GYMN-L Digest - 3 Apr 1996 to 4 Apr 1996

There are 17 messages totalling 617 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

  1. alternate mailing list
  2. Mark Sohn
  3. Soviet replacements (2)
  4. Kim Zmeskal
  5. Woodward Camp
  6. running training
  7. Lower Level support
  8. Kim Zmeskal and Pressure
  9. Plea for help!
 10. Kodak Commercial
 11. GYMN-L Digest - 3 Apr 1996 to 4 Apr 1996
 12. Dominique Dawes
 13. ethnicity
 14. Kim Zmeskal's Comeback Attempt
 15. Russians
 16. training L5-10 & Mailing lists


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 10:14:59 -0500
From:    ***@PRIS.BC.CA
Subject: alternate mailing list

Everybody out there, who is looking for information specific to younger/less
experienced gymnasts.  I am also looking for a similiar group.  I wonder
however, if we could keep a mailing group active, with just this info.  I
don't want to start a useless debate like here, but I really don't think we
shouldn't post information relative to the subject.  I think there are
probably enough of us, to support such discussion.  I think right now we are
just the silent lurkers.

Just to give you some info about myself, I am a level 1 coach in northern
British Columbia, Canada.  For those of you who don't know, that level deals
with the introdutory gymnastics, as well as recreational gymnastics.  Right
now the youngest group I teach is 2 & under, while my oldest are 12 year olds.

that's all folks.........


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 12:08:55 -0500
From:    ***@CIC.NCHE.EDU
Subject: Mark Sohn

Since this year's Worlds will be event finals only, does anyone know
if Mark Sohn plans to go for pommels?


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 12:38:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Soviet replacements

Didn't Igor Korbchinsky replace someone in the EF at the '91 Worlds?


>Howdy, GYMNers:
>In response to Jeffery Ruell's post asking when Soviets (don't know specific
>ethnicities/citizenships:(  ) replaced other Soviets in meets, two biggies
>out in my mind:
>        1.  1985 Worlds - (USSR replaced Irina Baraksonava and another (don't
>remember who, sorry...fill the gap in my aging memory?) with Omelianchik and
>Shushunova, and you all know who won--Omelianchik and Shushunova!
>        2.  1992 Olympics - This one broke my Stars 'n Strips heart--Gutsu
>off beam, drops out of AA qualifying standings on her team, but the now
>'knee injury' keeps Roza Galieva out of AA and Gutsu gets back into AA, and you
>all know who won--Gutsu!
>I knew deep down in '92 that Galieva wasn't really injured, and was amazed (and
>at peace with my instincts) when it was confirmed by Alexandrov on the 1995
>Atlanta Invitational broadcast.  Broke my heart for Galieva AND Miller...
>Ciao, for now,

Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 13:12:15 -0600
Subject: Re: Soviet replacements

The other Soviet "injury" in 1985 was Olga Mostepnanova, along with
Irena Baraksanova, who were replaced by Elena Shushunova and Oksana


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 14:17:38 -0500
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Kim Zmeskal

    I got many reactions to what I wrote about Kim Zmeskal in the last time I
wrote. I just want to say that I agree that if she doesn't want to do
gymnastics anymore that's fine, it's not my place to tell her what to do not
that I'm trying to, it's just sit here and wonder why would she start to come
back and then all-of-a -sudden not want to comeback, this is what's got me
   Also when I say respect I mean the respect in the fact that you have all
these other gymnasts that go through all this pain to get to the olympics,
and she seems like she just want a free ride because she was in the olympics
before, I think she's using her injuries as an excuse, not like when she was
younger and she actually worked for what she got, her respect respect from me
and others in the international community. Like I said in my writeup earlier
I still thinks she's the best gymnast in my opinion, but she could have still
made it and I think she's just given up?

Let me say some of this was my opinion, but my opinion of what I was told
from the gym don't forget I'm not trying to say she should do something she
doesn't want to but I think she does but doesn't want to go through all the
stress she went through on the road to the olympics in 92

Thanks for responding

any other comments mail my back



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 14:46:05 -0500
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Woodward Camp

>Our gym is going to go to Woodward Gymnastics Camp.  I was wondering has
>anyone been there and what is it like.

