Tue, 1 Nov 94 Volume 3 :
?: Zmeskal/Karolyi, and flood
Behind the scenes at the Birmingham Classic
clueless? (or Re: correction)
Comments-Trials (3 msgs)
Comments on Trials
favorite worlds (poll)
In the News
Mexico City Newspaper articles (2 msgs)
NCAA Gymnasts (again)
prestigous meets (poll)
Repeat of World trials on ESPN??
Shannon at trials
Shannon Miller and Worlds
The roundoff (2 msgs)
Where Are The Gymn GIFs
Where are the Gymn gifs/jpgs ?
Worlds (was Re: Shannon at trials)
This is a digest of the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 00:46:54 -0400
Subject: ?: Zmeskal/Karolyi, and flood
I popped in my handy dandy StreetAtlas USA CD-ROM, after seeing a report on
the Houston floods on Dateline NBC.
Zooming in on the Zmeskal and Karolyi residences, I see just a few blocks
away is Cypress creek. (Karolyi's Gymnastics is not more than 15 blocks
South). This flows east into Spring Creek (which is flooded), which then
flows south into the west fork of the San Juaquntas river (the river that has
been overflowing and where the oil pipeline erupted into flames.) The North
Houston area was one of the hardest hit areas.
Further investigating, I pulled up on my computer (via modem) their
respective property records, and the Harris Co. tax office classifies both as
living on "level" ground. This is not good for floods, I wouldn't think.
While I am assuming "no news is good news", is there anyone out there that
can confirm good news? (I'm sure the Zmeskal's swimming pool is full, at
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 94 9:22:17 BST
Subject: Behind the scenes at the Birmingham Classic
Behind the scenes at the Birmingham Classics 1994
by Sarah Baldwin, Editor of Gym Stars
Hello to all you gymnastics nutters out there in Internet land! I really
enjoy reading your opinions and news on the extracts that Sherwin sends me.
One day I hope to get linked up myself, but for now, I thought you might
like to hear about the time I spent with the gymnasts who came to
Birmingham recently for the Birmingham Classic.
I won't review the competition as Sherwin has done that already. I'll just
add that Khorkina would have won if she hadn't fallen from beam, and that
Zita Lusack's beam, although described by Sherwin as simple, was
beautifully performed nevertheless, with lovely high leaps that landed
without a sound, reminding me of a gazelle.
Immediately after the competition, the screams for autographs from the
small but enthusiastic audience was deafening! I was priveleged to stay at
the same hotel as the gymnasts, and found myself walking to the bus with
Ivan Ivankov, who is a sweet guy. Outside the arena he was beseiged by
teenage girls kissing him and taking photographs - Beatlemania but on a
He was very obliging with all the attention, modest yet dead chuffed, you
could tell. At the door of the bus Lavinia Milosovici was in full swing
signing as many autographs as she could, and as we set off the fans were
running after us cheering!
At the hotel I got chatting over a beer with Igor Korobchinsky, Dmitri
Karbanenko and Grigori Misutin. Grigori is a bit of a loner, smoking like a
chimney and depressed about being too old to compete anymore. (He pulled
out of the competition with an injured elbow, but had been convincingly in
the lead and I assured him he was still brilliant and should compete in
Dortmund, and he said "okay, just for you, I'll be there.")
Karbanenko is lovely and charming, now married to a French girl. The next
day we went on a shopping trip to Birmingham (in drizzling rain!) and he
asked me to help him buy some Doc Martens (trendy British boots in case you
don't know). Not knowing Birmingham (I am from London) I did a bit of
research and found a shop that sold them, and he bought a pair.
We were accompanied by Igor Korobchinsky, a friendly guy which is not what
I expected. I had been advised in the past that he was a bit arrogant. I
reckon he was mellowed out in "old age".
Later we went on a barge trip for lunch, where I interviewed Ivankov. I
also spoke to Lavinia Milosovici (through the British based Romanian coach,
Adrian Stan). Apparently the "strike" was blown out of all proportion, in
fact I think the girls themselves had little to do with it. Svetlana
Khorkina and Elena Piskoun missed the boat trip because they were going up
and down a glass fronted lift at a nearby building and seemed happy to
keep on doing it.
