gymn Digest                 Mon,  7 Feb 94       Volume 2 : Issue  71

Today's Topics:
             1994 US Winter Cup (Senior Elite Optionals)
                        Commentators (3 msgs)
                        Elena Piskun (3 msgs)
                       Kerry Huston's condition
                     Lights, curtain, action.....
                             Meet at Yale
                       random comments (2 msgs)
              style, and dance in men/women's gymnastics
            US Winter Cup - general observations (2 msgs)
              what happened after 84 ? & gymn vs skating

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Sat, 5 Feb 1994 22:42:53 -0700 (MST)
From: ***
Subject: 1994 US Winter Cup (Senior Elite Optionals)


Well, I just got back to my place after witnessing the Winter Cup here in
Colorado Springs (it lasted slightly longer than expected), so you should be
among the first in the universe to receive a report on it! 

The Winter Cup basically was a re-ranking meet that also served as a
qualifying competition for the '94 Worlds in Brisbane, Australia, and the
'94 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The official US National
Team was also selected based on the results.

First the results:

All-Around Standings after Compulsories & Optionals

Place Name   Team  Score
----- ----   ----  -----
1 John Roethlisberger Minnesota 111.150
2 Scott Keswick  UCLA  110.150
3 Mihai Bagui  Gold Cup 108.650
4 Chainey Umphrey  UCLA  108.600
5 Blaine Wilson  Ohio State 107.850
6 Drew Durbin  Ohio State 106.500
7 Bill Roth  Temple  106.450
8 Kip Simons  Ohio State 106.350
9 Jeff Lutz  Unattached 106.000
10 Steve McCain  UCLA  105.750
11 Jair Lynch  Stanford 105.400
12 Rob Kieffer  Capital  103.800
13 Bo Haun   Minnesota 103.350
14 Brian Yee  Minnesota 103.300
15 Garry Denk  Iowa  102.250
16 Tom Meadows  Oklahoma 102.050
17 John MacReady  OTC  102.000
18 Jim Knopp  Ohio State 101.850
19 Kyle Asano  OTC  101.650
20 Mike Masucci  Penn State 100.600

Optional Scores

Place   Name                    Team            Score
-----   ----                    ----            -----
1       Scott Keswick           UCLA            55.35
2       John Roethlisberger     Minnesota       55.25
3       Chainey Umphrey         UCLA            54.7
4       Mihai Bagui             Gold Cup        54.55


The top 14 in the All-Around are on the new US National Team.
The top 3 in the Optionals are on the World Championship Team (Keswick,
Roethlisberger, and Umphrey.)
The top 4 in the Optionals are on the Goodwill Games Team (Keswick,
Roethlisberger, Umphrey, and Bagui.)

I'll include my observations of the competition in a separate message...



Date: Sun, 6 Feb 1994 02:37:05 -0600
From: <***>
Subject: Commentators

As for Dick Button.  That man irks me at times.  I was always of the
opinion that he cheers his favorites and then is surprised at the
others.  He has some valid critisisms, however.

My point, though, was that the figure skating community has made a
deliberate effort to inform the public about the sport.  While we can
all see a double vs. a triple, they have made an effort to teach/show
the public the difference between skills and their relative difficulty.

In terms of gymnastics, how many non-gymnasts can recognize skills
(besides flairs) on pommels?  Or recognize the difficulty of p-bars?
Some may appreciate the difficulty of a double turn on beam, but are
more impressed by a standing back tuck.  (One of our gymnast received
more ovation from her standing back pike then her ff-layout,layout

Because of the complexities of the rules I realize that educating
the public is a difficult task.  Maybe we can come up with suggestions
for USA Gymnastics to use?

Any comments?



Date: Sun, 6 Feb 1994 13:28:01 -0500
From: ***
Subject: Commentators

Julius writes (in part):
>My point, though, was that the figure skating community has made a
>deliberate effort to inform the public about the sport.  While we can
>all see a double vs. a triple, they have made an effort to teach/show
>the public the difference between skills and their relative difficulty...

>Because of the complexities of the rules I realize that educating
>the public is a difficult task.  Maybe we can come up with suggestions
>for USA Gymnastics to use?
>Any comments?

