gymn Digest                 Sun, 23 Oct 94       Volume 3 : Issue  31

Today's Topics:
                              Alter Egos
                   Another Karolyi article + China
                         Asian games runners
                    Chinese gymnasts & the "drug"
                            Dawes article
                         Forgotten questions
             Fwd: Petrova article from the dpa (re-send)
                            Jennie Tompson
                      Juniors going Senior (fwd)
                           Karolyi Article
                            Leonard Isaacs
                          Miller at Worlds?
                          NCAA at Nationals
               Shannon & Trials ... My 2 - or 3 - cents
                  Shannon Miller Nominated For Award
                              She's back
                            Sovetsky Sport
                   US Women's World Trials Preview

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 08:12:24 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Alter Egos

No no no ... Nancy's *car* is Lyssenko aka Trigger because Tatiana is a horse
of course.

Also forgot about Beth who is Kalinia (and drives the Kalinia-mobile) because
she has no ankles.

My car was Igor but it got rear ended and died last Friday.

Of course since Nance and I had the exact same car (Dwight has a newer model
and Beth has a disel version) ... when they were parked next to each other at
work they were Yurkina's.  Her's was Olga because it had fewer miles on it
... and mine was Yulia because it had slighty more power.



Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 04:42:01 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Another Karolyi article + China

_Houston Post_ (Oct. 5):

Primarily a story about Karolyi Gymnastics financial supporters, but also
states that Zmeskal, Boguinskaya, Moceanu, (not Thompson), Milosivici, Bart
and Nadia, J. Hanks, M. Bagiu, et al. will be "competing at an exhibition"
(however you do that!?) in Mexico City today (Thursday) and tommorrow.  A
poor quality photo of Kim and Moceanu was on the front page of sports, and I
didn't notice a brace on Kim's leg although I wasn't really looking for one

_Mexico City Excelcer, Oct ?:

In my unending quest to know everything :), I read (or attempted to read) the
most current Mexico City Exelcer (newspaper) to get more info.  Though there
was no mention of the exhibition, there was an article which appeared (my
Spanish translations leave much to be desired) to say that the Chinese
gymnasts (an unidentified male gymnast was photographed) were beginning (or
else considering) using that new "miracle 'drug'" witchcraft type concoction
that the Chinese runners and swimmers have successfully used that has stirred
up so much controversy.

Caleb "Newsman"


Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 10:26:44 -0700 (MST)
From: ***
Subject: Asian games runners

      This is sort of straying off the gymnastics topic, but I heard a
strange report on NPR this morning about the famed Chinese women
middle-distance runners. They hold all of the female middle-distance
world records, and their coach has always attributed it to a concotion
made of primarily turtle blood. This is probably what the Chinese
gymnasts have started using now.
      The gist is that while the Chinese runners won their events as
they were expected to, their times were subpar. The coach then mumbled
something about "apendectomies" and said that 11 of his 27 or so runners
had undergone apondectomies within the same 48 hours because of
"toxicological problems". He did not link the turtle blood concoction
directly, but many others are connecting the drink with this toxic
reaction. I hope that if the Chinese are now giving it to their gymnasts
that they're very careful. ChinaHandle, have you heard anything else
about all of this?
      By the way, anyone can purchase a very small bottle of this drink
from the Chinese running coach for $7 a pop. The reporter stated that it
tasted like a "very sweet brandy".



Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 19:04:49 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Chinese gymnasts & the "drug"

On October 2 or 3, the _Mexico City Excelcer_ published a story about Chinese
gymnasts using this "drug" (which is made from a mixture of rare, odd named
chinese fungi as I understand it.  I haven't heard of the turtle blood
contection--the fungi might be called turtle juice?).  Anyway, I am not
fluent in Spanish, but was able to make out a little bit of the article with
my basic two year high-school knowledge.  A photograph of a male Chinese
gymnast (don't remember who) was used with the article.

