gymn Digest                 Wed, 18 May 94       Volume 2 : Issue 126


Today's Topics:

                            b.k. talk fest

                            Bela (2 msgs)

                          Bela's a nice guy

                              Bela (fwd)

                            Bela Re: Camps

             Book Review:  Bela's Autobiography (2 msgs)

                            Code of Points


                         J.O. Men's Nationals

                 No compulsories after 1997! (4 msgs)

                response to stressed or what? (2 msgs)

                  Unsubscription woes!  Please read!

       Worlds'94 (part 1) - The Build-Up and Training (2 msgs)

                    Worlds'94 (part 2) - Training

                  Worlds'94 (part 3) - Preliminaries

           Worlds'94 (part 4) - All-Around Finals (3 msgs)

                Worlds'94 (part 5) - Apparatus finals


This is a digest of the mailing list. 




Date: Tue, 17 May 94 12:57:46 EST

From: ***

Subject: b.k. talk fest


Well, darn....!


I feel like apologizing for what it seems initiating a lengthy

rather heated back -n- forth about a certain controversial romanian

fellow.  I hereby "exorcise" any bad blood created by the mention

of his name, and will only add a whole hearted agreement to the

mention of Marta being the more gymnastically knowledgeable of the

two.  She is admirable and much overlooked (so many women coaches







Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 15:53:29 -0600 (EST)

From: ***

Subject: Bela


I sent the message to gymn.  I had thought Bela would problably

be a big egotistical pain but he ended up being more like a big old

teddy bear.  My daughter was crazy about him.  I've got pictures of her

sitting on his lap while he drives his 3 wheeler, one of him hugging

her, another of him trotting along holding the reigns of her horse.

And he was like that with all the girls.  He was very upbeat, kind of

crazy and silly at times but very enthusiastic.  If I could afford it,

I'd send her again next year.  As a financially deficient single mom,

I found out if you work at Woodward a week your kid can go there

fairly cheaply.  Also if you take other kids from your gym then the

other parents can chip in for transportation and it's cheaper yet.

(Also entitled " how to get your kid to camp when you obviously can't

afford it and she desperately wants to go.")  So that's why she went to

Woodward last year and is going again this summer.  We had a great

time at woodward also.  I just thought that Karolyi's was even more

fun.  But, Maybe that was just because she was younger and I didn't

have to work at Karolyi's.  I have also heard that International is

a great camp.  But they don't have any working parent program.

Does anyone know anything about any other camps?




Date: Mon, 16 May 94 20:24:23 PDT

From: ***

Subject: Bela


I appreciate the posts about Bela at the camp. It presents a side of him the

rest of us never see, and it helps balance a lot of his coverage.


But a way with kids doth not a saint make, just as his faults do not make him

the anti-christ. I just wish he would get more balanced coverage.


I appreciate skill displayed without aggressive self promotion. If Bela had

taken his noteriety and promoted THE SPORT and not Bela and Marta, I would be

singing his praises and he STILL would be making a mint.


Feh. Enough already.




Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 15:27:14 -0700 (PDT)

From: ***

Subject: Bela's a nice guy


{massive deletions}



> I was very surprised.  The coach who went with us was very surprised too.

> I just figured he would be rather pompous and self-important.  But he

> was very warm and friendly.  Both he and Marta seemed very down to

> earth.


Despite his reputation as a "hard liner" he is really down to earth guy and

I thinks thats why he gets away with being as tough as he is.


I enjoy how he is such a "character".


One last thing, lots of guys are really nice but hide behind this grizzly bear

mask for self defense.  Really many of us guys have more fragile egos than

folks wanna think!






Date: Tue, 17 May 94 07:55:42 CDT

From: ***

Subject: Bela Re: Camps


Someone asked about other camps ... Krafft Academy in Tulsa will be hosting

camp this summer. It consists of 3 one week sessions starting June 16. Kristi

Krafft and her husband, Jean-Luc Cairon, will be hosting it. The camp coaching

staff will be a mix of international coaches. If anyone wants specifics let

me know.






Date: Tue, 17 May 94 00:44:46 EDT

From: ***

Subject: Book Review:  Bela's Autobiography


I got my hands on a copy of Bela's book, "Feel No Fear," and have been

reading it. Some of it (in terms of his memory) is unbelievable.  According

to him:


Mary Retton barely edged out a Sov for 85 Am Cup (the Sovs skipped Am Cup

that year)


Kim Zmeskal was the 1991 DTB Cup AA Champion (I thought she skipped 91 DTB

and was 5th in 1990)


Zmeskal was the 1990 Paris winner (wasn't she 2nd to Bogie?)


Kerri Strug came to train with him just after the 88 Olympics, and (implied)

he developed her. The "6-pack" of 1989 was Strug, Zmeskal, Grivich, Uherek,

Scherr, and Stokes.  Apparently Kelly Pitzen did not exist.


The Romanian girls won the 1972 Friendship Cup (Team).  A picture *in the

book* contradicts this, showing the Romanians second to the Soviets


Brandy Johnson retired/accomplished nothing after she left him in late 1988

 (apparently a World silver medal doesn't count)


Kristie Phillips was being coached by Don Peters at the 88 Nationals where

she "was disasterous" and placed 9th (she had been back with Bela for 3

months by then - he coached her at the US Classic 6 weeks before Nationals

and claimed to have gotten her back into form - I attended that meet).


The US *led* East Germany after compulsories in 1988.  The business with

Rhonda Faehn on the podium occurred during *optionals*


Zmeskal and Betty Okino finished on *vault* at American Cup, both scoring

10s.  KZ *first missed* on beam, then came back on floor and *vault*


He knew immediately (1977) that Silivas would be a star (just how old was she

then, anyway??? <g>)


Okino's 1990 Goodwill Games vault that was given a 0.00 was in the final

event of the AA and dropped her from 1st to 4th when *she was given 2

re-vaults*????? and scored 9.65 and 9.7 (the 0.00 was in the team and she

counted a 9.8, she never led the AA and had hit her foot on UB in her first



The Romanian Gymnastics Federation withdrew the team from 77 Euros, while

Bela was begging them not to


Bela's only goal in the unselfish betterment of his athletes, with no

personal gain for himself.  He illustrates this by describing how he refused

a 10% commission off Retton's earnings as a motivational (???) speaker.




