gymn Digest                 Fri, 29 Jul 94       Volume 2 : Issue 154

Today's Topics:
                             a few notes
                       Aussie Commonwealth News
                          Best gymnast ever?
                    China to train in NC! (2 msgs)
                          Christy & Julissa
                       Christy Henrich (3 msgs)
                             Classic Info
                           Don't Forget!!!!
                      eating disorders (2 msgs)
                           Henrich (3 msgs)
                              Mike Jacki
                       More Details on Henrich
        More Henrich Info (from the Chicago Tribune) (2 msgs)
                         More Info on Henrich
                           more on Henrich
                     My friend makes Senior Elite
                        NCAA Changes (2 msgs)
                            neg publicity
                       Press Release on Henrich
                        Sad News about Henrich
                      U.S. Sports Acro Nationals
                      Unfortunate Ad Coincidence
                  Very, Very Sad News about Henrich

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 18:57:09 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: a few notes

I've sent email to the USGF to ask where condolences can be directed
for Henrich's family.  They said they'd let me know tomorrow morning,
so I'll post it tomorrow night sometime (when I get home from work).

Also, re the negative publicity, I would hope that most people
(including the ones who work for Ted Turner, <g>) know that gymnastics
is most certainly not a CAUSE of eating disorders.  How would we have
so many healthy gymnasts?  Unfortunately, eating disorders and
gymnastics have a significant correlation, so implying that one
*causes* the other is all too easy unless the information is handled

Personally, I like to think that gymnastics usually educates an
athlete in how to take care of their body.  Seems to me that an awful
lot of gymnasts that I know are some of the healthiest people I've met
(sprains and strains notwithstanding).

I'd like to hear, from some of the current of former gymnasts on this
list (and anyone else), how widespread of a problem they think eating
disorders are in gymnastics?



Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 22:29:11 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Aussie Commonwealth News

>The impression I get is that the trials are being held soley to allow Hughes
another chance of making the team since the other 5 girls are already

She seems deserving of it.  I just hope they don't pull a 'Umeh' on her.



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 15:33:04 CDT
From: ***
Subject: Best gymnast ever?

In addition to being a big gymnastics fan, I am also a die-hard baseball
  fan.  I work for a company that runs fantasy baseball leagues and as
  part of that they do projections and run simulated games.
After reading a recent message that someone on gymn wrote about gymnastics
  dream teams, I thought that it might be fun to try and figure out the
  teams statistically and run a simulated event by predicting who would win.
To do this, however, I need to get results from alot of meets.  I can get
  the results for most of the "big" meets that have occurred in the past
  5-10 years, but in order to include gymnasts from the 1970's and others,
  I need the results from Worlds, Olympics and any other "big" meets that
  were held.  I also thought to maybe use National Championships results if
  anyone could get those results from countries other then the USA.
If anyone has anything that they think might help, I would really appreciate
  it your assistance and any input you might have as far as what to do or what
  you might like to see.


P.S. - Depending on how all of this works out, I also thought that I might try
       and figure out a way of predicting how well junior gymnasts will do at
       the senior level based off of their results and comparison to others.
       So, results from junior meets would be helpful too.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 15:06:22 EDT
From: ***
Subject: China to train in NC!

Howdy folks!

There was an article in the Raleigh (NC) _News & Observer_ last Saturday
saying that the Chinese Gymnastics Team will be training in Monroe, NC,
a town near Charlotte.  They will train for a couple of months in 1995
and then return just before the Atlanta Olympics. 

Just thought you would want to know.



Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 17:56:08 PDT
From: ***
Subject: China to train in NC!

Yep. Looks like we'll be seein' y'all in NC.



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 9:53:00 CDT
From: ***
Subject: Christy & Julissa

I am responding to Beth's question about Christy Henrich & Julissa Gomez
being from the same gym.  Both trained with Al Fong at the Great American
Gymnastics Express in Blue Springs, MO, although Julissa had only moved
there a few months before her accident.  I am originally from Kansas City (I
actually competed in a few meets with E.T. before she turned elite),
and I know that the local citizens and the Kansas City press have been very,
very supportive of both families.  You really have to feel for the coaches
and teammates who have had to deal so closely with both tragedies.
-- Allison 



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 12:35:36 EDT
From: <***>
Subject: Christy Henrich