An exhibition took place in Mexico City yesterday and today, involving K.
Zmeskal,  D. Moceanu, S. Boguinskaya, L. Milosovici, Bart & Nadia, Hanks,
Bagiu et al.  _The Houston Post_ (Oct. 5th) ran an article about Karolyi's
sponsors, and mentioned that the aforementioned gymnasts would be "competing
at the exhibition."  I doubt this is a competition as this quote seems to
infer, as _the New York Times_ reported recently that Kim won't be ready for
competition until around March.



Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 11:36:58 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Compulsories

> Well, when I went to the '91 Worlds, gymnasts from lesser countries were
> not only performing them incorrectly but *dangerously* ie. gettin' hurt.
> A gymnast from Denmark hurt both knees after performing a comp vault, and
> was wheeled out in a stretcher.

I didn't see this, but I wonder if such an injury on that vault was
anythingmore than a fluke.  I'd say it's one vault you generally can do
pretty badly and still be pretty safe (more so than with, for example, lousy
Tsuks).  Sometimes really weird things happen, like with a friend of mine who
dislocated an elbow doing a roundoff, of all things (this was someone in the
Class I-Elite range) (back when there was such a thing as "Class I" :) ).

Of course, the weaker teams on the whole do the scariest compulsories, but I
can remember a few choice moments courtesy of normally better gymnasts:
 Kristie Phillips' face plant on her compulsory Tsuk in '87, some girl who
was sailing along on her layout flyaway in '85, and then her foot hit the bar
and splat!  Shushunova's 3-fall, 8.75 bars compulsory in '85 (touching the
springboard counts as a fall, in case you're wondering what the third fall
was.  Unless you're the Soviets' Chosen One, of course), and then there's my
personal favorite, the Czech girl in '87 who slowly slid out of the backbend
during her tic-toc until she was on one foot and her head, and then finally
collapsed and fell off.



Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 16:04:13 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Dawes article

There's an article on Dominique Dawes and the World Team Trials being
held in Richmond, VA this weekend in today's USA TODAY.  The article
also discusses Shannon Miller's status for the world team.  USA
Gymnastics is quoted as saying that Miller's all-around score from the
national championships will serve as her qualifying score for the world
team.  If that score places her in the top five from those competing this
weekend she would automatically earn a place on the team.  What appears
to be unknown is if she would still compete. 

Sharon Parente


Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 12:12:14 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Forgotten questions

A couple of things I don't recall seeing responses to:

>Could someone be 47 and be on the Junior National team, and
likewise, could a six year old be on the Senior National team?

I think the way it works is a 6-year-old theoretically could be a senior (on
the *national* level), if she has the skills, but a 47-year-old couldn't be a
junior no matter what.

>Well actually I believe that you need the connection in front of the Arabian
to make it an Onodi.

No, I don't think that's right.  As far as I know, there isn't anything in
the Code that is a connection, unless you count certain handstands and holds.



Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 17:49:20 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Fwd: Petrova article from the dpa (re-send)

Maria Petrova defends world title - Magdalena Brzeska Tenth

Paris - The 18 year old Bulgarian Maria Petrova (38.900 points)
defended, this afternoon in the Palais de Omnisport in Paris, her
1993 world title. With a very tight winning margin of 0.05 points
from her protogees , the BelaRussian Larissa Lukyanenko and Russian Amina
in second place scoring 38.850 points. Closely behind following were
Serebrianskaya (UKR/38.725), Olga Gontar (BLR/38.625) and Elena
Vitrichenko (UKR/38.625) further favourites for the apparatus finals on
Saturday and continuing on Sunday.

The German champion Magdalena Brzeska presented herself with a 9.400
on Ball and a 9.450 on Clubs, an excellent performance that enabled her to
move from 13th place to 10th. With that after her 12th place at the World
Championships in 1993 and her 10th place at the European Championships in
1994, this was a much closer fight. With both hand turns missed she
respectively missed 9th place, close to entry in the final. But only
through a questionable decision of the judges the Bulgarian Popova (9.525
in spite of dropping her apparatus) finshed 8th with only 8 qualifying
in the disputed clubs final.