A few random thoughts came to my mind:

1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the average individual performance is much
shorter in length than the average figure skating performance.  The vault,
for instance, takes only a few seconds to complete.  Also, most gymnastics
routines do not have those "built-in" opportunities for real-time
comment/analysis, such as "connecting steps" in figure skating (FX being a
possible exception).  Most "education" must take place in separate
features, or limited to selected elements.  Over the years, ABC has
provided some features detailing some of the subtleties - Kathy Johnson did
a very informative one about the concept of amplitude about 2-3 years ago,
and Bart Conner did likewise about the "timing of the tap" in release moves
on high bar.  Perhaps TV should be reducing the fluff and replacing it with
more educational features?

2. I suppose as TV gymnastics has evolved from mere "minor" sport to
potential entertainment bonanza, identification/analysis of specific
elements has diminished (Anyone know whatever happened to Gordon Maddux,
who used to be ABC's main gymnastics analyst?  Is he still alive???).
Figure skating has gone through this already - recent coverage seems to be
reviving some of the "old elements" of identifying jumps more often - so
maybe it's just a phase.

3. I'm not sure whether suggestions to USA Gymnastics would do the trick in
this instance, since (to me) this implies that USA Gymnastics might
eventually be making suggestions to the broadcasters concerning
coverage/things to be covered.  Now if you're thinking that USA Gymnastics
might want to produce a video, or work with a sponsor to produce a special
advertising section in some mass market publication, such as Sports
Illustrated or USA Today - that could be useful.

So, there are some comments to get things going...


Date: Sun, 06 Feb 94 18:22:46 EST
From: ***
Subject: Commentators

Just a quick note; no deep thoughts on the problem of educating the public:

I saw Gordon Maddux (well, I'm pretty sure it was he) do Pac-10's a couple of
years ago and it seemed he never left the early '70's.  No idea what
different moves were and what difficulty ratings they had.

Julius says:
 >My point, though, was that the figure skating community has made a
>deliberate effort to inform the public about the sport.  While we can
>all see a double vs. a triple, they have made an effort to teach/show
>the public the difference between skills and their relative difficulty...

I'm not a die-hard follower of skating, but I do watch a fair amount and as a
gymnast and judge, I have a decent eye.  But I have only just now started to
be able to tell the difference between jumps, aside from the number of
revolutions.  Nobody has ever explained it that I've seen, and as far as the
difference in difficulty, all I've been able to gather is that a triple axel
is harder than everything else.  My point being that I'm not so sure that
figure skating is setting all that great an example for gymnastics
commentators.  And, Dick Button reads half the stuff he says, which doesn't
sound very good.

-- Gimnasta


Date: Sat, 05 Feb 94 18:17:33 EST
From: ***
Subject: Elena Piskun

I thought you'd be interested in the following "interview" with Elena Piskun.
 It comes from the Japanese magazine _Sports Eye_ (Feb. 1994)  The interview
was translated by a Japanese friend, and I've edited it a bit.

"Fifty-five Questions With Elena Piskun"

1.  Birth date?  February 2, 1978.
3.  Birth place?  Bobruisk.
6.  Family?  Father Mikhail, mother Anna, younger brother
9.  Your character (when very young)?  A very wild girl.
10. Your present character?  A good and cheerful girl.
11. Your strong point?  Cheerful and a hard worker.
13. Age you began gymnastics?  6 years old.
14. Why?  My friend used to be a gymnast.
15. Club?  Spartak.
16. How long do you train?  9 hours a day, except Sunday.
17. Favorite events?  I like all events except vault.
18. Best event?  Beam.
19. Coach?  Valery Korodinski.
22. Have you ever thought to quit?  Yes, many times.
23. Your favorite competition?  Last year's Chunichi and
       Tokyo Cups and the Pretoria Intl. in South Africa.
24. Rivals?  Everyone.
25. Ideal gymnast?  Svetlana Boginskaya.
26. Ideal style of gymnastics?  To be a gymnast who has
        dignity like Boginskaya.
28. How do you spend your spare time?  Playing video games,
        reading, etc.
29. Hobby?  Drawing.
31. Favorite sport besides gymnastics?  Skiing.
32. Favorite subject?  Math.
33. Weakest subject?  Chemistry.
34. Favorite foods?  Sweets and fruit.
35. Hated foods?  Pizza and milk.
39. Favorite place?  I like anywhere warm.
42. Favorite day?  Sunday, because I don't have to train.
46. How many hours do you sleep a day?  7 1/2 hours.
51. Your ideal young man's type?  He must have blue eyes
       and be very gentle.
52. Do you have a boyfriend?  No, I don't have one.
53. Your goal?  Good results and attending the Olympics
       in Atlanta.
54. Message for your coach?  Please don't get angry! 

