gymn Digest                 Thu, 28 Apr 94       Volume 2 : Issue 117

Today's Topics:
                    10.0's...The Eternal Question
                           Foreign coaches
                            leos (2 msgs)
             Leos, future worlds, media coverage (2 msgs)
                       Marinich & Pak (2 msgs)
                         Michelle Campi note
                            NCAA's on TV?
                           Old Videotapes?
                     Pak salto (A)/ Marinich (Q)
              Random NCAA observations (Women) (2 msgs)
              Thoughts & observations at Worlds (2 msgs)
                  tucked flyaway to low bar (2 msgs)

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 15:42:50 EDT
From: ***
Subject: 10.0's...The Eternal Question

10.0's are meant to be perfect and since human beings can not be
perfect they initially set it up as the "impossible" score (hum "Dream
the Impossible Dream" here for effect). Nadia changed all that with a
routine that was very good (people tend to forget that it wasn't
"just" Nadia but the entire Romanian team one better than the next,
slowly upping the scores, that lead to the 10.0). Let's just get this
oout of the way up front, ALL ten's are imperfect tens. Nadia took a
shuffle step (don't scream at me she did...I'm not saying she didn't
deserve it). What she started, more than revolutionizing gymnastics
(which I would attribute to Olga in '72 since she's the one that
created the "new" body type the "new"trend of trying more daring
skills and the "gymnastics Princess" persona that Nadia benefited from
and we all know as the norm today) was our infatuation with the
perfect 10.0.  Audiences love it. They cry out for it - demand it
even. Without a 10.0 it's not really a gymnastics meet, right?

Gwang Suk didn't point her toes and bent her legs a couple times.
Milos had a huge hop after her 2 1/2 punch front and a myriad of other
form breaks.  Zmeskal in '91 team was one of the most disgusting of
all...there were at least 5 better Yurchenko fulls in the team meet
let alone doubles and such.  Marylou slid back a good 4 inches. Shus's
legs were so far apart you could have driven an ICBM through on the
first of May (did anyone get that?)...I could go on and on into

Since humans are incapable of "perfection" by our very nature of being
"human" then I guess all scores of perfection (ie. 10.0 in gym, 6.0 in
skating, etc.) actually mean "relative perfection." Relative to the
other gymnasts Kim Gwang Suk deserved a 12 as did Li Lu. I still have
problems with many of those tens (as well as thinking that many who
deserved 10.0's were denied: Scherbo's EF P-bars in Barcelona,
Chussy's EF FX in '91 and her vaults in '92, etc. etc...this to could
go on forever) but I have bigger problems with the fact that judges
shy from the ten and then award 9.987's like their going out of style
all the while saying that they've "lowered scores" and made the sport
more fair.  Can the human brain register faults in .007 of a
difference? And if human's can't how can judges (ha ha)?

 While gym is supposed to be judged on each gymnast's indivd. merit
without regard to the other's performances we all know that is NOT the
case (if you don't believe that I have some lovely bridges to offer
you for sale. have you ever been to Brooklyn?). The scores go up in
later rounds. The first one up is penalized because the judges are
"saving room" at the top. Judges ARE subjective (they're tired,
they're bored, they're lover just left them, they're sick, they hate
your music, they hate your leo, they hate your flag, they hate you,
they're Nelli Kim etc. etc...) and I believe we should all get over
that and move on to see how we can fix our "subjective" sport...not
put on blinders and try to make it less so...which I've established is
impossible as long as humans are involved.