The second German competing Kristin Sroka by the second day also had
clearly improved in the field of 35 gymnasts finishing 22nd.

-translated by Clive Stonebridge


Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 05:22:31 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Jennie Tompson

I have never seen Jennie vault.  Is she any good? What is her optionals vault
anyway?  She is so small--I can't imagine her haveing the power to proform a
hard one.


Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 10:41:08 -0400
From: ***
Subject: jpeg

There are photos of Nadia and Mary Lou on the new ABC sports online.



Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 13:37:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Juniors going Senior (fwd)

| of plenty of negatives, but no positives worth mentioning. What mutton head
| 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.  I don't think that all Elites are equal
-- I meana, they might be capable of the same skills, and the younger
ones may be (are often) capable of more difficult skills -- but a year
or two makes a world of difference in the confidence of a competitor.
And it's not just "competition" experience, but rather competing at
the elite level type of experience, that I think is important.

I think that next year, Jennie Thompson
will have more confidence given the fact that she'll have competed as
a senior for a whole year.  Who knows, maybe it was too early, that's
something that time will tell -- I probably wouldn't have made the
same decision.  Zmeskal was quoted in an interview after her 91 US
Nat'ls win, though, as saying that the USGF letting them compete the
year before did help her confidence in the 91 competition. 



Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 19:44:54 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Karolyi Article

In today's NY Times Online on America Online, there is an interview with Bela
Karolyi called Gymnastics Coach Condemns "Kiddie Korps" Tradtion He Ushered
In. Jere Longman wrote the piece. I can e-mail the entire thing to anyone who
wants it, but here are some excerpts:

Bela said that he thinks there is too much emphasis on the younger athletes.
It's time "To add missing grace and maturity and expressiveness. To dismiss
the unwritten '17-year-old rule' that says a girl must abandon the sport when
she becomes a woman."

Kim Zmeskal,18, and Svetlana Boguinskaia,21, are training at his gym in hope
to compete at the Olympics.

Here's an unexpected quote from Bela.  "The Bela Karolyi who once said things
like, 'The young ones are the greatest little suckers in the world; they will
follow you no matter what,' is now saying things like, 'People are blaming
this as a kid sport, saying that the girls are anorexic, that their
childhoods are being taken away, so let's bring back grace and maturity.
Maybe it will change the face of gymnastics.'"

Whoever thought we'd be hearing Bela said that. And then he goes on to say,
"Even though I'm the person who is criticized, blamed or blessed for
introducing the exciting trend of the young generation coming into
gymnastics, and they have proved their superiority, the trend, I find, has
started going to a dangerous extreme - the gymnastics of super-tiny,
super-young, fragile athletes, not ones who look like traditional athletes on
the floor but young fragile little babies ready to break out crying if things
did not go well for them."

He said that gymnastics is missing the maturity, expression, elegance, grace,
emotion, and communication with the crowd.

Bela talks about Katarina Witt's comeback this year at the winter Olympics

The article says, "To some extent, Bela is hedging his bet" by also training
Dominique Moceanu and Jennie Thompson, who are just 13 years old. Bela says
that he wouldn't go to the opposite extreme of banning the younger girls

Kim Zmeskal said that she was inspired by Brian Boitano's comeback at the
1994 Winter Olympics. "'I felt like he was talking to me,' Zmeskal said. 'He
said he missed the sport, and he still wanted to enjoy it while he could.
There was nothing to prove. He was doing it because that's what he wanted to
do. I feel like I'm doing it for myself, not for anyone else. And now that
I'm not on top, people won't feel they have to beat me down. I'm the
underdog. It's exciting.'"