Any blue-eyed guys on this list can write to Elena at:

Gymnastics Federation of the Belarus Republic
220600 Minsk, Belarus, CIS



Date: Sat, 5 Feb 94 15:44:36 PST
From: ***
Subject: Elena Piskun

> "Fifty-five Questions With Elena Piskun"
> 1.  Birth date?  February 2, 1978.

Hey, that's my birthday!  (Of course, I'm a bit older..)  =)



Date: Sat, 05 Feb 94 19:20:37 EST
From: ***
Subject: Elena Piskun

> "Fifty-five Questions With Elena Piskun"

> 17. Favorite events?  I like all events except vault.

Just wanted to point out that this from the current World Champion on



Date: Sun, 6 Feb 1994 14:42:56 -0700 (MST)
From: ***
Subject: Kerry Huston's condition

I just checked the local paper here in Colorado Springs to see if there
was anything mentioned about Kerry Huston's condition after yesterday's
crash on pbars.  The paper lists him in critical but stable condition,
suffering what appeared to be a serious spinal injury.  As of late
Saturday night, he could move only his fingers.  Very scary.



Date: Sun, 6 Feb 94 20:06:00 EST
From: <***>
Subject: Lights, curtain, action.....

    With several comments lately on the relative popularity and TV
coverage of gymnastics versus ice-skating, I noticed in my TV guide the
following CBC (that's Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for you
Southerners, "Cable's Better, and Cheaper" to us.) offering:

Kurt Browning: You Must Remember This.
    Canadian Skater Kurt Browning portrays his Humphrey Bogart - Philip
Marlowe personae with appearances from Kristi Yamaguchi, Josee Chouinard,
Christine Hough and Doug Ladret.

    Maybe this is an avenue that gymnast might consider?

    And if so, does anyone have some plot/character suggestions?



Date: Sun, 06 Feb 94 00:33:56 EST
From: ***
Subject: Meet at Yale

Went to my first Ivy League meet today.  It was Yale v. U Penn (women), so I
got to see the top Ivy teams.  It's a pretty different world from top-20 Div.
I, but the teams were well matched, which made the meet interesting.  Yale
won, 184.75-182.875.

Before competition started, Yale was presented with an award for being the
team with the best GPA (in the nation, I think, 3.53).

Penn was stronger on vault, with 2 handspring fronts (one did very well, the
other missed both attempts) and a good layout Tsuk.  Yale's Tasha Taylor also
did a handspring front but had some trouble landing.  Other interesting
vaults: handspring 1 1/2 twist (Yale); 1/2 on, 1 1/2 off (one each from Yale
and Penn).

On bars, Yale showed more difficulty overall as well as cleaner sets.
Several Yale gymnasts did giant-fulls and straddle backs right to nailed
handstands.  A Penn gymnast did the best routine, with an uprise to
handstand, giant full, Gienger (the only release of the meet), and double
flyaway.  Interesting moves:  Yale: swing (sort of a 1/2 giant) 1/2 turn into
a free hip to handstand to "wrong-way" giant (bending her knees to go between
the bars).  Penn: toe-on shoot (during her *clean*, lovely set -- this
gymnast was nice to watch throughout the meet), which maybe is not unusual,
but not so usual either.  Also saw a peach, a straddle cut catch, and a
couple of front hip circles (when was the last time you saw any of these?).

Yale's dance was cleaner and sharper on both beam and floor.  On beam, the
tumbling series of choice was 2 flip-flops.  Two gymnasts (one from Penn, one
from Yale) did ff layouts.  There were a gainer layout and a roundoff ff
(Yale).  Straddle jumps were everywhere in several flavors: plain, 1/4, 1/2,
and 3/4 twisting, and in combinations of those.  One Yale gymnast showed a
gorgeous straddle leap.  Taylor did a nice double turn which was a bit
different because it turned out.  Other interesting things:  Penn: straddle
jump mount; crossways jump 1 1/2 turn (missed); crossways jump to
handstand-press down to straddle L.  Yale: jump 1 1/2 turn (lengthwise); jump
to front support-immediate cast (like on bars) to planche-press to handstand
(mount); "Diamidov" Valdez; stoop to V-seat-press to handstand-press back
down to V-seat mount (*nice*); roundoff-straddle jump (missed).

