Wed, 25 May 94 Volume 2 :
About My Pheonix Reports...
Become a member of USA Gymnastics
Comebacks (5 msgs)
Hi- I am new
Hilton Challenge broadcast
Hilton EF Results (2 msgs)
I Love Mihai...or The Men's Hilton Review
Interviews and Exhibs
Piskum Get's F'ed or The Hilton Girls Review
Zmeskal joins Dimas in comeback (4 msgs)
This is a digest of the email@example.com mailing list.
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 02:33:13 EDT
Subject: About My Pheonix Reports...
First off this was NOT my best effort when it comes to summaries ... I just
was totally uninspired and it really showed. I was having big time recall
problems of who did what. I didn't go to the meet with the intention of
"reporting" on it. I need either more or less time to do it well. "Less" in
that right after it happens I know exactly what I want to say to everyone and
"more" that after I see my pics and let it stew for a while in my head it
comes back to me. This immed. electronic stuff is so new to me...In general I
was feeling mean and evil (could I blame this on PMS?). I sounded more bitchy
then clever...ohmygawd I'm NOT perfect ...who knew? I'd say that I went a bit
over the top this time... into "mean" instead of just "critical."
I didn't set out to personally attack anyone...I take full responsiblity for
everything I said (esp. the offensive parts) and basically meant every
word...I'm just acknowledging that I did not express myself as elegantly nor
as properly as I should have and for that I'm sorry. They (the reports) were
not originally intended for "Gymn" but for my personal round of pen-pals. I
attempted to write up another set for you guys but just didn't have the urge
to rehash the whole thing again (once was enough...it wasn't the greatest
A few corrections...Teft just did a double layout and I think I said it was a
layout full in...It's Elena Polozhokova not "Anna"...and mispelling Kellee
Davis' name as "Kellie" was unintentional...I'm sure there's more but I can't
think of them right now.
Anyway my crtitics can take heart in that the people I hate most fervently
tend to turn into world or Olympic medalists. My favs tend to get injured,
fall or die...
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 14:20:29 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Become a member of USA Gymnastics
USAG has developed a new category of membership for fans, called "club
gymnastics." Sounds like a pretty good deal for your money... The
following is what I downloaded from the USAG BBS:
JOIN CLUB GYMNASTICS, HOSTED BY KIM ZMESKAL!
Club Gymnastics, a new type of membership for fans of the sport, is a
great way to stay in touch with the sport of gymnastics. By joining
Honorary Captain, Kim Zmeskal in Club Gymnastics you will receive the
following items for a special introductory fee of $19.96 - more than
$5.00 off the regular price of $25.00:
OFFICIAL REEBOK/CLUB GYMNASTICS T-SHIRT
100% Cotton T-shirt. Small, Medium, Large, XLarge
CLUB GYMNASTICS MEMBERSHIP CARD
Entitles you to 10% off all Reebok/USA Gymnastics training apparel
sold through the USA Gymnastics Merchandise department.
USA GYMNASTICS MAGAZINE
You will receive a one-year (6 issues) subscription to the official
magazine of USA Gymnastics.
CLUB GYMNASTICS NEWS
The newsletter that gives you a fun, inside look at the world of
gymnastics. For members only!
VALUABLE "FRIDAYS ARE FREE" CERTIFICATE
From Hilton Hotels! Enjoy a free Friday night when you stay at
a participating Hilton. Includes a Saturday night at standard
For more information send E-Mail to USGF@delphi.com, or contact Chris
Sanders at (317) 237-5050. If you'd like to order right away, just
E-Mail USGF with the following information:
Name, Address, City, State, Zip
VISA or MasterCard number, expiration date and cardholder's name
Include a telephone number where you can be reached during the day.
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 19:30:24 EDT
Subject: Bela's return?
Just thinking...if Bela does return, it certainly sets up an interesting
situation for a couple of US gymnasts, Kerri and Jennie T.
Kerri's situation we've already discussed, but re Jennie, didn't she leave
Houston because Bela left? If this is so, might not her parents influence
her to go back so their family can be together?
Oh, also, apparently Bela will be on Good Morning America tommorrow 5/25.
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 23:22:16 EDT
Are there any other coaches out there? Or, is anyone interested in
exchanging coaching hints, strategies, etc?
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 16:31:18 EDT
Let me preface this by saying, I am not slamming Kim nor Trent though I'm
sure you all well know than I am not a fan of either.
Comebacks are in general pathetic and sad (not ALL but most). Usually an
athlete comes back because they miss the competition or the glory and ends up
finding little of either. They leave their fans dissappointed and their
critics with lots of ammunition against them. I understand why they (I have
also heard that Lance want's to resume training) would want to attempt a
comeback. Once you've devoted your whole life to something (like gymnastics)
it's hard to know what to do when it's over...they may even feel lost without
it. Comeptition is an addictive thing.
Gymanstics is a very very difficult sport to stay on top of when you're
condtioning your brains out let alone when you've let yourself go for a
while. Let's face it folks Zmeskal HAS let herself go...and how! I think that
a comeback is ill concevied (though it gives Bela a great excuse to return to
the spotlight). People will be expecting the Kim of old and it will not be
there. She will be 20 in 1996 and that is hardly an ideal age for a female
gymnast (neither she nor Shannon nor Dawes will most likely be on the team).
