GYMN-L Digest - 9 Aug 1995 to 10 Aug 1995

There are 19 messages totalling 596 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Define "Great" (2)
  2. Great Gymnast (3)
  3. mary lou
  4. MLR and other stuff
  5. Re[2]: Define "Great"
  6. Jaycie Phelps (3)
  7. 1990 JR Team Europeans
  8. HOW ON EARTH....
  9. GYMNers going to U.S. Nationals
 10. Great gymnasts and Mary Lou
 11. My WWW page
 12. Level 1-4 Routines?
 13. Russian Champs.
 14. See Ya in NOLA


Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 13:01:50 +1000
From:    ***@STUDENT.GU.EDU.AU
Subject: Re: Define "Great"

Since this was probably meant for me, I'll reply, even though someone
wanted this discussion to end.

>    Tell me, what defines a "great" gymnast?

A great gymnast, has difficult rountines, with good technique & form,
flow, polish, originality and artistry.  Personality displayed before or
after a routine has NOTHING to do with what defines a great gymnast.

I'm sorry, but any non-American (or the 23 who aren't biased ;) can tell
you that Retton is not artistic.  Nor were her routines polished or
flowing.  Her chuncky body type may have given her power, but at the
expense of proper line, essential to this sport, which was painfully
obvious in her UB & BB routines.

>     I, personally, believe Mary Lou was a great gymnast because she not only
> had world class routines but also added that special "something," which in
> her case was her personality and charisma.

Personality displayed before or after a routine has NOTHING to do with
being a great gymnast.  Neither does demeanor.  How you act in a press
conference or presentation ceremony in no way reflects on your gymnastics
ability.  Personality should win fans not medals!  Try and keep in mind,
this is a physical sport, not a facial one (or at least not until the
Code of Points gives smiling a value :)

>     Gymnastics is very much a subjective sport, and that charisma carried her
> part of the way.

Since when does grin equal greatness?  It doesn't.  Nor
does different equal deserving (I'm hinting at Mitova fans here ;)

>     Is she any less of a gymnast because of that?

Yes.  If you are implying that a bubly personality gained her extra
points, or extra fans which convinced the judges to give her extra



Date:    Wed, 9 Aug 1995 23:34:47 -0600
Subject: Great Gymnast

I think that a current gymnast who has greatness would be Lillia Podkopeva.
she has talent, argueably the best form on earth, and difficulty. She
shines brightest on FX, but if you look at her on other events, you see
that she has it all to be a great gymnast. (Look at her layouted yurchenko
half and compare it to others who pike in around!)

Other past greats include Boginskya (though she's still current!) for her
artistry and grace, Dobre, who just had too short a career(!), Szabo,
for not only her abilities but her mental toughness in situations under
incredible pressure (standing for 25 minutes in hostile territory [i.e.,
Pauli Pavillion] as the last competitor on FX in '84 wating for the
power to come back on and then hitting for a 10 is proof of her greatness
in my book), Julianna McNamara and Ma Yahong (too great bar gymnast who had
the best form on the event), Natalia Shaposhnikova (best split leaps EVER, and
lotsof talent that we missed because of the boycott), and the one and only
Oksana Omelinetchik, who withouth a doubt made the sport look effortless,
introduced combination tumbling to the world, and would have been know
as one of the best gymnasts of the 1980's instead of the one who tied
Shushunova in '85. She was great to watch and her '85 FX is still a classic
to view.

Males, I would say Bilozerchev is the greatest I've seen in a long time. He
has unbelievable strength and power. Yet another gymnast who we were
robbed of not seeing in '84.

Oh yes, must add Olga Mostepanova to the list above. She was great and like
someone said previously: Probably the most ripped-off gymnast in history.
I only saw her in FX in '83, but that was enough to impress this judge.



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 01:22:07 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: mary lou

Hi.  I'm new to this group but would like to add a vote for my all-time
favorite gymnast, Ludmilla Toureschiva (sp?).  She was just about the last of
the old-time gymnasts.  That was before women's gymnastics became a child's
sport.  I thought she had such grace and dignity about her.

