GYMN-L Digest - 18 Jul 1996 to 19 Jul 1996

There are 22 messages totalling 555 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Wrong Captions
  3. Drug use among gymnasts
  4. GYMN-L Digest - 17 Jul 1996 to 18 Jul 1996 - Special issue
  5. Shannon/Dom M/Underdogs?
  6. Fan Mail to Olympians
  7. AA Vaults
  8. Chainey Umphrey (2)
  9. Fan Mail to Atlanta
 10. Introduction
 11. Cacovean/Romanian women
 12. Address needed
 13. Don'g single Chinese out.
 14. Sports Illustrated's "Prelude to the games"
 15. Gymnastics in San Fran. press
 16. GYMN-L Digest - 18 Jul 1996 - Special issue (2)
 17. The Official China Olympic News Homepage
 18. The IRC channel
 19. Deductions
 20. Podium Training


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 14:50:50 -0400
From:    ***@ICAN.CA
Subject: Re: Wrong Captions

>        UG! In the TOronto Star newspaper today there is a picture of Kris
>Burely going into a vault and the caption reads: "WITH THE GREATEST OF
>EASE: Canadian gymnast *Alan Nolet* flies through the air for the vault
>during practice sission in Atlanta yesterday."  Sheesh!  How could they
>make an error like that?  They don't look anything alike!  I"m going to
>call the paper now!
>                Chris.

I, too, saw the incorrect caption that was in the July 16 paper, and I was a
bit mad. But coverage of gymnastics is rare in the TO Star, so I was just
happy to see the picture.
Then, the next day, in the sports section, the was a really good,
multiple-exposure picture of Lavinia Milosovici on beam, with the caption:
"MEDAL CONTENDOR  EXPOSED: Multiple exposure photo shows Romanian gymnast
Alexandra Marinescu going through her routine in Atlanta yesterday. She's
considered a leading contendor for an Olympic medal on the balance beam."
Then, today, there is a picture of someone, most likely Jennifer
Excaltation, (Spelling?)with a caption saying that it is Shanyn MacEachern.
That one could be right, but even two wrong captions in two days is
terrible. Three wrong captions in three days is inexcusible. WHY DON'T THEY
CHECK THEIR INFO??????????????



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:23:42 -0400
From:    ***@GNN.COM

>     Does anyone know if we can send fan mail to the gymnasts in Atlanta?

Go to NBC's Olympic page

You can send e-mail to any athlete at the Games; whether or not they will
actually get it, I dont know


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 13:29:59 MDT
Subject: Drug use among gymnasts