I was on the Mens' coaching staff at Woodward in 1990. It was a great
experience. Not only were the facilities first rate, but the coaches and
senior gymnasts were all very helpful. I only have two criticisms. Their
mens' program was a little disorganized. Not seriously, but the workout hours
were so long that most of the gymnasts were burnt out by wednesday of the
week. Second, they didn't let the gymnasts use the skate boarding facilities.
This was a good decision, made to keep injuries to a minimum. However, they
let the skaters have virtually unlimited access to the gym. IMHO this was
dumb because skaters (by and large) have that most dangerous combination of
attribute: no skill (in gymnastics) and no fear. I had to make more than one
emergency spot.

All this aside, from an athlete's perspective, it is a great experience. You
will get to meet lots of other gymnasts and coaches and get new viewpoints on
your skills and training. I highly recommend it.



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 14:46:08 -0500
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: running training

>I was very interested in the discussion regarding aerobic training versus
>anaerobic. My 10 year old is trying to get ready for Level 6 and has been
>working with the Level 6 coach once a week to polish her skills, etc. She's
>been told that she needs to increase body strength, particularly in her legs
>and has asked me to take her to the local track so she can begin running. My
>question is, in light of the conversation about aerobic training, is running
>NOT the appropriate step for her to take at this point? I applaud her
>initiative, but if she needs to increase strength in her legs, should she
>just practice sprints?

My first advice would be this: Trust your daughter's coach. 99 times out of
100, a team level coach will be trained well enough to come with an effective
workout regimen that will not be counterproductive to your gymnast's
performance. That aside, there are many running drills, leg strength drills,
and drills for anaerobic endurance that can be done at home, in the gym, or
on a track. E-mail me for specifics if you are interested.



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 12:52:09 -0700
From:    ***@CSN.NET
Subject: Lower Level support

I'd be happy for more discussions about providing support for lower level
gymnasts.  These include parents' club activities, building a basis of local
media support, fundraising, etc.  Count me in!



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 15:07:03 -0500
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Kim Zmeskal and Pressure

>>*** writes:
I think the theory of the burnout and the presure of the media is the
reason that she did stop the comeback, I mean who wants to go through all
that 2 times?<<<

What is wrong with the theory that Kim Zmeskal is just ready to quit
gymnastics?  Has it never occurred to anyone that maybe it is time for Kim to
move on for Kim's own sake?  Maybe she should've consulted her fans before
getting on with her life.  The decision is made, now step aside and leave her

I have a problem with people on this list blaming the media for the pressures
on these athletes.  The fans create the interest in the athletes, not the
media.  Their job is to pick up on what's hot, and the fans have chosen their
leaders.  The fans also decide when someone is if you aren't pleased
with the media attention, maybe you should attend meets with your hands
folded in your lap, so they won't know who you like.

Should Kristie Phillips have declined the cover of Sports Illustrated, just
in case she didn't make it?  Should Kim not have won World's just in case she
fell at the Olympics?  Should Dominique have turned down the Kodak commercial
just in case she didn't live up to Nadia's legend?

Maybe the media shouldn't do pre-Olympic press for any sports to shield the
athlete from pressure and then show the winners after the fact as the
"Athlete We Couldn't Show You In Case She/He Failed And We Didn't Want To Be
Responsible For It".

If you think the pressure of the media is intense, imagine you are a world
class athlete reading this list.



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 16:25:38 EST
From:    ***@PRODIGY.COM
Subject: Re: Plea for help!

I also have an 11 YO Level 5 (almost 6) and would be interested in a
mail list for parents of Level 5-10 gymnasts.  Maybe Rachele has some
ideas on how this could maybe happen?



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 17:29:02 -0500
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Kodak Commercial

I was the person to originally post the message about the Moceanu commerical.
I am 14 years old. Personally, I don't think one commercial (although it's
being aired all over the US), is going to greatly affect too many people's
states of mind. I mean, I totally agree with one person who wrote that it was
her choice to do the commercial, and that she probably knew what it would
look like. I just don't understand why some people comlain about gymnasts not
being publiced enough (I'm not trying to start a GYMN-L war, this is just my
personal opinion) and then when one current gymnast is finally given a
commercial deal, everyone is against it!! I think Moceanu looked great, and
it looks like she'll be back in competition in no time.


