gymn Digest Mon, 14 Mar 94 Volume 2 : Issue 87


Today's Topics:

          ---> Please read! (re subscribing and bounce msgs)

                           Agache/Szabo '81

                         American Cup & stuff

                      American Cup stuff (Efton)

                   College Bars Better Than Elite?

                        College Vault (5 msgs)

                       Collegiate Bars (3 msgs)

                        Collegiate Yurchenkos


                        Goodwill Games Formatl

                           great trivia qn

                             Hi! (2 msgs)

                     Kerri Strug in _IG_ (4 msgs)

                        Kerry Huston -- update

                           Larissa Fontaine

                          new life (2 msgs)


                     Qualifying -- My Final Note


                    Question (1996 Olympic Trials)

                       Results to Gymn Poll #1

                    Ronald's reports on Am Cup ...

                             The Gymn Pub

                        Trivia Set #13, topic

                        UF-Illinois-Iowa State

                           World Qualifying

                       Worlds programme - April

           Worlds qualifying procedures for women (3 msgs)


This is a digest of the mailing list.




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 13:35:16 EST

From: ***

Subject: --->Please read! (re subscribing and bounce msgs)


This is just a reminder to everyone in general:


PLEASE note that I am *not* the Gymn person to contact regarding

bounce msgs or requests to subscribe (or, heaven forbid, unsubscribe,



The appropriate person to contact is Robyn.  Her address is  When you ask me to unsubscribe and such, all I do

is forward the msg to her, so you're just saving yourself one step of

"bureaucracy" by emailing her right away.


A couple other points:


PLEASE please please do not give out "" as the

subscription address.  It seems we've gotten more of these public

subscription notes than we have in the past.  Aside from the time it

takes to download for those on commercial systems, it's also at least

vaguely annoying.


Almost every time you post, you are going to receive a couple or more

"bounce msgs".  Please do not repost!  Your original msg did indeed

get through to Gymn; it only bounced in a couple of random mailboxes.


If you continue to get bounce msgs for the same address for over ten

days, forward the entire bounce msg to Robyn.  Please only do so if

you're one of our "frequent" posters-- we don't need ten people

emailing Robyn with the same complaint-- it's too much for her to keep

track of.


Thankee muchly, Rachele (a little harried today, can we tell?)




Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 05:23:00 BST

From: ***

Subject: Agache/Szabo '81


Regarding the Agache/Szabo "switch" at the '81 All American Classic,

here's a bit more information:


The March '81 _IG_ lists Szabo as finishing 3rd AA at the Classic, and

in the April '81 issue (pp. 8-9) there are 2 large color photos of

"Ecatrina Szabo" (actually Lavinia Agache) from this meet.


_IG_ printed a correction in next month's issue (p. 5) saying, "The

gymnast in question was not Ecatrina Szabo, as [the photographer] was

told by the Romanian coach ... [the] magazine had already gone to

press before it was noticed that this was in fact Lavinia Agache ..."


The Reader's Forum in the Aug. '81 issue (p. 54) discusses the

"switch" and an interesting letter to the FIG from the Romanian Gym.

Federation is reprinted, which states that they had informed the USGF

they were sending Cristina Grigoras (who became "unavailable at that

moment"). Agache was substituted and was issued a passport and plane

ticket.  The letter goes on to say that the US organizers "would have

been able to ... validate the concerned gymnast's identity even from

her arrival in the US, on the basis of her passport and air ticket,

which cost would have to be refunded to our federation."  The Romanian

Gym. Federation basically denied any involvement in or knowledge of

the supposed "switch", and it is not clear how the organizers got the

name "Szabo" (i.e., was that the name on the passport?).


I think the only reason it was an issue at all is because NBC made a

rather big stink about this "switch" during a SportsWorld program

(sorry, I don't have it on tape but I *do* remember watching it).






Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 21:17:46 EST

From: ***

Subject: American Cup & stuff


Just returned from American Cup, which I'll cover in the May issue of

International Gymnast ... Met your correspondent, Ron, who was

conscientious, thorough and professional (remember that if you get a

GYMN credential!).


A few comments, corrections, opinions, etc., from one who was there:


Vitaly, just say NO to bright colors and light panels of stars where

one should have a waist! That said, he was more like himself by

finals, and Scherbo a little jaded, as it was once said of Nadia, is

still streets ahead of the rest of the world in top form.


Yes, Craig, that was Keith Avery coaching John Roethlisberger. Avery,

aka "Miles," is the assistant at Ohio State and did compete in the

'70s. Other college coaches (li ke John's dad) were tied up with meets

for the weekend.


re Podkopayeva's choreography, and her in general: The previous

routine was just as bad, but with worse music and no dance steps to

speak of. (And how many similarly bad-or worse-FXs have won world and

Olympic gold?)  Lots of time to kill f or that piked full-in, or maybe

it's just a Ukraine trademark-think of Stovbchataya. With th e Pod,

it's as much *how* she does what she does. Her execution of (and

technique on) both her acrobatic and dance elements is second to none.

Just processed my film and have a shot of her at the barani-out phase

of her (superb) handspring pike front-half vault. She is completely

extended, and her toes are POINTED. What else do you need to know?



Now for a decent leotard. Is it too late to get Clinton to add that to

his Ukraine-aid package?


Umm ... yes, the flip-flop across beam to back hip circle, as done by

the nifty Ms. Tsavdaridou, Li Li and others is called a "Yurchenko

loop", first shown by that lady in 1979.


Errata ... It wasn't the American Cup, but at Berkeley recently I saw

Keith Wiley of Stanford throw a PIKED Arabian double front on floor,

which he kicked out of and stuck. (He also did two full-ins and the

requisite front-full pass.)


Finally, thanks to other Am. Cup observers for a coupl e of details I

missed/forgot/couldn't scribble down while re-loading a camera to grab

a cool shot of Sharipov's vault (yes, it's an Ivantcheva, yes,

Omelianchik did it piked at the '87 Worlds and stuck it for a whole

9.90 when boring Yurchenko-fulls got 10.0s, and no, the ff-1/4 turn on

beam is NOT an Omelianchik--she did a 3/4 turn to back hip circle, and

wasn't she cool?)/etc. ... Smile when you read it in IG.