Kim is still recovering from her torn ligaments (strangely enough, Boitano
has this problem also). She has to wear a restrictive brace will training.
She'll have to wear it until February or March.

Svetlana learned the new compulsories in two and a half weeks, according to
Karolyi. She would like to compete for the US, but since five years are
required to gain citizenship, and it doesn't look like Congress will be of
any help, she'll likely compete for Belarus. (Not to mention she'd probably
be more likely to make their team, though I do say this admitting I know
nothing about their current junior team.)

Bela says he wouldn't go as far as saying Kim or Svetlana could win an
individual medal. "'But they don't have to win. Their presence will be the
biggest medal of their lives. The audience would go crazy.'"

That is where the article ends. If you want a full copy, let me know. This
summary is pretty complete, though.


Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 13:54:24 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Leonard Isaacs

I'm seen several "what happened to Leonard" posts... he retired in
July of this year.

Larissa now trains at a gym in Chicago, "Buffalo Grove".  Nice
coaches.  From what I understand, though, she will work a lot with
USGF staff.



Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 22:35:17 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Miller at Worlds?

Due to e-mail problems on my system, I don't know if you guys will even get
this (and it may already have been posted), but...

According to USA Today, the USGF has decided that Miller does not need to
compete at Trials to be on the World team.  If her USAs score (77.76) puts
her in the top 5 after Trials, she will automatically make the team.



Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 16:53:23 -0400
From: ***
Subject: NCAA at Nationals

Recently on GYMN it was said that with the elimination of compulsories
we will most likely see NCAA women gymnasts compete at
question is how did they manage in the past and what
finally stopped them from doing so in the present? 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????
All other events I believe that there is a posibility to score a
10 at the National level?

How about the international scene...or does college courses conflict
with international meets.....



Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 03:45:49 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Shannon & Trials ... My 2 - or 3 - cents

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 but this whole situation is
ridiculously feeble and completely pathetic. Steve *knew* the guidelines for
choosing the Dortmund team (he was part of the group that made them) and **HE
AGREED TO THEM**. There was no *legitimate* reason for him to pull his girl's
from Trials. His personal agenda was the only factor.

If Steve's earlier "reasoning"  - and when speaking of Nunno I hesitate to
even use that word  -  holds then his girls still won't take part in the
Richmond Trials, and therefore the Worlds, since Shannon is still "too busy"
preparing for the American Cup (the next comp. Nunno said she was likely to
attend) next March.  If you buy that load I've got a great bridge to sell you
... located in the heart of NY ... great view.

I'll be very interested to hear others reaction to this entire fiasco (I'd
really love it if the day came when the US could choose a team without all
the bruhaha ... but hey I'm a dreamer) coaches, athletes, and -  of course -
 you guys.

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: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 08:12:57 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Shannon Miller Nominated For Award

>From the AP (direct quotes noted) ...

Shannon Miller along with Bonnie Blair and college athletes Lisa Fernandez
(UCLA softball) & Mia Hamm (UNC soccer) are up for the 1994 Babe Zaharias
Female Amateur Athlete Award. The winner gets a $5,000 scholarship and a
bronze trophey. 200 members of academia and the media will vote on the
finalists. The announcement of a winner will be made November 7th at Lamar
University in Beaumont (TX right?). Last year Texas Tech b-ball player Sheryl
Swoopes won. "The award is named for Mildred 'Babe' Didrikson Zaharias, the
world class athlete from Beaumont. Zaharias won gold medals at the 1932
Olympics in the javelin throw and 80-meter hurdles. She later became a
pioneer of women's professional golf."



Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 11:52:00 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: She's back

"She" would be me of course.

Just a note to say that I have my computer fixed now.  I've gotten
tons of email from Gymn people asking various questions -- I'm truly
sorry for the delay in reply.  I will answer all of my email in the
next three days.

Also, in the next few days, I will send out mail confirming receipts
of the pictures that were snail mailed to me (providing, of course,
that I did receive it.) 