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 14:47:21 -0800
From:    ***@NETCOM.COM
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 3 Apr 1996 to 4 Apr 1996

Automatic digest processor writes:


> Date:    Wed, 3 Apr 1996 12:32:59 -0500
> From:    "***@UNHF.UNH.EDU
> Subject: Re: Plea for help!
> I am also interested in conversing with other gymn-enthusiasts who are more
> involved with the Level 5-10 kids. My daughter is a 10-year old Level 5
> (almost 6), and although I find most of the information discussed on this list
> interesting, I would love more discussion of booster club issues, parent
> issues, how-to's for young girls (or boys) who are trying to "level-up", etc.
> don't have the technical expertise to set up and/or run another list for these
> kinds of discussions, and I haven't brought up these issues on this list
> because I have gotten the impression that most of the people on the list are
> beyond this stuff, but I'd love to see another list get started!! Count me
> Lynanne Clark

Why start another list.  Cant we deal those issues here ?



> Date:    Wed, 3 Apr 1996 19:05:53 -0600
> Subject: Re: Soviet replacements
> Soviet gymnast were close because they trained together for a long time and
> lived togther, isolated from family and the world, essentially. The sports
> system had complete control over there life. In US, people do not give the
> coach complete control over someone's life from age 5 till their washed up.
> You may think they do, but they don't. KArolyi can't stop things like
> wishes to move to other gyms, etc. I don't think that subing people would help
> the US situation.
> BTW: Even in the SAME gym, people aren't really close. Look at most of the
> file footage on Karolyi's and Nunno. Maybe in other places they're close,
> but not there.
> Jeff

Sure soviet athletes could leave any time they wanted.
Course their family would have to give up the nicer housing and the other
perks they enjoyed having practically sold their kid to the govt.

It was not uncommon for 3 generations of family to be stuffed into a
cramped apt.  Sometimes 2 families.  Usually kid athletes who did well,
their families got nice big private apartments.  Sometimes houses.

Sure you could leave.  Biggest problem was that the other coach might
not accept you, and of course, your family lost the cool hopuse,
the new car, thye TV etc.

But DONT say they didnt let you leave.

Lest you cringe at that, remember we still sell our kids.
Not to the GOVT but to industry.




> Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 00:58:59 -0600
> From:    ***@MERLE.ACNS.NWU.EDU
> Subject: Intro, coaching question, and help
> Hello fellow gymners:
> Well, as you can see from my subject, I am "new" to this listserv, but to be
> honest, I have been reading these most interesting, and sometimes rather
> entertaining, postings for months.  I thought that this would be a good time
> to 'introduce' myself.  I have this tendancy to tangentially ramble on, so
> please forgive what may seem like pointless psychobabble : )
> I am student at Northwestern University getting a degree in Education - I
> plan to teach biology and psychology at the high school level.  My
> experience in gymnastics is solely at the recreational level, as I did many
> sports as an adolescent. . .but I am interested in coaching gym at the high
> school level so if anyone out there can give me some tips as to how to go
> about this, I would greatly appreciate it.  I guess you could say that I
> have been following gymnastics (probably not as religiously as some) since
> the Mary Lou/Bart Conner et al. generation, and I have loved watching this
> sport (both men and womens) evolve ever since.  This listserv has been great
> in providing info and discussion about a sport that, generally speaking, you
> hardly hear about (except around the Olympics).
> At any rate, I will save you all from my boring autobiography, but there is
> one thing I would like to bring up, don't worry, it's not controversial
> (although those topics seem to generate the most interesting conversation).
> I am working on my thesis for this summer, and it is all about the
> socialization aspects of gifted and talented adolescents.  Part of my
> research will consist of solely the academically talented, but what is most
> relevant to me is the research on "gifted" athletes.  I want to focus on
> gymnasts, well, mainly the females because many of them train pretty
> intensely at the age I'm interested in, although I'm sure there are males
> out there as well (and I'd love to hear about them).   I haven't ironed out
> all the details yet, but I plan to put together a questionnaire/survey for
> athletes who for instance, go to school part time, or even full time, or at
> home, or through correspondence, or a private  (or what have you), but train
> nearly full time.  (I would be interested in interviews as well.)   Many
> people (the media, journalists) say that gifted students, be it at
> academics, an instrument, or a sport, "give up" things that their peers
> experience, but I tend to disagree, and this is part of the motivation for
> my research.
> To clear up any mixed feelings/reactions out there, this project is not
> going to "exploit" the sport of gymnastics.  I, for one, would never do that
> (that's what Joan Ryan's for).  Although, according to Garlfar, yes there
> are taboo talking truths out there, I want, if anything, to address  the
> educational issues so that athletes can do both.  As an educator, I plan on
> private tutoring for athletes like this, so in a way,  I would like to know
> what the best types of interventions, pedagogy, etc. work for students of
> this nature. Although I will never be a Bela Karolyi, or to be fair, a Kelli
> Hill, I still want to contribute to a sport I believe is the most amazing -
> I mean what other sport do you spend 95% of the time in mid air?  Not even a
> feat Jordan could imagine. . .not to disparage the king of  basketball
> himself  : )  Without any further glib, if anyone could please email me
> privately if you are a coach, or a gymnast (male or female), or really
> anyone with advice that would just love to help a poor college student out.
> The OTC hasnt' really helped, but if anyone has the proper channels and
> would like to share, please do.
> Thanks for the great conversation - I, too, believe in hearing everyone's
> opinions - although I probably just dug myself a hole by saying that. . .
> anyway thanks for reading, sorry if this was a bit long, I can't help it,
> I'm going to be a teacher!  (If any of  this seems senseless, it's probably
> because I'm on this bizarre college student sleep cycle) and any response,
> flames as well, are welcome.
> Sincerely,
> Sue

