
all turns out.
      Clearly the program has been a resounding success gymnastically.
I know that there was considerable pressure to drop the program entirely
because of the sheer size of it and the enormous drain it placed on the
national office staff and resources.  However, when the staff saw the
athletes at the last training camp, they were so impressed with the
progress, they are now more committed to the concept than ever.

>Last week a man was very
>concerned because he thought that gymnastics would make his son short.
>said that their menses were delayed.  Can
>the intense training effect the growth of the gymnast?

      In regard to the growth problems there are a few interesting
ideas present in the research literature but almost no confirmatory
data.  There does appear to be a relationship between reduced growth
and training that is too intense combined with reduced nutritional intake.
However, the cause and effect nature of this problem has yet to be
identified.  There does appear to be a relationship between intense
training and delayed menses, however, few have linked the nutritional
aspects of this information to the study, leaving some large holes in
making any conclusions.  There is one very interesting study that showed
that although the gymnasts had later menses than age-mates, the mothers
of these gymnasts also had delayed menses indicating that there may
be a genetic component and that it is those athletes who mature late
naturally that are most likely to succeed in gymnastics who are being
assessed.  Of course, this raises a chicken-and-egg type question.
Are gymnasts who mature late more likely to succeed in the sport, or does
the sport cause the gymnasts to mature late.  We are currently getting
return data from over 200 former (now adult) national team members and
their mothers to try and extract this information more succinctly.
As for stunting the growth of the boy, I hardly think so.


Date: Mon, 09 May 94 09:32:16 BST
From: ***
Subject: Womens European Championships

>Haven't seen anyone mentioning this lately but the
Womens European Championships
>is this coming weekend (14/15 May) and is there
anybody round here who's going?
>(Stockholm, I believe).

Surprisingly enough no I am not, gosh that shocked you
didnt it. :),
but I did read on Ceefax that in 1995 or was it 1996 hmm cant
remember now but the Womens European Championships will be
held in Birmingham which I will be going to if I can remember
when it is.

>EuroSport here in Britain (or Europe) is again broadcasting
>live on this event. (About five or six hours'
coverage altogether
>I think). ;)

Oh dont start that again, I was going to be really quiet about
posting the times this time. You know there still
showing highlights
from Brisbane at the moment. But anyway for all you
tv challenged people (PC:)) out there in Europe the BBC
have promised to cover it as well . Sorry to all those
people in the rest of the world but hey do I complain about not
watching ABC, to be honest I would probably be complaining if I
did get it:)



Date: Thu, 12 May 94 13:12:43 BST
From: ***
Subject: Womens European Championships

Well I have got all the times and dates
for the coming weeks coverage on Eurosport of the
Womens European Championships. Remember
you can only pick this channel up if you have a
satellite dish and you live in Europe.

All the times stated below are in BST, dont
forget CET is one hour ahead of BST.

14th May
17:00 - 20:00 Live Coverage

15th May
08:00 - 09:00 Highlights
12:00 - 14:30 Live Coverage Apparatus Finals
17:30 - 19:30 Highlights

16th May
08:00 - 10:00 Highlights

17th May
08:00 - 10:00 Highlights
14:30 - 16:30 Highlights

18th May
08:00 - 10:00 Highlights

Now then the programs I have labelled  as highlights
I have only assumed they are highlights it doesnt
say in the program listings what they are, they might
be still highlights from the Worlds or they could just be
the same program repeated, anyway if you familiar with
Eurosport you know what I am talking about.

No news on when the BBC are covering the event yet
but they said they would so it will probably be
next Saturday.



Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 12:33:14 +0600
From: ***
Subject: your message about Kerri Strug

>      In the future, I would recommend that before putting such
> inflammatory and potentially litigious information on the net, that
> everyone check their facts.

I'm all for that, but given the nature of the "gymn" mailing list,
there will always be a chance for less than completely informed
comments. An alternative might be to make "gymn" a moderated list,
but being a mailing list or newsgroup moderator typically is
a large and thankless task.

>                                               Why don't we devote
> more effort here on the net to identifying problems, proposing solutions,
> and helping these kids.  Given the global nature of the net, why don't
> we seek help from anyone who can assist with these problems?  

>                How about using the net to set up an injury database?
> How about using the net to gain international perspectives on these
> problems? 

I suspect that this is part of USAG's purpose in setting up its area
on the Delphi service. Putting their stuff on a (fairly cheap) commercial
service seems reasonable given that a lot of gymnastics folks would not
have access to the Internet.

Now, what might make some sense is some FIG-sponsored stuff on the

> Bill



End of gymn Digest