gymn Digest                 Wed, 29 Jun 94       Volume 2 : Issue 141

Today's Topics:
                     Commonwealth Games (2 msgs)
                        Compos and collegians
                   Dortmund Worlds (draw) (2 msgs)
                        Dortmund Worlds on TV
                 Gymnastics Academy or not? (2 msgs)
                           help open a gym
         NCAA Ladies in Int'l (and a PS on the kitty's name)
                         Olympic Festival TV
                         PR Nat'ls conclusion
                         Roth and Golden Rule
               saluting/green flags and judges messages
                         Stella Umeh (2 msgs)
                         Thank You to Allison
                           Women's Rankings

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 13:57:41 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Comebacks

> happy to hear aboout Brandy Johnson, Wendy Bruce and Kim >  Zmeskal
attemting to make comebacks. I think its good for them  >  and for the
sport...because if they didn't try, they'd have to spend  >  the rest of
their lives, saying to themselves, "If only I had tried"...
>  And as far as the sport goes, their comeback generates >  publicity...

To All:
     I would like to see Wendy, Brandy, and Kim come back and be extremely
successful.  Not neccessarily because I am a huge fan of any of the above in
particular (I am a fan of any gymnast at any level who is willing to go out
there and give all she or he has to the sport), but because as someone at the
business end of the sport I see way too many little girls and their mothers
who lose interst in the sport if the girl is not competing Level 9 by age
nine, and if her birthday doesn't fall so she is exactly 14&1/2 by the next
Olympics.[grammar teachers excuse that last run-on sentence].
     The public sees too many elves and munchkins in publicized gymnastics
and the press loves to talk up these little girls and make a point of how
important youth and size are.  I agree, as far as that goes, but hard work
and commitment can do as much as age and size, if you want to keep competing
and be successful you can.
    I believe it would do a great justice to the sport to have people realize
gymnastics is for everyone, and if we wouldn't keep losing some of our best
talent to myths of what the public thinks the sport is all about.  There are
lots of ways to be successful and many very exciting competitions that aren't
the Olympics, and we can use older, mature, experienced gymnasts somewhere
besides the NCAA....
   This is only my opinion, and I would truly appreciate input from all.


Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 20:54:14 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Commonwealth Games

>And maybe (hopefully) she'll do what Kelly Garrison did and compete
both collegiately and internationally. She definitely has the talent!

I was talking to Larissa Fontaine, who is considering Stanford, and she was
*thrilled* that compos are being dropped after 1996, because she feels it
will bring collegiate gymnasts back into national and int'l meets.



Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 09:18:01 BST
From: ***
Subject: Commonwealth Games

Mara enthused
>I was talking to Larissa Fontaine, who is
>considering Stanford, and she was *thrilled*
>that compos are being dropped after 1996,
>because she feels it will bring collegiate
>gymnasts back into national and int'l meets.

Would that be such a good thing to happen though



Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 17:55:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***@leland.Stanford.EDU
Subject: Compos and collegians

> Mara enthused
> >I was talking to Larissa Fontaine, who is
> >considering Stanford, and she was *thrilled*
> >that compos are being dropped after 1996,
> >because she feels it will bring collegiate
> >gymnasts back into national and int'l meets.

At which Clive pondered:
> Would that be such a good thing to happen though

First, I have heard the same thing from (coincidentally) Stanford
coach Breck Greenwood.  He says that compos were about the only
thing keeping Missy Marlowe, Hope Spivey-Sheely, etc. from competing
at the international level while at college.

Secondly, Clive, why do you (apparently) think that this might
not be a good idea?  Are you concerned for the well-being of
athletes who would then be juggling college academics with
international athletic competition, or are you perhaps afraid
that college gymnasts would "lower" international competition
to the level of collegiate gymnastics?  I know that this may sound a
bit sarcastic, but I don't see any problem with opening up the
competition to include more people, as long as they can make the
grade.  Some people may argue that "the grade" is being lowered
by eliminating compos, but since I prefer collegiate womens
gymnastics in general to international girls gymnastics, I think
that whatever is keeping collegians from competing at the world
level is a bad thing.  I guess I just want to know if Clive is
(seemingly) arguing against the elimination of compos or against
the inclusion of collegians.  (Maybe he's just being a devil's
advocate in posing the question, which is also fine :)

Just some thoughts from a (biased) gymnastics fan...



Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 19:09:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***@leland.Stanford.EDU
Subject: Dortmund Worlds (draw)

Mayland wrote:
> NCAA finals (men's) is determined by a random draw - the finalist group of
> 8 or more if there are ties are broken in half (the top half is always made
> up of 4 and the bottom half is 4 or more. Each person is then assigned a
> random number (all of this is done by a computer).  The only thing that is
> double checked is to make sure that a person going last on one event is not
> first on the next.  There need to be at least 3 routines before a person
> can go up on a piece of apparatus again. 
> Women's was done the same way through 1992 - As of then I stopped working
> on the program used by the women, and therefore don't know if the rules
> have changed. 

It's interesting that the men have this rule to avoid back-to-back
routines and the women don't.  Unless my memory is more defective than
usual, Chari Knight had to compete last on beam, then first on floor
at NCAA's.  Did they decide that rotation and 3-minute touch was enough
of a recovery time?



Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 09:00:16 +1000
From: ***
Subject: Dortmund Worlds (draw)

>It's interesting that the men have this rule to avoid back-to-back
>routines and the women don't.  Unless my memory is more defective than
>usual, Chari Knight had to compete last on beam, then first on floor
>at NCAA's.  Did they decide that rotation and 3-minute touch was enough
>of a recovery time?

They very well might think the 3-minute touch is enough time.  Men don't
have a touch - so that the meet doesn't run too long.  Without the touch
men's meets can be over in 1 hour 30 minutes.  At Penn State we often had
the problem that the women were still competing when the men were finished
in our double duals.  A very interesting problem in the crowd's eyes since
there are 6 vs. 4 events. 

Another interesting point is that the men feel it is better to work without
the touch, I know Dom Minicuci (Temple) won PB at NCAA (92) without a
warm-up.  They feel that a touch will often dictate how the routine goes,
bad touch - break in routine, good touch - expectations of a good routine -
break in routine. 

Speaking of Dom - and the statements made about the men not staying on
equipment during major meets.  Between the 1988 & 1992 olympics Dom hit 35
of 36 routines.  His work is not flashy, but very solid, and gave good
start scores.  He is extremely proud of that record, and I thought that
folks should remember that there are guys who stay on.  I guess what most
people wonder is why someone with that type of consistency is the lead off
- most of his routines were only starting at a 9.8 rather than the 10.0
where Scott Keswick has his start; so it only makes sense to put Scott up
last.  Anticipating a fall on Scott's part, and putting him up before the
people whos routines are only worth 9.8 and less only sets the team up for
a lower score. (I am only using Scott's name because he had some of the
highest levels of difficulty in the 92 olympics).

Enough of this tangent.



Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 19:20:15 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Dortmund Worlds on TV

This is from a post of David Michaels on the AOL gym board. I find it *very*
distressing and wonder if there's something us rampent fans can do to help
(Is there David?) convince NBC to air coverage (beyond buying up ad time in
Sportsworld that is :-)

" The coverage from Dortmund will be limited and, at this time, we don't even
know for sure if it will air at all. Our problem is we need more high rolling
sponsors to step up and get behind gymnastics. More sponsors translates to
more air time. "

Hmm...bad very very bad!

Susan (Who else?)



Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 11:41 EDT
From: ***@MVS.SAS.COM
Subject: Gymnastics Academy or not?

Hi everyone.  I am new to this list and the sport, in general.
But, someone suggested that this would be a good forum for me to get
some feedback on a very important question...
My daughter is 6 years old, very intelligent, very sociable, and
has ADD (cannot focus on one thing when other things are going on).
This past week she was spotted by one of the area gymnastics coaches
who is now actively recruiting my daughter for her gymnastics
academy.  She says that my daughter has potential for world-level
competition and she wants to coach her.  She won a gold medal in the
NC State Games and was the highest scoring competitor.
In order for my daughter to get good training, she asks
that we take our daughter out of her regular school (a year-round
public school which we love) and place her in their private school
so that she can have her academics in the morning and train for 3
hours every afternoon.   The academic program sounds at least as
good or better than the one she is now in.  Her school day would
begin at 9:00am and end at 5:40pm  plus one Saturday a month.  The
teacher/student ratio is 1/10.  However, it is at least a 30 minute
commute one-way to school each day.   Also, the tuition is very high.