Khorkina's new haircut is not as horrendous as some think. In fact I think
she looks quite stylish now. We had a tea party at the town hall with the
mayor of Birmingham and she grabbed a few cream cakes so no worries about
her food intake! While we were waiting for the mayor, Dmitri Karbanenko
tried on a halloween type face mask that Elena Grosheva had bought - much
to the enjoyment of everyone, the Romanian girls were in hysterics.
That evening we all had dinner in the hotel. The three Romanians
(Milosovici, Hatagan and Maranduca) dressed up for the occasion in sweet
little frocks and looked lovely. (They had been buying jewellery earlier in
the day, maybe they were wearing some of it?) They left early, but it was
really touching when they went, because they ceremoniously kissed all the
other gymnasts on each cheek and gave them all a little gift. It was quite
formal the way they did it, but I thought it was a lovely gesture. They
then turned primly on their little patented heels and walked out of the
room, and I think the Russians (etc), who were being very pally with each
other, were a bit surprised.
Well, I don't know if this sort of stuff is of interest to you lot, if so,
I can send more "behind the scene" reports as and when I'm lucky enough to
get the chance. Looking forward to meeting some of you in Dortmund, any one
who is going that wants to meet up for a chat, just ask me in the Press
Centre between sessions and maybe we can talk gymnastics over a drink?
All the best, Sarah Baldwin
typed and posted by Sherwin
Well, what do you think guys, something different but very interesting I think.
Feel free to reply to Sarah through me if you like or you can write to her at
"Gym Stars, 44 Fitzjohn's Avenue, London, NW3 5LX, Great Britain" (This is
normal mail of course)
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 1994 15:51:12 -0700 (MST)
Subject: clueless? (or Re: correction)
I'm not sure what's up with the Russian federation. It's possible
that it was a press error in reporting two alternates and only six team
members, but Arkaev seemed pretty clueless as to the format in Brisbane
for preliminaries. For the women anyway, each country had a a maximum of
four gymnasts, but could enter three in any one event. They didn't seem
to get this as only two were entered in each event. Thus, Khorkina was
left out of beam and Groscheva out of bars qualifying. Anyway, I hope
they realize about the seventh gymnast that is now accessible.
> I realized last night (with help from Susan) that I accidentally omitted
> Aleksei Voropayev from the list of Russian team members in Dortmund. So he
> wasn't being "punished" for that 7.9 on pommels! He's on the official team
> list, and should be there (barring injury) :). The Russians DO seem to be a bit
> confused about the new format, since they picked teams of 6 and 2 alternatives.
> Hopefully someone will clue Arkaev in on the rules before the meet begins!
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 03:23:30 -0400
Subject: coach wanted
We are looking for a coach able to coach both compulsory and optional levels
who has good spotting skills and is into a positive teaching style. We are
located in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have an enrollment of 550- great
students and staff! Pay will depend on experience and benefits are available.
If this sounds interesting to you or anyone you know, please e-mail
Leesmo@aol.com or else call (510) 655-1265. Thanks:)
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 14:20:20 -0400
Some thoughts on the broadcast:
1) I thought it would be impossible to find a worse commentator than Julianne
McNamara, but I
was wrong. When not giving out information that was patently false (Kerri's
sheep jump is her
signature move, Phelps is the youngest member of the US National team) Ms.
talked constantly. Tommorow, I am going to start a new organization, to be
called "Society for
the Advancement of Mimes in Color Commentary, ( or H.U.S.H.).
2) Go Jaycie Phelps! One of the very few gymasts who keeps her legs together
on that double back dismount off beam.
3) Both Fontaine and Strug have very nicely choreographed floor routines,
although Strug's music
was a little distracting.
4) Chow is one of my favorite new gymnasts, just for her spirit.
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 12:27:36 -0700 (MST)
> Some thoughts on the broadcast:
> 1) I thought it would be impossible to find a worse commentator than Julianne
> McNamara, but I
> was wrong. When not giving out information that was patently false (Kerri's
> sheep jump is her
> signature move, Phelps is the youngest member of the US National team) Ms.
> Maura Whatever,
> talked constantly. Tommorow, I am going to start a new organization, to be
> called "Society for
> the Advancement of Mimes in Color Commentary, ( or H.U.S.H.).