Forgive me if this is a tired old theme, but how do you feel about where the
sport has gone?  Have any of you read Joan Ryan's book on gymnastics and
figure skating, Pretty Girls in Little Boxes?  Although I love the sport, I'm
not at all sure that it is a healthy one right now.  It wins alright, but at
what cost?



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 01:46:54 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Great Gymnast

I think Lilia is also the greatest gymnast in the world! She has a much
different style than anyone else which is interesting!


Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 02:28:12 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: MLR and other stuff

Well,I must agree that Mary Lou was not one of gymnastic's "greatest
stars."Szabo should have won,*EVEN* with her disaterous bar routine in the
team competition.Mary Lou was great on vault(she didn't deserve a 10 on ANY
of the vaults she did in Pauley Pavilion) and floor(that double
layout!WOWSERS!) but was weak on bars(form breaks out the wazoo) and beam.The
judging at that meet was a joke,not just for the Americans but for everyone.I
mean,how the heck did Simona Pauca get the bronze medal with her *CRAP*(and
there is no other word to describe it.Sorry you Pauca fans.) gymnastics?!?!Or
even made the Romainian team,for that matter.Too bad Agache ate it during

Tracee Talavera.Now *THERE'S* a gymnast.She has to be the coolest gymnast
ever to come out of the United States.Yurchenko full on vault(got ripped with
a 9.9,stuck both cold)hidorff and yaeger on bars,original beam(flaired on
balance beam before baitova),and great choreography on floor(unfortunately
Jennifer Sey had harder tumbling passes than Tracee did...but let's rise
above that)In my opinion she and Julianne are *overall* better gymnasts than
Mary Lou.Let's not forget the ultra-talented Michelle Dussere.It's
unfortunate that she had so many setbacks(injuries and growth) because I
thought she was going to kick some butt in the following years.At least she
got to  stunt double for Janet Jones in the award winning "American
Anthem."Isn't Becky Cameron the gutsiest gymnast you've ever seen? ;-)

As far as Mosteponova being underrated,I have to disagree.She was overrated
*AND* overscored.Watch '83 worlds if you don't believe me.She cracked her
heel on her Tkatchev *EVERY* time and took two steps on her landings on most
of the other events.End result.. mostly 9.9's and the silver
medal.PUH-LEEZE.Beautiful dance and cool second pass though(full twisting
front handspring stepout thru to double twist)Had '84 been
non-boycotted,Shusunova or Yurchenko *SHOULD HAVE* won although I think the
judges would have found a way to make Mary Lou the victor.

Just my usual ramblings,



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 11:46:00 -0400
Subject: Re[2]: Define "Great"

> Personality displayed before or after a routine has NOTHING to do with
> being a great gymnast.  Neither does demeanor.  How you act in a press
> conference or presentation ceremony in no way reflects on your
> gymnastics ability.  Personality should win fans not medals!  Try and
> keep in mind, this is a physical sport, not a facial one (or at least
> not until the Code of Points gives smiling a value :)

I disagree. The question wasn't what makes a high scoring gymnast, but what
makes a great gymnast (unless you conisider high scores the only criteria for
greatness). My definition of "a great gymnast" or a "great" anything is someone
who I would be proud to have my children emulate. Darryl Strawberry is an
"exceptional" baseball player, but I would not rank him as great. Tanya Harding
was an "exceptional" skater, but not great.

"Greatness" is inextricably linked to the person. I consider Eddie "The Eagle"
Edwards to be a "great" ski jumper. No he wasn't "exceptional", but his
determination, attitude, and yes his personality were unmistakeable.

I would include in my list of "great" gymnasts:

Kathy Rigby : Maybe not exceptional, and mostly forgotten (except for her
commercials), but she was dedicated to gymnastics when it was relegated to the
back room of the local YMCA, and occasionally allowed to use the gym when no one
was using the basketball court.

Olga Korbutt : Her daring moves added a new excitement and interest into

Nadia :

and yes, Mary Lou (in the US) : Like her or not, MLR and he bubbly personality
contributed greatly to the popularization of the sport in this country.