Knowing that this kind of opportunity only comes once in a lifetime
and it's a large investment for 10 years of her life.  It is very
difficult to know what to do.  So we'd like your opinion.  What would
you do if you were in our shoes?  Also, we'd like to hear from anyone
who's had to make this kind of decision before.  We would especially
like to hear from some of you gymnasts and parents-of-gymnasts out

Please keep in mind that our daughter begins her regular school year
on July 7th.  So we don't have much time to make a decision regarding
the coming year!


PS.  My daughter loves gymnastics and enjoys the attention of competing.
Being only six, gymnastics is just fun for her now and we have talked to
the school director about keeping it that way for as long as we can.
They seem sensitive to her age and maturity about this.  I have no
intention of making her continue in gymnastics any longer than she
wants.  And as proud as I was of that gold medal, I'd never make her
compete for me.  I think I will know the difference between
pre-competition jitters and a loss of interest (my daughter is very open
about these things).   Amy has said that she would like to go to
gymnastics more than once a week.  When I asked her about why she wanted
to be in the State Games (her first competition), she said she wanted to
be up there in front of everybody so they could watch her.


Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 09:24:49 -0600 (EST)
From: ***
Subject: Gymnastics Academy or not?

> Subject: Gymnastics Academy or not?

Hi Twilah,
My daughter started gymnastics when she was 5.  She is now 10 and a
level 9 gymnast.  She dearly loves the sport.  I also work at the gym
 where she trains.  I frequently see moms who come in and say "my
daughter has wanted to take gymnastics for the past several years but
I just keep putting it off."  Then we see a 9 or 10 year old with
flexibility that my kid would give anything to have.  But by this time
when they put her on team, an older beginner is embarrassed that they're
not up with the hot shot little guys.  It's very hard to make up lost
time in gymnastics.  So, the point of this is:  If she's crazy about
gymnastics and is a very energetic kid who takes instruction and
criticism well, go for it.  If it doesn't work out, you can always send
her back to her public school.  You might want to talk to the other moms
at the gym and see how they like it.  Watch a few practices and have
your daughter watch them.  Different gyms have different styles of
teaching and each one is right for a different kid.  My daughter does
best when there is a lot of intensity and pressure to do more and better.
In her gym the kids are sometimes yelled at and sent to do sprints for
misbehaving.  The coaches are very strict and the practices run like
clockwork.  If the coaches are busy talking to a parent, the kids go on
with what they're doing and there isn't any goofing around.
However, some new parents are not crazy about this approach and want a
gym where they play a lot of games and have a lot of rewards for things.
That's the way we run the classes, but not team.  I think both approaches
are equally valid for different sorts of kids.  If things are too loose
at a practice my daughter tends to get goofy, so the serious approach
works better for her.  My son, on the other hand, does better if things
are more fun and games.      
So, if I were you, I'd check the style, let her try a few practices and
then if all seems o.k., try it.  Remember, if it doesn't work out,
try a different one and go back to public school.  Nothing's written in
stone.  Sorry for lengthy post.  Good luck!..............lisa


Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 23:04:03 PDT
From: ***
Subject: help open a gym


Lots of questions leap to mind.

Where will the gym be located? Who will staff it? What is your competition

I would be glad to provide help (I am the administrator of Li-Ning's
International Gymnastics Academy in L.A., open for two years next month.)

$325,000 in this day and age is no great shakes for a gym located in or near
a major urban area. If you figure you need to get set up, buy your equipment,
do tenant improvements, and do marketing, you can rest assured that even
before the first kid walks in the door and the first paychecks are cut,
easily $100,000 is gone, and possibly more. Then you need to figure that YOU

The list of expenses you will definitely incur would fill twenty two-column
single-spaced pages.