The fact is if the codes continue to swing the way they are gymnastics
will resemble circus acts in a few years. Difficulty is great and
necessary (and should most certainly be rewarded) but how can anyone
who watched the Worlds say that it was fun to see the same kids waste
the same potential and do the same routines over and over. There is
always the easy over done trick that everyone seems to use...Double
Layout off HB was a "D" in '88 and EVERYONE - evn Bilo who can't do a
double layout of HB or SR or FX - used that, the Yurchenko full was a
compo vault for the women in all but name for a good 5 years at least,
etc...but now there's entire ROUTINES like that. Scherbo's layout
double double on FX is worth the same as a tuck double double and his
middle pass is worth FIVE TENTHS why bother with the hard
stuff?  On HB... Can't do a giant? Try a hop's a RELEASE...
you know like a Gaylord only you don't really have to let go for it to
count...what a clever loophole! Need a quick "bonus fix" how about an
Endo/Stalder combo? Can you say C-H-E-A-P? The Diamidov glide kip
press to hand on PB is the only "D" that most guys can do so they ALL
do. No one can (even Pae Gil Saue {so why weren't the PRK's at
World's} whose marathon set came out of a 9.9 in '92 ..maybe the
judges fell asleep and missed the middle..or there's a 500 limit on
the number of double leg circles one can do...he and Mogilny should
just get on and see who can stay on longer) can hit a 10.0 on PH. An
example of the "E" dismounts listed in the code for rings is a TRIPLE
full in. We've totally "outcoded" the guys and from what I've seen it
seems to have broken their spirit in a rather pathetic fashion (except
for Korby who refuses to die)...Grigori Misutin, '91 World Champ,
didn't even attempt AA since his sets weren't worth enough... though
they'd been good enough for the Olympic AA silver (almost the gold!)
less than 24 months ago.  Does it only scare me when I see world
champs shouting "Yah I got a 9.0!"?

The girls MUST end with a tumbling pass of at least a "D" and Rudi's
and triple fulls are all we see.  They wanted "more swing variety" on
UB and it's now possible to pull all your releases and still come out
of a 10.0 start value. On vault they devalued the Yurchenko full but
it took the gals (and their coaches) less than 6 months to find the
key...Yurchenko 1/2's...the easy ten. On beam...Quick, everyone throw
a back dive quarter turn in...ah, better make that 2 for good measure.

I may sound like a broken record to you folks but I can't believe that
I'm the only one that's flat out terrified at where I see gym heading.



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 17:37:16 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Foreign coaches

>> *  Japanese Women have a Rusian coach.  French have a Chinese coach (who
>> speaks good French).  Greece have a Romanian coach.  (Talk about multi
>> cultural)
>Australians also have a Chinese head coach (womens anyway). The British
>head coach is a Romanian (last time I heard, I may be wrong)
>Get ready. Chinese will soon have a Russian coach!

Puerto Rico has a Romanian coach and a Japanese coach who used to be
in Spain.

Guatemala has had American coaches (as has PR), and I think there was
(is?) a Russian in Argentina at some point.

And let us not forget a certain Romanian coach of the US women's nat'l
team, plus ever-more coaches from all over at clubs and colleges, plus
Soviet and Bulgarian (and other) rhythmic coaches, too.

-- gimnasta


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 22:43:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: Leos

|     In defense of the white leos, they are the team uniform for the
| '94 USA team.  They are provided by USA Gymnastics, and the athletes are
| required to wear them when thyy are participating as a member of Team
| USA.  After a phone conversation with Shannon, she is not a big fan of the
| white leo, but she did not say why.  

I think Lori was aware of why the USA gymnasts had to wear white
leos... she was just commenting that she didn't necessarily like them.

Last summer when I was an intern at USAG, I actually did ask why the
USA national leo was always white.  I was told that one reason was
because it fills the girls out a little more, enhances their muscles.
(And it's true, gymnasts like Miller do look more solid in white.)
However, the other reason that surprised me was that the National team
girls get upset if they don't get white leos!  At the American Cup
'93, the girls were very upset that they had to wear pink leos, and
then black.  <shrug shoulders> Who knows.  Talking with Julie, the
woman who lays out _USA Gymnastics_, she said she preferred it when
the photos had colored leos in them, because she could use those
colors to accent the layouts.

I was there when the fax came in from Reebok with the different leo
designs for the women's program people to choose. I remember them
making comments then that the leos should be predominantly white (as
most of the choices were).