Actually, after I got over her Juliannish voice, Maura wasn't all
that bad compared to some people. She talked too mush, sure, but said
many things that I was thinking ie pointing out form breaks and cheap
skills. At least she didn't make us remind us of LA 84 and someone on
> 2) Go Jaycie Phelps! One of the very few gymasts who keeps her legs together
> on that double back dismount off beam.
I didn't especially notice and usually I do. For example, Gogean
and Lu Li had great double tucks off beam. Does Gogean still? I usually
close my eyes and hum during her routine now unless she warms up her full.
> 3) Both Fontaine and Strug have very nicely choreographed floor routines,
> although Strug's music
> was a little distracting.
Ugh! Strug's routine was completely horrid and soooo wrong for
her. She looked awkward and suffering like a wounded animal under this
new choreography that made Kim look like Strazh. Maybe she was trying to
get away from the Dynamo compulsory classical style. But it's not like I
have any respect for any of Poszar's choreagraphy anyway. If I hear a
routine was choreographed by Geza, I run and take cover. Was Michelle
Campi's routines done by him or not? Hers were fantastic (and I'm not
just saying that 'cause she reads gymn) and comepletely un-Poszar ie good.
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 94 16:13:11 EDT
> Actually, after I got over her Juliannish voice, Maura wasn't all
>that bad compared to some people. She talked too mush, sure, but said
A *great* Freudian typo! For me, Maura's blathering (e.g., about Amy Chow's
vault not being a Cuervo) was less annoying than her suffering from
"Scott Hamilton disease" (everything is great, a fine job, wonderful, etc.,
whether it is or not, unless it's such a major mistake that even your
pet goldfish could spot it).
I'm very happy to see Kerri Strug back, and I got a kick out of seeing
her stick her bars landing.
I agree that Strug's routine doesn't seem right for her, although I
suspect that simply changing the music would fix a lot of the problems.
Regardless of its country-and-westernness (and I like fiddle music
myself), this particular piece doesn't seem all that choreographable
Given that she scored so well in the vault, I would have liked to
see Strug's vaults, especially after the comment from Maura that
we're weak in vaulting. (Yeah, it's true, but why not show us
enough vaulters so we can judge for ourselves?)
Did anyone else notice, right before one of the first commercial
breaks on the ESPN coverage, that you could see one girl take
her (I assume) practice on the vault and apparently do a header off
of the horse? It looked like Amanda Borden to me.
The scoring was a bit odd at times. I can't for the life of
me figure out how Dominique Dawes got a 9.575 on the beam
after all her problems. And what was the start value of
Strug's uneven bars routine that she got a (relatively) low
score? And what happened during a commercial break to
change Strug's FX score from 9.6 to 9.5? ESPN's error?
Judging change? Inquiring minds want to know!
In transcribing the tape, I noticed that we got about 75 minutes
of non-commercial time in the 90-minute broadcast, versus about
60 for a similar-length network show :-). However, they filled up
the 15 minutes with extra interviews instead of more routines :-(.
Despite what Steve Nunno said, I find it hard to believe that
Marianna Webster and Soni Meduna (I assume that's who was
being referred to) had no interest in trying for the
World team. Isn't making an international name for yourself
important in the years before your shot at the Olympics?
Even if Shannon Miller doesn't have to prove anything to
international judges, Webster and Meduna don't have tons of
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 17:05:49 -0400
Subject: Comments on Trials
This was the absolute worst commentating I've ever seen from humans ... my
cat could have pulled it off with fewer errors. First off the commentators
seemed to have no idea how many girls were on the team "the top 6 travel" was
said more then once. Funny but if I were broadcasting a meet I'd wanna' find
out subtle details like that ... but hey that's just me. Secondly Maura
what'-her-name was a gymnastics "expert" like I'm an eccentric billionare.
She mis-named moves (called Kerri's straddle flip to low - I don't know it's
technical name [how about "straddle connection thingee"? <g>] either but I
can tell a straddle from a layout - a "layout Pak salto" and then turned
around and called her Shapo [BTW, Shaposnikova did the darn thing better in
'79 then anyone, excepting the Russkies, are today] the same thing! C'mon
that's kids stuff) and outright lied on several occasions. I don't care if
this girl did train with Muriel ... she sucks as "talent". Clueless doesn't
even begin to describe it. Kinda' gives me this sudden respect for John Tesh
Secondly, Kerri looked like crud. I know I never saw her optionals in Palm
Springs but physically and mentally she seemed *much* stronger back then.