As soon as I send this msg, I am going to work on putting all the new
digests on the gopher/ftp site.  So that should be back up to date



Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 12:30:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: Sovetsky Sport

     Well, I'm still waiting for SS to report the final results of Russian
nationals... But for some bizarre reason, instead of reporting on its own
gymnasts, it ran an interview with Kim Zmeskal! It cites "International
Gymnast" as the source, so I'll have to check if it's the exact same interview
IG ran. If so (or even if not), I already saw an amusing translation error.
According to Sovetsky Sport, Kim is coached by Dominique Moceanu! :)
     If the interview turns out to be different from IG's, I'll post a



Date: Fri, 14 Oct 94 21:22 PDT
Subject: trials.

why even bother having a trials?  Why not just let the USGF pick who they
want to send... thats what they do anyway... lets go ask Kim Kelly and
Sandy Woolsey what they think of this...


Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 17:49:09 -0400
From: ***
Subject: US Women's World Trials Preview

>From the AP "Gymnastics World Team Trials" by Martha Slud (direct quotes
noted) ...

15 gymnasts are in Richmond, VA to compete for places on the 7 women squad to
Dortmund next month for the World Gymnastics Championships.

The top hopefuls are ...

Amanda Bordern age 17 ... Amanda wants to continue on to the Atlanta Olympics
and is planning on attending and competing for Georgia starting in the fall
of '96. She will sit out on year (she will graduate from HS next spring) to
train for the Games. She missed the 1992 Olympic team by only 1spot. "When I
was 14 I had to be more intense ... Now that I'm a little more experienced,
I'll be a little better able to compete. My first goal is to make the
[worlds] team."

Domique Dawes also age 17 ... 2 months ago Dawes became the first person in
USAG (formerly USGF) history to win the National AA and every event title. It
was last done in the AAU (once served as our national championships and
gymnastics governing body) in 1969.

Othe rnotables are Larissa Fontaine (16) and Kerri Strug (also 16) both of
whom petitioned in to this event after pulling from National Championships.
 The top 16 finisher's from August's National Championships qualified in but
5th place finisher Jenny Thompson is too young, at age 13, to take part in
the World Championships where a minimum age of 15 is required.

[I'm quoting the Shannon part as is to avoid misunerstandings ... the
"odd-ness" and of her situation is not mentioned by the author] "  Shannon
Miller, the most decorated American gymnast ever with five Olympic and seven
World Championship medals, is sitting out this meet, citing exhaustion.
Miller, 17, of Edmond, Okla., likely will still be eligible to compete in
Germany. To qualify, her total all-around score from the National
Championships, where she finished second to Dawes, must remain in the top
five places of the Team Trials scores."

Saturday evening will be the compulsory competition which makes up 60% of the
scores and then Sunday afternoon's optionals will make up the other 40%.
Before each day's comepetition gets underway Trent Dimas, Nadia Comaneci, and
Bart Conner will be performing exhibition routines. [It doesn't mention
Dimas's comeback status but from what I know - what he told me in August
anyway - is that Winter Nationals is still his goal]

 - - - - - - - -

NOTE: I gave the same info as the article but it was written rather poorly so
I doctered it up quite a bit ... adding my own facts here and there and
correcting obvious errors.



Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 01:50:53 -0400
From: ***
Subject: Worlds

> At one point the FIG talked about an "A" and "B" worlds to divy up the good
> teams from the great ones.  I have mixed feelings on the subject. On the
> hand frankly I don't want to watch the Indian boys go 6 for 6 in the fall
> department again and on the other ... how will countries ever improve their
> programs without the inspiration that a worlds provides?

I liked the original FIG concept for team worlds, with preliminaries, and
finals.  Does anyone know why they dumped the idea?


PS  Is anyone else having trouble with their message headers coming out in
funny characters?


End of gymn Digest