Floor showed the usual collegiate pop-medley music, for the most part.
Exceptions were a Penn gymnast's "Batman" and Yale's "Capriccio Espagnole"
and "Fiddler on the Roof" (both nicely choreographed and performed).  Penn
showed some greater difficulty but Yale was cleaner and more consistent.
Three Penn gymnasts did double backs (though two fell).  Most of the Yale
gymnasts did double fulls.  There was a full punch front (Penn) and a 1 1/2
twist to full (Yale).  There was the now usual assortment of Popas, switch
and switch-straddle (Johnson) leaps, 1 1/2 and 2/1 twisting cat leaps, etc.
in combinations designed to fulfill the 3-element gym series requirement
*and* produce bonus, frequently a lethal combination for purposes of
choreography and execution.

So I had a good time. : )



Date: Sun, 06 Feb 1994 16:01:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: random comments

 Just wanted to start off by saying fI haven't checked my mail since
Thursday (it is now Sunday, mid-afternoon) and y'all had produced 42 mail
items. I am duly impressed.
 1) texx mentioned something about how he wished gymnasts could go
head-to-head with football players in strength contests. Al Fong's gym Great
American Gymnastics Express (Christy Henrich's former gym) in Blue Springs,
Missouri did a fundraiser where his gymnasts (I believe they were all female)
went against members of the K.C. Chiefs (an NFL team) in strength tests and
apparently killed them football guys. It was staged as a fund raiser to help[
cover Julissa Gomez's medical bills in '88 or '89.
 2) Gimnastia (did I spell that correctly?) - Dominique has signed a
letter of intent to attend Stanford. By the way, I really have appreciated your
comments since you joined.
 3) Men's skating has appeal even though it doesn't consist of very
young stars and waifs. In between the Olympics with men's and women's
gymnastics, neither side does very well in terms of popularity unless the U.S
is competitive on a world level - sad to say, but true. Right now, the men are
doing well by U.S. standards but not winning internationally or anything like
that. Dom, Shannon and Kerri are all very successful on the world level and
that keeps the TV coverage and popularity going. Take the 1991 Indianapolis
Worlds - no TV coverage until Kim won AA on Friday night. So on Saturday and
Sunday, BOOM -  ABC suddenly has coverage of event finals. Do you think ABC
would bother to televise the Australian Worlds so soon instead of months later
if Shannon and Dom didn't have a chance to medal? OF COURSE NOT!
 In 1984, when the men's team won, men's gymnastics had a sudden boost
of popularity in the US. It is going to take that kind of success in major
competitions to get it back on par with women's gymnastics. Period. Same goes
for soccer (football for you, Clive) - when the U.S. finally has international
success, popularity will go through the roof.
 Though after watching Novikov's floor at Reese's, I think that men
should try out choreographed floor music on a more regular basis! One way to
get more exposure for men now would be to stage more mixed pairs meets and even
international mixed team meets - say teams of four or six, top two or three
women and top two or three men in the same arena, same time, and have them go
at it!! That would be soooo cool.


Date: Sun, 06 Feb 94 20:22:03 EST
From: ***
Subject: random comments

Cara noted:
> Take the 1991 Indianapolis
> Worlds - no TV coverage until Kim won AA on Friday night. So on Saturday
> Sunday, BOOM -  ABC suddenly has coverage of event finals. Do you think ABC
> would bother to televise the Australian Worlds so soon instead of months
> if Shannon and Dom didn't have a chance to medal? OF COURSE NOT!

While I agreed with almost all of your other comments, I think that the above
isn't quite on target.

1. The TV schedule for coverage is decided wayyyy in advance.  The decision
to show that much of event finals wasn't in any way because of Zmeskal's

2. Re ABC and the timing of the Aussie Worlds.  The promptness of coverage
has *very* little to do with Miller's and Dawes' chances of winning.  It has
to do with the fact that it's not NFL football season.  This is one of the
reasons the FIG wanted to have Worlds competitions held in the spring... they
knew they'd get better coverage.

However, I do think b/c Miller and Dawes are favored is the reason that ABC
is showing so *much* Worlds coverage.  I think it's scheduled for three
different time slots (Sat and Sun of the competition weekend, one day of the
weekend following).

Definitely agree that the popularity of a sport in the US is largely related
to the success of the US athletes of the sport.  It's true that the 84 men's
team really boosted the popularity of their sport.  But it was amazingly
short-lived -- why, I don't know.

Re the comment that men's skating doesn't have waifs, yet it's still popular.
 I wasn't trying to imply that men's gymnastics wasn't popular because their
not tiny and young like the girls.  I was just trying to say that women's
gymnastics has made that reputation for themselves, whereas men's gymnastics
doesn't seem to have much of a defined image in the public eye.