That floor routine was utter crap!! I'd like to think that god has a special
corner in hell for Geza Pozsar where they play only Michael Bolten music and
serve Spam in the shape of Rush Limbaugh's head exclusively. Then he has to
choreograph routine after routine for Yolanda Mavtivity (who is my new fav
"worst gymnast ever" after seeing her on video this last weekend). Anyway,
when they said that Kerri was the best dancer on the team (the words "most
extension" and "grace" were uttered) I almost died from the fits of
uncontrolable laughter. The only redeeming quality of that set was that it
served to make Amanda Borden's look downright classy ... "My my my, she only
stuck her thumbs in her armpits and shook her butt 7 times - how classy."
A wise woman once commented on gymnastics Barbie by saying "Oh she comes with
her own medal instead of having to win it ... she must be American"
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 01:55:04 -0400 (EDT)
I read a post here recently (but lost it!) where some one claimed that the
loss of compulsories would increase the rate of injury for gymnasts by;
1) Allowing more time to practice optionals, which are more dangerous and
hence will produce more injuries.
2) That compulsories were relativly safe and there for the time spent
training them was a portion of practice that was "safe" and was now being
denied them. The aurthor then went on to claim that they had never seen or
remembered a significant injury during compulsories
Although I lament the loss of compulsories;
1) The logic of the first assertion is patently ridiculous. So if something
is more intricate, difficult and complex, (optionals) it is safer to
practice it LESS? And then perform the skills safely? Interesting logic.
Better rethink that one a little....
2) In regards to assertion #2, Hmmmm....Wasn't it during compulsory bars the
Miss Strug took that rather nasty beating on at US Classic? What was that
vault that almost cost Tim Dagget his leg? I may be suffering from senility
here, so correct me if I am blowing this, but wasn't it the compulsory
Yamashita 1/2? I may be wrong there, but I remember at least as many hairy
falls as a gymnast from myself and team mates from compulsories as
optionals. Trying to take even simple moves to the max is rough on the body
when you miss.
I always thought of comps as the great equalizer, you couldn't cheat them
(well, not much) and so forced gymnasts to some what master the sport, not
just a few hard skills. But in recent years this has proved not so, even
poor compulsories can be overcome by 'enhanced judging'. Remember Kathy
Johnson as far back as the '76 olympic trials? The very idea of a "trials"
for any team in the US is rapidly becoming a joke.
But I will miss Comps..
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 20:55:02 -0700 (MST)
Subject: favorite worlds (poll)
What was everybody's favorite Worlds? Which ones
does everybody remember fondly the most and WHY?
e-mail me privately and I'll post the results
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 1994 03:00:40 -0400
Subject: In the News
>From the AP ...
The AP had a brief synopsis of the upcoming Dortmund team worlds. They said
that 21 teams will compete and I'm not sure if that was 21 total or 21 men
and women (I'd assume the former). They also said that Romania and the US
were favored for the women's gold and Belarus and Russia were in the race for
the men's gold. Personally, I'd argue with both those predictions to some
extent but hey ...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>From the German Press (dpa) ...
Just in case you have accsses to German TV (I think that's what this means
anyway since I don't know of any actual meet taking place) ...
Friday Oct. 28th
"Turnen - 1900 Aalen: Deutschland - Ukraine (Manner), Pflicht"
Gymnastics-9 PM (don't know what Aalen is) Germany vs the Ukraine men (don't
know Pflicht either)
Saturday Oct. 29th
"Turnen - 1600 Aalen: Deutschland - Ukraine (Manner), Kur"
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 1994 17:24:53 -0400
Subject: Mexico City Newspaper articles
The Mexico City Excelcer has carried a number of gymnastics articles
recently, of which I will very briefly summarize:
Oct 2 or 3: (I have previously mentioned this article): Article on Chinese
gymnasts and the new turtle-blood "drug". Accompanying photo shows male
Oct 12: Inforational article "advertising" the arrival of some gymnasts for
an exhibition. Article headline proclaims emphatically that Nadia Comaneci
is coming, and the article is primarily focused on her. It recounts all
about Nadia's gold medal performances in the Olympics.