I must say though that I like the white leos over the horrendous stars
and stripes combos that the USGF will sometimes let loose ('84, the
'88 podium leo).  There hasn't ever been a USA leo that I've really
liked, though.



Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 09:28:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: leos

      In regards to competition leos, why can't the U.S. choose
non-red, white, and blue designs w/o the stupid ones they were messing
around with last season, like the bad pink one (who chose that
FABRIC???!!!) and the oh-so-fashionable crayon scribble design. The
white leos weren't originally designed to "show off their muscles",
they were designed to make some unhealthily skinny gymnasts look a
little less like concentration camp victims.  Why do you think Romania
pioneered the "white leo" look?
      Nowadays, when EVERYONE is looking for a body type with less
extra fat but with some muscles and breasts (I heard no comments about
"gosh, I wish Shannon would get a mastectomy - she's looking like she
has breasts now..")  there should be leos designed to enhance that
look. Boginskaya used white leos w/ strong contrasts to her advantage
('89 Worlds AA finals, '89 Europeans, '90 Goodwill, that amazing Nancy
Raymond 8x10 of her for sale in IG - I could go on.) Why can't they go
for a flattering color-block scheme, or a contour-enhancing gradient?
Yo, USAG, ever heard of fabrics? Did anyone drool over Dom's floor ex
leo at Reese's like I did? What are they putting her in white for?
      USAG should take some cues from Shannon's new line and get
some hints about color, design and variety. Bright colors really stand
out on TV and competition arenas w/o looking like fashion victims (see
the podium leo monstrositites on the US team from '88 Olympics)
      They most likely didn't want to offend anyone. "White won't
kill anyone, and it matches ALL the warmups we have..."
      Now then, who shall we crucify for last year's Ukraine leo


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 22:34:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: <***>
Subject: Leos, future worlds, media coverage

Lori and Other Gymners,

      In defense of the white leos, they are the team uniform for
the '94 USA team.  They are provided by USA Gymnastics, and the
athleets are required to where them when thay are particapting as am
menber of Team USA.  After a phone conversation with Shannon, she is
not a big fan of the white leo, but she did not say why.

      As for future worlds, I think the U.S. will still have a team
caple of winning future worlds.  The Dymno gym is sitll producing
athleets of equal or greater skills than Shannon (sorry Shannon).
Jenni Thompson is futher along in her development than Shannon was,
not only that, she will be in a better age for the Olympics in '96.

      As for the media. (sorry if this sounds of baised, but I have
to defend them) They work on a money and ratings system.  The money
part is quite obvious, few sponcers are willing to cover the cost.  As
for ratings.  They are not enough gym fans to draw the ratings that
are needed to show the entire events.  Someone made a comment about
the draft, that has large drawing power becaues it is part of the "big
three."  The coverage of mostly Americans is that is mostly the
"normal" person in the U.S. cares about.  When you mention gymnastics,
most people can't even name one person that is currently compeating.
This is a gauge as to how many people are going to watch the event.
Truthfully, I am glad that in this system of programing we get to see
some of the "highlights" at all.  There are some sports that are
regulated to the 3:30am time slot, and other that arn't seen at all.
As the old saying goes," don't complain, or you might end up with



Date: Thu, 28 Apr 94 00:25:08 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Leos, future worlds, media coverage

Jaye writes:

> After a phone conversation with Shannon, she is not a big fan of the
white leo, but she did not say why.

That's easy.  As every female gymnast knows (probably every female,
period), white makes you look fatter (and then add TV to it).
Shannon, however, could use it.  And speaking of periods. . . (though
this may not apply to Shannon yet).

-- gimnasta


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 14:59:05 -0400
From: <***>
Subject: Marinich & Pak


please explain what you mean by a 'clear support' when you discussed
the Marinich.....



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 17:35:56 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Marinich & Pak

In response to a question about clear support.  I'm sending to all of
Gymn since others may be interested.