Hello group,
    I thought I would try to help provide some insight into drug use
in gymnastics.  Although I thought that gymnatics was basically drug-
free based on not "hearing" of a single incident of steroids in
gymnastics, I am sad to say that this was naive.  Bridgett Berendonk,
a former West German thrower has researched drug use among Europeans,
particularly East Germany for some years and wrote a book titled
"Doping" that was very controversial for a while in Europe.  My
graduate student, James Major has translated this book from German to
English for the USOTC.  This book was exceedingly thorough regarding
drug use, particularly in track and field, but also discusses other
sports as well.  A male gymnast is quoted in the book indicating that
he not only used anabolic steroids himself, he highly recommended
them to other gymnasts.
    Interestingly, when the wall came down their was a concentrated
and systematic attempt to destroy all drug information in the former
East German sports institutes (i.e., Leipzig).  Unfortunately, the
sport scientists didn't realize that all of the theses and
dissertations were archived in the military libraries and were
therefore accessible by Ms. Berendonk.  It has been confirmed that
both male and female gymnasts in the former Eastern Bloc were taking
steroids and other performance enhancing substances.  The steroid of
choice for most East German athletes was oral turinabol,
which was a "designer" drug developed by the former East
Germany.  However, this was not the drug of choice for gymnasts
because it did result in more "bulking up."  The steroid of choice
for gymnasts, particularly female, was mestanolol (sp?).  Although
this drug tends to have an increased virilizing effect, it does not
tend to increase bulk.  This was the same steroid that the US female
swimmer as tested positive for some months ago.  The drugs did not
stop there.  The gymnasts took drugs that reduced inhibitions (I
don't recall the name), and they also took various other "neuro-
enhancers."  A book on steroids in the US has also shown that
gymnasts in the US have taken steroids although the prevalence was
quite small.  Unfortunately, the idea that steroids will just bulk
you up and thus are not useful to gymnasts is simply not true.  I
have also not seen the "balance problem" symptom that was listed on
the net.
    Following the fall of the wall it has been rumored that several
former East German sport scientists were immediately hired by China
presumably to gain access to their top-notch drug information.  I
have presented information to USA Gymnastics about this problem and
they have been directly pursuing it with the FIG.  Mr.
Peter Kormann has been suspicious of many male gymnasts
for some time based on "miraculous" increases in
strength that could not have been achieved by normal
means.  Similar suspicions have been leveled by coaches
in diving.  Unfortunately, random - in training - drug testing must
be undertaken to actually catch anyone and this has been shown to be
VERY expensive (e.g. IAAF).  Based on a survey that Dr. Keith
Henschen and myself did some years ago, the gymnasts surveyed
(nationwide) did not indicate any steroid use.  The only drug that
appeared to be misused/abused was weight control pills.
    I am certain that any steroid use in the US among gymnasts is
exceedingly small.  However, as drug use becomes more pervasive among
our foreign counterparts, and we begin to learn why we have not been
able to show the miraculous improvements of some other nations, the
pressure to take such drugs is likely to increase.  This is why I
presented the steroid (and other drug) information to USA Gymnastics.
Sadly, since that presentation, I don't know what, if anything, has
been done.  As commercialism, prize money, and so forth continue to
become greater and greater influences on athletic achievement, the
potential for drug use and abuse is going to increase.  The only
answer that has been found to drug use is random, anytime-anywhere
drug testing.  Moreover, specifying precisely what a "drug" is has
been difficult.  Although you might think that once caught the former
East German sport scientists would confess guilt, but they didn't.
In fact, they argued that the use of steroids was merely
rehabilitative and thus helped the athletes recover more quickly
between trainings.  This meant that, according to them, it really
wasn't doping.  I have similar questions regarding such "supplements"
as creatine and "adaptogens" such as eleutherococus senticus.
    Anyway, I hope that this helps shed some light on the drug issue
thread running through gymn right now.
Best Wishes,
Wm A. Sands, Ph.D.
Motor Behavior Research Laboratory
University of Utah


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:34:03 -0400
From:    ***@GNN.COM
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 17 Jul 1996 to 18 Jul 1996 - Special issue

>I know I am feeling the same way! Why don't they ever show Kerri, Amanda or
>Jaycie? They have tried the hardest and we already know Shannon and Dom's
>life story! Not to start anything, but my sister believes she is actually
> the
>greatest thing and is the only team leader(DOM) and she is forgetting about
>the veterans, I am so sick of this media hype!

I think the most overlooked US athlete -- and one with a shot for medals is
Dominique Dawes.

Kerri, Amanda, Jaycie, and Shannon all seem to have their boosters on the
list, so here's some hurrahs for Dominique D.

1. She has *never* added a cheap front tumbling pass to her floor ex
2. She has *never* done "cheap" vaults: Hristakievas (even when it was a 10
vault!), Phelps, but kept doing her 1 1/2 twister, even though it had failed
her at key AA moments
3. She never downgraded her 3-layout pass on beam (although she's missed
that last one or two occasionally, at least she's still doing it instead of
2 layouts or layout BH combos)
4. I've never seen her fall off the beam in all the competitions i've seen
5. Her floor music isn't a tepid arrangement of a 50s rock tune




Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 14:53:57 CDT
From:    ***@PROCTR.CBA.UA.EDU
Subject: Shannon/Dom M/Underdogs?

Regarding the article stating the #1 and #2 gymnasts, Shannon and Dom
M., let's all remember what happened in Barcelona.  All the attention
was given to Kim Zmeskal and underdog Shannon Miller stepped up.
So, watch for the underdogs(the unmentioned) in Atlanta.  Someone is going to
move in for the kill.  I think it's Dawes', Strug's and Phelps' time.  Although,
think everyone is going to do well.



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:44:58 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Fan Mail to Olympians

In the Olympic edition of Sports Illustrated For Kids, they said you can send
snail mail to any athlete at this address-

                            Athlete's Name
                            Athlete's Country
                            c/o Olympic Village
                            1996 Olympic Avenue
                            Atlanta, GA  31190

Also in that magazine, there was an article about Vitaly Scherbo, Dominique
Moceanu, and Svetlana Khorkina.