     Along with everyone else, I was stunned and very saddened just now when I
got onto gymn and learned of Christy's death. I hope that IG or USA Gymnastics
will do a tribute article about her, especially her fine performance at the
1989 Worlds where she performed so well on bars. But most importantly, I think
any article should stress the dangers of anorexia and the extreme difficulty of
overcoming it. I know there have been many past US gymnasts who, after
retiring, admitted that when they were competing they were bulimic and/or
anorexic. Fortunately they survived. But who knows how many present competitors
are anorexic? What happened to Christy is a real tragedy, and I just hope the
gymnastics media don't try to "hush it up" to protect the sport's "image."
Rather let it be a lesson to gymnasts AND coaches to put their priorities in
order. The gymnast's health and well-being should be No. 1. There is so much
pressure put on females of all ages, athletes or not, to be slim at all costs.
It just isn't worth the price.
     In response to someone's question about what anorexia and bulimia do to
the body, I'm not an expert, but I think I heard somewhere that it weakens the
heart. I remember that the singer Karen Carpenter died of a heart attack while
she was recovering from bulimia. Although she was getting better as far as the
bulimia went, her heart had become too weakened and damaged, so the actual
cause of her death was heart failure. But she wouldn't have had heart failure
if she had not previously been bulimic. But this is just a conjecture on my
part, since I'm no medical expert. I don't know if Christy's death would have
been caused by heart failure. In any case, it's a real tragedy.



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 20:00:48 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Christy Henrich

I too am very shocked by the death of Christy.  She was such a tough and
strong athlete and really deserved a medal at the 89 Worlds.  There is a good
side to this though.  It shows everyone just how dangerous bulimia and
anorexia both are and how they damage your system.  I've lost a person close
to me because of anorexia so, I know the Henrich's pain.  I suggest we all
say a special prayer for Christy, for her soul to rest in peace and for her
family and thank God for giving us such a nice gymnast to watch.---Brian


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 9:45:30 EDT
From: <***>
Subject: Christy Henrich

     I just thought I'd let you know that today's (July 28's) NY Times has an
obituary on Christy, with a photo of her on beam. It doesn't provide much more
info than what we've already heard, except there is an unfortunate statement by
her mother that she holds gymnastics 99% responsible for what happened to


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 15:06:13 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Classic Info

Excerpts From ...

SPRINGS  PALM SPRINGS, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Palm Springs
Convention Center will play host to the U.S. Classic Nationals, a USA
Gymnastics sponsored event, on Aug. 5-7.

Two 1992 Olympic gymnastic medalists, Dominique Dawes and Michelle Campi
[huh?], will be joined by 120 of the nation's top female gymnasts in
competition for the national title.  Other world-ranked gymnasts from all
over the United States, including Amanda Borden and Kerri Strug, will also be
competing in this event, which is a forerunner of the 1996 Olympic Games.

Tickets can be purchased at the Palm Springs Convention Center box office by
phone at 619-778-4100 or through TicketMaster at 213-480-3232.

Prices are $6.00 for adults and $4.50 for children under 12 for each day

posted by Susan


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 17:17:15 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Don't Forget!!!!

Goodwill Games Gymnastics are on *every* day starting Saturday.  On Tuesday
there is RSG. Sat-Mon. is the women's comp. Tues-Fri. the men take the stage.
Then next weekend (Sat and Sun) the men and women team up (described as "two
men and two women from each country competing on individual apparatus" in TV
Guide) for a two day "mixed team" event.



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 13:24:44 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Eating Disorders

At my old gym there were 50 team members, Level 8-Elite.  Not one of them had
an eating disorder.  It was occasionally disscussed that anorexia and bulemia
were unhealthy, and if you want to lose weight simply eat healthy foods, and
exercise.  Also, in the USA gymnastics magazines there are often articles
disscussing the importance of eating healthy



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 17:22:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: eating disorders