In my survey last year, I asked "Do you think men's gymnastics needs to
improve it's image?"  The vast majority (~90%) of the responses were either
"Yes -- since I don't know anything about it they need to promote themselves
more" or "Don't know what the image of men's gymnastics is and so I can't
comment".  Survey pool included Gymn,,, and
about 100 students on the Rice campus.  (The response rate for returning the
survey from Gymn was about 15%.  I think the rate would be higher now because
we seem to have more interest in men's now than we did before.)



Date: Mon, 7 Feb 94 10:17:35 MST
From: <***>
Subject: style, and dance in men/women's gymnastics

gimnasta writes (regarding men's floor ex):

  It's all so mechanical and the routines all look alike. I'd love to
see some Baryshnikovs out there who can dance *and* do great tumbling
(I suppose theselast two sentences might apply equally to women).
  I'd love to see a guy do even just a split leap. I'd love more to
  see some of the incredible leaps male dancers can do.

>It's all surely personal preference, so I certainly can see your
obje>ction. I used to think men's tumbling was kind of on the dull
side, >too. But now, the thought of adding dance to it just doesn't
sound >good to me. I guess I'm biased in that I've always found ballet
(and>figure skating) to be uninteresting. And it's the tumbling that I
>find really cool (especially now that I'm trying to do it myself.)
>Maybe the guys could work a little bit on connecting their moves
>together better, but this is true with all the events for both men >
and women. The women, even with the dance elements, often don't
>connect things incredibly well. Maybe if judges paid closer
>attention to this aspect of floor, the fluidity would get better.

>-George A.

Prior to the 76' Olympics women's gymnastics was very dance oriented.
With the advent of advanced tumbling moves that all changed. Dance
elements basically became filler between tumbling passes. It also
changed from a heavy balletic emphasis to this abstract wiggle and
bounce. Of course at the same time the average age of female
gymnasts started dropping which changed the style of dance from
dramatic to more cutesy. I think you're right that if the judges
put equal emphasis on the dance execution you'd see it improve and
routines would be more flowing, less choppy in nature.

I must disagree with you about the need for more grace in men's
FX. Gymnastics is not just about tumbling. Otherwise why bother to
have routines? You could just have a three foot wide, 30 foot long
tumbling mat. Each person gets three tumbling passes. The most
difficult, best executed pass wins. Don't bother with routines,
connecting elements, or any "filler". Gymnastics is supposed to be
a blend of acrobatics and dance. A balancing of strength and agility
against grace and flexibility. Over the last 18 years the emphasis
has been too heavily slanted towards the former. Figure skating,
fights the same battle. Athleticism(sp?) vs. artistry. I feel there
should have to be both.  It won't change until the judging changes
since new routines are often modeled after other high scoring routines.



Date: Sun, 6 Feb 1994 01:25:14 -0700 (MST)
From: ***
Subject: US Winter Cup - general observations

OK, where to begin...

Ah yes.  I must warn everyone that has read GYMN reports by George,
Rachele, and others not to expect as much in this report!  My technical
knowledge is not at the level I'd like it to be, not to mention this was
the first live competition to which I've ever been; nevertheless, I was
coerced by a certain GYMN manager into doing this report. ;)  I guess
what I'm trying to say is if I can do it, ANY of you can.

I arrived at the US Olympic Training Center (about 15 minutes away from
my place) at around 6pm.  The atheletes were already doing warmups.  I
sat down and looked at my rotation schedule.  For each rotation, it
listed a sequential athlete ordering for each apparatus.  "Cool," I
thought.  Following the action will be no problemo.  I made marks next to
the names I knew I would want to watch.  Of course, when the competition
began, I learned how difficult it was to follow all of the action and
record scores!  I found myself missing vaults and parallel-bars routines
because they went through the order so quickly (in comparison to floor or
high bar).  Plus, the scores were flashed up on tiny signs right next to
their respective apparatus, and usually for less than 10 seconds.  There
were times when I would be trying to watch 3 gymnasts concurrently on 3
different apparatus WHILE waiting for scores for 2 other gymnasts!  Are
all meets like this?  What a three-ring-circus, as John Tesh would say.  I'm
appreciating the reports I've seen on GYMN more and more.  But enough

The first rotation started off with a bang (actually several bangs). 
Kerry Huston (Minnesota) had a terrible crash on his Pbars dismount (piked
double-back, I believe).  He was lying on the mat for around 15 or 20
minutes.  I didn't see the whole thing, but a fellow next to me said he
landed on his head.  My guess is he might have a neck injury.  They
finally took him out on a stretcher.  Pretty scary.  Meanwhile, a few
minutes after that accident, Steve McCain missed a release on high bar
and landed <SMACK> on his face.  A few seconds later an athlete on floor
overrotates a jump and lands flat on his back. <BOOM>  A lady sitting nearby
was about to get up and leave because she couldn't watch anymore. 
I remembered the recent talk on GYMN and thought "this is definitely not a
sport for "wusses."  Things seemed to calm down after that first
rotation, though.