Email me ***  Ill introduce you to a guy who will talk
to you about what he has missed, training since he was 8.  Hes
leaving competition to have time to catch up on what he missed.


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 18:29:16 -0500
From:    ***@CLOUD9.NET
Subject: Re: Dominique Dawes

>        Does anyone know how Dominique Dawes is doing?  I haven't heard
>anything about her since February,

Check out and
.../dawes320.html for an online diary by Dawes.



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 19:36:01 -0500
Subject: ethnicity

     Jason is right about ethnicity vs. citizenship. The '89 team members from
Latvia - Natalia Lashchenova and Yelena Sazonenkova - are NOT ethnic Latvians.
They are Slavs, probably Russians. After the USSR broke up, the only Slavs who
could get Latvian citizenship were people whose parents or grandparents had
lived in Latvia prior to 1940. If your family moved there later than that, you
were out of luck. I *assume* that's what happened to Lashchenova, because she
very quickly married and moved to Belarus (a Slavic state) after the breakup.
Sazonenkova, on the other hand, stayed and competed for Latvia, so she must be
from a Slavic family that has lived in Latvia since before 1940. Otherwise she
never would have been able to get citizenship to compete for Latvia. The only
ethnic Latvian gymnast I can think of right now is Lyudmila Prince.
     Even now, there are gymnasts of various nationalities competing for the
"wrong" ex-Soviet republics. Dmitry Karbanenko is Ukrainian but competes for
Russia, Chusovitina competes for Uzbekistan but is definitely Slavic, not
Uzbek! Most of the time your citizenship depends on where you happened to have
been born.
     Before the USSR broke up, a lot of the athletes referred to themselves as
"Russians," regardless of their nationality, because they knew that Westerners
used "Russia" as a synonym for the entire Soviet Union. I run into this a lot
with emigrants too. A taxi driver in Chicago from Ukraine told me he was
from Russia and was kind of surprised when I asked "Don't you mean Ukraine?"
when he said he was from Kharkov. Emigrants from Armenia have also told me
they're from Russia. They just assume (and are usually right) that most
Americans have never heard of Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or whatever,
whereas pretty much everyone has heard of Russia, so they just go with that.
The only emigre community I've encountered that goes out of its way to make a
distinction is the Ukrainians (though not all of them). To my mind they seem a
bit fanatical in their "hatred" of Russia, but I suppose they have their
     On an odd note, Rustam Sharipov, who is half Tajik and half Ukrainian and
competes for Ukraine even though he was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, will
often say in conversation *today* things like "back home in the Soviet Union."
He obviously knows there *is* no Soviet Union, but he's just so used to saying
that that he still does. That's the country he originally competed for and,
when training in Moscow as a USSR citizen, he was randomly "assigned" to
the republic of Ukraine (as far as I know, it was a complete coincidence that
his mother was Ukrainian - his family has always lived in Tajikistan and still
does). So he more or less ended up a "Ukrainian" by a bureaucratic decision
back when he was a teenager! He doesn't even speak Ukrainian...
     So, all in all, things are still just as confusing as before the breakup!



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 20:05:56 -0500
From:    ***@INETNOW.NET
Subject: Kim Zmeskal's Comeback Attempt

I just saw an article in the Atlanta Journal today that said that Kim
Zmeskal would not be attempting to make the 1996 Olympic team. At first I
was disappointed, but I was not surprised.