Just my opinions.


Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 12:38:36 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Great Gymnast

I must add my vote for Lilia Podkapayeva as one of the all time greats!  I
could watch her for 4 hours straight and never get bored! :)  She is truly
*great* on every single event and she has the form, difficulty AND
originality which many others don't. The form and toe point on her Yurchenko
with a 1/2 blows my mind, and she is equally  good at traditional entry
vaulting- - great piked handspring front with a half.  Lilia also has an
amazing double front on floor, stalders on UB, flip flop Chen on beam - -
finally something different from the "standard" flip flop to 2 or 3 layouts-
- and full-ins off both bars and beam.  IMO, she has the perfect balance of
both power and grace.   She just needs to learn how to compete better in
pressure situations.

 I admit her choreography on FX also needs work, but she has sparkle and
personality that shine through no matter what she's doing!  Btw, I disagree
with whoever said that personality should not play a part in the judges'
scores.  Sure, it's not a specific category, but it all plays a part of being
able to relate to the audience AND the judges!!  If you win over an audience,
the judges certainly aren't going to forget it because more than likely they
enjoyed it too!   I see a tremendous diffference in the presentations (on FX
& BB) of people like Oksana Omelianchik, Daniela Silivas, and Lilia
Podkopayeva  compared to others who just seem to go through the motions!  If
your  personality, so to speak, shines through, I think it can definitely
affect the score in a positive way.  Now if your talking about before or
after the performance, I agree with you.  But, during the routine, that
"something special" can only enhance the performance!

Also, I think we're leaving out one of the all time greats- - '88 Olympic
Champ Elena Shushunova!  First of all, she truly achieved longevity.  She was
at or near the top of the international gymnastics world  for 5 years ('83
Chunici (sp?) Cup to '88 Olympics) How many others have maintained that level
for such a long period of time?  Most people seem to max out between 2-3

In terms of difficulty, I think Elena truly advanced the sport of gymnastics!
(1 1/2 and double twisting Yurchenkos on V, full-ins off UB before many
others were doing them, she popularized the full twisting back straddle down
on BB, and performed the side one and three on FX - - tumbling out of it in
'87 and '88.

In addition, she displayed one of the characteristics that I think truly
defines a "great" gymnast: mental toughness.  Jeff mentioned this with regard
to Szabo, which I agree with, but Shushunova displayed this toughness in
abundance too!!  She was such a ROCK!!  Elena may not have been the most
emotional or graceful competitor, but, to me, this was just evidence of her
incredible intensity- - a quality which I admire a lot!  She was so
consistent and could almost always be counted on for a clutch performance!
 If you discount the Event Finals of the '88 Games, (major breaks on both V &
FX) I think she could be considered *one* of the  most consistent gymnasts
ever  (also demonstrated by her longevity, which I already mentioned).  IMO,
Elena Shushunova should never be forgotten! :)



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 13:52:01 CDT
From:    ***@PROCTR.CBA.UA.EDU
Subject: Jaycie Phelps

For those of you who didn't attend the U.S. Classic and are going to
Nationals in New Orleans, watch Jaycie.  I was so impressed with her
improvement.  You can look at her and see the confidence she has in
herself.  She is really coming into her own.  She beat Dom.  All the
Cincinatti girls looked great.
 Wouldn't it be neat if Gymn subscribers could get together somewhere
 for a while, at Nationals, so everyone could meet.  Just a thought.



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 14:50:48 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: 1990 JR Team Europeans

I was throwing out some old junk videos last night and came across a very
flawed '90 Team European Championships vid.Adding to Debbie's scores...