Comments, questions, etc., are invited, via GYMN or e-mail. (I'm not

here in any offic ial capacity, so be as nasty-or nice- as you like.)






Date: Mon, 14 Mar 1994 16:00:13 -0600

From: ***>

Subject: American Cup stuff (Efton)


Hey all,


Well I had a great ten day escape into sunny Florida.  Do I really

have to come back?  OK, about gymnastics.  This was a good meet...


(I'll just give a few comments since Ron got all the important stuff



When I got there, I read in the paper that Shannon Miller might not

compete due to a torn stomach muscle.  (I vaguely remember hearing

about this beforehand) Anyway, on prelims night, Shannon's first event

was vault, which was good since vaulting apparently bothered her the

least.  She got a 9.475 on a set of pretty good vaults.  Apparently

Nunno was put up the wrong number for the vault Shannon did, so she

got a .3 deduction.  But later Simona Amanar had the same thing happen

to her so the judges agreed to penalize both girls only .15 Nunno was

rather comical waving his arms, pointing at Simona and the Romanian

coaches, and jumping up and down. All the while, the judge talking to

him was smiling and shaking her head in (apparent) agreement.


Anyway, Shannon needed either a top ten AA finish or a top six event

finish to qualify for the World Championship team next month.  After

the reduced penalty, she had a 5th place in Vault, so she pulled out.

The crowd still loved her... she could have gone out and picked her

nose as her floor routine and gotten a standing ovation.


Amanda Borden nearly killed herself on vault.  I was directly in front

of the vault (at up about fifteen rows) and from my point of view, she

jumped too hard off the springboard.  When she reached out to shove

off the horse, her arms appeared to be about two inches short.  OK

imagine someone just at the moment they shove off the horse.  Freeze

frame.  Now lift them up two inches Unfreeze.  Now imagine them

staying in that position and glideing across the horse horse and out

into open space.  That's what happened.  Until her coach spoted her.


Elodie Lussac.  This girl is amazing.  She was by far my favorite to

watch (well OK Jennie Thompson was a lot of fun too but she didn't

make it to finals) (Elodie appears in the Aug/Sept _IG_ if anyone's

interested) Ron explained her moves very well. She's goood on UB.

What I liked most about her was She's from France [as opposed to

Romania or someplace that's *supposed* to do well], She's just moved

up to Senior, and still held her own against alot more experienced

competitors.  Heck, she came in fourth, and beat Podkopayeva and just

lost to Piskun by .2.  We'll be hearing more from her.




There are a lot of people doing double layouts off UB now!  I think I

counted three or four in prelims (and Shannon didn't compete that



A lot of different vaults were thrown this year.  Last year it was a

test to see who could throw the best Yurchenko.  But this year, I

think Tanya Maiers threw the only single twisting one.  Dawes threw a

1 1/2 and Piskun (I think) threw a double.


As for what happened to the Dynamo girls...  Well, three entered,

Shannon pulled out, Tanya looked like a YMCA gymnast, and Jennie

finished sixth in prelims.  Sixth is good, but unfortunately, only two

Americans can go on to Finals and Dawes was first, and Fontaine came

in fifth.


Academically, Fontaine is 3rd out of a class of 650 in Deerfield, Ill.


You never know what you'll find when you just look around...  On

Finals night, I'm sittting in the stands, with the general populace,

and I look to my right...  And sitting about three rows to my left and

front, is Simona Amanar (ROM) and her coach.  There were a few people

getting autographs, but she was pretty much not being attacked.  Of

course, she's not Shannon Miller :)


After Finals, I went around back to see if I could get in to talk to

the athletes etc.  I doubt Bill Clinton could have gotten through the

security there.  There was literally a small army guarding the

athletes.  But I waited to see if they would come out to us.  Nope.  A

car was slowly trying to get out of the guarded drive, and I was smack

in it's way. I didn't *really* want to get run over for Gymn, so I got

out of it's way fast, but as I did, the driver rolls down the window,

and shouts for me to come over. I do.  As I'm leaning over to look in

the the window, I get a face full of flowers!  The driver says "Here,

a gift from Vitaly Scherbo."  Then Scherbo takes my program signs it

and hands it back to John Roethlisberger, who signs it.  So for those

of you who have the meet on tape, look at the flowers Vitaly holds up

on the awards stand... I have em'


Thats all I remember for now.  It was a lot of fun.  Efton




Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 16:29:59 EST

From: ***

Subject: College Bars Better Than Elite? 


I don't know.  College bars perhaps have more variety, certainly, but

even the top college routines can't compare to the top elite routines

(Li Lu, Gwang-Suk Kim).




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 16:02:30 EST

From: ***

Subject: College Vault


Regarding college women's vault. Supposedly the reason they did not

downgrade the value of vaults to the new code was because college gymn

does not allow Yurchenkos.


This is ridiculous.  They need to allow Yurchenko entry vault and

downgrade vaults such as the handspring front.  It is clearly not

worth 9.7 (or is it still valued at 9.9?)


Also, does anyone know why they exclude the Yurchenko entry vaults?




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 15:20:25 +0800

From: ***@Eng.Sun.COM

Subject: College Vault


I believe the rationale for not allowing a Yurchenko style vault in

women's collegiate is that it is felt it is too dangerous.  I'm not an

expert on collegiate rules, but if this is the rationale I'd have to

agree.  At any rate, it doesn't really matter what the values of the

existing vaults are, as long as they're okay relative to one another.

Collegiate scores are a whole different animal from international

competition.  The two really don't compare at all.  Just last week at

a Cal meet I saw a few 9.9's and I believe that there was a 9.95 (the

average of a 10 and a 9.0).  It was a nice routine, but it wasn't

*that* nice.  But relative to what you see in the NCAA, sure it was

probably worth around a 9.95.


While we're on the subject, I think this business about comparing NCAA

uneven bars to international elite is probably doing a disservice to

both.  Athletically I don't think that even the best NCAA women could

compete with your upper echelon elite, especially when it comes to

uneven bars.  You put the top four NCAA women in the same meet with

some international competition and they'd probably get eaten alive.