The scoring was all over the place.  There were routines that looked very
smooth and clean which received scores in the 8's and there were routines
with steps on landings and continuity breaks which received scores in the
mid 9's.  You're probably saying, "What else is new?" but I haven't ever
seen scoring THIS unpredictable.  At least not in the women's competitions
with which I am more familiar.  I must agree with whomever spoke of
big-name athletes getting some bonus just for their name (Toby?).  I saw
quite a bit of this.

Here's what I remembered (or wrote down) about some of the better athletes:

John Roethlisberger:
John was very impressive to watch, although some of his scores were
definitely too high.  There were some coaches right behind me and they
constantly moaned and groaned at some of his scores.  He started off with
a nice Pbars set (9.2).  He had some problems on bar (stall) and ended up
with a 8.6.  Pommels were smooth (9.3) and he ended a pretty good rings
routine with a nice double-twisting double-layout for a generous 9.6. 
For vault, he did a Yurchenko-style vault with no round-off entry (sorry,
don't know the name) complete with stick for a 9.0.  John is a very
intense competitor -- after his pommel horse routine, he smacked his
hands togther several times, shouting "YES!" while clenching his fist. 
No question that he was out there to do one thing -- win.

Scott Keswick:
The more I see of Scott, the more I like him.  He's a very charasmatic
competitor, I think, in addition to his incredible gymnastics.  He has a
certain cleanness to his routines that you see in the ex-Soviet
gymnasts.  He started with high bar -- perfect Kovaks and a triple flyaway
dismount (step) -- for a 9.1.  I wasn't very impressed by his floor
exercise.  It seemed to me he needed more difficulty.  Lots of nice
front-tumbling, though, for an 8.55.  Scott shines on rings, of course. 
Textbook L-crosses and smooth transitions gave him a somewhat high 9.8. 
When they call you "Lard of the Rings," I guess you get an automatic .2
bonus!  On vault, he put his hands on the mat.  For some reason,
the judges gave him another vault.  I suspect it had something to do
with the placement of the board because a judge came out and readjusted
it afterwards.  He took advantage of this and hit his 2nd for a 9.55.  On
Pbars, he took a step on his piked-double back for a 9.05.

Chainey Umphrey:
He's probably my favorite of the US men gymnasts.  What power.  If you
think Andreas Wecker has huge arms, check out Mr. 'Cep-meister Umphrey! 
Does he play football part time?  Chainey began with high bar, 2 reverse
Hechts to Gienger and a good double-twisting double-layout.  Didn't catch
the score.  Floor looked good.  He had one of the better double layouts
(registered a 5.4 on the Richter) and also a nice full-twisting double
back (9.1).  He had some problems on pommel horse and actually fell off. 
He was pretty disappointed but still managed a smile (8.7).  He showed
off his power on rings strength moves and a beautiful double-twisting
double-layout for a 9.7.  He was clean on pbar (piked-double back with
step) for a 9.2

Mihai Bagui:
I was not familiar with this gymnast before today.  I'll know to watch
for him in the future, though.  On rings, he started out poorly.  Bad
inverted cross (never quite got it), but good double-twisting dismount
for an 8.85.  Standard Yurchenko-full vault for a 9.0.  I was most
impressed with his high bar.  Great Kovaks and an excellent triple
dismount (9.25).  His tumbling on floor was TOWERING (9.2).

Steve McCain:
As I mentioned earlier, he munched floor on high bar (8.85).  On floor,
he threw a perfect full-twisting, piked double back, but missed a
relatively easy double twist to punch front (I think he sat down).  He
should take some lessons from Dominique Dawes on that.  On one pass, he just
barely stepped out of bounds but I don't think the judges noticed
(9.1).  He had what I thought to be a decent pommel horse
routine.  The judges thought otherwise (8.35).  Hello?!

Blaine Wilson:
I was not too familiar with this gymnast either and so I missed some of
his routines.  He looked good on pommels (9.0) but sloppy on pbars (BIG
hop on piked-double back dismount) for an 8.45.  On high bar, he missed a
reverse Hecht and fell, only to get back on and nail the BEST triple
dismount of the night.