She has trained little in the last year or so and it shows (several weeks
after Barcelona she had already gained a considerable amount of weight and
looked awful). I think that she will end up reconsidering when the full
reality of it hits her...I hope she does so before she embarreses herself
I think that Trent (and Lance if he chooses to) has a much better shot at a
"comeback." I mean the US men's team is not exactly the most difficult thing
on Earth to make and men (let's face it) can go on for a much longer period
of time in this sport than women. A small amount of training - which he has
been doing - will keep him in shape far better than it will a girl. Of
course, I think that people will be quite dissappointed since everyone has
forgotten what a sub-par gymnast he was and only remembers the gold (which he
won by default...the only guy - except Guo linyao who was up way too early -
to stick). he was smart to get out while the getting was good.
I think that 2 very old - but very true - sayings sum it up best...1) You
can't go home again and 2) Leave them wanting more
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 23:46:00 UTC
>I think that 2 very old - but very true - sayings sum it up best....1) You
>can't go home again and 2) Leave them wanting more.
Susan, you must still be recovering from Phoenix! How could you possibly
forget the greatest of all comebacks, Bilozerchev? ;) And he still looked
There must be other gymnasts who have had to take time off, for whatever
reason, and were able to return to their former standards. Can anyone think
of some? (This is not a trivia question, I'm just curious :) ).
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 1:28:31 EDT
I read Debbie's message and thought of a few gymnasts who either were written
off or had injuries and then came back strong. First is Nadia Comaneci, who
most people wroye off after she gained so much weight in '78, fell off bars at
Worlds and finished only 4th AA. But the following spring she reappeared
looking MUCH trimmer and won Champions All, the '79 Europeans, and also had a
good showing at the World Cup, winning floor with 10s. Later that year people
had doubts about her again, when she was so emaciated at the '79 Worlds and had
to withdraw because of a hand infection, but then she came back again to win
the silver at the 1980 Olympics.
Another comback was Yury Korolyov (Korolev), who won the '81 Worlds, then
didn't even qualify for the AA in '83, but was the surprise winner at the '85
Worlds, medalled in the AA at '87 Worlds (and would have won had it not been
for a fall on floor in team finals), and won the '88 US-USSR. He was named
captain of the '88 Olympic team, but then ruptured his Achilles and missed the
Then there's Sergei Kharkov, who took Korolyov's spot on the Olympic team
and won the gold on floor. He then suffered a series of injuries and
disappeared for a number of years, only to surface again in Birmingham last
year and win an AA medal.
And I suppose Marinich could be considered a comeback too. He turned pro a
few years ago, but then turned up in Brisbane competing for Ukraine and won a
bronze in EF.
The last one I thought of offhand was Kelly Garrison, who was turning
heads when she was 12, but then quit gymnastics altogether, I think to do
cheerleading, and then decided to return to gymnastics years later. I'm not
sure how long she was out of the sport, but I want to say 6 years or something.
Anyway, she made beam finals at the '87 Worlds and then competed on the 1988 US
Olympic team, and also dominated the NCAAs while in college.
Just thought of another one, sort of - Tim Daggett. Everyone thought his
career was over after his horrible leg injury in Rotterdam in '87, but he went
through rehabilitation, made the national team in '88 and qualified for the
Olympic Trials. Although, if I remember right, he had to withdraw from the
competition midway through, you have yo admire him for trying.
Here's another "sort of" comeback: Kurt Thomas. Although he never won any
more medals, he actually did make the national team after being out of
competition for 12-13 years.
Finally, here are some comebacks that I'm hoping will happen: Sylvia
Mitova and Michelle Campi. They've both expressed a desire to return to
competition, and I hope they both succeed. I miss their grace on floor ex.
That's all I can think of at 1:30 am! But maybe there are more. Can anyone
think of any?
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 08:35:44 EDT
>There must be other gymnasts who have had to take time off, for whatever
>reason, and were able to return to their former standards. Can anyone think
>of some? (This is not a trivia question, I'm just curious :) ).
Kelly Garrison, for one
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 10:40:09 -0500 (CDT)
> I think that 2 very old - but very true - sayings sum it up best...1) You
> can't go home again and 2) Leave them wanting more
"the secret to a long life is knowing when it's time to go"
Maybe these folks who have been so successful as competitors, could try
giving something back to the sport. Coach, judge, lobby the NCAA to save
men's gymnastics, or just make some attempt to let America (who at this
point seems to know Trent and Kim) know that they were damned lucky to be
able to participate and succeed in a sport that is so misunderstood in
the US. I am not saying that they shouldn't keep training and maybe
compete if they're in shape (I plan to do this for a long time too), but
I think there is so much they can do for the sport while they are still
recognized by the public.
I got into an argument with a reporter at New Mexico NCAA's last year
about whether it was worth it for Trent to drop out of school to train
for the Olympics. "After all, he did win the gold." Well, my response is
that everyone involved in college athletics has the opportunity to not
only train for "the gold", but to hang a diploma on the wall next to that
medal. Is this a relevant tangent? I don't know, but I wanted to say it
And finally, if Trent is serious about a comeback, he really
should spend the time to learn inverts. I still sickens me to think that
you can win the olympics doing eagles. Good luck though...