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:21:29 CDT
From:    ***@PROCTR.CBA.UA.EDU
Subject: AA Vaults

Does anyone know if they will be counting both vaults for a combined
score, during the all-around?



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 13:00:15 -0700
From:    ***@UCLA.EDU
Subject: Chainey Umphrey


I am having problems witht the fact that Chainey is being dropped off of
High Bar and Vault.  At Olympic Trials he placed Fourth.  That means that
he is fourth in the nation at this time.  Why are his competing slots being
given to Jair Lynch.  Am I missing something?  Chainey earned his spots!!
Here are results from both Chainey and Jair.

US Olympic Trials: Men's Final rankings


Scores are weighted 40% USA Championships, 60% Trials. The below totals
reflect this weighting. The first line is compulsories-Trials; second line is
optionals-Trials; third line is carried Championships score; fourth is final
ranking totals.

                                          FX     PH     SR       VT
PB     HB            AA

4 Chainey Umphrey       9.075  9.025  9.487  9.550  9.475  9.375   55.987
    UCLA                         9.250  9.350  9.475  9.300  9.537  9.350
    Champs:                                                    88.360

 6 Jair Lynch                  9.025  9.425  8.975  9.700 9.625 9.637  56.387
    Stanford                      9.637  9.625  9.150  9.250 9.700 8.100  55.462
    Champs:                                                    88.380

I have nothing against Jair but I feel that Chainey deserves better than
what he is getting.  He is such a great ambassador for mens gymnastics
which is really needed now.  He missed the 1992 Olympics by I believe a
tenth to fall to eigth plave overall and missed the team(I could be
mistaken) and so now he makes the team with room to spare and he isn't
allowed to compete all-around.  That is ridiculous.  Chainey's high bar is
spectacular.  Anyone that has seen is release moves sequence is in awe.
HIs highbar sequence is UNMATCHED in the United States.

I am going to send a letter to USA Gymnastics Online to let them know of my
diappointment of the Mens Head coach decision making ablilities.  I think
that we as gymnastics supporters need to step in and let someone know that
it just doesn't make sense.  Just compare the scores above.  Take a look...

                                       Vault Comp.       Vault Opt.
High Bar Comp.     High Bar Opt.
Chainey  Umphrey               9.550              9.300
9.375                   9.350
Jair Lynch                            9.700             9.250
9.637                   8.100

If Jair gets another 8.1 that would be devistating to the team.

EMAIL STATING THEIR DISAPPROVAL(sorry about the caps). Here is the

I think that a group effort would make a bigger impact such as asking NBC
not to show the weight of the female gymnast on television in an attempt to
discourage eating disorders among female gymnasts.

It will only take a few minutes and the outcome could be great!!!

Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Date:    Mon, 15 Jul 1996 21:40:45 +0200
From:    ***@MAIL.TELEPAC.PT
Subject: Fan Mail to Atlanta

To Carlos and other GYMNERS who want to write to Olympic Athletes, there =
is an=20
IBM page that serves this purpose: you can write to a specific athlete, a=
specific team, or to all the athletes. It=B4s at http://www.fanmail.olymp=

Isabel F.
Go, Diana Teixeira, Portugal's only hope in Gymnastics...


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 14:54:42 -0600
From:    ***@ECENTRAL.COM
Subject: Introduction

Hi fellow GYMNers!

I have been lurking behind the scenes for a couple of months now and I
thought I would introduce myself.  I am a former gymnast from Colorado (from
the Nadia Comaneci era) and I competed through the high school level.  I
coached a few classes with the local recreation program.  I still love to
follow the sport.

Concerning the tape trade,   Corrie wrote:

"I was wondering if anyone from the USA is going to be able to tape the CBC
or other Canadian broadcasts because I am interested in getting copies of
these, but I am not interested in paying the international postage.  Please
let me know, thanks."

I am also interested in CBC broadcasts and would like to avoid paying
international postage.  I will not be able to tape any of the Olympic
coverage, so I will have nothing to trade.  Can anyone help me?  Please
e-mail me if you can.  Thank you!


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 13:39:51 +0000
From:    ***@IGC.APC.ORG
Subject: Cacovean/Romanian women

Why isn't Cacovean on the Romanian squad?