Last year (if my memory serves me correctly) Beth Wymer and Agina

Simpkins tied for first at NCAA Nationals (I was there).  They both

had solid routines and both scored tens.  As solid as those routines

were, they don't compare to Lu Li's 10.0 performance at Barcelona!  No

comparison would have been possible though, since Agina and Beth

wouldn't have made the U.S. Olympic team, anyway.


But as someone has already pointed out, they are like two different

sports.  You need to judge them on their own merits.





Date: Sat, 12 Mar 1994 10:18:07 -0600 (CST)

From: ***

Subject: College Vault


On Fri, 11 Mar 1994 *** wrote: > > This is ridiculous.

They need to allow Yurchenko entry vault and downgrade > vaults such

as the handspring front.  It is clearly not worth 9.7 (or is it >

still valued at 9.9?)  >

      No no no no...  Yurchenko vaults are really easy to learn and

just as easy to "brain" yourself on.  Why should the rules give high

value to a simple vault.  Go ahead and challenge me on this, but if

someone can do a strait roundoff, they can do a yurchenko full.  This

is why the entire world of our sport has turned to this stupid vault

(I'm a bit opinionated).  What do girls get for a layout tzuk full?

It ought to be about a point higher than a yurchenko.  It is simply

harder to do a layout full.  But the rulemakers seem to be giving more

points for risk than for difficulty.  Does anyone remember ROV?  Risk,

Originality, and virtuosity.  For insurance purposes, we are not

allowed to give extra points for "risk" anyomore.  It evolved into

"courage" and than into bonus points.  It seems to me that too many

girls (and their coaches) have assumed that they can get very high

scores for not much work.

      Handspring front is an important basic vault in our sport.

The fact that it is "imporant" probably plays into its value.  I don't

see any problem not allowing yurchenko stuff in ncaa.  Enough high

scores are given out without it..  If roundoff entry wasn't allowed in

international competition, wouldn't we see a lot more creativity by

the women?  Probably not.  This is because it is difficult to do more

traditional vaults.  But enough girls have learned to do real vaults

and do them well.  And have you noticed that they usually end up being

awarded pretty well for their work (Onodi and Retton for example).


      But after saying all that, I do like Scherbo's (and Stover

from U. of Oklahoma) full on full off.  This is cool.  But these guys

are not human.  Has anyone else heard the rumor that Scherbo is ready

to compete a yurchenko double back.


The ideas are great.  I just don't want to see people get hurt.






Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 14:57:21 EST

From: ***

Subject: College Vault


Re: roundoff vaults being too dangerous...


I can understand that being the case thru, perhaps, 1988, when

gymnasts had not trained these vaults during their previous careers,

but after that I would think that doing a Yurchenko that a gymnast had

been doing for a couple of years would be safer than learning an

absolutely new vault.




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 17:43:27 EST

From: ***

Subject: College Vault


Regarding the value of a handspring front in college gymnastics for

the women. They go by adapted comp. 2A rules and they don't average

the vaults.  I recently saw Karine (UCLA) fandspring pike front. It

was nice but a 10.0?






Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 22:46:10 EST

From: ***

Subject: Collegiate Bars


I think the very top international routines may still be a tad ahead

(I'm thinking of Kim Gwang Suk).  But I'd say top collegiate routines

are at least as good as, maybe better than, most top international

routines.  The last time I saw a good college meet was the very stingy

TV coverage of last year's nationals, and before that, Stanford's

91-92 season, so I don't feel altogether qualified to comment.


Top collegiate vaulting would probably be competitive too.


As for beam and floor, college routines are frequently better to

watch, in terms of style (artistry, if you will, but I hesistate to

use that term except in the rare case) but the top international

routines are also great to watch *and* have a lot more difficulty.


-- Gimnasta




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 10:38:56 -0600 (CST)

From: ***

Subject: Collegiate Bars


> > Top collegiate vaulting would probably be competitive too.  >


Sure women's vaulting is competitive.  If everyone throws a handspring

front and lands on their butt, they still score between 9.0-9.3 Am I

right that this is worth a 9.9 or 9.8?  I still find it annoying that

ncaa gymnastics insists on keeping the scoring jacked up so high.

Does it really draw bigger crowds if the gymnasts are scoring above

9.5, or would the spectators show up to see the same gymnastics

scoring what it should in an international arena.


I see college level women's gymnastics as an entirely different sport

than what is competed internationally.  Aside from the top few schools

(which I admit compete at a very high level) most women in college

programs are realizing that they are heavier than they were when they

were 14 and that they must maintain whatever skills they learned when

younger.  Sometimes, this is not realistic.  Personally, I prefer

seeing gymnasts perform whole routines that take into account their

development and maturity which has occured in the gymnast since she

was 10.  I like the fact that many women "water down" their routine

from when they were 13 and emphasize less dangerous elements that can

be performed without making the crowd squirm on the bleechers

anticipating a blown knee or ankle.


I said this before, but our sport is called Artistic Gymnastics, and

this leaves room for different interpretations of the sport.  Some

college woman's routines are equal to or competitive with other world

class routines, but as a whole they are not.  And this is ok.  I just

think that a lot of women need to make a reality check and ask if they

can be competitive without trying to immitate the prepubescent world

champions who most likely don't have final exams in the back of their

mind while setting up for their last tumbling pass on floor.


My short addition to this thread is that yes, college bars are

enjoyable.  Probably the most enjoyable event for me to watch, but I

wouldn't start making any comparisons to world class routines.


            Criticisms welcome.






Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 17:32:18 EST

From: ***

Subject: Collegiate Bars


David --


I think the operative word in this discussion is "top" -- top

collegiate routines.  I don't think anyone is contending that on the

whole college and international routines are comparable.  Dee Foster's

(when did she go from Dee Dee to just Dee?) pike front half *was* as

good, if not better, than anyone's in the world, Milosovici and

Podkopayeva included (but whether she could do a second vault from

another group I don't know -- that's not required in NCAA event

finals, right?).