      RE the Classic post from Susan, I say two things. I think it will cheer
Michelle to know that the press thinks she is going to compete. I also wonder
why also Olympic medalist Kerri Strug was relegated to the "other" category.
I'm happy to see her competing again, that is, if she really is planning to
      I did not know of anyone on my class III team that had an eating
disorder of any kind, nor did I know for sure of any class Is (which included
Lisa Strug and Stacy Connolly), although there was one very skinny girl that
complained that she ate like a horse but couldn't get up to a better weight.
She had problems tumbling and vaulting because her body lacked proper strength.
      Before I made the team, however, a slew of girls had quit the team
because there was some weird peer group involving 5 or so girls who had all
started eating really small amounts of food and all were anorexic and/or
bulimic. It was a very strange situation that I didn't hear many details about.
They all left gymnastics and went into counseling for their problems. I mention
this because in my long involvement in women's sports, it is the only time I
heard of a group situation on a team involving an eating disorder.
      I would also hope that everyone refrains from making nasty comments
about weight gain in former gymnasts. Some mention is nice, just so we all have
a mental picture of what the person looks like. As a person who gained plenty
of weight after leaving gymnastics, I don't think it's very positive or good
for younger competitors to hear degrading comments about Kim Z. or any others
who have gained weight. I'm sure if they need to, in time they will loose
whatever weight they need. Just a reminder in light of recent events and the
fact that we do have some current gymnasts and coaches on Gymn.
      Okay y'all - *smile*! Goodwill starts in a couple of days, and they
left diving, figure skating and gymnastics all for the second week. Hey, does
anyone know if Phoebe was good enough to make the diving team?


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 08:05:14 -0700
From: <***>
Subject: Henrich

Indeed, its very sad that Christy Henrich passed away. I was following
the story from Rachele's posts and its all so tragic.

I've forgotten some of the medical details that someone posted but
what does sustained deprivation of food actually do to the body that
cannot be undone later? Is it some organ that is damaged beyond repair
or some chemical imbalance thats hard to reverse? And all this in a
body of a gymnast, quite the perfect athelete - all appears so


PS: My work requires me to travel a bit. If there have been delays in
responding to requests for the intro file or publication info
maintained by Gymn, I apologise.


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 16:02:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: Henrich

      My condolences to Christy Henrich's family and friends. For a woman
with so much success so early in her life, her death is so tragic.
      Someone asked about whether anorexia and bulimia damages the heart. The
answer is a definite yes. While it damages many other organs as well, many
anorexia deaths, like Karen Carpenter's, are heart-related.
      I know of a case where a 20 year-old college swimmer with a history of
eating disorders had a simple surgical proceedure and died on the table of a
herat attack because her heart couldn't take the ongoing stress of the
condition and the surgery.
P.S. Where can we write to send condolences?
P.P.S. Brace yourselves for the wave of negative publicity during the Goodwill
Games coverage. While it is important to inform, this may get downright cruel.


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 15:42:22 +0600
From: ***
Subject: Henrich

> P.P.S. Brace yourselves for the wave of negative publicity during the Goodwill
> Games coverage. While it is important to inform, this may get downright cruel.

I surely hope that Ted Turner can help tone that down, and that he'd be
so inclined. After all it's his show.


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 11:57:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: Henrich/Gomez

      Julissa made elite at Karolyi's, then transferred to GAGE in '87. She
and Christy were very good friends. I think they were best friends. They were
the top two gymnasts out of GAGE and both were on the national team together.
As far as I know, she was training at GAGE when her accident occurred in April
of '88, warming up a vault in the Tokyo Cup.


Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 22:28:34 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Mike Jacki

USA Today lists Mike Jacki among a list of candidates to be the new Executive
Director of the US Olympic Committee, to replace Harvey Schiller who will
move to TBS.



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 18:21:20 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: More Details on Henrich

Again, this news is obtained via the AP wire

-She died on Tuesday, July 26, 1994 (yesterday) or "multiple organ
system failure" after being hospitalized for two and a half week.
Research Medical Center (the hospital where she was in ICU) wouldn't
release how much she weighed at her death [thank goodness].

-Henrich's nickname was "E.T.", which stood for "Extra Tough".

-She was 4' 10"

-She stopped competing in the fall of 1990 because she was so weak
from her eating disorders.  She retired from gymnastics in January

-Henrich's schedule was to train from 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning, do
her school work with a tutor, and then practice again at night lasting
until 10pm.

-Henrich had a fiance'.

-Calls to the Henrich home on Wednesday were unanswered.

Al Fong, head coach at Great American Gymnastics Express (GAGE): "She
was an extremely strong person. She was a bull, just a tank...  I
kicked her out of the gym for her own good.  I said, `You're going to
kill yourself.' She was throwing herself into the equipment because
she couldn't do the routines. I set up all these appointments with the
nutritionists, and then I found out she wasn't attending those

Coach Fong became estranged from the Henrich family after confronting
Christy in 1989 about her eating disorders.