Granted, there is some interesting and (my opinion) valid stuff in the book

(I agree with his opinion that Rhonda Faehn belonged on the 88 Olympic team

more than MM), the Audrey Schweyer/Don Peters business, etc.  Still, his

memories seem quite inventive...(I think soon we will see Hyperion Books

hiring a new fact checker - well, maybe not, they did a Tonya/Nancy book



Would like to hear other opinions.






Date: Tue, 17 May 94 15:59:19 PDT

From: ***

Subject: Book Review:  Bela's Autobiography




You should advise Hyperion that they have a few facts mixed up.


This illustrates my point well. Certainly Bela has done some good things for

the sport. But I would hardly hold the man up as a role model for my

children, any more than I would want them to emulate Scherbo (sorry, Susan).

The excellence of someone in his or her chosen profession can only be part of

how we judge that person.


Equally important, if not more so, is a person's integrity. Taking credit for

the skill or accomplishments of another, even in part, is I think a trait I

would rather have my children reject.




Date: Wed, 18 May 94 01:14:12 EDT

From: ***

Subject: Code of Points


Leonid Arkaev describes the Code of Points used in the USSR & now Russia:


>Before, an exercise was scored

out of 9.4, two-tenths were added for virtuosity, and the

remaining tenths - one each - for every group of difficulty. The

highest score we had was 10 points. Now an exercise is scored out

of 9 points, and for every group of difficulty you add one-tenth.


GREAT IDEA!  Both the USAG and NCAA should adopt this, as well as the FIG!






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 19:40:05 EDT

From: ***

Subject: Hello!


Hello fellow gymnastics fans!

     I just subsribed to gymn, and I think it's wonderful. Anyway, here's my

self-introduction. My name is Beth, I'm 31, and I work as a Russian translator

at Ohio State (we're a magazine that translates Russian newspapers). Like most

people my age, I got interested in gymnastics after seeing Nadia on TV in '76.

But at 13, I was "too old" to become a gymnast myself, so I became a very

dedicated fan instead! Gymnastics is what made me end up majoring in Russian in

college. I have been VERY VERY lucky to have been able to do some interpreting

for the Soviet team in '89 (US-USSR) and '91 (Worlds), and at the Brisbane

worlds I interpreted an interview with Ivankov that will hopefully turn up in

IG over the summer. By the way, he is a VERY nice person, extremely modest and

polite - a very gracious and deserving AA champ. I was glad to see him win!

     This is a bit of a digression, but I want to clear something up about

Svetlana Boginskaya's now-infamous quote from the '91 Worlds: "I'm 100% sure I

would have won if the competition had been held in Europe." The US media made

it sound like she was very bitter, but that is not true. I was the interpreter

of that quote, and she was responding to a direct question from a reporter.

Plus, she immediately went on to say "but I congratulate Kim and am very happy

for her." Unfortunately, all the US media chopped off that part of the

statement, and ended up making Svetlana look bad. This has bothered me for a

long time, so I'm glad for the chance to set the record straight! Plus, on the

way to the press conference, Svetlana told me that she was not at all upset

about getting the silver, that she knew coming into the competition that that

would be the best she could do (she knows the politics of meets held in the

US!) If she had really been bitter, she would have boycotted the press

conference altogether, which is what Arkaev, Aleksandrov, Belu and Bontas did.

Thanks for letting me clear that whole situation up!

     I noticed that a message sent today on the Code of Points in Russia was

from an article I translated and sent to a fellow gymnastics friend. It was an

interview with Arkaev published in March of this year. If the whole thing

hasn't been posted on gymn, I can send it. To my knowledge, this is NOT a

violation of copyright law (if so, the company I work for is in a lot of

trouble, since we translate and publish articles from the Russian press every

week!). But if anyone thinks would be a violation, let me know. Otherwise, if

people are interested, I'll post it.

     Also, if there are any Omelianchik fans out there, I received an

interesting (but depressing) letter from her mother a while ago. I had sent

Oksana a b-day card, but she's in Belgium, so her mother wrote back. I can post

a translation of the letter if anyone's interested.

     As you've probably guessed, my favorites are the ex-Soviets, especially

Omelianchik, Lashchenova, Lysenko, Boginskaya, Fabrichnova, Podkopayeva - I

could go on forever! Of the men, my favorites are Misyutin, Lyukin, Sharipov

and Ivankov. I basically like all the ex-Sovs, except Korobchinsky (he is a

little arrogant, to put it mildly).

     If anyone has questions about any of the ex-Soviets I've met (what their

personalities are like, how to pronounce their names!), let me know and I'll

try to help out. I'm glad to be on gymn, and am looking forward to keeping up

with all the latest news!