But I agree with most of your other comments, especially about

scoring.  I don't know whether 9.5+ scores draw bigger crowds, but I

suspect that if scores were where they should be, people would get as

excited about a 9.6 as they do now about a 9.9.  Now that it's been

allowed to get out of control, though, I wonder what the effect would

be of bringing it under control (but I'd be more than willing to give

it a shot).  Incidentally, international gymnastics suffers

considerably from inflated scoring too, though I suppose it's not *as*



I do think, though, that leaving the Code unchanged in some respects

is legitimate (I'm referring to the comment about how much a

handspring front is worth), in order to fit the collegiate skill

level.  After all, by the terms of your argument, college women can't

do as many difficult tricks, shouldn't try, and it's a different sport

from international and shouldn't be compared.


One other thing -- I don't think too many college gymnasts are

concerned about measuring up to elites, though I think it *is* true

that many have some trouble adjusting to not being able to do the

stuff they used to do.


: ) Gimnasta




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 1994 13:57:55 -0400 (EDT)

From: ***

Subject: Collegiate Yurchenkos



Possible reasons why the Yurchenko vault is not allowed in college:

      1) While it may be easy to learn, when one makes a mistake or

balks, it is a VERY VERY dangerous situation. One only has to look at

such illustrious gymnasts such as Julissa Gomez, Trent Dimas, Alexhi

Tikohnkin (sorry, bad spelling...) and Mari Kosuge to see what can

happen. It might help some gymnasts score well, but I think the risk

far exceeds the advantage.

      2) It would probably only take one or two serious neck

injuries from that vault to eliminate the ENTIRE gymnastics program

from all but a handfull of schools due to insurance purposes and

pressure from administration.

      3) It would require any school that wanted to host a meet to

fork out another several hundred dollars to buy the wedge-shaped mat

to protect any gymnast that would want to do this certain vault.

      These are just what I came up with off the top of my head.

I've seen too many dangerous situations with this vault to advocate

its use in collegiate competition. When an elite is training 8 hours a

day and has the time and the training to focus on it, fine. But I

don't see any reason to risk older gymnasts who have less time and

energy to focus on gymnastics to make college vaulting just like

international competitions. I like it when I can go to a college meet

and still see Cuervos, Tsukaharas, full-ons and other less-used


                                          Cara P.S. Is

Lynda going to Worlds?




Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 22:44:54 EST

From: ***

Subject: Compulsories


>Secondly, the countries still place their best athletes in the final

>rotations and the judges know that And save scores accordingly.


The point of competing compulsories individually is not to equalize

early and late round scores, but to distribute stingy and generous

scores evenly (as much as possible) among all the countries.  In other

words, not to make the slices of pie the same size (proportionally to

performance of course), but to make sure every team gets some big and

some small.  The point is to prevent *all* the gymnasts from one

country all getting early round scores.  When the gymnasts compete

individually, some Soviets and Chinese will get early scores and some

will get late scores.  When they compete as teams, *all* the Chinese

will get early scores and *all* the Soviets will get late scores,

hurting the Chinese team's chances, as well as the individuals'

qualifying chances.


It is true that the way to equalize as much as possible individual

chances *within* a given team is to do a random draw rather than allow

coaches to select the lineup.  But the same would be necessary if they

competed as a team.


It is also true that there still is a better and a worse draw, but

it's not as bad as it would be if everyone from one team were in the

earlier session and everyone from another team were in the later

session.  I also think that might be corrected by reducing the number

of sessions and increasing the number of gymnasts in a rotation (like

AA finals) or increasing the number of rotations (collegiate gymnasts

compete with byes and seem to do fine) so every team has the same

number of gymnasts per session.


I haven't really looked that closely at the difference it makes.  It

may not make a huge difference a lot of the time, but I think it

probably makes some difference, which can mean a lot in gymnastics.  I

wonder if it wouldn't have been better for the Chinese men to compete

like this, even with a worse draw, rather than have all of them

compete early.  I think it probably makes a difference to "weaker"

countries, especially to their better individuals, and *most*

especially to those there without a team who are going to get stuck in

the early optional round no matter how good they are (another



-- Gimnasta


PS When I mentioned the Soviets' always drawing the last session, I

was referring to the '80's, and in any case, when I said the potential

was always there, I meant for abuse by anyone, not just the Soviets.




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 01:21:33 EST

From: ***

Subject: Goodwill Games Formatl


I was asked about the format for the Goodwill Games by someone else so

I thought I'd post what I know here . . .  (note: a good source of

format and trials info is "Technique" magazine put out by the USGF

they also have a very good calander) . . .


In St. Petersburg (formerally Leningrad) there will be a team, AA, EF,

& Mixed Pairs competition plus an exhibition. It will be shown on a

daily tape delay on TBS (Petersburg is 7 hr. ahead of EST - 10 out

here on the West Coast).






Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 15:08:55 -0800

From: ***

Subject: great trivia qn



--Q7. Who was the only gymnast to have her floor music renamed for



A. Nadia, whose floor music is now generally referred to as Nadia's

Theme. (Actually I don't know if she was the only one)




I've heard the Ventures play this tune and always wondered who was the




Rachele, is your Rice account no longer in service?




Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 21:17:44 EST

From: ***@QUCDN.QueensU.CA

Subject: Hi! 


Hi! My name is Bryan. I just subscribed today to Gymn. I am attending

first year at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, doing a

BScH in Biology.  I did gymnastics about five years ago, but trained

mostly with girls, and so, d id mostly girls events since there were

no extra instructors. Anyways, I got to Queen's and got on the

Competitive Cheerleading team. It was fun for a while, but I needed

something new, so I picked up gym again two weeks ago to learn how to

do a back handspring and a back tuck for cheerleading, since tumbling

is pr etty important in that sport. Any suggestions for progressions?

So here I am, a nd I want to learn it all. I'm really looking forward

to Gymn.






Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 12:57:36 EST

From: ***@QUCDN.QueensU.CA

Subject: Hi! 


Hi, my name is Bryan. I'm submitting my intro for Gymn. I'm 19, and am

in first year Biology at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario,

Canada. I got into gymnastics just recently tryingto learn how to do a

back handspring for cheerleading, but now, I think I'm here to stay.

My address is . I'd be happy to talk to anyone

about anything. I'm looking forward to Gymn, and I hope I enjoy it as

much as the rest of you.




P.S. Does anyone KNOW any progressions for a back handspring or a

standing back tuck?