The full page article about the then upcoming exhibition contains one very
short, insignificant paragraph not talking about Nadia, which reads something
to the effect of "and the other gymnasts that will be attending are Kim
Zmeskal, Betty Okino, Bart Conner, Lavinia Milosivici, Gina Gogean, Dominique
Moceanu, Svetlana Boguinskaya, Jarrod Hanks, and others." Apparently, they
are not big selling points in Mexico City.
Oct. 13: An article about the exhibition performances, along with an article
about Bela Karolyi.
Bela's picture is captioned as follows "Legendary ogre, or exceptional
coach?" Bela bashers can have this one all to themselves--I won't touch it.
Bela Karolyi says in Atlanta he "knows there is a resurging of the female
gymnasts of 18 and 19 years old, because of the new Olympic movement towards
being a more beautiful gymnast." Since that is a direct translation, the
meaning of the word "beautiful" probably means "graceful" in the context of
The article then goes on to talk all about how Bela coached Nadia to the gold
medals, and from then on the article seems almost a carbon copy of the New
York Times article of the same date, referring to the kid generation of
gymnasts he helped usher in, and is now currently opposing.
Of Kim Zmeskal, Bela is quoted as saying "Kim Zmeskal, for example, decided
this July to come back, with complete certainty to be in Atlanta. I don't
know if she will win any medals, though she loves to be an Olympian and this
thing must be most important for a gymnast."
Well, actually, Bela is quoted as saying "Kim Zmeskal, por ejemplo, que en
julio de este ano decidio regresar, con toda seguridad estara en Atlanta. No
se si ganara medallas, pero ella quiere ser olimpica y esto debe ser lo mas
importante para una gimnasta", but somehow I didn't think Spanish was one of
his 8 languages he knew :-) And feel free to correct my high school
translation of the quote if you know Spanish any better than me.
Then there was another long article in the same issue dedicated entirely to
Nadia again, and how well she preformed with Bart Conner at the exhibition.
It included a number of photos of her, past and present. Nadia gets two
full pages in two consecutive issues, while the NFL results and NHL strike
got less than a paragraph combined.
Also, the next day after that, there was an article about a rhythmic gymnast,
accompanied by a photograph. It would appear that in some countries, even
ones without an Olympic gymnastic team (per se), the sport gets a lot more
publicity. And only in Mexico would Nadia's arrival make front sports page,
and Kim Zmeskal and Svetlana Boguinskaya's arrival make less than a paragraph
cleaverly embedded in a Nadia article.
The almost always vigalent "Newsman", Caleb.
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 1994 23:45:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mexico City Newspaper articles
> Of Kim Zmeskal, Bela is quoted as saying "Kim Zmeskal, for example, decided
> this July to come back, with complete certainty to be in Atlanta. I don't
> know if she will win any medals, though she loves to be an Olympian and this
> thing must be most important for a gymnast."
> Well, actually, Bela is quoted as saying "Kim Zmeskal, por ejemplo, que en
> julio de este ano decidio regresar, con toda seguridad estara en Atlanta. No
> se si ganara medallas, pero ella quiere ser olimpica y esto debe ser lo mas
> importante para una gimnasta", but somehow I didn't think Spanish was one of
> his 8 languages he knew :-) And feel free to correct my high school
> translation of the quote if you know Spanish any better than me.
An excellent translation. I would adjust only one little thing, and
that's the last part of the last sentence, which I would translate "but
she wants to be an Olympian, and this must be the most important thing for a
> It included a number of photos of her, past and present. Nadia gets two
> full pages in two consecutive issues, while the NFL results and NHL strike
> got less than a paragraph combined.
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 01:54:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: NCAA Gymnasts (again)
>Recently on GYMN it was said that with the elimination of compulsories
>we will most likely see NCAA women gymnasts compete at Nationals...my
>question is how did they manage in the past and what
>finally stopped them from doing so in the present?
If memory serves, it was rare for a female NCAA gymnmast to make the
National Team, and when they did, they did it the old fashioned way, they
worked their tails off, same as the Men who have traditionaly always made up
the majority of our National Team.