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 11:40:34 +0800
Subject: gymn administration
This is the time of year when many people's email addresses change, or
they are going away for a while. PLEASE send all such requests to
Robyn (***@mit.edu). DO NOT send them to the alias.
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 09:35:35 GMT
Subject: Hi- I am new
my name is daniel i'm originally from germany but live since last year hear
in london which i like very much.I am 20 years of age.I am working in a hotel
(at reception) which is in the sw of london.It is not the job you want to have
for the rest of your life but it is ok.How i got interested in gymn?
Well, i was always interested in sports since i was a little boy at that time
it was athleticism which i was doing in school,and i was not to bad.
I was also interested in gymn but didn't do it in practice ( which doesn't
means i didn't want to go into club or association) but my parents just
couldn't afford it. That's the reason why i'm now looking for a good club or
association. I don't even know if your are the right group of people for me
because i haven't got a clue if the translation of gymn is the one i was
looking for, i don't know if anyone has seen the artistic gymnastics on
eurosport in the past few weeks, that's the kind of group i'm looking for.
Yes, i do hope your are the right group for me that would be absolutly great.
that's it for now i hope that i hear from you soon, and thank's for answering me
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 16:30:01 EST
Subject: Hilton Challenge broadcast
Since much has been written about the Hilton Challenge meet, thought I'd
pass along that according to a Phoenix newspaper a taped broadcast of it will be
shown July 16 and August 20 on Wide World of Sports (yes, they're spreadin'
gymnastics out again amid other sports no doubt). So maybe we all can catch a
glimpse of Nadia and Bart....and the competition. ;) ;)
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 19:21:17 EDT
Subject: Hilton EF Results
There was no offical EF comp. but if there had been here's how it would have
gone medal wise...
1) Piskun 1- 9.825 2-9.85 avg.-9.837 SV (start value): 10.0
2) Dawes 1-9.6 2-9.6 avg.-9.6 SV: 9.8
3) Borden 1-9.525 2-9.55 avg. 9.537 SV: 9.8
1) Dawes 9.8 SV: 10.0
2) Piskun 9.75 SV:10.0
3) Borden & Teft 9.7 SV: 10.0
1) Dawes 9.8 SV: 10.0
2) Linlin 9.75 SV: 10.0
3) Piskun 9.7 SV: 9.9
1) Dawes 9.9 SV: 10.0
2) Borden 9.8 SV: 10.0
3) Piskun 9.725 SV: 10.0
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - -
No start vlues given for men...
1) Ivankov 9.55
2) Umphrey 0.35
3) Keswick and Liang 9.3
1) Ivankov 9.45
2) Bagiu 9.4
3) Bin, Dong, & Roethlisberger 9.3
1) Keswick 9.6
2) Ivankov 9.55
3) Roethlisberger 9.45
1) Keswick 9.55
2) Liang 9.4
3) Bin, Bagiu, & Roethlisberger 9.3
1) Ivankov 9.65
2) Bin 9.55
3) Keswick 9.5
1) Keswick & Umphrey 9.6
3) Roethlisberger 9.5
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 22:27:58 EDT
Subject: Hilton EF Results
Oops makes Umphrey's FX score a 9.35 not a 0.35 ...it was only a typo
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 16:11:41 EDT
Subject: I Love Mihai...or The Men's Hilton Review
Well okay here goes the ever popular oh-so-glorious Hilton Tri-Meet in
beautiful and humid downtown Pheonix. Once George finally found the arena
that is... :-)
Saturday was the boys and with the exception of Ivankov everyone was pretty
much B team material. Please PLEASE keep that in mind when you see the
scores. Sure the US won but we put our best team forward while everyone else
sent their scrubs and youngins. The men's Europeans are about 2 weeks away
and Belarus must field a team there as well and that is a MUCH more
important comp. for them. Belarus was also hurting without Scherbo who is
scheduled to have microsurgery on a shoulder soon. He mentioned going back to
Minsk to do this...maybe he's been water-skiing in the sun too long (he was
"lobster Scherbo" here...duh if you're a strawberry blond who has a natural
complexion the color of paste and you're covered with freckles to boot you
may tend to burn...doesn't he remember ' USSR vs USA?) because going back to
the former Soviet Union for any kind of medical treatment is pretty foolish.
Anyway) the point is that Vitali didn't compete (or exhib... which we heard
he was gonna' do) and therefore with only 3 guys Belarus did not have a score
to drop. China is setting up for the Asian Games which they consider THE
most important event in their lives so they too sent "leftovers."
Ivankov (now all of 19 years old) was favoring a heel a bit and his sets
looked somewhat watered down but he was still easily the class of the meet.