Henrich, when she withdrew from gymnastics: "My life is a horrifying
nightmare. It feels like there's a beast inside of me, like a monster.
It feels evil."

Apparently, Henrich's dieting "frenzy" began in 1988 after a judge at
a competition in Budapest, Hungary, mentioned that she needed to watch
her weight.  Fong described the judge as a "nice, old lady" who made
an offhand remark. He said, however, that "It was perceived by her as
`You're too fat to be an Olympic gymnast.'"

Henrich's former psychiatirst, Dr. Gail Vaughn: "I worked with her for
about three months and she seemed to be doing pretty good when she let
me go. She was getting better there for a while."

Henrich's mom, in a 1989 interview: "She was always hopping around,
hanging onto things... She couldn't get enough of it."

Henrich, at age 15: "I want it so bad.  I know I have a chance for the
Olympics, and that gets me fired up."

Fong: "She was a tremendous young athlete.  She was a role model. She
was a likable kid. She was the kind of person who could not see an
obstacle that she could not get over. She would see an obstacle and
say, `I can do that.'"


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 15:06:41 EDT
From: ***
Subject: More Henrich Info (from the Chicago Tribune)

>From The Chicago Tribune (by Julie Deadorff)...

-During life's blackest moments for 22-year-old gymnast Christy Henrich, she
was training nine hours a day and eating one apple. Then it was an apple
slice. Soon nothing could bring her back.

-Henrich, who missed the 1988 Olympic team by 0.118 of a point and placed
fourth on the uneven parallel bars in the 1989 World Championships, is the
first U.S. gymnast to die of an eating disorder.

-U.S. Olympian Cathy Rigby twice went into cardiac arrest. Christy Phillips
slit her wrists in a failed suicide attempt. Olympians Cathy Johnson, Nadia
Comaneci and former Bela Karolyi student Erica Stokes have all battled the

-"We have no idea how many athletes die of this problem, but we've had
endless concerns about it--in all levels and all sports," said Christopher
Athas, vice president of the Highland Park-based National Association of
Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD).

-"I'm not sure the death of (singer) Karen Carpenter (from anorexia) 11 years
ago was understood. Coaches play to win and feel thinness is a significant
issue, and it will take an awful lot for America to wake up."

-ANAD is surveying coaches on the topic and points to a 1992 study by Randall
Dick, the NCAA's assistant director of sports science, to emphasize the
severity of the problem.

-Dick surveyed college athletic administrators across the country and found
that at least 40 percent of NCAA programs had had an athlete with an eating
disorder over the previous two years.

-While gymnastics had the highest reported percentage of eating disorders (48
percent of 108 sponsoring schools reported a case), Dick noted that "while
athletes in certain sports appear to be at greater risk, the wide variety of
programs reporting eating disorders indicated that no sport should be

-Gymnastics, though, has had most of the unwanted attention, primarily
because of the increasingly young age of competitors, the emphasis on
appearance and the subjective evaluation.  [NCAA study results ] While
gymnastics had the highest reported percentage of eating disorders (48
percent of 108 sponsoring schools reported a case), Dick noted that "while
athletes in certain sports appear to be at greater risk, the wide variety of
programs reporting eating disorders indicated that no sport should be

-In 1956, the top two Olympic all-around finishers were 35 and 21 years old.
In 1992, the U.S. women's team averages were 16 years, a height of 4-9 1/2
and a weight of 83 pounds.

-Henrich's mother, Sandy, has said the problems began when her daughter
overheard a gymnastics judge saying she needed to watch her weight, which was
93 pounds at the time.

-"Christy's a perfectionist," Sandy told the Washington Post in 1993. "She
was going to do whatever it took, not matter what the price. She could endure
any pain. And she was hearing this from a judge, an official of the sport.
Why wouldn't you listen?"

- [Coach Fong on te help he hired for Christy] "But she would 'fire' her
professional people who offered their services free of charge," said Fong
from the gym where Henrich used to train in Blue Springs, Mo. "I've been
accused many times by the family and other people of being the instigator,
and I'm sorry, but I refuse to take that.
"I got her as much help as I could. She didn't live with me. I can only be so
much of an influence, and I can't watch everything she does, including eating
and not eating. I'm angry and saddened at the same time. It didn't need to

-The USGF has taken several proactive steps to address the problem, including
employing national team nutritionist Dr. Dan Benardot and national team sport
psychology consultant Dr. Joan Duda. They perform body testing, speak at
annual national congress sessions and attend training camps.