Bill Roth:
Good front tumbling on floor and a nice layed-out Thomas (I think?)
earned him a 9.35.  He fell off the high bar after doing an awesome
Gaylord II (first time I've ever seen one of those) and hopped on his
full-twisting double layout.  Didn't catch his score.  Did see that he
got a 9.45 on vault, but didn't see him do it.

Jair Lynch:
Generally, he looked very clean, but made some silly mistakes.  He missed
a reverse Hecht on high bar.  On floor, he showed off a gorgeous double
layout and good tumbling (9.0).  He was very sloppy only on pommels, yet
received a 9.1 (way too high).

I was surprised to see that Paul O'Neill showed up and did rings
(apparently, that's all he competed on).  He was like a rock, no shaking
on any strength moves thanks to his hydraulic arms.  It hit a PERFECT
double layout for a 9.8.  Too bad it wasn't event finals, or he would
have won a gold.  Dave Stover (who is he?) had the best double layout of
the night on floor.  Good front tumbling, too (9.55).  As I mentioned
earlier, Kerry Huston crashed on pbars, his first event.  Brian Yee threw
a nice double layout on high bar.  Gary Denk looked terrific on rings. 
He did two doubles while holding the rings (what's that called?) and stuck
cold a double layout dismount (man, it seems like everyone did some kind
of double layout).  Mike Masucci did nice work on high bar -- one arm
giant swings to Gienger -- but goofed his triple flyaway.  Drew Durbin
was robbed, in my opinion, on high bar.  He did the night's best Gaylord
II with a nice continuity (other gymnasts who did Gaylord IIs barely made
it to the next move) and a decent double-twisting double-layout (hop) and
only received a meager 8.9.

Whew!  I'm about to fall asleep with my eyes open. 

Oh yeah, apparently, the event will be on TNT tentatively on March 12th for
those of you who have cable.  I was so busy following everyone, I didn't even
notice if they panned a camera by me. :( I was right along the vault runway
in the first row, too.  I should also mention that the athlete interviews
were cancelled, so I didn't get to hear anything from any of the winners
afterwards.  I guess we'll just have to wait until March for Kathy
Johnson's interviews (she did the commentary).

Also, it's amazing how after seeing just one competition, I am so much
more familiar with the various names and faces.  Now, when someone
mentions that "Bill Roth did such-and-such..." I'll know exactly who
he/she is referring to. 

That's all folks!



Date: Sun, 06 Feb 94 04:34:49 EST
From: ***
Subject: US Winter Cup - general observations

First, for a small explanation of why I'm posting at 3am-- I've got this cold
and am using this medicine that has me *wired*. =(

> nevertheless, I was coerced by a certain GYMN manager
> into doing this report. ;)

Hmm, I would guess that'd be me.  But aren't you all glad I talked him into
it?  It was a great report, Andy.

> There
> were times when I would be trying to watch 3 gymnasts concurrently on 3
> different apparatus WHILE waiting for scores for 2 other gymnasts!  Are
> all meets like this?

Yes!  Except in event finals types of events, when they go one at a time.
This is generally preferable, of course.  The only disadvantage here is that
it's one routine--then judges give score--then routine--then judges etc.
Judges can take a long time to score so there can be lots of "dead time"
during event finals, but they usually step along quickly.  The best meet
format I think I've seen was during the 1989 World Trials: they had one girl
vault, then one do uneven bars while the vault judges were scoring, then the
next girl would vault while the uneven bars judges were scoring, and so

> Steve McCain missed a release on high bar
> and landed <SMACK> on his face.

Yeeesh -- that's too bad. I do like his high bar immensely. It's really
amazing when an athlete crashes: the whole arena hears it, and there's this
collective cringing "oohhhhhh". I always wonder if the gymnast picks up on
that (seeing as how he's buried in a mat and all).

> There were routines that looked very smooth and clean which
> received scores in the 8's and there were routines
> with steps on landings and continuity breaks which received
> scores in the mid 9's.

One possible factor is just the general way the bonus works in men's
gymnastics. Difficulty is *so* much a part of the score -- and I personally
find that except for high bar, floor, and vault, I have great problems
determining whether a routine is difficult or not.

> For vault, he did a Yurchenko-style vault with no round-off entry (sorry,
> don't know the name) complete with stick for a 9.0. 

If it was a punch from board, half twist to horse, then it was a "Tsukahara".