Date: Tue, 17 May 94 13:55:30 EDT

From: ***

Subject: J.O. Men's Nationals


>From the USAG BBS:


Junior Olympic Nationals

Augusta, GA

May 6-8, 1994:


JUNIOR ELITE CLASS I (Ages 16 to 18)


1.  107.15  Joshua Birckelbaw, Region I Team

2.  106.00  Timothy Dalrymple, Region I Team

3.  105.20  Daniel Fink, Region VII Team

4.  104.15  Daniel Ryssman, Region I Team

5.  103.95  Timothy Elsner, Region VII Team

6.  103.90  Guard Young, Region III Team

7.  103.25  Sanjuan Jones, Region VIII Team

8.  102.80  Kendall Schiess, Region IX Team

9.  102.30  Carey Reddick, Region III Other

10. 102.00  Sean Contreras, Region IV Team




1.  18.75  Timothy Dalrymple

2.  18.45  Carey Reddick

3.  18.40  Sean Contreras



1.  18.70  Kendall Schiess

2.  18.0   Joshua Birckelbaw

3.  17.55  Israel Mlay, Region I Team



1.  19.10  Danny Beigel, Region VII Other

2.  18.80  Sanjuan Jones

3.  18.30  Joshua Birckelbaw



1.  18.70  Sean Contreras

2.  18.50  Glen Presley, Region VIII Other

3. T18.35  Michael Emmons, Region III Team

           Joshua Birckelbaw



1.  18.45  Gray Wetzler, Region I Other

2.  18.30  Joshua Birckelbaw

3.  17.90  Daniel Ryssman



1.  18.45  Ethan Sterk, Region VII Team

2.  18.05  Seth Seligman, Region VII Other

3.  17.90  Michael Hinman, Region V Team




1.  93.45  Kevin Bauer, Region III Team

2.  92.85  R. Sean Griffith, Region I Team

3.  92.15  Jonathan Uransky, Region VII Team

4.  91.80  Justin Butler, Region VIII Team

5.  91.25  Tyler McEowen, Region III Team

6.  91.10  Bryan Pascoe, Region V Team

7.  90.60  Kevin Schwartz, Region VII Team

8.  90.55  Daniel Young, Region VI Team

9.  90.35  Kevin Schell, Region VII Team

10. 90.05  Nick Stanner, Region IV Team




1.  17.3  Aaron Reynolds, Region III Team

2.  17.25 Justin Butler

3.  16.90 Brandon Aguirre, Region V Team



1. T14.75 Jason Newman, Region V Team

          Bryan Pascoe

3.  14.70 Theodore Cheng, Region IX Team



1.  17.75 Kevin Schwartz

2.  16.30 Daniel Young

3.  16.10 Matthew Ruddell, Region VIII Team



1.  17.05 Kevin Bauer

2.  16.90 Kevin Schwartz

3.  16.85 Benjamin Constantino, Region I Team



1.  16.40 Jonathan Uransky

2. T16.20 Justin Butler

          Tyler McEowen



1.  16.30 Tyler McEowen

2.  15.95 Kevin Bauer

3.  15.90 R. Sean Griffith




1.  101.90 Lindsey Fang, Region VII Team

2.  101.05 Scott Finkelstein, Region VII Team

3.  100.70 Jamie Natalie, Region VII Team

4.   99.60 Yusnf Johnson, Region I Team

5.   99.55 Yewki Tomita, Region I Team

6.   99.50 Jason Furr, Region VII Other

7.   99.15 Craig Nesbitt, Region III Team

8.   99.30 Fredric Umali, Region I Team

9.   98.05 Edward Burch, Region IX Team

10.  97.90 Lateef Crowder, Region I Team




1.   17.85  Scott Finkelstein

2.   17.60  Jamie Natalie

3.   17.50  Yewki Tomita



1.   16.65  Jamie Natalie

2.   16.20  Fredric Umali

3.   16.15  Scott Finkelstein



1.   17.55  Lateef Crowder

2.  T17.35  Cortney Bramwell, Region II Team

            Craig Nesbitt

            Scott Veters


1.   17.55  Eddie Seng, Region VII Other

2.  T17.40  Linh Hoang, Region III Other

            Latetef Crowder



1.   17.50  Yusnf Johnson

2.   17.40  Scott Finkelstein

3.  T17.35  Craig Nesbitt

            Lindsey Fang



1.   17.75  Jason Furr

2.   17.65  Yewki Tomita

3.   17.50  Brian Hamilton


CLASS III (Ages 12 - 13)


1.  48.40  Kris Zimmerman, Region VI Team

2.  47.80  David Edkildsen, Region I Team

3.  47.70  Evan Sapp, Region VIII Team

4.  47.60  Jason Gatson, Region I Team

5.  47.42  Daniel Furney, Region III Team

6.  46.97  Ryan Roberts, Region IX Team

7.  46.70  Brett McClure, Region II Team

8.  46.35  Stephen Van Etten, Region I Team

9.  46.27  Matt Boyer, Region VII Team

10. 46.00  Daniel K. Finnegan, Region VII Team




1. T 8.70  Stephen Van Etten

           Andrew Thornton, Region VIII Team

3. T 8.65  Jason Gatson

           Kris Zimmerman



1. T 8.10  Daniel Finnegan

           David Durante, Region VII Team

3.   8.05  Evan Sapp, Region VIII Team



1.   8.10  Matt Metzger, Region VI Team

2.   8.00  Kris Zimmerman

3.   7.95  Jason Gatson



1.   8.07  Daniel Furney

2.   8.02  Brad Kenna, Region VI Team

3.   8.00  Nick Batliner, Region IV Team



1.   8.25  Daniel Furney

2.   8.20  Jason Gatson

3.   8.10  Kris Zimmerman



1.   8.85  Evan Sapp

2.   8.75  Matt Boyer

3.   8.70  Kris Zimmerman




Date: Tue, 17 May 94 14:28:26 EDT

From: ***

Subject: No compulsories after 1997!


A short blurb of information from Reuters (from Geneva, site of the FIG



"The FIG has decided to scrap compulsory exercises at world championships and

the Olympics Games from 1997.


A FIG official said the federation's congress, which met at the weekend, had

decided that top gymnasts now reached such high standards in all disciplines

that a compulsory exercise with one optional in the team event which begins

each competition was no longer necessary.


The official said from 1997 the team event would comprise two optional

exercises for each competitor.


The congress also decided to hold the world championships every two years

from 1997."


That's exactly how Reuter's reported it, folks.  (I don't normally quote in

entirety, but it was pretty short.)






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 01:13:41 EDT

From: ***

Subject: No compulsories after 1997!


Does anyone know which countries voted against compulsories and which for?