The scores said that Scott was . 15 behind but in reality it was more like
1.5 in talent and grace. He is also SO pretty (and "pretty" is the only word
for it)...skin I would kill for, big brown eyes, perfect teeth...but I
digress. His HB was beautiful as usual and his Kovacs is the best in the
world. It's super high, flawlessly clean (pointed toes and all...I have
photographic proof), and he KICKS out of it. The rest is pretty stock but
cleanly done. 9.3. He mounted FX with a double lay (I assume pulling the
twist for injury reasons), did the requisite front pass, and then did a
endless flairs up to handstand back down to flairs back up to hand down into
splits combo. He dismounted with an "easy" double pike that would make Chussy
(see '91 Worlds FX EF) green with envy...straight legs, toes
pointed...seriously a to die for pike position. 9.55. P-bars have been a bit
of a downfall (literally at the Chunichi Cup) for Ivan before but he's
mastered his 1 bar legs together press mount and thrown in a Diamidov glide
straddle side combo (the back dive 1/4 turn of men's PB) for bonus and ends
again with that stunning double pike. 9.65 - his best and the highest score
of the meet. His pommels are high, clean, extended (esp. for someone as short
as Ivan), and also stock...very Soviet...and remember Ivankov (and the
Russian Vassilenko) are truly the last 2 "Sovs"...they were the last to do -
and, of course, dominate - the world circle of Jr. events. 9.45 for horse.
His biggest hurdle is vault where he lacks the necessary raw power to be
spectacular. 9.15 and his lowest score (he put hands down). His rings are
awesome and swing is his specialty (tucked-laidout Guczhoughy...which is so
cool that I never get tired of seeing it ...he's been doing it since '91) for
Other than Ivankov the team was seriously lacking in Int'l experience.
Alexander Belanovsky (age 22) was the Belarus champion for several
years...this roughly translates into that he was the best boy in Belarus that
didn't make it onto the Sov nat'l team at Krugloye. He was seriously
thin...and I mean emaciated (no butt at all...he made the Chinese guys look
like Chainey...I was sad...I like guy's butts ;-) ). His legs were roughly
the size of a Yurkina's and his tumbling showed this. He's listed as 5 9"
and 134 pounds...yeah that's healthy. He missed about 90 front fulls in a row
in warm-ups...well "front fulls" is a strong term since these were more like
"front 3/4 to his butsu". He made a front full in comp. and also another
front front punch front pass. 8.3 since he did manage to fall on another
pass. When he pulled off this killer tape job (see Lyssenko's "casts" from
'91) he had I swear to god that I could have circled his ankle - that's a
strong word for the small piece of skin and bone he had between his foot and
leg - with the fingers of one hand. He had cool PH (great flairs but another
fall for 8.65) and nice HB line (9.15 hit). His PB's were pretty... if not
overly hard (this guy is tall!) for a 9.05. His vault was a layout Tsuk if
you can believe that ...and with those poor excuses for ankles I can. 8.75.
Rings were his highest score but I don't remember anything great. 9.35. He
was kinda' cute though. :-)
Vitali (listed as "Pavel" in the program) Rudnitsky (age 20) was very very
short (listed as 5'5" in the program another boo-boo... or outright lie I'm
not sure which). He also fumbled the front full rather endlessly in warm-ups
but made it (I think) in the comp. 8.8. He used Liukin's flairs facing
outside as his PB mount (9.15 - his form could use work) but his best moment
was a fantastically extended Y scale (his foot just about touched his
ear)...he also had a cute butt in case you were wondering but overall not my
The Chinese were young...real young...no-one over 20. They were also real
inexperienced. Rings sucked something fierce (though one had a cool
Guczhoughy-Guczhoughy combo which he kicked out of each time though he
totally muffed the handstand after)...HB was also below expectations for a
Chinese team (one great Kovacs...one bad straddle Gaylord). PB was wonderful.
HUGE double back for Wang Dong and another boy (sorry names are escaping me
this evening) did 2 double backs. Still another (I think it was Dong Zhong)
did a cool Diamidov glide PIKE ending in a handstand on one bar (interesting
way to get the bonus and still be orig.). Their horse was the best of the
meet even though they all had errors (large and small)...very extended...very
tough...very Chinese. Overall Dong Zhong's line and rhythm impressed me the
most (he came in 9th out of 11 with a PH fall). Cheng Liang - he boy who
placed 3rd AA - didn't really stand out in my mind at all.
The Americans...well Scott did what I thought was impossible for our friend
Mr. Keswick and went 6 for 6. Miracles do happen. And since Rachelle
brought it up... "He's not that bad"... he's missed in every major/minor AA
of his life with the exception of Birmingham and there he wouldn't even have
qualified into the AA (He had 4 - yes FOUR - major falls and small errors on
the other 2 events) without the two per country limit weeding out some
others. He was the second best in the meet but that was simply because he hit
and few others did (it seems to me that few men in the world have more than 5
events any more). He has learned (after Barcelona) how to do his Kovacs
correctly though it is nothing like Ivankov's (few are) and he actually stuck
his triple for an inflated 9.6. He has a few interesting rings combos
(another 9.6 which is WAY WAY too high) and the rest is stock material.
John is the only one (American) throwing a double double on FX (tucked but
still an "E"). 9.0 - he went OB. His highest score was that sucky excuse for
a HB set 9.5 (I HATE the new code!!).