> Also if they do
>start to compete Nationaly do NCAA women gymnasts have vaults that are
>competitive to score in the 10.0 range... i believe that yurchenko
>style entry vaults are illegal in NCAA correct? so are there
>any vaults competed now that can score out of a ten????
Why sure! Although unevaluated to my knowledge at present, any handspring
and salto with more than 1/2 twist or a layed out salto should be worth a
10. Then there is Tsuk 2/1 twist, another good candidate. How about Cuervo
with 1 1/2 twst? Of course while possible, any of these vaults would require
an impressive wt/strength ratio to say the least.
But of course I think a woman could make the team with only a 9.9 vault, say
a handspring front 1/2 piked. But how would they fare in an international
>How about the international scene...or does college courses conflict
>with international meets.....
Major conflict. Our own USA Championships is after the NCAA season, hell
it's after school is out. Would the NCAA girls be willing to train almost
year round? Give up summer vacation? Hmmm... Many of my college team mates
were on the National Team, and the grind of doing NCAA and USGF wore ALL of
them down badly. Tom Beach (USA Champ in '76, and Olympian) didn't even
finish the '77 NCAA meet because of exhaustion from the previous year. He
was a zombie. And these are athletes in their physical prime!
I believe that the NCAA woman can make the team, no doubt. The real
1) Will they score well Internationally 'working' the code to get around the
stiff difficulty requierments?
2) Do they WANT to? NCAA pays the rent for these athletes. USGF is a luxury
with a stiff price tag.
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 20:50:42 -0700 (MST)
Subject: prestigous meets (poll)
I was watching an old NBC broadcast of the American Cup, and the announcer
said something like how the meet was really prestigous or something like
that (snicker, snicker) Anyway, what would you guys consider to be the
most prestigous meets (not counting Worlds/Olympics)? And, what meets do
you most look forward to hearing the results from?
Various international meets:
American Cup/Mixed Pairs
DTB Cup/Swiss Cup Mixed Pairs
Moscow Stars of the World
Toronto World Challenge
South African Cup
e-mail me with your thoughts
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 23:40:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Repeat of World trials on ESPN??
Does anyone know if ESPN will repeat the 94 World Team trials that they
showed this past Sunday evening? I missed most of it.
Plus, does anyone have any new Kim Zmeskal news?
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 01:54:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Shannon at trials
I have a big ole' beef with this whole situation.
>The USAG is just begging for trouble by giving in to one whiney and petulant
>coach. They're sending the message that if you throw a childish temper
>tantrum you'll prevail ... as mother's in supermarkets everywhere can tell
>you this is not a wise idea.
>I agree wholeheartedly that the US should field the best possible team and
>yes our best team would have to include Shannon
I for one (and maybe the only one) do not agree. When did winning at any
cost become the credo of our sport? I thought STRIVING to win was the most
important thing. And just who is this winning so important to, the gymnasts
or the coaches and fans? So, we need Shannon, for example, to win. What is
the cost in this situation to get her on the team? The credability of those
who make and enforce the rules that govern the sport? The credability of the
USGF who back down when the coach of one our best athletes tries to impose
his will on them? The credability of the sport to all those young gymnasts
who are told that they can make it to a meet like Worlds if they work hard
and are dedicated, that they will get a fair shot in the arena of
competition for those spots? What kind of message is being sent out about the
USGF to, not just the gymnasts, but to the world by such a decision?
We want to win, first and foremost. Even if we have to cheat.
A fellow in a movie once said "never put passion before principal, even if
you win, you lose."
>As our young gymnasts appear progressively more mature beyond their tender
>years ... our old coaches seem to get more and more childlike. I wonder if
>there's a pattern there?
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 00:11:02 -0400
Subject: Shannon Miller and Worlds
In today's Dallas Morning News, there was an article on Strug and how she
made the team for Worlds. Nothing new in this article about Strug that has
not been written about on here.
However, there was mention of whether or not Shannon will compete. It seems
that Nunno says "NO!" but USAG will not take her off of the roster until they
hear it from Shannon herself.