This is AWFUL.  The sport, particularly at the developmental level - but also

at the elite level, needs compulsories!






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 03:30:55 EDT

From: ***

Subject: No compulsories after 1997!


Mara said:


> Does anyone know which countries voted against compulsories and which

> for?


Nope.  No doubt more info will follow, maybe in your next _IG_.


> This is AWFUL.  The sport, particularly at the developmental level - but

> also at the elite level, needs compulsories!


Well, I seriously doubt the USGF would do away with their compulsory program

at the developmental level.


For those not familiar with the USGF developmental structure, it's something

like this:


For women, Levels 5 through 7 are compulsory routines.

Levels 8 through 10 compete optionals only.

And the elite (both int'l and nat'l) compete both comp. and opt'l.


The men have a similar structure.






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 10:35:33 BST

From: ***

Subject: No compulsories after 1997!


In a slightly related subject, I've heard also that after the Olympics

1996 the FIG had announced that the legal age of women competitors for a

major championship was raised from 15 to 16 (by the turn of the year).

Can anyone confirm this? (They said it was announced before the

European Championships '94)






Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 16:24 MST


Subject: response to stressed or what?


Dear Kim,

     I don't know what happened to my earlier message (Cyberspace?).  I just

wanted to offer a few thoughts.  The first was that an 8 year old level 5 is

going to make many mistakes competing.  At this age, they really don't

understand "goal oriented" or adult concepts like failure, guts, and so

forth.  In fact, I think that children often due amazingly well in complex

sports such as gymnastics, it's a wonder they perform as few mistakes as they

do.  It is a common approach to assess performances too intensively.

Although a long distance diagnosis is virtually impossible, I would wager

that she just made some mistakes.  She should learn from those mistakes and

continue on.  Without trying to sound too mushy, you should always make it

clear to her that you love her regardless of how well she does in a

gymnastics contest.  This may seem easy, and you probably already do it, but

sometimes an off-hand comment and body language tell a much more intense

story.  These can be misinterpreted by the child, in other words, you may not

have been concerned but a wayward glance, rolled eyes at the wrong moment,

and so forth can send an inappropriate message that you never intended.

     I've had the pleasure of coaching many really talented/gifted athletes.

Kathy Johnson was one.  She reminded me often of her early years with stories

about how hard she worked and the frustrations she had.  Just ask her

sometime about her "record" number of falls in one meet.  She seemed to be

very aware of not only what she had just done (good or bad), but also how far

she had come.  I also recall counseling Kelly Garrison some years ago,

sometime after the 1980 Olympic Trials, as I recall.  She wanted to quit and

of course her coach didn't.  So I suggested an alternative - a strategic

retreat.  She left the sport for more than a year and later returned to win

several NCAA All Around titles and make the 1988 Olympic Team.  By the way,

she did it with the same coach, it wasn't a coaching problem.  I am just

trying to illustrate that patience can be a very important asset in dealing

with these temporary performance problems. 

     Reaffirm your confidence in your daughter. Indicate that it's the

lessons that are the important part, gymnastics is just the vehicle.  It is

important that she know that she should do the best she can, but this is an

empirical best, the best she can at the moment.  A few mistakes now and then

are healthy and important.  As long as they are just "mistakes," who cares?

There always seems to be an adult tendency to over-analyze.  Analysis is

good, as long as it doesn't impede progress.  Make sure that you and the

coach are not making mountains out of mole hills.  If there is a performance

problem that can be fixed - fix it - in the most business-like fashion you

can.  Kim Zmeskal fell off balance beam at a most inopportune moment.  I

think the most surprised person in the place was Kim.  She made a mistake.  I

think it is crazy to assume that kids can perform at 100% of their abilities

all the time.  We usually assume that adults can't do it, but somehow kids

can.  Hmmmm?  Sorry to have offered so much philosophy.  Best wishes to you

and your daughter in the upcoming competition.  I'm sure she'll do the best

she can.  Send me the results if you remember.  I'd love to see them.





Date: Tue, 17 May 94 08:12:43 CDT

From: ***

Subject: response to stressed or what?

To: gymn@MIT.EDU


Dr. Sands,


Thanks so much for your response. As a parent and a former athlete, I was

worried about the pressure. Kris is profoundly deaf and sets extremely

high expectations for herself. We started gymnastics for the social aspect

and hoping to improve her self esteem approximately 2 years ago. Within 3

months she made the Level 4 team and took 3rd in state aa and 1st in beam.

Needless to say, her self esteem has improved drastically. She appeared to

be bouncing back yesterday from the let downs. Much thanks goes to Kristi

Krafft for helping her through it. It's nice to see an elite coach care for

a little one.


I really appreciate your putting my mind at ease.






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 14:46:13 EDT

From: ***

Subject: Unsubscription woes!  Please read!


To all Gymn members:


PLEASE (please, please) DO NOT send your requests for unsubscription to the

gymn address.  This results in your msg being broadcast to far more people

than need (or want) to see it.


If you want to unsubscribe to Gymn, please mail your request to  The removal takes 24 hours to process.


Also, please do not expect Robyn to keep track of who wants to unsubscribe

only for the summer.  It is much easier if you mail Robyn

( when you return to school and ask to subscribe again.


Sorry if I sound a bit annoyed; just a bit surprised at our high volume of

misdirected administrative traffic...






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 12:21:39 BST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 1) - The Build-Up and Training


Hiya Gymners! After my descriptions on the European Championships 1994

here is another LONG detailed description of the World Championships

1994 (womens only!) (If you haven't had enough of it already). It was

written by my Australian pal Michelle (19-years-old) who went to

the meet (and more!). I hope you guys will like this too (and be able

to survive it!). I have to warn some of you Dominique Dawes fans out

there that this is very much against her (because Michelle hates her!),

so please forgive her (and me) for any 'not so nice' comments!