Chainey is also suffering from a shoulder injury and abstained from rings and
p-bars. He fell OB on FX and still managed a 9.35 (only in America!). He
managed to stay on the horse (a big accomplishment for Chainey) for a 8.8 and
didn't fall outright on vault (another big accomplishment) for a 9.2. His HB
was very high at 9.6 though that is Chainey's best event. Tkatchev, Tkatchev,
Geinger with a triple off. He desperately needs to get that disease that
Belanovsky has that wastes away the butt...it totally kills what little line
he has. He didn't wear black though...which is a big plus for the
photographers. The American men all wore ugly leos which had a waistband (?)
that stuck out of their shorts which made them look like even bigger dufuses
than usual...trust me our boys do not need help in this endeavor.
Mihai - I love Mihai. An American guy I can cheer for at last! Hip hip
hooray!! He has line out the wazoo and is ultra tall. Now I don't know how
this happened. I mean he wasn't born in the US (but either were Chris or Jair
and they suck form wise) but Romanian guys (Ghermann, the many Adrian's, et
al.) are not known for line and toe point. Very odd. He is quite tall which
you would think would help him on horse but he looked quite labored here and
was elated to get through the set without a fall. 9.4 (too high). His rings
are his downfall (9.0) but he almost bottoms out on his HB giants which looks
way cool - 9.4 again an Americanly inflated score but with Mihai it's not so
much what he does but how he does it...and he does it quite well.
Overall the Americans were over scored but the order was about right since
the ones that hit came before the ones that didn't and Ivankov still won with
a fall (in this field he could have won with 6). The US was - and this is so
bizarre - the most consistent team AA and therefore deserved the gold (sad
1 USA 168.00
2 CHN 166.30
3 BLR 163.80
1 Ivan Ivankov (BLR) 9.550 9.450 9.550 9.150 9.650 9.300 56.650
2 Scott Keswick (USA) 9.300 8.950 9.600 9.550 9.500 9.600 56.500
3 Cheng Liang (CHN) 9.300 9.200 9.150 9.400 9.400 9.450 55.900
4 Roethlisberger (USA) 9.000 9.300 9.450 9.300 9.150 9.500 55.700
5 Fan Bin (CHN) 8.900 9.300 9.050 9.300 9.550 9.200 55.300
6 Mihai Bagiu (USA) 9.100 9.400 9.000 9.300 9.050 9.400 55.250
7 Wang Dong (CHN) 9.200 9.300 9.050 9.200 8.700 9.000 54.450
8 V. Rudnitsky (BLR) 8.800 8.750 9.000 9.200 9.150 9.000 53.900
9 Dong Zhong (CHN) 8.550 8.750 8.950 9.000 9.150 9.200 53.600
10 A. Belanovsky (BLR) 8.300 8.650 9.350 8.750 9.050 9.150 53.250
11 C. Umphrey (USA) 9.350 8.800 0.000 9.200 0.000 9.600 36.950
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 21:39:43 EDT
Subject: Interviews and Exhibs
Besides the meet we were treated (?) to several different exhibitions. First
off Trent Dimas did his Olympic high bar routine. He hit it pretty darn well
for someone that's been out of it for a while. I was rather surprised. That
was also when we heard that he was making his comeback. Also performing was
Bart and Nadia and because of an equipment placement problem they didn't use
their normal Neil Diamond routine and did an alternate number that (as I said
before) ended with Bart doing a straddle planche over Nadia's prone body. He
also dropped her at one point when she's supposed to do a back walkover out
of his arms (Nadia is taller and most likely weighs more than Bart) they were
reenacting that rather humorous moment when we got back to the hotel...pretty
funny. They wore black spandex with colored sequins...part of the Shannon
Miller collection? BTW, the US girls wore similar things (the colored sequins
on white) during the comp. As someone else (Rachelle or George) said their
was a plethora of former US Olympians in attendance: Michelle Dussare, Tim
Dagget, Jim Hartung, Dominick Minicucci, Lance Ringnald, Chris Waller, others
that I can't remember (sorry John). They all thought it (the Bart & Nadia
routine) was very funny and thankfully their laughing covered the hysterical
giggling of the press so that we didn't look like idiots (esp. those of us
who are dependent on the kindness of Bart and Nadia's manager :-) )
On day 2 Bart and Nadia again performed this time to their usual Diamond
number. Also there was Shannon who showed us the floor and beam
compulsories. I was actually surprised at how unpolished she looked. She
traditionally has decent compos - a little stiff and tense but that's
Shannon. She almost fell off on the foreword roll. During warm-ups of the FX
comp. Shannon was doing the endpose and Peggy Liddick came over and moved her
head and lower back slightly...bang Shannon was a gymnast. Five seconds of
adjustment made the world of difference...it was incredible. Of course, in
the set she did it the old way but I have new respect for Peggy's skills
(even if she did help choreograph "American Anthem").
As for interviews I didn't tape it or take notes or anything but a few nifty
things were said...