Just think of all the media this question is generating in gymnastics
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 01:54:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: sr/jr division
Rachel quotes me from USA Online;
>| From BJCORR@delphi.com Fri Sep 30 01:20:51 1994
>| of plenty of negatives, but no positives worth mentioning. What mutton
>| thought up this Sr/Jr age group system in the US?? Aren't there enough
>| International Jr. meets? Talk about confusion...
>I would say that the Jr/Sr age group system was a good thing.
>Experience counts for a lot.(etc...)
Hmmmm.... Seems I was misunderstood. I think the Jr./Sr. age division is a
GOOD thing, I am simply of the opinion that it's present implementation was
designed with questionable logic, if any. Indeed, there does not seem to be
any clear division at all, thus defeating the original intent, which seems
to be a favorite practice of the group of coaches and administrators who at
present make such 'rules'.
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 14:45:52 +0800
Subject: The roundoff
Basic skill. How is it really done? I was always told that one should
put one's hands down roughly in a line parallel to the direction of
travel (in other words, do a quarter twist). Then, after your hands
block off the floor, do another qwuarter twist as your legs (now
together) travel down to the floor.
Watching a number of elite gymnasts in slo-mo, however, they seem to
invariably do the entire half turn before their hands ever touch the
floor. Looks like they're essentially jumping into a handstand only
adding a half turn in there. Well, not exactly jumping into a handstand,
since there's a lot of heel drive involved. But you get the idea.
At any rate, are those elites just demonstrating personal technique,
or is this the best way to do a roundoff? Inquiring minds want to
p.s. $1.25 to Dave Litwin's favorite charity (aka Yogurt Park) if he
can make an ascii sketch of a roundoff. (That should surely drive
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 94 15:39:47 PDT
Subject: The roundoff
> Basic skill. How is it really done? I was always told that one should
> put one's hands down roughly in a line parallel to the direction of
> travel (in other words, do a quarter twist)...
> Watching a number of elite gymnasts in slo-mo, however, they seem to
> invariably do the entire half turn before their hands ever touch...
> At any rate, are those elites just demonstrating personal technique,
> or is this the best way to do a roundoff? Inquiring minds want to
Once again (like twisting and other skills), there is more than one
*good* technique to doing a skill. Different coaches will have their
different methods. The two extremes have been noted by George, and I've
seen both taught by respectable coaches (both of course teaching theirs as
the superior way). I personally learned to almost complete the twist
(about 125 degrees), but lately have been around people of the 90 degree
camp (quarter turn, like a cartwheel). I believe this technique is to
allow you to stretch more into the roundoff, before your hands hit (i.e.
you stretch to your first hand, but continue foward to your second hand)
Stretching forward implies/requires speed, which you can't have too much of
when tumbling a roundoff. On the other hand, turning more before the hand
placement (one would think) would allow a better push and therefore faster
in getting your upper body moving back into the next move (99% chance this
is a flip-flop). You can do an excellent roundoff either way.
So believe your coach, because both ways are right, and I'm not
convinced either has an advantage over the other.
> p.s. $1.25 to Dave Litwin's favorite charity (aka Yogurt Park) if he
> can make an ascii sketch of a roundoff. (That should surely drive
> him bonkers...)
A $1.25 won't get you much more than something looking like a
cartwheel (you didn't say how good it had to be). If you want to
'commission' ASCII artwork of the quality need to represent a roundoff
you'll have to do better than that :)
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 22:15:58 -0400 (EDT)
I just finished watching the World Trials, although perhaps ESPN should
have listed 8:00-9:30 as "Commercials," with breaks for gymnastics routines.
But really, I'm grateful that they showed anything at all. But I have some
questions. This first one is for people who were there. Did the girls really
perform their routines in such a random order? It didn't seem like anyone
followed the Olympic order. Dom went bars, vault, beam, floor, and Kerri seemed
to go vault, bars, floor, beam. I would have understood this if everyone did
bars and vault, and then everyone did beam and floor, but when the commentators
were talking about the "3rd rotation," some people were still on bars (or so it
seemed). Was ESPN just doing weird editing? Second, does ANYONE know whether
Shannon is competing or not? Steve was right there on camera saying, "no," but
the commentators and the graphics people seemed to take it as a given that she
IS on the team and will be in Germany. I could see that at the time of trials
there could still be some uncertainty, but Worlds are only about 3 weeks away
now. I'd have thought a firm decision would have been made by now, but if so, I
also would think ESPN could have told us what it was! Does anyone know what's
going on? (Also, does anyone buy Steve's arguments?)