Monday the 11th. Get up at 3:30am (I'm not kidding!), and get ready to

go to the airport. The Worlds office told me the Romanians were arriving

at 5:05am. Wake up Dad and get him to drive me to the airport. It's

still dark and cold when I get there about 5am. There's about 10 Worlds

officials there to greet the gymnasts. So I sit and wait... and wait...

and wait. They take ages through customs, but finally some tracksuits

emerge. Italy- Chechi and Ferrazzi the only ones I recognise. Ferrazzi

is in surprisingly good spirits considering it's 5:45am and she's just

been on a plane for 18 hours! She's the only female in the entire

Italian contingent (gymnasts, coaches and officials). Chechi looks

bored and leaves the contingent of volunteers to come and sit down...

next to me! He has noidea I know he's a World Champion!!! The whole

time I'm patiently waiting for the Romanians... out comes Maria

Simonescu (remember her - the infamous Romanian judge). Then that's it.

A few minutes later they all leave. "Hey, hang on a second folks, I came

to see the Romanians!", I think to myself. What a waste of a morning!


Tuesday the 12th. About 3:00pm we went into town, and hung around the

Mayfair Hotel Loddy for two hours (This is where the gymnasts are

staying). Who did we spot? Elodie Lussac and Elenour Couffe waiting

for their coaches. I really started to like Elodie who was always smiling

and laughing. They stayed for about 10 mins before leaving for training.

No one else famous came by, just Greeks and good ol' Ferrazzi who probably

spent more time in the lobby than she did her room.


Thursday the 14th. First day of womens podium training. I was told it

began at 10am, and was open to the public. Get to Boondal (the name of

the arena) about 9am. I find a volunteer and ask him how to get into the

stadium to watch training (cause it's totally closed off). He tells me

it isn't open to public! I try to sound important, and tell him podium

training at every Worlds is open to the public, and that a Worlds official

told me it was! He goes ans asks a woman who tells me the public can't

watch. I say thank-you and sneak around the stadium looking for an entry.

Finally I find an open door and tried to blend in, I sneak past an

official, and find a seat. The stadium is empty! By that time it's about

9:30am. Don't ask how I worked up the nerve to do that, cause I'm still

wondering how I did it.


Anyway podium training begins on time, and the Chinese girls are the only

good team in the first group. They begin on UB, and little Mo Huilan stuns

me. She is so small! Make Rusan look like Boguinskaya by comparison! She

throws her Gaylord, and never misses it, but the Khatchev causes her

problems. The entire time she's smiling - great to see she's having fun!

I try to search for Lu Li, but can't find her. Instead I spot Li Li easily

and some pudge they've bought (First impression wrong again!). Her UB has

some unique combinations, but no-one carrying baby fat is ever going to

win anything... right?... wrong again Michelle! The other Chinese girl

didn't stand out for anything. Mo's BB was great - I loved her one arm

handstand. But her FX was cutest - to typewritter music!!! She's the first

Chinese girl I've ever liked - and the first Chinese to be able to tumble

and vault. I took lots of photos of her, as well as the other three.


The next session featured Ukraine and Belarus. Ukraine began on BB, which

is what I was sitting closest at the time, so I stayed and watched them,

which meant completely missing Piskoun on UB. Oh well. Instantly I was

happy to see that they hadn't sent Stobchataya after all (as said in the

programme)! Instead it's a tiny blond who I'm sure is Olesya Sulga (last

year's reserve... but she turned out to be Oksana Knizhnik). I don't like

Boulakhova at all. Pods look great - very confident compared to last year.

Her BB is the same. Lisenko looks much better in real life. Certainly she

looked in better shape than DTB, though her meet routines wouldn't be better

unfortunately. I really loved Knizhnik's BB and instantly thought it was the

best of the meet - I still do. She's so thin, it's scary! But very remindful

of Gutsu 90/91 don't you think? Anyway I like her a lot.


The Ukrainians head to FX, and Piskoun come to BB. At first I'm not sure

it's her. Her fringe is gone, and she's so short I'm stunned! Her BB is

very shaky, she misses everything, everytime. Instantly I'm concerned.

But the most horrible thing was her attitude, she totally ignored her

coaches, walking away when they were trying to talk to her, and looking

very upset, which isn't like her at all. That didn't change at all during

the week - which was frustrating for her fans, cause you got the feeling

she didn't want to be there and hated gym. Very sad to see.


My first look at Polozkova and I'm impressed, she had the basics, just

needed some big tricks and better choreography. The Ukrainians on FX.

Lisenko constantly messing her tumbles, Knizhnik always hitting and Pods

very hot and cold. Her double front was giving her problems, she kept

under-rotating it. But I loved her new FX choreography! Stole my heart -

in a way like Davidova 1980! Perhaps the best FX I've ever seen! It was

her Floor title to lose before the meet began. Knizhnik was a good little

dancer, to classical music, but not the crowd pleaser Pods is.


They change rotations and I move to the other side of the arena to watch

vault. I'm the only person on that side of the empty stadium! And

sitting in the front row, right behind where the gymnasts are chalking

up, made me stand out! And I got some stares from the gymnasts -

particularly Polozkova and Knizhnik who didn't like me taking their

pictures at all! Polozkova got so annoyed she started standing behind

the Longines board where they display the vault number! The others never

even noticed me.


Lisenko's back to her 2-T-Y, Pods does a great 1 & 1/2 -T-Y. I pick

Pods to win VT and FX finals at the time - she looked great in training.


Watched the Belarus team vault, then went home, it was about 6pm. I'd

arranged to meet someone at 7pm so I couldn't stay. On the way out, I

saw the French and Australian teams, who were in the next training

session. Once again Elodie was smiling and talking to Couffe, while

the others were like statues. Oh well, time to go, see you Saturday





End of Part One






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 15:26:20 EDT

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 1) - The Build-Up and Training


>And I got some stares from the gymnasts -

particularly Polozkova and Knizhnik who didn't like me taking their

>pictures at all! Polozkova got so annoyed she started standing behind

the Longines board where they display the vault number! The others >never

even noticed me.