Ivankov's coach was such a riot...He speaks pretty good English (he coached
in Toronto for a few months) and had a lot of really cute things to say about
Ivankov. Nancy asked how & when he'd discovered that Ivan had won the AA
since he was back in Belarus during worlds. He said that Vodkin (Ivankov's
main coach) had called him and that he'd then been very excited and toasted
him with "good Russian vodka...but only a little" (he illustrated using
Gatorade). The whole while Ivankov was laughing and blushing. Ivan said that
competing with Scherbo made him better...blah blah blah
I asked Scott where he thought the Americans were in preparation for Dortmond
(ie. compos - they had an informal session with the other teams) and he said
that he thought there compos were as good as "anyone's in the world."...and
that they were looking for a "top three finish" in November.
Dawes said that she wasn't unhappy about not being on the Goodwill team and
that "her focus was nationals...the other girls [on the Goodwill team] will
have very little time [it's only 2 or 3 weeks until nationals] and it may be
hard for them"... I was also a big geek and asked Katie and Kellie about
their first meet after they'd already been asked (I was in the bathroom
Well that's about it...kudos, questions, complaints to...firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 17:27:14 +1000
|| going 6 for 6 - this is about the 30th meet I've seen Scott in and this is
|Guess I've picked the wrong meets to go to... while he does mess up at
I must say that I have been watching Scott since he was a freshman at UCLA
- 1988 or somewhere around there. I have seen tremendous improvement and
have always enjoyed his gymnastics. He has done well at NCAA's granted
coming in 2nd a lot (1991) I know for sure. But, to cut up on someone who
started off with lots of determination and not as much talent is a rather
raw deal - I don't see you doing this stuff you call whimpy.
I hope that your cuts don't extend into his personal life, as he is getting
married this weekend. And personally I wish him nothing but happiness, as
he has brought a great deal of happiness and pleasure into my life with his
gymnastics, along with John and all the others you have little good to say
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 15:23:09 EDT
Subject: Kim Zmeskal
Well, guys, USA Today has made it official. Front page of the sports
section, Kim is planning to return with her "focus of Atlanta in 1996." (my
quote, not the paper's)
Should be interesting. I wonder how she will deal with not being #1 in the
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 11:49:56 EST
Subject: Nadia (long)
Thanks for the early pre-1976 Olympics competition results on Nadia.
I could'nt help but wonder about Ungureanu; appearing ahead of Comaneci
on several results. Viewing tape of her routines during the '76
Olympics, she took much joy in performing and later seemed to be under-
appreciated for her role in romanian gymnastics' popularity
(I guess unavoidable in the glare of Comaneci).
According to IG, Ungureanu and her family (husband Sorin Cepoi and
child) have moved from France to a club in New York. I'd be interested to
know how she's doing (information on her adult life is nil).
Any info. gatherers of retired gymnasts out there?
P.S. This gymn list if finally appeasing my enthusiasm for all things
gymnastic; its dry as a bone out in the masses!
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 19:21:08 EDT
Subject: Piskum Get's F'ed or The Hilton Girls Review
Sunday afternoon the women performed and again the USA came out on top as a
team...and rightly so I guess... it was hard to tell since no team actually
stood out as "good." The Chinese couldn't vault (they were even bad vaulters
for Chinese girls). The US was a 2 girl team...which 2 girls varied from
event to event. Belarus was falling a lot and really seemed rather
unprepared as team.
The AA was a different story and Piskun was well and truly f***ed by the
judges. She really should be getting used to this as she's been in America
enough times to know how things work...yet she always seems surprised by the
Starting off with the Americans...Dawes didn't really make any errors (or at
least not ones that the code punishes for). Her Shaposnikova was lower than
usual and her 1 1/2 on bars (also as usual) didn't even come near a
handstand. Her full out off (I'm pretty sure it was a full out and not a 1/2
in 1/2 out but my bars view was a bit obstructed) had bad form but she
stuck...which is all that seems to count anyway. She needs a release
badly...perhaps she and John can start a "bad bars with good scores" club
(Dawes got a 9.8). Of course she split her legs constantly...though I did see
her try to pull them together once...she's just so darn bowlegged that unless
I'd seen her feet thump together I'd never have known. Her vault was a
handspring front pike (she seems to have given up one the 1 1/2 for now) with
a start value of 9.8. It was big (she can go boom) and except for steps
there were not too many deductions (9.6). I think that this is a good plan
and that the handspring style is far better suited to Dawes strengths than
the more elegant Yurchenko vaulting. She'll also need a handspring front for
NCAA when she graduates next year and heads to Stanford. Her beam is hard
but so darn ugly. Those back handsprings are by the far the least elegant
thing I've seen since Hillary Grivich. 9.8 (way too high). FX was as
always... steps on all the landings, lack of amplitude, but nothing big error
wise. I hate her choreography and the 9.9 was a total "we're in America"
score. I don't like this gymnast at all (as you know). Her difficulty is
adequate but her form and expression is hideous. She doesn't blow me away
with amplitude either. She had potential but never reached it. Everyone else
seems to adore her so... to each his own.
Amanda really doesn't seem to belong on this level of competition. I truly
never thought that she would amount to much when I first saw her ('90 or
'91). She has learned to hit the double front off bars and decided that the 2
tenths she'd get with the Yurchenko 1/2 on vault isn't worth the risk of
death and has headed back to the handspring front pike. Her beam was full of
wobbles and dead stops as well as a fall on a punch front (she looked off
from the beginning) and still earned a 8.925 which is about a point to high
for that set. Her floor is an awful Geza tribute to all the bad Geza routines
that went before it and her 9.8 was a total joke.