Event Finals

Sylvia Mitova(9.45)
Tatiana Gutsu(9.662)
Klara Kudilkova(9.437)
Christina Espinosea(9.45)
Virginia Machado(9.237)
Snejana Hristekieva((.525)
Oksana Chusovitina(9.912)
Miroslava Jantekova(9.?)
Sylvia Santiago(9.662)
Cecil Lyaudy(9.025)


Christina Fraguas(9.9)
Sylvia Mitova(9.75)
Martina Kucharakova(9.175)
Angela Olsen(?)
Tatiana Gutsu(9.925)
Sonia Fraguas(9.95)
Snejana Hristikieva(9.65)
Miroslava Jantekova(8.95)
Jenny Roland(9.7)
Oksana Chusovitina(9.925)


Angela Olsen(9.475)
Tatiana Gutsu(9.775)
Maria de Tena(9.725)
Snejana Hristakieva(8.85)
pavla Kinclova(9.675)
Jenny Roland(8.95)
Oksana Chusovitina(9.925 HA!)
Elena Romero(9.1)
Silvia Mitova(8.1 three falls)
Carriela Kuchikarova(9.175)


Snejana Hristikieva(8.3)
Tatiana Gutsu (9.925)
Sylvia Santiago(9.8)
Virginia Machado(9.575)
Miroslava Jantekova(9.425)
Sylvia Mitova(9.625)
Oksana Chusovitina(10.00)
Christina Fraguas(9,975)
Jenny Roland(9.6)
Carrila Kuchikarova(9.6)

No major goings on during EF.For the most part,everyone did their 91-92
routines minus a trick or two.Spain was *GROSSLY* overscored.

I watched three rotations of the team competition.The sovs were heads above
everyone else.Romania was a no show.Other member of the soviet squal were
Dina Kochetkova,Natalia Kalinina,and someone I couldn't identify.

Any specific questions about the meet?




Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 16:05:18 CST
From:    ***@PROMEGA.COM
Subject: Re: Jaycie Phelps

Good idea,

I am planning on being in New Orleans myself and I would love to meet some ofthe
other people on the list. I am leaving Sunday, but won't be able to access my
e-mail account after tomorrow. I know it's short notice, but if we can suggest a
meeting place by tomorrow afternoon, I'll be there.


 Wouldn't it be neat if Gymn subscribers could get together somewhere
 for a while, at Nationals, so everyone could meet.  Just a thought.



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 17:11:31 -0400
From:    ***@NETINS.NET
Subject: Re: Define "Great"

Maybe Mary Lou is not #1 but I believe that any one at that level is great!!
Even if other countries were there and Mary Lou still had the same profmance
she would have still placed high!! I am one of thoes kids how absolutly
admire any one at that level they are just amazing!!  With the other
countries there how many of them are going to have a surpurb preformance?  I
bet Mary Lou may have still gotten a medal or not to much lower.  There was
not that many people missing!! The majority was there. I just my opinion!!


Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 16:44:04 -0600
Subject: HOW ON EARTH....

Did we get into a discussion about MLR and the 1984 Olympics?

I hope that with the up coming nationals that we have a new topics.


P.S. Since we are on the 1984 topic. Imagine that the Soviets et al did not
boycott. What would be the fate of Bela Karolyi? Would he still be the "great
coah of champions" if Mary Lou hadn't won?

P.S.S. What was the reason why Mary Lou did not compete in Budapest in 1983?
She was at Chunchi a few weeks later? Did she miss trials or something? I
thought that Dianne Durham was sick, but what was the deal with MLR?


Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 17:03:58 -24000
From:    ***@USAID.GOV
Subject: GYMNers going to U.S. Nationals

I know this is a shot in the dark, but I had to ask...

I unfortunately could not manage the trip to U.S. Nationals this year.   Is
there anyone attending who will be videotaping routines?  I know that
highlights of the senior womens AA & EF will be televised;  I am interested
in seeing the performances of the juniors, as I expect several girls from
Virginia---Alexis Brion, Gail Kachura, and Katie McFarland--to do well (I am
also curious to see the routines of a person I know to be on GYMN).   Any
coverage of the guys' meet would be a welcome plus as well, since we stand a
better chance of getting ice tea from the Devil than seeing any more than one
or two of their routines during the telecast.  I realize it may not be
possible to do this.  I have been to some major meets recently, and
videotaping was either forbidden or required a release.  But if someone can
manage it, and would be willing to make a copy, I would be extremely
appreciative!  Of course, I would gladly compensate an individual for the
cost and effort involved.