I would find someone in your area who had done it before and would be willing
to sit down with you for free and talk about it. You can avoid many problems
this way if you do your homework and really think it through. If your
investor has to plunk $10,000 down for a good consultant, it will save you
10-20 times that in the long run, so it may be worth it.

DONT TAKE SHORTCUTS. They will be extremely costly in the long run. Do it
right the first time, because you get NO second chances.

This is a tough business, one at which even if you succeed you have about a
1:1000 chance of making any kind of money. Your investor had better be
willing to see this as a gift rather than a $$ making proposition, so as not
to be disappointed in returns. If you turn a profit--great! But gyms go out
of business regularly, and they are run with spirited and intelligent people
who are good at what they do.

Get help and be ready to pay for it. That is the best hedge you have.



Date: Wed, 29 Jun 94 03:45:46 EDT
From: ***
Subject: NCAA Ladies in Int'l (and a PS on the kitty's name)

Clive exclaims:

>Mara enthused
>>I was talking to Larissa Fontaine, who is
>>considering Stanford, and she was *thrilled*
>>that compos are being dropped after 1996,
>>because she feels it will bring collegiate
>>gymnasts back into national and int'l meets.

>Would that be such a good thing to happen though

(a) *I* did not 'enthuse,' Larissa did <g>

(b) I do think it would be a good thing, generally.  I was thrilled to see
Kalinina back.  I also think that seeing some of the best older ladies might
cause the youngsters to concentrate more on form and dance. 

(c) I don't think the NCAAers are going to be at the very top, but maybe a
couple in the Top 20 (in the US).  Anything that increases the depth of the
team will be good in the long run (see USSR for example)


PS  Regarding the kitty's name, we had just about reached an accord on
'Sasha,' but it didn't work out. Negotiations are still progressing.  Here
are all the suggestions we received:

Cat the Cat
Ning Ning
Full (or double full ect.!)
Flip Flop
or maybe because of the stripes: Bars!


Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 20:44:31 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Olympic Festival TV

Though gymnastics doesn't really get going until later in the festival my
local TV guide says that there is coverage in the 2 am (yes *AM*) PDT session
on Prime Ticket Friday the 8th of July. Set your VCR's! (Figure skating, for
those who care, is covered in the Sunday CBS session as well as the Sunday &
Monday Prime Ticket sessions)



Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 18:23:39 EDT
From: ***
Subject: PR Nat'ls conclusion

Well, it didn't rain, so we managed to finish up.  Aida Canovas won for the
girls for something like the third or fourth time.  She won every event but
floor and would have won that too if she'd done her Popa well enough to be
counted as a D (her start value would have been 0.3 higher b/c the Popa
would've been an extra D [+0.1] and it was done in combination with a B and a
C [+0.2]).  Yariza Yulian was 2nd (she's the one I mentioned with the really
nice beam but who fell 3x) and Damaris Cruet 3rd (nice Tsuk full).

For the boys, Pedro Tort won AA, Victor Colon, who was third on V at the
Paris Worlds, was 2nd, and Diego Lizardi was 3rd.  I still didn't see any of
their meet b/c I practice-judged floor (I'm judging PR Cup next week, so I
need to prepare).

(next week I'll post on the Worlds qualifier and the PR Cup)


Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 09:54:13 +1000
From: ***
Subject: Roth and Golden Rule

For everyone who knows the name of Bill Roth, you can once again associate
it with the nicest G2 around.  After 9 weeks he threw his high bar routine
- cold - on Sunday.  Rachele, my mother (one of the oldest and longest
lasting gym fans) and I had the honor of seeing his routine.  This man is
someone to be seen live, because his routine is more than just the moves,
but his personality, smile, laugh and joy of gymnastics.  Let me just say
that it moved my mother to tears.  He will be competing at the Regional
qualifiers @ ESU (International) just to get back the feeling of competing
in a meet, as he is already a member of the National team. He will also be
in the Olympic Festival and the National's at Nashville.    