Katie Teft (age 12) was rather useless except for jumping and turning (she
couldn't do either separately but together they were great). She had a true
Popa on beam and her layouts looked great in the air (straight legs good
height). She mounted layout, ff, layout and looked right on and then fell
off. Her body is totally loose at all times and she makes Dawes' form look
exemplary by comparison. She had the traditional Tkatchev & Jaeger. Both
done with good height and horrible form (bent knees & flexed feet). Her
double layout full in was absolutely spassy in the air yet somehow she stuck.
Her FX was supposed to be cutsie but wasn't ... lots of audience encouraged
Kellie Davis (age 14) has a big double layout on FX a la Kareema Marrow
(UCLA)...not pretty but it's big enough that you don't really care. Her music
started funky (Stella Umeh flashbacks) but disintegrated into a generic rock
mix. Her vault was a layout Tsuk. This girl will make a perfect NCAA gymnast.
Both she and Katie have the oh-so-annoying habit of resting there hands on
their heads during their turns which drives me insane!
The Chinese were a bit unsettled and under trained but still gloriously
Chinese. Everyone but Kexia (age 16) did a bad - very bad - piked down no
distance no amplitude Yurchenko full and all scored in the 9.4 range which
seems rather generous (they were that bad). Yuan (pronounced "You on" I
think) missed one Yurchenko 1/2 and made the second. Both were done
incorrectly and piked but everyone does them that way (Shannon, Milos, et
al...) 9.375 average seemed unduly harsh considering the 10.0 start value
(9.1 with fall on the first 9.65 on the second). It was Yuquing (age 16)
that threw the Tkatchev - Xiao combo (George I told you what it was and you
still messed it up oh well...what can I say? Maybe he was too busy raiding
the media room of all it's edible contents to pay attention ;-) ). Everyone
else with the notable exception of Linlin (her form was less than exceptional
which really stands out on a Chinese girl) threw traditional Chinese sets.
Inverts - no one does inverts like the Chinese girls (though we say a
Ukrainian doing LAYOUT inverts and a Xiao in their nationals) , fabulous
line, killer casts, and they've all moved up to full twisting dismounts. Ye
(age 15) made up for it on beam where she was beauty incarnate. Leaps for
days, line for miles...the Chinese turn just standing there setting up for a
trick into choreography...I love them. Another had an interesting front on
straddle thing to her back for a mount (I missed it) and a split leap immed.
Rulfova for a mixed series.
Rachelle mentioned that she didn't like the Chinese music. First off it was
very ballet/classical instead of the cutsie commercial ("Rawhide", "Dashing
Through The Snow") stuff they usually use (except Linlin who's trapped with
"clap along" music). I found this a huge improvement. He (as in Xuemei...age
17) still has the best attitude and glares this side of Bogie. Very very
cool...and tons of photographic moments which is why I didn't really see much
tumbling as I was setting up to shoot her (and all the Chinese) dance
shots. One of them (it was either Kexia or Yuquing... who looked very much
alike both had ponytails and big ears) had a great double turn with her
alternate leg up by her knee and no stumble or awkwardness out of it.
Yuquing actually used Chinese music which made me think..."It's about damn
time!" Overall no one can beat the Chinese for sheer quality of movement.
They leap better than anyone in the world and just generally carry themselves
with an effortless artistry that no-one else even comes close to matching.
George mentioned the terrifying Yulia Sobko (age 13) ...5'2" officially -
though I'd say she was taller - and only 66 pounds. She was so lacking in
power that she couldn't even leap. Her vault was a tuck front - start value
9.7 - which should tell you something. Her coolest trick was a Stalder on the
low bar...which looked esp. neat since she was so darn tall.
Anna Polozkova (age 14) didn't really impress or depress me anywhere but
floor where she was "punch front woman." Rudi punch, double punch, front
punch...kiss those ankles good-bye sweetheart. She couldn't leap worth shit
though...which is a problem all the Belarussian girls seemed to suffer from.
When Piskun is your best leaper watch out!
Svetlana Tsarevich (age 14) is a little powerhouse that borders on blooby.
Her upper body isn't that great and she'll either turn into a real gymnast
(Piskun) or a blooby runt (Zmeskal). On bars she competed for fastest giant
fulls and did 2 (or 3?) into her double layout which was quite large. Her
beam was boring except for the double front off which was so awesome...by far
the best trick of the meet. All the Belarussian girls stand on the bars as
a transtition and from what I saw in Ukraine Nationals it's a tacky trend
that's here for a while.
Piskun was to the meet what Ivankov was...the best. She threw her double
layout with decent form for a pathetic 9.837. Her bars are actually clean
now (though the tuck on over the low has got to go)...double layout clean in
the air and stuck cold...not to mention her full into enormous Delt. 9.75 vs
Dawes no release bad form 9.8...C'mon. Beam has a fish jump to Rulfova as a
mixed series that is almost (very slight pause) totally connected and a
standing full for only a 9.7 and a 9.9 start value which I totally don't get.