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 1994 08:49:46 +0800

From: ***@Eng.Sun.COM

Subject: Kerri Strug in _IG_


Just put down this month's IG and thought I'd start up a discussion on

the Kerri Strug series of interviews.  (Kerri looks to be a real crowd

pleaser on gymn, so it's a good bet no one will mind;^)


I thought those interviews were really interesting, especially Bela's.

For those of you who don't get IG (Is there anyone on gymn who fits

this profile?) they had interviews with Kerri, and her former coaches

Steve Nunno and Bela Karolyi (as if we need to use his last name.)


At any rate, what I found especially interesting about Bela's is the

glimpse into coaching a young elite.  You always see coaches pacing

around and spotting and stuff, but it sounds like the most difficult

part of the job (besides not being the focus for too much negative

gossip ;^) is the subtle psychological element.  From the interview it

appeared that Bela had a pretty good bead on Kerri's psyche and had to

massage it effectively to help her perform up to her true potential.

Didn't sound like she adjusted all too well to Dynamo.


Well, all that really impressed me.  When I was a kid and was doing

sports, all the coaches needed to do was yell at us a lot to get us

motivated.  Sounds like coaching young girls, especially young

athletically gifted girls, can be a lot different.  Any one else have

any insight into this?  I once spoke to a fairly successful men's

coach who told me that he coached for a high school girl's team once

and regrets it to this day.  He was frustrated as were the girls.

There wasn't a good match there.






Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 16:30:20 EST

From: ***

Subject: Kerri Strug in _IG_


I apologize if this is a duplicate message for anyone.  I'm pretty

sure I zapped my original by mistake...


re George's message:


"I thought those interviews were really interesting, especially

Bela's.  For those of you who don't get IG (Is there anyone on gymn

who fits this profile?) they had interviews with Kerri, and her former

coaches Steve Nunno and Bela Karolyi (as if we need to use his last



At any rate, what I found especially interesting about Bela's is the

glimpse into coaching a young elite.  You always see coaches pacing

around and spotting and stuff, but it sounds like the most difficult

part of the job (besides not being the focus for too much negative

gossip ;^) is the subtle psychological element.  From the interview it

appeared that Bela had a pretty good bead on Kerri's psyche and had to

massage it effectively to help her perform up to her true potential.

Didn't sound like she adjusted all too well to Dynamo."


I was very surprised to read Kerri's comments that she (implied if not

said outright) needed Bela.  My impression of the 92 team finals was

that Bela sold out Kerri to get Kim into AA (having Kerri leave out

her full-in 3rd pass on floor and acting really thrilled when Kim beat

Kerri's total).  Therefore I was very surprised that she still held

such loyalty to Bela.


Any comments, or anyone know anything about this situation that I have





Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 18:56:26 +0200

From: ***

Subject: Kerri Strug in _IG_


they had interviews with Kerri, and her former coaches Steve >Nunno

and Bela Karolyi (as if we need to use his last name.)  >


Did I miss something?  Kerri Strug left Dynamo and Steve Nunno?


Didn't sound like she >adjusted all too well to Dynamo.


How was this evident?




Date: Mon, 14 Mar 1994 00:35:44 +0800

From: ***@Eng.Sun.COM

Subject: Kerri Strug in _IG_


        I really liked your opinions about the Kerri Strug interview

in IG. I was impressed by a USA Gymnastics article about Bela and a

very detailed interview he gave about the four phases of training that

his gymnasts go through. Many people forget that while he is a showman

on the floor, his schooling in sports training is excellent and the

reason why his gymnasts do so well is because of the training. I

thought his comments were really thoughtful and caring.

        Many people don't realize that Kerri didn't come through a

powerhouse program. She trained alone in the gymn for four hours a day

with two coaches to herself until January of '91. I thought that

Nunno's comments about her "adapting to our system" were fairly

insensitive and while he helped increase her difficulty level, he

forgot about the overly sensitive kid inside a little bit.

        I'm not sure about men being that different to coach than

women, but when one is training a ten or eleven year-old for top level

competition, factors such as family life, personal difficulties and

others come into play a lot more than when a college-age male is

involved. It's very traumatic for a father-type male figure to yell at

a girl in practice if it isn't done in the right way.

        You are welcome to forward my comments if you feel they are

worthwhile to any discussion. I would like to say, however, that I

think that Nunno is a wonderful coach for many kids, but that it

sounds like the situation didn't work out between the two of them. He

also mentioned her sister Lisa. Lisa is MUCH older than Kerri and from

what I remember of her, has a much different personality and work

ethic. I have no idea whether that played a role or not, but it may

have been a factor.





Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 16:59:09 -0600 (CST)

From: ***>

Subject: Kerry Huston -- update


The following was released on USA Gymnastics' Delphi BBS:






Kerry suffered an injury while participating in the Winter Cup nation

team qualifying meet held in Colorado Springs last month.


"Kerry Huston, considered by the gymnastics community as a definite

Gold Medal candidate for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, is facing

the biggest challenge of his career -- overcoming a career-threatening

injury that has him paralyzed, and now has him undergoing, for an

undetermined length of time, medical rehabilitation for spinal cord

injury at TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) in



"After 13 years of training and development, Kerry had begun to

solidify his position as a true contender for the Gold Medal.  During

the August 1993 USA Gymnastics National Competition, Kerry won the

gold on Floor Exercise, tied for third on vault, and finished eighth

all-around in the national results, making him the number 1 collegiate

athlete.  Those finishing ahead of Huston have completed their NCAA

eligibility.  Prior to his injury Kerry was considered to be the

leading contender for the all-around title for both the Big Ten and

the NCAA championships.


"Now, just 23 days following surgery to repair a broken neck at both

vertibrae C6 and C7, Kerry is making a miraculous recovery.  R. Edward

Carter, MD, Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at TIRR is

Kerry's Physician.  'Since his admission to TIRR on February 16, Kerry

has shown continued improvement,' Dr. Carter said.  As of March 3,

Kerry has been riding a stationery bike, and is beginning to ambulate

with a walker, progressing to a cane.


"Kerry wants the Gold Medal and his unquestionable faith in God is his

driving force.  'I do not want my gymnastics career to end like this,'

Kerry said during a recent weekend pass visit to his home in Spring,

TX, where kerry's bedroom is filled with medals, plaques and awards he

has earned over the years.  He is a 1991 graduate of Klein High School

and attends the University of Minnesota on a gymnastics scholarship.


