gymn Digest Wed, 18 May 94 Volume 2 : Issue 126
b.k. talk fest
Bela (2 msgs)
Bela's a nice guy
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 email@example.com mailing list.
Date: Tue, 17 May 94 12:57:46 EST
Subject: b.k. talk fest
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)
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
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)
Subject: Bela's a nice guy
> 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
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
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
Date: Tue, 17 May 94 00:44:46 EDT
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
Mary Retton barely edged out a Sov for 85 Am Cup (the Sovs skipped Am Cup
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
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
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
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
Subject: J.O. Men's Nationals
>From the USAG BBS:
Junior Olympic Nationals
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
TOP THREE INDIVIDUAL EVENTS:
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
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
JUNIOR ELITE CLASS II (Ages 16 to 18)
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
TOP 3, INDIVIDUAL EVENTS
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
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
1. 16.30 Tyler McEowen
2. 15.95 Kevin Bauer
3. 15.90 R. Sean Griffith
JUNIOR ELITE CLASS II (Ages 14 - 15)
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
TOP 3, INDIVIDUAL EVENTS
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
1. 17.55 Eddie Seng, Region VII Other
2. T17.40 Linh Hoang, Region III Other
1. 17.50 Yusnf Johnson
2. 17.40 Scott Finkelstein
3. T17.35 Craig Nesbitt
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
TOP 3, INDIVIDUAL EVENTS
1. T 8.70 Stephen Van Etten
Andrew Thornton, Region VIII Team
3. T 8.65 Jason Gatson
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
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
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
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
Subject: No compulsories after 1997!
> Does anyone know which countries voted against compulsories and which
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
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
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?
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
Subject: response to stressed or what?
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
(email@example.com) 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
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!
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1994 - THE BUILD-UP AND TRAINING
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
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).
Thanks for passing along your friends' impressions of various meets! They're
Date: Wed, 18 May 94 13:32:17 BST
Subject: Worlds'94 (part 2) - Training
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1994 - PODIUM TRAINING
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
No Russia send shivers down our spines - are they even coming, we begin
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
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,
So, podium training draws to a close.
End of Part Two
Date: Wed, 18 May 94 14:23:42 BST
Subject: Worlds'94 (part 3) - Preliminaries
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1994 - PRELIMINARIES
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
Subject: Worlds'94 (part 4) - All-Around Finals
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1994 - ALL-AROUND FINAL
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
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
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.
Date: Wed, 18 May 1994 16:15:02 -0600 (EST)
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
Subject: Worlds'94 (part 5) - Apparatus finals
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1994 - APPARATUS FINALS
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