I'd just like to say that if a gymnast is so visibly annoyed at her picture

being taken, one ought to stop taking it (I mean this for the fans out there,

not the photographers).


-- gimnasta



Sherwin --


Thanks for passing along your friends' impressions of various meets!  They're

very enjoyable.




Date: Wed, 18 May 94 13:32:17 BST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 2) - Training


Part Two:







Friday the 15th. We went again to the Mayfair Crest, where once again I

found myself Gym-spotting in the lobby. We didn't have to wait long - In

walks Miller, Fontaine, Borden and Fontaine's coach!!! All wearing bike

pants, Reebok T-shirts, and carrying bags from a local souvenir shop.

Miller had her hair up in a high pony tail and looked very pale, shy and

TINY!!! I felt sorry for her as Borden was really outgoing, and seemed to

be annoying her. They looked inside the shop inside the Hotel lobby, before

disappearing upstairs. We left soon after.


Saturday the 16th. We leave for Boondal at 8am. We get there, and luckily

this time it is open to the public. The first group has started, but

includes no big names. The next session is Ukraine and Belarus again.

Piskoun looks better (but I still hate her new FX music). Lisenko looks

worse. Pods is starting to nail her tumbling and Knizhnik looks more

relaxed too.


No Russia send shivers down our spines - are they even coming, we begin

to wonder.


Next session is the one I've been waiting for - USA and Romania. Romania

begins on BB, so I watch them. All very consistent, but no sparkle.

Cacovean's doing a new BB mount (Lacatus's old one from 91). Gogean

nails her full constantly, not falling on it once. Lavinia is steadier

than she is in meets, and Hatagan is boring.


The Americans come to BB and the Romanians go to FX. Cacovean using

Silivas's 89 music and choreography is really good and nails tumbling.

Gogean to Silivas's 87 routine is just plain boring to watch. I don't

like her at all. Milosovici's new music is terrible, but Hatagan's is

even worse! Moan... why didn't they bring Rusan!


Americans at BB - Dawes very consistent and confident has me scared -

she wants this title! Miller wobbles or falls on everything. She just

isn't the same Shannon we saw in Birmingham. I think there is no way

she can win the AA. It has me very worried. She doesn't complete a

clean set.


We follow the Romanians to VT, where I get some good photos of Cacovean,

who's definately my fave Rom now. The Americans on FX. Borden's routine

is a real crowd pleaser, but Amanda where is the smile you're so famous

for?! It would come, but not for another four days. She tries her

Arabian-double-front pass, at least six times, and misses it everytime,

doesn't come close to standing it up (so it was no surprise when she

did the same thing in prelims). Miller's new tumbling is pathetic and

after seeing it, I'm sure she won't win the AA. But Dawes, hits routine

after routine perfectly. Very, very worrying!!!


So, to the final rotation. Romanians on UB - didn't watch much.

Hatagan hit her release everytime, so did the others - very consistent.

Gogean does her Marinich well, so it was a surprise she left it out

during the AA.


None of the Americans can stick their vaults. All do 1/2-T-Y except

Borden who does nothing. Dawes takes big steps every time - great!

We now know that if Dawes is going to lose the AA, it's going to be

on VT - cause her other event are consistent (how right we were!).


Next in are the Aussies and French. Elodie is fantastic! Her FX is

to new Spanish music and she's a much better dancer than last year.

The tumbles are good (same as junior Euros 93). And she's the most

consistent around on all four events. Her BB  is the same, so too

are her UB and VT. But, what I liked about her was her positive,

friendly attitude - even in training. I didn't think she'd medal

in the AA cause her VT was only marked out of 9.8 (F-T-Y), but

she definately could have medaled on the other three if all went



The Aussies are very clean and polished - but, as always, lacked

the big tricks and FX choreography. Jo (Hughes) looked world class

and her FX could have medaled - but like Elodie, it will always be

a case of... what if.


The final session was China. They weren't much different to

Thursday. Canada finishes on FX, and Jaime Hill, with everyone else

finished, goes through her FX dance to music, about 10 times

repeatedly. That music drove me nuts, and hours afterwards I

couldn't get if off my mind! Imagine being near a speaker in an

empty stadium and having it repeat over and over. Urgh! Must admit,

it's original.


So, podium training draws to a close.




End of Part Two






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 14:23:42 BST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 3) - Preliminaries

To: gymn@MIT.EDU


Part Three:







Tuesday the 19th. At last Worlds begin!!!! The second session has women

on VT and UB. Very impressed with all my faves. Dawes does an UB without

a release and gets a high score! I can't believe it! Szymko gets taken

off in a wheelchair after injuring her knee on VT. Cacovean is the

disppointment of the day, when she missed her Tkatchev. The Octavian

Belu walks out of the arena and doesn't even look at her. I hate him!

Mo then does the unexpected and misses her connection which upsets

everyone, cause she was definately the fave to win UB. "Go Mo", and

"Go Jo" were the cheers all the kids were into. The final session

includes all the big names. But, hang on, where are Fabrichnova,

Galieva and Chussy! We saw the Uzbek coach in the foyer that morning,

so we thought they were competing.


Elodie misses her Tkatchev, but show her guts by repeating it! Miller's

UB is good, better than Dawes, but doesn't outscore them, which is the

first big surprise. Milo looks OK. Lou Li on UB is great.


At 9:30pm it's all over, and we stay to see the scoreboard for who made

the finals. Liliya's made both, which is great, and Oksana K has made VT,

but when I saw Lisenko in 9th, I knew they'd replace her. Kochetkova is

impressive and makes both finals - unfortunately so does Khorkina, who

I still can't stand!