"'Like some of the all-time great athletes Jesse Owens and Hank Aaron,

I have always wanted to represent the United States through my sport

to the best of my ability.  Also, I want to be a role model for young

people by setting and achieving goals academically and athletically,'

Kerry said.  'That is my dream.  That is my prayer.' "


NOTE: If you wish to send a card or letter to Kerry, address it to

Kerry Huston, c/o USA Gymnastics, 201 South Capitol, Suite 300,

Indianapolis, IN 46225.




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 12:54:46 EST

From: ***

Subject: Larissa Fontaine


I was just editing my American Cup tape and it occurred to me that

Larissa Fontaine reminds me more and more of Chelle Stack,

particularly on floor.  Anyone else see the resemblance?






Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 00:24:37 -0800 (PST)

From: ***>

Subject: new life


      I was wondering.  What exactly is "new life"?  I've seen it in

about six recent posts, but I've never heard of it before.






Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 09:02:01 EST

From: ***

Subject: new life


In response to Michael's post asking what new life is (I'm posting it

to everyone since there might be others who are also wondering):


To see who qualifies to all-around and event finals, they add up the

compulsory + optional scores.  It used to be that half of that total +

the gymnasts' score in finals would determine the final result.

Starting in 1989, they started counting only the score in finals to

determine the results.  So all the gymnasts who advance to finals

start again from 0, and that's known as "new life."


-- Gimnasta




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 16:11:18 EST

From: ***

Subject: Piskun


Piskun has REALLY cleaned up her bars from last year.  They were

always great in terms of difficulty, but now she executes the

difficulty well too.




Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 22:45:53 EST

From: ***

Subject: Qualifying -- My Final Note


I was asked to stick to discussing limits on AA and event finals

without questioning the number of gymnasts the FIG decides to let each

country enter in the first place.  I see no reason why I can't bring

those limits up too, since I think they're relevant to the discussion,

and even if they weren't, I see no reason not to discuss them as well.

As far as I'm concerned, anything the FIG does is open to debate, and

as far as I know, anything concerning gymnastics can be discussed on



To clarify why I brought the entry limits in at all:


    Entry limits, like finals limits, *do* have the effect of keeping

out some individuals who are better than others based on nationality.

     If the finals limits are questioned because of that effect, then

it makes perfect sense to question the entry limits too.  In

principle, any limit based on nationality is susceptible to question

on that ground.  That's not to say one can't conclude that there is a

difference which warrants keeping entry limits while eliminating

finals limits.


Maybe this will help explain:


At the individual AA Worlds, countries are limited to entering 3

gymnasts.  I don't see a difference between that and, in AA finals at

a "full" Worlds, taking out three gymnasts who were there for the team

portion.  Either way, only 3 gymnasts represent each country in the

AA.  If 3 is too few at a full Worlds, then, it seems to me, 3 is too

few at the individual Worlds (the same gymnasts -- not personally, but

whoever are #4 etc. at a given moment -- are excluded).  I think the

full Worlds can be viewed as three separate competitions with

different entry limits for each, the same way there are separate team,

AA, and event Worlds.


But Susan says there is a relevant difference: that the gymnast is

excluded when s/he is already at Worlds.  Maybe each country could

designate ahead of time (at trials) who will compete in the AA (making

team and individual competition kind of like group and individual

competition in rhythmic).  Or a country could have the option of using

prelims as the "trials" (or would that be too close to the same thing,

just with a different name?).


Equating the phases of the full Worlds with the separate AA, event,

and team Worlds fails to address the issue of an individual AA or

event Worlds narrowing the number of entries per country after prelims

(as with Strug's situation at Birmingham).  I agree that's

problematic.  At best, it's an FIG-mandated prelims-trials and I don't

see a justification for it, except to prevent a medal sweep, and I

don't think that's good enough.


As I've mentioned before, I think 3 is a significant number because of

the medals, and I've always had more of a problem with the event

finals limits than the AA limits for that reason.  I always used to be

uncomfortable with both finals limits, but when they started doing

individual Worlds with fewer entries per country, and I started

thinking about how so many other sports have similar limits, the AA

finals limit (the 3, not the 2 at Birmingham) started bothering me

less.  If the limits are eliminated at full Worlds (which is fine by

me), then they should allow a greater number of entries (as an option)

at the individual Worlds.  I haven't thought about the skating model

enough yet, so I don't know.


I guess between all my posts I've said everything I have to say on

this subject.


: ) Gimnasta




Date: Thu, 10 Mar 1994 15:44:33 +0200

From: ***

Subject: Question


When and Where will the team for the '96 Olympics be selected?


Thanks in advance,






Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 00:22:28 EST

From: ***

Subject: Question (1996 Olympic Trials)


> When and Where will the team for the '96 Olympics be selected?


The 1996 Olympic Trials will be June 22-30 in one of four cities:

Seattle, San Jose, Nashville, and Boston.


The final city is supposed to be announced this month, actually.






Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 11:11:42 EST

From: ***

Subject: Results to Gymn Poll #1



                        Gymn Poll #1 - Results


                Total number of people responding: 30

          Approximately a 25% response rate (not bad, not bad)


*** Questions 1 and 2: gender and age group


 The following chart lists the number of responses in each category.


   Age | Male | Female | Total =====================================

under 18 | 1 | 1 | 2 _________|________|________|_________ 18-21 | 2 |

3 | 5 _________|________|________|_________ 22-30 | 6 | 8 | 14

_________|________|________|_________ 31 & up | 5 | 4 | 9

_________|________|________|_________ Total | 14 | 16 | 30



*** Question 3: type of involvement


Note that one response can fit in more than one of the following

categories; for instance, a parent can also be a former athlete.


Athletes (including former): 13

                    Coaches: 4

                     Judges: 3

                    Parents: 4

                       Fans: 24

                      Other: 7


...Did you know: Athletes include a former World Championship

competitor; there seems to be many former collegiate competitors, a

few of whom competed at NCAA Nationals at some point. Our judges

include at least one FIG Brevet, and one inactive FIG Brevet. For our

parents, we have two parents of TOPs team members (current and former)

and also a parent of a gymnast on the US Nat'l team.  "Other" includes

scorekeepers, interpreters, journalists and photographers,

choreographers, and so forth.