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 19:17:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Trials thoughts
I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who said that Kerri's floor doesn't
suit her. I can understand her perhaps wanting to break away from the classical
style, so she doesn't look like a Shannon clone, but I think that style would
suit her FAR better. She's a reserved girl, and the cutesy Karolyi routines she
was forced to do, and now this western hoe-down thing, are painful to watch.
I'm sure Kerri probably can dance very well, but no one will ever give her a
routine to showcase her abilities.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds Amanda's floor routine just too
cutesy. I really like Amanda, and was greatly disappointed when she changed to
this routine, since a few years ago, she had a beautiful, more classical
routine. I wish she'd go back to it...
Since no one seems to know anything about whether Shannon is going to
Worlds, this really makes me feel for Kara Fry. What is she supposed to do in
this situation? Train hard to peak in November, only to be told at the last
minute she's not going, or assume she's not going and then get sent at the last
minute and not be fully prepared? I think it's ridiculous for USAG not to have
demanded a straight answer from Steve by now. All this politicking puts Kara in
an extremely difficult situation that is totally unfair to her. I also don't
think this whole thing is going to do a lot for Shannon's popularity. Steve
claims to be acting in her best interests, but the whole mess seems only to be
creating bitterness, resentment and anger in the gymnastics community. I
certainly don't blame Shannon at all, but it's hard to believe that some of the
negative stuff isn't going to rub off on her image. I would LOVE to know what
her true desires are about Dortmund. And I hope the poor sportsmanship of her
coach doesn't affect how judges score her in future meets...
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 10:23:00 -0400 (EDT)
I'm going away for the week in about 10 mintues, so I'll get beck to
everyone I have to get back to when I return.
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 94 23:32:00 UTC
Subject: Where Are The Gymn GIFs
There are some GIFs at:
ftp.netcom.com in the pub/talloo/gifs directory.
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 08:32:43 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Where are the Gymn gifs/jpgs ?
I remember seeing a ftp site for the gymn pictures. Could someone
please mail me the internet address with the directory path?
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 08:23:01 -0400
Subject: Worlds (was Re: Shannon at trials)
Ben writes ...
>>So, we need Shannon, for example, to win.<<
Well let me just get this out of the way right now so everyone can blast me
up front ... Shannon or no Shannon the yes has half a shot in hell of winning
a gold medal. Romania is going to be gunning for this one and if they falter
Russia is right there. In fact if we were talking talent and difficulty alone
Russia has the edge but Romania is better disiplined and less likely to miss
(also more likely to play it safe). If compos were part of the final Russia
would have a better shot. My early prediction (based on history not having
seen either Russia or Romo do these compos) is that Russia will have a slim
lead (provided they hit) after the compo optional portion and Romania will
win in the "new-life" optional only section.
The US will be lucky to get a bronze and Shannon Miller ain't gonna' change
that fact one little bit. The total lack of depth within the gymnastics world
will be the deciding factor. Ukraine has a shot at it if they're on (and
healthy) but no other team in the world has 6 decent gymnasts which makes it
real tough to get a medal.
For the guys ... if the US makes the final six I'm moving to Canada for sure.
There are 8 teams out there minimum who should beat the pants off our guys
optionals only. Throw in compulsories and there's more like 10. Thanks for
playing ... better luck next time ... I hope they come with decent attitudes
and consider this more an enchanced travel oppurtunity and a chance to sample
really good beer then a shot at a title. No excuses please ... Jair, Chris,
Chainey, et al would not have made that big a difference.
>>A fellow in a movie once said "never put passion before principal, even if
you win, you lose."<<
Nice idea but let's be realistic here ... winning *is* good. This is a
competition and a competition is, by it's very definition, about winning. I
just hope that money (as in the USAG's considerable $$$ clout) can't buy
golds (I mean we know it *can* but I hope it doesn't this time). If the US
win's a medal - and the women probably deserve a bronze fair and square -
let it be on their merits and not on more abstract matters.
End of gymn Digest