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 18:01:18 -0500
From:    ***@VIPER.NET
Subject: Re: Jaycie Phelps

She looked very well... I think you ought to see even a better improvement since
the U.S. Classic



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 19:13:39 -0500
Subject: Great gymnasts and Mary Lou

Great Gymnasts:

I have to join the gymn-l Lilia fan club.  Her combined form and power are
awesome.  I'm surprised no one has mentioned Khorkina.  Truth is, she
wasn't one of my favorite gymnasts until Europeans this year, but she
really won me over there.  Nadia and Olga both revolutionized the sport and
were my idols, so I'd have to count them.  Laschenova, for her longevity.
Perhaps Boginskaya for the same reason.  Ludmilla Tourescheva and Nelli Kim
were both great gymansts, and probably Shushunova, Filatova, and

As for the Americans, two stand out brightest for me.  Shannon has every
bit of the toughness others have talked about, and is one of the most
consistent gymnasts I've ever seen.  And does anyone else remember Dianne
Durham.  Unbelievable power and good form.  Also, I loved Kathy Johnson's
gymnastics.  Her grace and longevity make her a great, for me.

Mary Lou:

I liked Mary Lou's gymnastics a lot, and I'd probably count her as a great
as well, but she and Zmeskal are slightly lower on my list.  What disturbs
me about this discussion is that someone (I don't remember who) used Mary
Lou's body type as evidence of her lack of greatness.  "Chunky" gymnasts
can be every bit as technically perfect as more slender gymnasts.  There
lines _do_ look different, but not wrong.  Mary Lou had a kind of power
that Khorkina or Shannon could never have because they don't have the right
body type for it.  That doesn't make their gymnastics less great, just
different.  Chusovitina will never be elegant, but anyone who can do a full
twisting double layout is amazing in my book (on floor at least).

Also, I think the sport could use a few more "chunky" gymnasts to remind us
that thinner isn't always better.


Date:    Fri, 11 Aug 1995 00:14:15 BST
From:    ***@IC.AC.UK
Subject: My WWW page

Hi folks,

I've set up my new home page on the WWW, it's got a few gym pictures
plus other stuff. For those who can browse the Web, please drop in at:

While you're there please visit my Rhythmic European Cup page and my
British womens Nationals pages!

(Some of you may find certain pictures missing on my pages but I can
assure you that they're all there, it's just sometimes the site
does not load them up properly. It's something out of my control)

Comments are welcome!



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 18:01:10 -0700
From:    ***@MCN.ORG
Subject: Level 1-4 Routines?

Hi all,

My coach is looking for an inexpensive way to get hold of the level 1-4 USGF
routines. Does anyone know the easiest way to get them?

Thank You,



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 22:15:41 -0400
From:    ***@PANIX.COM
Subject: Russian Champs.

This week's _St. Petersburg Press_ has a short article about the Russian
Champs., along with a small GIF of Svetlana Khorkina (click on the picture
to get a bigger JPG).  The URL is:



Date:    Thu, 10 Aug 1995 22:24:01 -0400
Subject: See Ya in NOLA

Well everyone, I'm getting packed tonight for the trip west which
will eventually lead me to Congress and US Nationals.  I hope
that I get the chance to meet some GYMNers while I am there.
Since I may not have access to a computer between now and then, I
thought I would offer the first suggestion for a GYMN meeting in
New Orleans.

If anyone else is arriving early, I will be at Jimmy Buffett's
Margeritaville Cafe on Decatur St. at four o'clock Tuesday
afternoon.  I'll definately wear some kind of gymnastics t-shirt
so look around.  If no other gymnasts have shown up by then, I'll
be the short one in the crowd.

Gorden: I have tickets for the men's optionals.  If cameras are
allowed, I'll shoot some footage and let you know when I return
home.  I will also try to tape any other competions I get to see
while we're there.  No promises here though.

Good luck to everyone competing, coaching, judging, presenting
and attending. Have a great time.



End of GYMN-L Digest - 9 Aug 1995 to 10 Aug 1995