*** Question 4: length of involvement


      Under 5 years: 7

         5-10 years: 3

        11-20 years: 13

      over 20 years: 5

            AVERAGE: 12.96 years


*** Question 5: comments on Gymn


Included are comments that were mentioned more than once.


The BEST parts:


---Mentioned most often was: news, meet reports, and interviews; the

friendly atmosphere; the open discussion; the knowledge of Gymn



---Also mentioned was: the calendar and TV alerts; meeting new people

and making friends; trivia sets


The WORST parts:


---Mentioned most often was: the occasional flamer and/or lack of

courtesy to other members; discussions that get out of hand and should

be taken to private email; sometimes too much mail; discussion is

often too technical for members who are new to gymnastics [Hey! feel

free to ask questions!]


Most common answer was "I have no complaints".  (whoo hoo!)


---Also mentioned was: American subscribers forget there are "foreign"

subscribers; "I went to the meet and was only 50 feet from Shannon

Miller!!!" -- i.e., public worshipping of gymnasts; too few posting

too much; too many postings concerning local meets.




Note: the aformentioned "friendly" nature of our forum prevents me

from posting some of the more, shall we say, "interesting" replies to

the survey. =) Thanks for the laughs though!


Thanks for your replies. Next poll will be in about a month. If you

have any suggestions, feel free to mail me.


Cheers!  Rachele




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 1994 13:40:19 -0800

From: ***>

Subject: Ronald's reports on Am Cup ... 



... were just awesome! Thanks Ron.



    **Tim Daggett told me that lots of big-name male gymnasts smoke,

including Scherbo.  ====


I believe smoking kills appetite (when smokers quit, they eat a lot).

Could this be a reason why some of these gymnasts smoke - to keep 'in

shape' by not eating much? Of course,some smoke to reduce the tension

- another possible reason. But isn't the stamina reduced by smoking?






Date: Mon, 14 Mar 1994 16:56:48 -0600 (CST)

From: ***>

Subject: The Gymn Pub


So, here's that promised update on stuff that's been going on in the

lives of some Gymn members... I guess I'll just do this every so

often, whenever people mail me with good stuff, no set dates or

anything... I named it "The Gymn Pub" because so few of us are

under-age (grin)... here's to the "friendliness" of our forum...


Bottoms up, Rachele


From: Alison


I started a new school in September (Bowdoin College) and as for

travel, I am going to St. Martin with my track team to train in 3

weeks!!!!!!!!!  Also, re the message from Brent Perry about the

Gymcarolina- Marriott Classic: one of the teams competing was my

former gym, Hampshire Gymnastics.  They've really improved

tremendously in the last 3 years or so.


From: Robin


I started a new job in January at MetaWare, Inc.  I'm in the technical

support department for this C/C++ Compiler company in Santa Cruz, CA.

I've gotten into a new hobby....knitting socks.  My mom has done it

for years, and once I learned I got totally hooked.  They're pretty

wild looking. My new motto: "Life is too short to wear cheap socks".


From: Robyn


> --pass your oral exam (you know who you are) Yeah, that was me.  :-D

The Oral Qualifying Exam is the first big hurdle in the PhD program,

once you finish your Master's.  I'm in Computer Science (Artificial

Intelligence), for those who don't know.  Also, Ryan is already 6

months old -- his half birthday was Monday (3/7).  He's sitting up,

babbling da-da, and sleeping throught the night!


From: me


Well, aside from bouncing around email accounts, I've spent the last

couple months job searching, and have accepted an offer from BSG

Consulting, a firm specializing in information systems. It's a way

cool company, so I'm psyched.  I'll still be in Houston, though there

is a definite chance of being transferred... to Atlanta... in 1996!




Anything interesting happening in your life?  Your friends on Gymn

want to know about it!  Mail either or a short description of what's going with you and we'll

collect it with others and send it out to Gymn every so often.






Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 17:05:37 -0600 (CST)

From: ***

Subject: Trivia Set #13, topic


Hey friends, yes indeed, I have picked up my rice account again.

Sorry to be confusing everyone so much.  I *expect* to be using this

one through May 7, then my AOL account through mid-July, and then this

one again until they cancel it (probably in December), and then AOL

again for good.  (Sorry to keep switching!  I'll be checking AOL every

now and then to make sure I don't miss any mail -- both my rharless

account and my gymnmgr account.)


The topic for Trivia Set #13 will be Unlucky Gymnasts.  There are lots

of gymnasts who, for some reason or another, did not get to achieve

all they could or should have... if you can remember any particular

stories, send it my way.






Date: Sat, 12 Mar 94 20:52:06 EST

From: ***

Subject: UF-Illinois-Iowa State


  University of Florida Freshman Chrissy Vogel received a perfect

vault score and stole the show on Senior Night, leading the Gators

(193.625) to victories over Illinois-Chicago (188.300) and Iowa


  Vogel, who grew up just a few miles from the university, not only

received a 9.9 for her handspring-front (tucked) vault but also

upgraded her floor tumbling on her way to a 38.95 all-around victory.

Gator Kristen Guise took second with a 38.825, and teammate Lisa

Panzironi inserted a double-back in her last floor pass (replacing a

full twist ) to take third with a 38.600.

  And while the Gators were happy with their win, the Flames of

Illinois-Chicago were joyous. The team managed to score its

second-highest score in school history and put on a dazzling floor set

that included difficult and unique tumbling passes. Illinois' Rebecca

Keiffer threw one of the most difficult floor pass combinations in the

country when she connected a whip with 1 1/2 twists to a stuck

double-back. And for good measure, she followed that with a Rudi (an

"E" move) in her second pass and double-full in her last.

  The unique combinations for Illinois continued when Wendi

Farquharson connected a double-back to an immediate back-handspring

into dance elements.  Following her was teammate Heather Brockwell,

who threw a whip to a Rudi.

  "We had a pretty good day," Illinois-Chicago Coach Peter Jansson

said. "Our goal is to keep improving, and we wanted to do that

tonight. This is the only top-10 team we'll face this year."