Golden Rule:

I have been asked, by a couple of gymnasts, to suggest a golden rule when
talking about a particular person (ie their gymnastics).  A few of them
(those I talk to and know that I am on gymn) feel that this forum should be
a place where learning - normally considered a positive activity - should
be taking place, rather than some of the negative posts coming forth.  Many
of them are in disbelief at some of the  comments without knowledge of the
technical difficulty that is being attempted.  This is not to discourage
discussion of the gymnastics going on, but to help people gain awareness
that if you are unsure of a routine -ask - there are lots of people on the
network who know the move's point values, and connection bonuses, which
might clear up some questions. 

I suppose the most important thing to remember is that gymnasts are people,
and they know what they have done wrong (probably better than we do) and
need to have positive support from their fans.


Every negative comment should be balanced with a positive comment.

or the corollary

If you don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all.



Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 13:58:45 UTC-0700
From: ***
Subject: saluting/green flags and judges messages

    Back in February Michael C. asked about gymnasts saluting and
judges saying something to the gymnasts just before the salute.  At a local
meet that I was at around the time that Michael's message was posted (I
have comments written down somewhere that I hope to find and post to the list
eventually) I saw this phenomena.  The judges appeared to be saying something
along the lines of "good luck" to each gymnast before she (it was a girls only
meet) started her routine.
    Texx responded mentioning a green flag that he has seen in use.  All of
the judges at this meet had a green flag that they used to indicate when a
gymnast could start.  I believe that they also said something while they
were waving the flag (like "go ahead").


P.S.  I'm also going to post a bit of information that I have about the
Commonwealth Games.  Unfortunately, most of the stuff that they have sent me
is about the Games in general, not about gymnastics, but there are a few


Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 12:19:51 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Stella Umeh

To All:
   I just wanted you all to know that you really haven't heard the last of
Stellah Umeh. She will start college as a freshman at UCLA in the fall.
    Stellah was the the NCAA's #2-ranked recruit, behind Parkette's Martha
Grubbs (based on the past year's competitions, in which Stellah has been
injured). UCLA pushes its gymnasts hard, and I suspect that Stellah will
reappear at the Canadian championships to claim her throne.
     (Oh, one other point, technically, Dominique Dawes was the NCAA's
#1-ranked recruit (she's going to Stanford), but she doesn't start school
until the fall of 1995, so she really doesn't figure in this year's incoming
--- Ron


Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 00:49:21 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Stella Umeh

To All:
   I've gotten several requests to give recruiting updates and scouting
reports for the upcoming women's NCAA season.
   I'll do that this Thursday or Friday.
-- Ron


Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 12:31:05 -0400
From: ***@cleveland.Freenet.Edu
Subject: Thank You to Allison

Sorry to post this to the whole group, but being the air-head
that I am, I lost Allison's e-mail address.

Allison, I received the Feb. 1977 issue of IG that you sent.
Thanks so much!  It was a real trip down memory lane and I love

Have a great day, Allison - and all of you fellow *gymn-ers*, too!
I enjoy reading all those great posts!



Date: Wed, 29 Jun 94 05:21:54 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Women's Rankings

I spent the past few nights proving what you all probably suspected
anyway...I really have far too much time on my hands. Being a terminal
insominac (gee could you tell? I'm posting at this at 2AM) I spent a few
nights thinking of every major female gymnast since Caslavskya (came up with
166 in all) and then scored them on the following things using a 1-10 (even
tenths only) scale. Consistancy, Power, Difficulty, Artistry, Form &
Execution, & Originality. I then averaged the scores (to the nearest
thosandth) and broke the ties with the things I felt most important
(Artistry, Difficulty, Power, Form and Exec., Orig, and then Consistancy) to
get an overall rank. I attempted to be subjective and not show favrotism
(BTW, my fav did not even come out on top)

Since I did devout several hours of my life to this pursuit (don't even ask
what this says about my me I've considerd it :-) I thought I'd
at least offer to let you play along so...If you also suffer from lack of
mental stimulation please e-mail me and I'll send you a blank list and we can

Ta Ta,


End of gymn Digest