Dawes had a 9.8 and Linlin a 9.75...yeah right Dawes should have beaten
Linlin...sure thing. Anyway back to Elena. Her FX tumbling lacks amplitude
but with four solid passes (2 front - full and Rudi - and 2 back - pike
full in and ?) and a notable improvement in dance and music over her last set
her 9.725 was ludicrously low. I'm sure that it had nothing what-so-ever to
do with the fact that she was only .025 behind Dawes going into FX and this
is the USA. Borden was the second highest FX score with a 9.8...you must be
All in all I was pretty darn disgusted with the women's meet since unlike the
men the AA order was not correct. Bravo to Elena for not showing up at the
conference and for continuing to improve her form and difficulty even though
she is obviously the best in her country.
1 USA 115.137
2 BLR 114.374
3 CHN 114.074
1 Dominique Dawes (USA) 9.600 9.800 9.800 9.900 39.100
2 Elena Piskun (BLR) 9.837 9.750 9.700 9.725 39.012
3 Ye Linlin (CHN) 9.450 9.600 9.750 9.675 38.475
4 Amanda Borden (USA) 9.537 9.700 8.925 9.800 37.962
5 Katie Teft (USA) 9.400 9.700 9.100 9.625 37.825
6 Svetlana Tarasevich (BLR) 9.500 9.650 8.925 9.675 37.750
7 Guan Yuqing (CHN) 9.437 9.325 9.575 9.375 37.712
8 Kellee Davis (USA) 9.425 9.450 9.075 9.700 37.650
9 Yuan Kexia (CHN) 9.375 9.625 9.675 8.925 37.600
10 Alena Polozkova (BLR) 9.462 8.900 9.600 9.100 37.062
11 He Xuemei (CHN) 9.437 9.550 9.275 8.800 37.062
12 Julia Sobko (BLR) 9.300 9.275 9.025 9.175 36.775
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 14:39:52 EDT
Subject: Summer Removals
Please remember that the address for subscription and unsubscription
requests is ***@mit.edu. If your account is going to be inactive
for the summer, please try to remember to unsubscribe before this occurs
so that everyone on the list does not have to get bounce messages from
your site whenever they post.
p.s. I don't keep track of when people want to be added back onto the list --
you'll have to email me again when you get back.
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 23:46:00 UTC
>I couldn't help wondering about Ungureanu....
Yes, I also think that she was under-rated internationally. From what I
remember from Montreal, Ungureanu's dance style was much better than
Comaneci's, not only for its choreography but also for its presentation.
Karolyi writes about Ungureanu in his book, saying that she was his first
choice to send to the '75 Europeans. When she came down with the flu,
Karolyi decided to take Comaneci to Skien instead...
>Ungureanu and her family...have moved from France to a club in New York.
I'll have to check my IG's for the club's name, but it's in Ardsley, NY,
which is only about 15 minutes from where I live. Maybe one day I'll run
into her at the grocery store. :)
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 12:32:40 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Zmeskal joins Dimas in comeback
Well, Trent Dimas announced his comeback at the 1994 Hilton Challenge.
Apparently, Kim Zmeskal has just announced her comeback too.
The AP reports that Kim Zmeskal has announced plans to return to
amateur competition and hopes to compete in the '96 Games.
Furthermore, Karolyi plans to un-retire to help her. The announcement
was made at an exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Karolyi: "The road is going to be tough."
Zmeskal: "I'm not ready to give up gymnastics. I've always enjoyed
performing, and luckily I haven't had a growth spurt like some
gymnasts. I feel like I can still do it. I'm going to take everything
slowly. I don't want to jinx myself."
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 10:53:33 PDT
Subject: Zmeskal joins Dimas in comeback
> was made at an exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
> Karolyi: "The road is going to be tough."
WOW! Was anyone else surprised by this? I didn't even think it was
possible, but I'm pretty excited about the possiblity because I've
always like Zmeskal.
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 13:58:21 CDT
Subject: Zmeskal joins Dimas in comeback
Bela Karolyi and Kim Zmeskal were in Tulsa for a 1 day camp followed by an
exhibition that evening. Folks in attendance were disappointed by the exhibition
and Kim's condition. Apparently, the crowd expected the old Kim for the price
they paid. The local tv news showed her doing a beam routine which would have
been comparable to level 8. I spoke with a coach from Little Rock, Ark. who
brought some girls in for the "camp" and had intended to go watch the
exhibition, but decided against after attending the camp. He questioned the
value, and said there was a better "exhibition" going on at Krafft's recital
Apparently the national team and invited elites will be attending a training
session at Karolyi's ranch next week. It will be interesting to see if Kim
>From the sound of things, she has a long way to go, but I wish her the best.
It will take alot of courage and hard work to come back.
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 16:48:01 EST
Subject: Zmeskal joins Dimas in comeback
After putting my jaw back in place and refocusing my pupils....I put this
THE MONEY, THE EXPENSE, THE TIME, THE PAIN, to try and compete
internationally at the age when LIFE (ie. college) might make a person
more complete......It hurts thinking about it (ankle throbbing) and after
leaving a history making career!
Well, this WILL be interesting....
End of gymn Digest