  Illinois' Brockwell was the only non-Gator to break into the top

three on any event, taking third on beam with a 9.575. Guise won bars

(9.85) and floor (9.875), while teammates Colleen Johnson and Kari

Robidoux won beam (9.6) and Vogel won vault.


One other interesting note: Iowa State has triplets: Freshmen Karen,

Kim and Katie Mazza.




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 11:25:51 -0400 (EDT)

From: ***

Subject: World Qualifying


      I would think that Dom would've also qualified to Worlds since

she must have finished in the top five in at least one event in

prelims at the American Cup.

      My take on the new life rule - it stinks. But I thought it was

interesting that it helped Boguinskaya win the AA at '89 worlds but it

probably cost her the title in '91. I think she had better

compulsories than Kim. I know that the compulsories were averaged in

w/ the team optionals score and then added to the finals score before,

but it still would've given her a slight edge. But remember, the

Worlds before the rule went into place ('87) a big suprise - Aurelia

Dobre - won. I thought the new life rule stank in Olympic competition

in '92.

      College - I'll disagree with the comment that college bars are

better than elite bars. And beam as well. But a lot of the floor

choreography, connections and performances in college are far better

than international elite routines at the moment. The only area where

they are behind in floor is the difficulty of the final tumbling

passes. Gosh, rudis are an E on floor? I could work up a level 10

floor routine within 6 months, and I haven't competed in eight years.

      Anyone else remember what Lussac's floor music was? I may be

mistaken - I was watching with a high fever. What an amazing beam

routine she has...





Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 11:59:32 +1000

From: ***

Subject: Worlds programme - April


Competition programme for the April worlds is


Tuesday April 19th

Qualification sessions all apparatus, mens and womens (afternoon and

evening sessions.


Wednesday April 20th

Same as Tuesday.


Thursday April 21

All-round championship competition mens Floor, Pommel, Rings, Vault, PB and

Horizontal Bar (evening session).


Friday 22nd April

All-round championship competition womens vault, uneven bars, beam and floor

(evening session).


Saturday 23rd April

Final mens Floor, Pommel Horse and Rings

Final womens Vault, Uneven Bars

(evening session)


Sunday 24th April

Finals mens Vault, Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar

Finals womens Beam and Floor

(afternoon session)




'Sleep is better than medicine'




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 00:22:20 EST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds qualifying procedures for women


Cara said:

> Does anyone know if Kerri Strug has qualifyed to next month's

> Worlds or not?


She has not yet qualified.  The only female gymnast that has qualified

is Shannon Miller, which she did by placing 5th on vault at the

American Cup in prelims.  Miller had to finish in the top 10 AA or top

5 in any event at the Cup to qualify.


Here is a short summary of the 1994 Worlds Qualifying Procedures:


A. Miller qualifies if, at the Am. Cup, she gets top 5 in any event or

top 10 AA.


B. The Am Classic serves as the Trials.  All-around score is 60%

compulsories, and 40% optionals.


C. Gymnasts finishing first and second in the OPTIONAL RANKING ONLY

will be on the team if they ALSO finish in the top six combined AA

ranking.  Ties broken by the highest ind. event score.


D. If Miller doesn't qualify, then the third person is selected this

way too.


E. The last position on the team will be determined by the ind. event

opt'l ranking.  The gymnast who finishes first on an event and no

lower than 6th AA, and who is not already on the team, will be the 4th

team member.  If there is more than one Ind. Event winner not on the

team, the athlete with the highest event score will be the fourth

position.  If there is a tie for the highest event score, then ties

are broken by the highest counting score on that apparatus.


[Some mumbo jumbo about how one wins the vault, since they use Comp II

rules for vaulting in AA but Comp III rules for everything else.

Gymnast must do a second vault under CIII rules at a designated time.]


F. If all four apparatus winners are already on the team, the next

highest opt'l athlete in optional rank order that is also in the top 6

combined AA will be on the team.


G. There are no petitions onto the team


H. The four athletes will compete according to the coaches line-up.


The qualifying procedures can be found in the January 1994 Technique,

on page 33.






Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 00:52:11 EST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds qualifying procedures for women


Why is Miller the only female to have already qualified. What has she

done/won that has her already qulalified? Any news as to wether or not

Strug is going to try out for Worlds? When are the trials and is any

GYMN member going to be in attendance?




Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 13:33:37 EST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds qualifying procedures for women


Dennis asked:


> Why is Miller the only female to have already qualified. What has she

> done/won that has her already qulalified? Any news as to wether or not


Why is Miller already qualified?  Because she's a three-time World

Champion (AA, UB, FX)!  She's also won six other World and Olympic

medals, and she was undefeated in all of 1993.  Their making her

"qualify" to be on the Worlds team would almost be an insult-- after

all that she's done for American gymnastics, I guess the USGF thought

it would be nice to just let her bypass the qualifying rules and

train.  They did the same for her last year.  Also, it would be silly

if she missed qualifying due to some random mishap, say falling off of

beam.  I think they know how valuable her reputation is and they don't

want to risk losing her on the team; she's enough of an asset that

they are making an exception for her.


There's lots of potential explanations as to why Miller gets/deserves?

special treatment.


Cara said:

>  I would think that Dom would've also qualified to Worlds since she must

> have finished in the top five in at least one event in prelims at the

> American Cup.


The rules were not that *whoever* is in the top five of any event or

top 10 AA at the American Cup qualifies to be on the Worlds team.  The

rules were that if the "1993 World Champion" met those requirements,

she was on the team.  It was a special clause written in specifically

for Shannon Miller (tho it only referred to her as the World Champ,

not as "Shannon Miller").


Dawes is an outstanding gymnast, but she's "only" won three

World/Olympic medals (team bronze 92, silver UB and BB 93).  Miller

won medals in 91, 92, and 93, not to mention that she qualified for

all four event finals at both the 91 and 93 Worlds and the 92

Olympics.  The other countries would probably *laugh* at the USA if

she wasn't on our team.  (As if the other countries don't laugh at our

selection procedures already.)


No news as to if Strug will try to qualify, and I have not heard of

any Gymn person who will be there.






End of gymn Digest