Clear support is similar to front support; the difference is that in a
clear support the hips are not touching the bar.  If you know what a
clear hip (also called a free hip) circle is, clear support is the
position you're in right as you go into it and the position you end up
in (if you don't take it to handstand).  I've tried two drawings below
(clear support first, then front support).  I hope they doesn't get
messed up in the mail (0 is the head, o is the bar).



-- gimnasta


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 20:05:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: <***@leland.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Michelle Campi note

I thought you folks might find it interesting that Michelle Campi
walked (I believe) into Stanford Coach Breck Greenwood's office last
week to say Hi!  She had a couple of vertebrae fused and, as
mentioned, had a pin put in to prevent spinal damage.  She also has to
wear a body cast.  The fractures are apparently in the high thoracic
region.  She's trying to wait until December to think much about her
gymnastics future.

Incidentally, was anyone aware that she tried to *finish* the routine
after she fell?!  She didn't go to the hospital until quite a while
later in the day.  Then the first thing they did was put her on a

Just my tidbits-



Date: Thu, 28 Apr 94 09:13:08 BST
From: ***
Subject: NCAA's on TV?

>Does anyone know whether NCAA's (M or W) will be
televised, and if so, when,

Guess what, no not Eurosport this time but Sky Sports are showing both
M and W NCAA's at the end of May.



Date: 27 Apr 1994 15:54:49 -0800
From: <***>
Subject: Old Videotapes?

                       Subject:                               Time:3:36 PM
  OFFICE MEMO          Old Videotapes?                        Date:4/27/94

Hello to all of you whose messages I have been reading for the past week!

If any of you have old videotapes from the 1970s or early 1980s, I
would love to hear from you. Do any of you know if there is any chance
of getting a copy of the following women's competitions:

1) 1975 European Championships
2) 1976 American Cup
3) 1978 American Cup (finals)
4) 1983 European Championships
5) 1984 Alternative Olympics

If you have other wonderful old footage, I would be interested in that
as well.  I would be happy to figure out if some of the competitions I
have on videotape might interest you. (I don't have any problem with
PAL/SECAM videotapes.)

Thanks in advance.



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 15:02:46 -0400
From: <***>
Subject: Pak salto (A)/ Marinich (Q)

Ok i understood your explanation of 'front support'......bars is the
event I least know moves.....I'm sure I know what it looks like but
can you explain 'kip-cast'



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 19:51:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: <***@leland.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Random NCAA observations (Women)

Hi gymners!

Sorry about the delay in posting this, but when I got back from NCAA's
I had about 140 messages to read.  I finally caught up today, since I
have a full-time job (and have to actually do work) :( and have been
busy getting other errands done.  Anyway, here are my very random
observations about Women's NCAA Championships.

-Michigan was the happiest fourth-place team I believe I've ever seen!
 They even sang their fight song -- "Hail to the Victors" -- on the
 award platform.

-Alabama lost the championship on vault. I know, .05 could come from anywhere,
 but after seeing them nail big vaults with stuck landings on the first
 day, I was disappointed to see steps on virtually every landing. Maybe
 the two-day format tired them out?

-Tina Brinkman was robbed!  Okay, so maybe this is my Pac-10 and
 Wisconsin bias showing, but I thought that Hope won the floor title as
 a lifetime achievement award.  It was a great routine, but it didn't
 have the same pizzazz that Tina has.  (Yes, Tina is pretty wild.)
 If they show Tina on TV (between the documentary on spring floor
 evolution and "What are Missy Marlowe and her HUGE shoulders doing
 now?"  :)  ) watch the eyebrow tricks.  I don't know why I never
 noticed this before, but I have never seen anyone else include an
 eyebrow wave in choreography!