Wednesday the 20th. The USA pulls a surprise, by putting Miller in the

early round. She does a good BB and FX, but with not the difficulty of

last year - or the confidence. Piskoun does a better BB than training -

but after yesterday's UB disaster (she messed up her dismount - went

to do a double layout and turned it into a double tuck!), it was a

relief. Fabs! You're alive, we were beginning to wonder! She does a

good BB - but we want to see her other events! Kochetkova's FX is a

real crowd pleaser, I love it! Finally someone who can dance to music!

Poor little Andreea, this just isn't her meet at all. Steps out of bounds

on FX. Such a shame.


Jo on FX. The moment the crowd has been waiting for. "Go Jo" suddenly

has all of us shouting! She does a great routine, and the crowd love it!

Then horro of horrors. I watch BB wam-ups which are going on in front of

me. Elodie goes for her piked full in BB dismount, but misses a foot at

the end of the BB, landing on her head, before the rest of her body slumps

in a heap. The Belgian coach rushes to her, and no one touches or tries

to move her for ages. Is she dead? The whole crowd is concerned. Finally

she appears to wake up, and blood is coming out of her nose. A few

minutes later, the announcer says she has been taken to the hospital

for X-rays, and that's the last we hear. Poor Elodie, suddenly I like

her much more than ever before!!!


Then, it's the moment I've been waiting for. Liliya on FX. It's beyond

question the best FX of the meet, and all she has to do is nail it. As

my total meet fave and current fave, I'd sat through her other prelims

a nervous wreck, holding my breath, just hoping she'd do OK. So far, so

good, she'd made the other three finals. So - to FX. "Go Liliya" I

scream, you can do it. Nails her double front - Great. Nails her front

tumbling - Great. Now only for the piked full. Argh, you're too high

Liliya! As you know she falls out of bounds. It broke my heart. That

would be the worst moment of the meet for me. I loved the routine -

and for hours afterwards could only wonder if she'd have won the final.

She sat and stared - I sat stunned. How horrible.


The best BB routine, didn't make the final either. Knizhnik was awesome

in prelims, but bad judging kept her out of the final. To make my day

even worse, Dawes is top qualifier for BB, and second on FX. This was

the most disappointing day of the meet. But Jo's in the FX final, which

has everyone happy. At last, it seems she's overcome injury and bad luck,

to fulfill her international potential...... How soon her luck will



Thursday the 21st. Mens AA. Believe it or not, the night I wasn't sure

I want to go to, turned out to be the most enjoyable! I didn't care who

won, so I wasn't going to be disappointed, but in the end the one I

wanted to win, Ivankov, did (I only like him, cause he's so good





End of Part Three






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 16:24:25 BST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 4) - All-Around Finals


Part Four:







Friday the 22nd. Womens AA. The day I'd waited for since Birmingham. So

many possibilities!!! The first session sees Hatagan, Grosheva, Boulakhova

and Fontaine. It's great to see Grosheva again, cause in Sydney (in Nikon

International) she couldn't compete any big skills due to injury. I like

her quite a lot. Especially her full on BB. Polozkova, after a terrible

prelim session (balked her vault and fell on FX), finally showed some

consistency. As expected Hatagan finishes in the lead, but we weren't

expecting her total to be good enough for medal.


2nd round, and we all squinted to see through the entrance, to find out

who each country had chosen for their no.2. Was very happy to see the

USA had put up Dawes instead of Miller. But disappointed to see Gogean

instead of Milo. Confused to see Khorkina. That meant either Fabs or

Kchetkova wasn't going to compete. Very, very upset to see Pods, instead

of Lisenko. Even a Lisenko fan like me had to admit Pods was now the

top Ukrainian. And after Pods made 3 finals to Lisenko's none, I was

even more upset.


Pods begina on FX, and this time, the routine is perfect. My favourite

routine of the meet. Just fabulous! I love Liliya when she's 'on'.

Dawes UB is pathetic - still no release and a ridiculous score. Her

BB is very steady, and even though I willed her to fall off, she just

wasn't wobbling. Her FX was a crowd favourite, even though I didn't

clap. She's in the lead, and staying there. Very, very scary!


Pods is great on VT, UB and BB, and I think deserving a medal. Even

so, it was great to see her finally go '4 for 4', in a major AA. Well

done Lilly Pod!


So, the final countdown. Gogean had played it safe on her events, not

doing the Marinich on UB or full on BB. She didn't look like a

deserving medallist. Dawes to VT. In the lead. All I wanted was two

big lunges, just like prelims. Instead, I got more than I'll ever forget.

In warm-ups she fell - not a good sign, cause in Birmingham she nailed

her warm-up VT, then fell. Run... vault... over-rotated and goes for a

roll, ending up, right below my seat. Hi Dom! Ha ha ha! As all the kids

in the crowd go Awww. I'm over the moon, and laughing!!! It's great!!!

Best feeling imaginable. We go crazy with excitement, despite the stares

of Dawes fans all around us. She cries, I laugh. Oh Dominique - you

choker !!!!! Her next vault lunges. Who cares? It's all over and Dawes

ain't the champ!


Gogean is in th lead. I think, if Fabs competes, it's hers. We wondered

what they were all thinking, at that point in the training gym. Lavinia

and Lisenko had to know that this was their last chance for an AA, and

Miller knew a defence was now possible. For Piskoun we thought it

might hype her up. The nerves, waiting for the final session to get

under way was incredible.


Lisenko starts on UB and it's the worst routine I've ever seen her do.

Even from the other side of the arena I could spot her bent legs.

Miller UB is good. Kochetkova BB is solid. Everyone has a good first



Oh Tatiana. Her BB is average, but she messes up the dismount. Then

walks arm in arm with her old coach around the floor. Sad to see.

Then cries. The first time I'd seen a Lisenko tear. Farewells are hard.

Piskoun not too inspiring. Nothing special happens over the next

rotation. Lisenko does a very good FX, and waves to the crowd, then

collapses and cries on a chair. A volunteer put his arm on her shoulder,

and she removed it and sat on the floor. A class act is our Tatiana.