But tonight I got the most interesting e-mail message it is from a man named
Micheal L. Roge. He claims it was a forwarded message from Kim Zmeskal. This
" message" was filled with personal insults toward me. I would have loved to
communicate with Kim Zmeskal by e-mail. But if this is really her, I have no
desire. This whole experience with the hatred and venom spewed at me, has
left a bad taste in my mouth toward gymnastics.

I find some of you people some of the most closed-minded, hateful,
vindictive people I have ever had the chance to meet on all of my time of
the internet. What I expected to be a pleasant, rewarding, experience, has
resulting in being absolutely vile. For those of you who wish to ignore me
and call me personal insults, fine. But you can not ignore the truth. NEVER!
This is why you persecute me now.

The world knows the truth. Not the gymnastics osteriches who WANT to ignore
it,........ THE WORLD.  If the message was real, for "great" Kim Zmeskal to
e-mail me and spew filithy insults, is sickening. You would think this woman
would have used that time to send positive responses to her fans, the people
who LOVE her, not throw s*** at a total stranger she disagreed with. If I am
so contemptible, as the "supposed" Kim claims, why were you wallowing in the

For all of you who disagree with me, you must hate the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, TIME Magazine, Joan Ryan, countless newspapers and
magazines, WAGA-TV,  Kristie Phillips, Brandy Johnson, and a ton of other
people. I got a lot of my information was from these sources. Did they lie?
Are you saying TIME magazine lied? Kristie Phillips?

Since you people delight in insulting me personally in public, and private,
I will answer you here, in open public.

Now I suppose I am telling rumor and lies about Kim not trying for the
Olympics? Read the Atlanta Journal, Thursday, April 4. Call me a liar now. I
knew that old b**** wasn't going to the Olympics six months ago. Anybody
with any sense knows she washed up.

HOW YA LIKE ME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 19:36:06 -0600
From:    ***@SNCAC.SNC.EDU
Subject: Russians

I just wanted to add couple words to Beth's message about ethnicity.
All this confusion with the word "Russian" is that it means two things in
Russian language.  The problem is that "Russkiy" and "Rossiyskiy" are both
translated to English as "Russian."  Back in old days (when we had 15
republics and one Union) we said "Rossiyskiy" when we wanted to
emphasize the belonging to Republic of Rossiya (Russia), while "Russkiy"
meant belonging to the Soviet Union.  So, anybody or anything from the USSR
concidered to be "Russkiy" or "Sovetskiy" (Soviet), while anybody or
anything from Russian (Rossiyskiy) Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
(which is now known as Russian Federation) was "Rossiyskiy."

Just like Rustam Sharipov I say "like back home in the [Soviet] Union."
My mind still refuse to perceive the former republic of the USSR to be
foreign countries.  It is just like one of a sudden in order to get from
the State of New York to State of New Jersey or from California to
Arizona you would need to have a Visa and an international passport.  For
me we still live in the same country and you can see this feeling of unity
between the gymnasts from the former republics of the USSR.



Date:    Thu, 4 Apr 1996 20:47:47 -0500
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: training L5-10 & Mailing lists

In a message dated 96-04-04 12:05:11 EST, you write:

> My
>question is, in light of the conversation about aerobic training, is running
>NOT the appropriate step for her to take at this point? I applaud her
>initiative, but if she needs to increase strength in her legs, should she
>practice sprints?

Dear Lynanne,
It has always been to my understanding that running (as in track) puts a lot
of pressure on the joints and can result in an increased chance of injury
while at the gym.  Our coaches don't recommend trying out for track at school
because of this factor, but they try to let the kids make up their own minds.
 To get an accurate response to this question, you could try talking to a
sports doctor in your area or talk to the physical trainer at the school.
 They should be able to tell you more about the risks involved when combining
different types of conditioning.

With all the different talk on this mailing list,  In my opinion, I would
like to see a list started for us parents who want to talk about our kids and
get the help more focused at our level.  Unfortunately, I too, am not
experienced enough to set up a list of this nature. If anyone out there could
do this I think there would be a great response in readership and us parents
would be very thankful.

I am keeping track of the responses who would like to see a more focused list
for junior gymnasts, so If anyone can get a list going, I give you the list
to get it up and running.

Yours in gymnastics


End of GYMN-L Digest - 4 Apr 1996 - Special issue