> huge arms, check out Mr. 'Cep-meister Umphrey! Does he play football part

In this month's USA G, they did a profile of him, and he said his upper body
is so strong because his lower body's been injured so much that between
crutches and extra time working out on his upper body, he's substantially
bigger.  (I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley!)

> Gary Denk looked terrific on rings. 
> He did two doubles while holding the rings (what's that called?)

I *think* it's a Yamawaki.  Or are Yamawaki's double fronts?

> (other gymnasts who did Gaylord IIs barely made

About how many did Gaylord IIs?  Bill Roth (like you mentioned) is supposed
to have a sky-high Gaylord II.



Date: Mon, 7 Feb 94 12:49:22 PST
From: "***"
Subject: what happened after 84 ? & gymn vs skating

I'd like to agree on some points and disagree on others with Rachele...
(Did I get it right this time?)

Some of you know that besides being a computer "wonk" I am also in
broadcasting.  The rest of you know now. 

I discussed this thread with a friend of mine who is sometimes known as the
voice of Purdue basketball and is the local ABC sportscaster.  He agrees with
the point I am about to post in difference with Rachele's point.
Yes the worlds were moved to get better coverage, and stay out of the football
& baseball shadow.  Miraculously it is surviving against hockey & basketball.
Yes everything is scheduled about 8 months in advance. 

Here's the disagreement with Rachele;
IF they decide they WANT to, they WILL shuffle the schedule. They have done
this in the past.  They will sometimes decide to nix something thats been in
the works for months when they decide something they originally werent going to
cover has heated up enough to show it afterall.

Rachele's good point was the 84 team.  It brought mens gymn to the forefront
like never before.  Then it went away.  Why ?!?  Look at the history.

We snubbed the 80 olympics, and many of our good guys missed out.  They were
near the end of their usefulness when they returned in 84.  Then the USSR tried
to get even by snubbing us in 84.  Without the USSR powerhouse (face it guys,
the USSR has owned the sport for years) we finally had a chance.  We had a good
team and we wiped up the floor with what competition was there.  It was of
course a hollow victory.  We were flying high.  88 arrived and we were in BIG
trouble!  Tim Dagget broke his leg at Rotterdam.  (Rumour has it they heard the
bone snap 20 rows back)  Many of the guys from 84 had their chance to make
money fast while the fame lasted and they went for it before it was too late.
We send a lesser qualified team in 88 than 84.  Practically rookies.  The USSR
was back, and we got our tails kicked by that well known and revered "Soviet

Here in the US look around you.  If your local football team wins the
superbowl, by the time the smoke clears, you will have endured at least 2
months of "We're #1 !  We're #1 !"  Back to gymn, after 88, we were no longer
#1 and the media dropped us like a filthy habit !

Thats why the fab 84 team didnt continue.  But this is not what happened with
womens gymn.  Its actually been most fascinating what happened here.  The media
was aware that it was neglecting womens sports.  Bella had come to the US.
This musclestump named Mary-Lou was doing great.  Bella had a whole stable
of "Mary-Lou's" & Nadja's.  Bella is one "wild and crazy guy" and there was
enough stuff happening plus the guilt over slighting women over the years that
womens gymn was allowed more coverage.  Even semi retired Bella is still
grabbing news headlines.  Scotty Keswick, Jair Lynch and the rest just dont
grab the headlines like Mary Lou & Kim Zemeskal do.  Womens sports is not as
much driven by the whole "We're #1" nonsense. 

Since guys gymn among most of the sports junkies has a bad & underserved rep as
a wimp sport, AND our guys had the tumerity to lose their #1 standing, the
double standard pretty much made guys gymn (for the most part) "untouchable".

My friend, wopuld like to see more mens gymn coverage, by the way, as he enjoys
the sport.  With work, he ddo well at it but hes afraid to start at his age.

I would be fascinated to see stats on the following:
The guys who drink beer at home and throw tv sports parties at home, do they
but the groceries (& beer) themselves or do their wives/girlfriends get stuck
with the duty?  If yes, them women may indeed have more control over sports
that we think !

Re Why Mens skating does better than mens gymn :

Does anyone have demographics on the viewship on skating?
I hypothesize that even mens skating is mostly watched by women, and that
while women may be watching ALL skating events, they likely support womenms
gymn more than mens gymn.  Hence the deparity between gymn & skating.

This theory is based upon my own observation, has insuffient data sample to be
scientific and above all is NOT meant to be construed as sexist in any way.

Has anyone access to demographics to either prove or disprove my theory?

(Fee Fi Foe Fum !  I smell Rachele's next research paper!  Yum !)


End of gymn Digest