-A nutritional video, utilizing 1984 Olmpic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, is
provided to all national team members.

-In addition, articles appear in several magazines like "Technique" and "USA

-But Mike Jacki, who was executive director of the USGF for the last 10 years
before moving to the same position at U.S. Skiing last year, said the
federation could only do so much.

- [Jacki] "There's no question Christy's tragedy highlights how critical it
is, but all the organization can do is education, It does come down to the
athlete, coach, parents and program for it to be carried forward. Constant
education is needed."

-If there is anything positive to glean from Henrich's death, it's that it's
not too late for those suffering from eating disorders to get help. And if
parents, coaches and friends can't provide enough support, there's always the
Penny Lane record store in Kansas City.
As of Wednesday, there were still copies left of a tape of a song written and
performed by Henrich's fiance, Bo Moreno. The title, "I Believe in You,"
could be an important start on the road to recovery.

-posted by Susan


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 15:19:16 -0400
From: <***>
Subject: More Henrich Info (from the Chicago Tribune)

I was talking about this last night to a friend whose daughter is a
gymnast training here in MA.  I was happy to hear about her daughter's
gym: not only do they encourage sportsmanship (the entire team was
suspended for one week due to badly teasing one girl), but they
emphasize good diet.  The coaches met with the girls and the parents
recently to make sure everyone knew that the intense training schedule
would be burning a lot of muscle, and that each girl should have so
much protein every day along with other good foods.



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 18:22:16 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: More Info on Henrich

The AP story that I am excerpting from was written by Jim Litke.  I am
quoting a lot of his writing because he seems to have a really good
perspective on how many issues in gymnastics are really a mirror or a
function of society.

      "If we demand age limits on competition, we'll get them. It's
not enough simply to blame an athlete's parents or coaches or agents,
or even a sport's administrators for allowing kids to get hurt -- or
worse -- providing entertainment for a grownup audience. After all,
they are only taking their cues from the rest of us.
      Whatever else it has done, Henrich's death has thrown into
stark relief once more the paradox we have allowed women's sports like
gymnastics and figure skating to become: pressure-packed enterprises
driven by huge dollars and an insatiable appetite for younger,
smaller, cuter competitors to chew up and spit out."

Bela Karolyi: "My immediate reaction is that it's a personal tragedy,
a social tragedy, a tragedy for our sport, but not the first one.  ...
Who is to blame?  I do not want to point my finger specifically,
because in this case there is a victim. Instead I will ask: Who is it
drives these girls so, that turns them into tools in order to collect
such rewards? What kind of society tells girls they must be skinny to
the point of craziness, then pushes these weight-loss programs... Who
is it that creates the Jennifer Capriatis and the others who run away
from sport and turn into monsters while they are still young girls?"

Jim Litke again: "Too conveniently, perhaps, Karolyi appears to have
excluded himself from the long list of suspects in this instance.
Certainly, he and his peers are not blameless. Stories abound about
how Karolyi would taunt pupils about being fat, about how some of the
girls at his academy sensed their usefulness ended at about the same
time their figures began to ripen."

JL: "But it's not just the coaches, judges and other officials that
athletes are under pressure to please. It is the rest of us who demand
to be dazzled by ever-tighter, ever-more reckless circles,
somersaults, jumps and spins. The rest of us who prize precociousness
and femininity in increasingly smaller packages that can be neatly
tied off with ribbons and smiles spanned by braces."

Karolyi: "I have believed for a long time that there is an optimal age
for these girls, but it is not the same for all of them. Of course, a
small body performs some maneuvers easier than a taller one.  But it's
a natural phenomenon that strength and grace should increase with age,
also. In my own experience, two of the best students I ever had, Mary
Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci, had to go through puberty and it made a
very specific mark of time on their bodies.  But they kept their
weight and their temperament steady. That shows me it is not always a
problem to be in top form. And so, myself, I would not discourage
anybody, no matter what is involved, from seeking their opportunity."