-Vault finals rules are wishy-washy. (Tina was robbed, part II).
 If the NCAA wants to change the season-long rules all of a sudden
 to determine a national champ on vault, they should go all the way
 and require two CLASSES of vaults, not just two different vaults.
 Otherwise, they should just let them do the same vault twice. I got
 really tired of seeing HS front pike, HS front tuck 1/2.  Okay,
 Hansen's HS front pike 1/2 was pretty cool, but I like the fact that
 Tina, in addition to her always-solid HS front tuck 1/2, did a tuck
 Tsuk full.  Alright, so she wasn't robbed, but I appreciated her
 following the _spirit_ of the rule and not just the letter.
 (BTW, what do people think about the NCAA's idea of going to one
 vault only during the regular season next year? No second chance...)

-Chasity Junkin (AL) is either very tolerant or very intent on
 competition.  It took the announcer until the last event on the
 last night to finally figure out that there's only one T in her
 name.  (Can you tell that name mispronunciation is one of my pet

-Leah Homma is artistry incarnate.  (Okay, so I already knew this,
 but I had to mention it again.)

-Original bar elements are rare.  Lori Strong was at the meet, but
 the "Strong" wasn't.  "Reverse" reverse Hecht was cool (okay, so
 that's not the right name and I forget who did it, but it was
 interesting to see a collegiate gymnast do a rev. Hecht away from
 the low bar.)  There was other cool stuff, but mostly the releases
 were Tkachevs, Geingers, Yeagers, and straddle-backs.  Also, not
 enough Endos or Stalders.

-Standing on the low bar looks really un-graceful.  I guess I can
 tolerate little kids doing it because they can't reach the high bar,
 but there are much more graceful ways to make the transition
 from low to high that don't *stop* the routine.

Is that random enough for everyone?  More as I think of it and look
through my photos. (Unless people tell me to just shut up.) :)



Date: Thu, 28 Apr 94 02:20:36 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Random NCAA observations (Women)

>but I have never seen anyone else include an
 eyebrow wave in choreography!

How about Amy Thorne (UCLA 91).  She also used her hair quite inventively.

> (BTW, what do people think about the NCAA's idea of going to one
 vault only during the regular season next year? No second chance...)

Major league BAD idea.  Any experimentation left (very little) will die
because the team won't let them chance a risky new vault.



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 11:25:17 PDT
From: ***
Subject: Thoughts & observations at Worlds

>> *  Japanese Women have a Rusian coach.  French have a Chinese coach (who
>> speaks good French).  Greece have a Romanian coach.  (Talk about multi
>> cultural)
>Australians also have a Chinese head coach (womens anyway). The British
>head coach is a Romanian (last time I heard, I may be wrong)
Get ready. Chinese will soon have a Russian coach!



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 15:48:48 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Thoughts & observations at Worlds

>> *  2 girls from Uzbekistan arrived in the country too late to compete.

I mentioned this before but both Chusovitna and Galieva ('91 and '92
Svoet teams) were at worlds but unable to compete since their country
(Uzbekistahn) did not register them in time.



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 12:09:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: tucked flyaway to low bar

      I believe that a tucked flyaway to low would be an Omelianchik
- she debuted it in the '85 Worlds - way before Pak debuted her salto
in '89 team finals at Worlds. Pak gets the layout flyaway credit.
Incidentally, she lost momentum and ended up in a no-swing front
support when she first did it as well ;-)


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 17:36:56 EDT
From: ***
Subject: tucked flyaway to low bar

> I believe that a tucked flyaway to low would be an Omelianchik - she
>debuted it in the '85 Worlds - way before Pak debuted her salto in '89

There's also a mount belonging to Svetlana Baitova of jump up to hang on HB,
flyaway to LB ('87).

The strange thing is, neither of these is in the Code.  Or at least I
can't find them.  Well, Baitova's mount definitely isn't, since
there's only one place to look for mounts.  I've never done an
exhaustive search for Omelianchik's flyaway, but I have looked in the
logical place -- the same section the Pak salto is in -- and it's not
there.  The way the bars Code is divided makes no sense to me, though,
so it may be off in some other section. I've yet to run across it,

-- gimnasta


End of gymn Digest