Miller good on BB, but messes up her FX a little. No harm done. Milos

is good but not great. So, to the final event, and it's quite exciting.

Milos is first up on BB, and wobbles a little. Now she just has to

wait... and wait. A camera is stuck in her face for the next 15 min,

you got the feeling she'd prefer to hit the cameraman than watch

Miller's VT.


We knew what Shannon needed. Two good vaults. She does just that.

Thank goodness - cause I still prefer her to Milo. Nunno lifts her

up on his shoulder to wave to our side of the crowd - a memorable

moment. Meanwhile Milo fights to hold back the tears. Kochetkova

is in third, and though I'd have preferred her to win, bronze would

still be a nice way to say that the CIS is till here. Her UB is

great and she seems happiest of all with the bronze - so is Khorkina

who comes in and congratulates her, while Dawes doesn't go near



During presentations, the Romanians don't even wave or smile. Lavinia

seems very upset at the result. She must know now that she'll never

an AA. Cause Sabae is a long way down the line.


Overall I'm quite pleased with the results. It could have been worse!

- Dawes, Hatagan or Khorkina could have won!





End of Part Four






Date: Wed, 18 May 94 16:42:14 EDT

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 4) - All-Around Finals


I enjoyed the impressions of Worlds, but I have one gripe (to all of Gymn b/c

fan attitudes and behavior is an interesting topic):  IMHO, the way she talks

about Dawes is nothing short of disgusting.  I don't like Dawes much as a

gymnast either, and I get upset about her getting undeserved scores, but I

don't believe in wishing that people fall or in being happy that they do and

making fun of them for being upset when they do.  How can anybody be happy to

see someone mess up on one of the most important days of her life she's

worked for so hard?  And it's not far from that to wishing somebody gets



I didn't want Dawes to win b/c others are better and I wanted their

performances to go well and demonstrate that.  And I want the judging to

reflect it.  The fact that the judging might not reflect that Dawes is not

better makes me upset at the judges, but it does *not* make me want her to

fall so that the judges don't get the chance to hand her a title she might

not deserve.  If Dawes (or whoever) does happen to perform better on that day

than someone who I think is generally better, it's a shame, but so be it.

 How can I begrudge her that?


It's called sportsmanship.


-- gimnasta




Date: Wed, 18 May 1994 16:15:02 -0600 (EST)

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 4) - All-Around Finals


Just to add a note to Gymnasta's comments, these "womens' finalists"

are just little girls.  When they fall or get hurt or miss their

routines, I feel terrible for them.  How many birthday parties,

sleep overs, rollerskating trips, and play dates did they miss to

get where they are?  They are children doing very scary things. 

The incredible courage that they have deserves our admiration whether

they are are least favorite gymnast or not.  These kids are so tough

and amazing.  I hope it is all worth it.




Date: Wed, 18 May 94 16:54:13 BST

From: ***

Subject: Worlds'94 (part 5) - Apparatus finals


Part Five:







Saturday the 23rd. VT final and Dejavu for my dear Liliya. I couldn't

believe it could happen again! (Then again Dawes must have thought the

same thing). Not as scary as last year's luckily. No Knizhnik - instead

Lisenko. I guess 4th VT is a better way to retire than 19th AA!!!

Good-bye Tatiana, you were a true champion. Miller falls on her 2nd and

Gogean wins - no big surprise. Piskoun was definately undermarked!

During VT presentations Lisenko and Piskoun talk conatantly, paying no

attention to the anthem etc. And neither felt compelled to give the

customary kisses! Was amusing to see them get along so well, and have

no respect for the Romanian anthem.


UB final. Milo falls, Pods messes up her release (to my disappointment

again), Borden falls, causing the crowd to gasp. Finally Dina hits a

great routine! Lou Li is fantastic and no one can say she didn't deserve

to win. Dawes, with still no release is pathetic, and Hatagan doesn't

have enough speed on her swing to catch the Marinich. Up last Khorkina

does an interesting routine, but has very sloppy form at times.


BB final. Miller the deserving champ. Great to see Pods finally get a

medal. Unfortunate Fabs could only do BB, with a broken finger. Bronze

was her reward (only 9.9 start value). Milo, Dawes and Hatagan wobble -



FX final. Big disppointment of course is no Jo. You can't imagine

what it was like when she injured her ankle Friday. The whole crowd

was deflated and wanted to rush out and help! Somehow we wanted to will

her to compete Sunday - but it wasn't to be. Gogean and Milo begin and

are good but not great. Then the unexpected! First Dawes goes out of

bounds, then Miller!!! Mo is a real favourite, and China could finally

have found a star. Piskoun's routine very uninspired. Khorkina repeats

her warm-up mistakes. Then finally a routine to smile about! It seemed

impossible considering Milosovici's record, that she could win. Think

about Lavinia at Worlds:

      1991 - Vault World Champ

      1992 - Bars World Champ

      1993 - Beam World Champ

      1994 - Floor World Champ ?????

With only one routine to go, it looked like Lavinia would complete her

incredible collection. But to cheers of "Go Dina" from the crowd, she

did a great routine and made my week by taking Gold and beating the dull

Romanians. What a surprising World Champ - but how wonderful!!! I was so

glad she won, cause we Boondal for the final time very happy indeed.


And so Worlds officially ended, and if I don't stop this meet report here,

it will go on forever. If nothing else, hope you survived all my Worlds

ramblings and felt as close to being there as you can without being there!!!





End of Part Five


So this ends my series of messages too regarding the World Championships

1994. If anybody manage to read to the end here I think you all deserve

a medal of your own too!!! I do hope you'll enjoy (or suffer?!!) reading

this and I hope my typing this in all day is all worth it.


Please send me any comments if you've got any, or just tell me you've

managed to finish reading this and I'll give you a medal !


Thanks again to Michelle for her detailed description of her

experience regarding Worlds'94.


Sherwin - now completely exhausted and need a lie down .........ZZZZZZZ




End of gymn Digest