[Ever seen the pictures of Nadia from the 79 Worlds?  "kept their



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 07:30:59 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: more on Henrich

Yet a couple more tidbits gleaned from an AP story...

Al Fong: "She was driven from an early age, to the point that she had
blinders on. She worked five times as hard as anybody... She didn't
become good because she was talented. She became good because she
worked so hard and she had this kind of focus. She could only see one

Henrich gave Fong a call right after the 1992 Olympics.  Fong: "She
says, `Al, I'm really jazzed. I want to train for '96 (the Atlanta
Olympics). I know I can do it. I'd like to start training.'"  Fong
said he told her she had to beat the eating disorders first. She never
called back, he said Wednesday.

Gwen Spidle, former teammate of Henrich, still training at GAGE (and a
very good gymnast, btw): "Everybody can blame themselves and say, `I
didn't help her enough.' ... We did. But it had to come from her, to
heal herself. She'd say she had it under control. And then she'd just
go back down."

Henrich's parents said they preferred not to talk to reporters.

Her survivors include her parents, her brother Paul, her paternal
grandmother, her maternal grandparents, and her fiance.


Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 15:12:18 EDT
From: ***
Subject: My friend makes Senior Elite

Howdy again folks!

I just thought I would tell y'all that a young friend of mine named
Emily Chell made Senior Elite at Zone Testing in Atlanta.  I am still
grinning about this, even though I heard the news a week ago.  She timed
it perfectly.  (Emily turns 14 on 29 August.)  A teammate of hers at
Gymcarolina, Erika Linnersten, made Junior Elite.  A third Gymcarolina
gymnast, Cassie Cosgrove, SHOULD have made Junior Elite, but she bumped
into another gymnast and broke her nose.  I was told she barely missed
making it.

Just thought I'd tell ya!



Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 22:28:40 EDT
From: ***
Subject: NCAA Changes

>   The only thing I didn't see in the recommendations that I was hoping
would be required is banning untrained children (or adults, for that matter)
from flashing scores

Agreed.  But I also hope they'll allow RO-vaults (costs and risks already



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 01:03:58 EDT
From: ***
Subject: NCAA Changes

To Mara and All:
  Nope, they voted to keep banning round-off vaults in college.
---- Ronald


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 18:01:00 EDT
From: <***>
Subject: neg publicity

     I agree with Cara that there's a good chance there'll be some negative
publicity during the Goodwill Games gymnastics coverage, but I'd like to hope
that the commentators have enough sense and knowledge to know that gymnastics
does not CAUSE anorexia or bulimia. Plenty of girls who are not involved in
sports AT ALL suffer from it. I personally have a 32-year-old friend who is
both anorexic and bulimic and it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with
sports; in her case it was a result of childhood abuse. In fact, every girl
I've ever met with an eating disorder was NOT an athlete. I hope Ted Turner's
people have enough information about the disorder not to make wild statements
implying that gymnastics CAUSES it. (Maybe someone should call or fax TBS and
let them know. Anyone have the number?) At the same time, as I said in my other
post, I DO think it's important for gymnasts and coaches to have a proper
perspective of the weight issue. A girl does not have to be a stick to be a
successful gymnast. There have been many successful international gymnasts with
stockier body types - Ecaterina Szabo, Elena Shushunova, Mary Lou Retton and
Kim Zmeskal, to name a few. I think gymnasts may need to be more cautious than
other people to avoid developing the disorder, but gymnastics doesn't cause it.
I honestly think it might be worth a call to TBS to see how they plan on
handling the issue. I hope they can find the proper balance between warning
people of the dangers of the disorder without slamming gymnastics and singling
it out as THE CAUSE of it, because that's just not true.
     Like Cara, I'd also like to know where we can send notes of condolence to
the Henrich family. Also, am I remembering right that Julissa Gomez and Christy
were originally from the same gym? (I know Julissa moved to Karolyi's at some
point, but I don't remember if she was still there when she suffered her
accident). I think I recall reading that when Julissa was in the coma, Christy
would visit her all the time, read to her and play tapes for her. I find it
really sad and ironic that these two good friends both died so young...


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 18:08:48 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: Press Release on Henrich


Date: July 27, 1994
Luan Peszek, Director of Public Relations
Ramonna Robinson, Manager of Public Relations

Henrich Succumbs to Disease

After a long struggle with anorexia nervosa and bulimia, former
national team gymnast Christy Henrich, 22, died last night in a
hospital in Independence, Mo.

Henrich was a member of the 1989 World Championships Team and finished
fourth on bars. A four-time USA National Team member from 1987-1990,
Henrich missed qualifying for the 1988 Olympic Team by 0.118 points.

USA Gymnastics Chairman of the Board Sandy Knapp said, "Our deepest
sympathy goes to those who knew and loved Christy." Women's Program
Director Kathy Kelly said, "Christy was a dedicated athlete and
respected team member. The gymnastics community will remember and
appreciate everything that Christy gave to the sport. She will be
sadly missed."  USA Gymnastics is painfully aware of the eating
disorder problem in society and are committed to assist, educate and
protect the athletes involved in the sport. According to ANAD
(National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders in
Highl and Park, Ill.), "An estimated 8,000,000 people in this country
suffer from eating disorders. Among these, an estimated 3-6 percent of
the serious cases will die a far higher death rate than for any other
mental illness."

USA Gymnastics has taken several measures to educate and screen USA
athletes and coaches in many areas with programs specifically designed
to address the area of nutrition.  USA Gymnastics has developed a
nutrition video featuring 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Mary Lou Retton,
the USA National Team Nutritionist Dr. Dan Benardot, and the USA
Gymnastics National Team Sport Psychology Consultant Dr. Joan Duda.
The video is designed to educate athletes, parents and coaches about
proper nutrition and explain the hazards of eating dissorders. The
video discusses how parents and coaches can create an environment that
fosters high self esteem and positive body image among young gymnasts.

Both Benardot and Duda are members of the USA Gymnastics National Team
Coaching Staff and attend training camps and events throughout the
year in order to work with the athletes.

Benardot performs body composition testing on all female National Team
members. If areas of concern are raised, then meetings are held with
the athletes, parents and/or coaches to review the situation.

USA Gymnastics publishes a column entitled, "Body Balance," in each
issue of its bimonthly magazine USA Gymnastics. The column, typically
written by Benardot, provides nutritional advice.


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 15:22:25 CDT
From: ***
Subject: profile

My name is Ellen and I am a fourth year journalism student at
  Northwestern University. 
I first became interested in gymnastics when I began to follow the career
  of Phoebe Mills in 1985.
I am presently a Level 5,6,7 women's gymnastics judge (hopefully Level 8 in
  a few months) and I teach recreational gymnastics from pre-school to
  advanced to children ranging in ages from 3 to 13.
My favorite gymnasts are Phoebe Mills and Lance Ringnald although I am a fan
  of all USA Gymnasts.  My favorite event to watch and teach is the beam but
  I like judging floor and bars the best.
I hope to pursue a career in sports writing upon graduation from college and
  hopefully get a chance to cover many gymnastics events and show the sport
  in a positive light rather then the very negative treatment that it
  currently gets from the press.



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 10:57:51 EST
From: ***
Subject: Sad News about Henrich

I was terribly saddened to hear the news about Christy.   Her
struggles both inner and physical against anorexia and bulimia should always
be a reminder of the importance of the individual and "spiritual" life of any
competitor.  My whole hearted condolences to her family and friends.



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 14:28:06 +0200
From: ***
Subject: U.S. Sports Acro Nationals

 Hi Gymners,

>26-29           U.S. Sports Acro Nationals/ Cedar City, UT

 Can anyone made a report of this event?

 Thanks in advice


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 23:46:26 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Unfortunate Ad Coincidence

In an unfortunate coincidence, USA Today (page 11C) today runds a 1/3 page ad
for Women's gym at Goodwill.  The picture is Kristie Phillips doing her front
limber BB mount, with each and every rib prominently protruding from her
chest.  The line read "High School Kids."

Great timing.



Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 07:04:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: <***>
Subject: Very, Very Sad News about Henrich

This morning, when I checked the AP wire, I was very saddened to learn
that Christy Henrich has passed away.  She was 22.  A local TV
affiliate which had been covering her fight with anorexia nervosa and
bulimia reported her death on Tuesday.

Dr. Gail Vaughn, who treated Henrich at one time: "I worked with her
for about three months and she seemed to be doing pretty good when she
let me go... (But) she didn't want to go any further from what she had
done, and she was getting better there for a while."

A very sad day in US gymnastics...



End of gymn Digest