And what's this about Marinescu and Amanar not
looking up to snuff in podium training?  Surprising.

--Mary Lynne


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 16:20:32 -0700
Subject: Address needed

Is there anybody on this list who knows the address of the Czech
Gymnastics Federation?  I tried the Gymn archives, but it wasn't listed.

If anyone can provide it, could you please email me privately?



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 21:44:35 EDT
From:    ***@JUNO.COM
Subject: Don'g single Chinese out.

   Well, it is not just some of the Chinese sportsmen and women were
found of using drugs, in reality, there are more americans as well as
other europeans using drugs.

   It seems that people have been fooled to stick their eyes on every
move Chinese make, when at the same time, all others were lost in the


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:08:07 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Sports Illustrated's "Prelude to the games"

It's sort of interesting how the media seems to "forget" who the current
national champion is. In a few magazines I've read recently, I've seen
Dominique M. named as the national champion, with no acknowledgement
whatsoever of Shannon Miller (who in fact has been champ not only of the U.S.
twice, but also of the world twice as well). Somehow, it's frustrating - even
for me


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:11:38 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Gymnastics in San Fran. press

There was also today in the San Francisco Chronicle (July 18), a section
devoted to the Olympics. Featured was a 1 pg. photo of Dominique M. and a lot
about the gymnastics personalities at the Olympics. If anyone has access to a
"real" paper, it's quite interesting. (I don't know if
includes pic's, and I've never come across any there, so....)



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:12:59 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 18 Jul 1996 - Special issue

In a message dated 96-07-18 14:16:23 EDT, you write:


      Does anyone know if we can send fan mail to the gymnasts in Atlanta? If
 so, where can we send it?
      I know that they might be a LITTLE busy for fan mail right now, but
 might have time after the competitions.
YOu can write to the athletes at:
Athlete's Name
Athlete's Country
c/o Olympic Village
1996 Olympic Avenue
Atlanta, GA 31190
And yes it is legit, I got it out of Sports Illustrated for Kids
Hope this helps


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:31:15 -0400
From:    ***@PITT.EDU
Subject: The Official China Olympic News Homepage

It's at
You can find profiles, pictures, video clips there. As for gymnastics,
they have two video clips, featuring Mo Huilan and Li Xiaoshuang.


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:21:07 +0000
From:    ***@RMII.COM
Subject: Re: Chainey Umphrey

> I am having problems witht the fact that Chainey is being dropped off of
> High Bar and Vault.  At Olympic Trials he placed Fourth.  That means that he
> is fourth in the nation at this time.  Why are his competing slots being
> given to Jair Lynch.  Am I missing something?  Chainey earned his spots!!

The focus of the men's program is assembling the best possible performance.
This means putting on the floor the best possible routines for each event,
the best six routines for each rotation.  Chainey Umphrey was dropped for the
COMPULSORY vault and high bar.  (The optional team lineup has not been decided

Compulsory vault -- of the seven team members, Chainey scored the lowest of
all at both Nationals and Trials.

Compulsory high bar -- of the seven team members, Chainey scored the lowest
of all at Nationals (Chainey got a 9.10, the next lowest was 9.4); and he
was the second lowest at Trials (Chainey, 9.375; Macready fell -- 8.875).



Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 23:38:58 -0400
Subject: The IRC channel

Hi I just wondered if anyone out there uses the channel, I would like to
but I don`t know the schedule or even how to get started with IRC. I would
appreciate if someone Emailed me privatly with all the Info.




Date:    Fri, 19 Jul 1996 01:44:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Deductions

They are not allowed to use a crash mat in the olympics.

>Is there a deduction in mens FX for tumbling onto a crash mat/pad?


Date:    Thu, 18 Jul 1996 23:22:27 -0700
From:    ***@EFN.ORG
Subject: Podium Training

I know all you gymners who are in Atlanta are probably very busy, but if
one of you could let us know how the gymnasts have been doing it podium
training, I'm sure many of us are dying to hear!

Any information, men's or women's, from any country is welcome!

Thank you!


P.S. Feel free to email me privately if you would rather not post to the


Date:    Fri, 19 Jul 1996 02:50:43 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 18 Jul 1996 - Special issue

In a message dated 96-07-18 14:16:00 EDT, you write:
Jeff asks:

>Do you think the Olympics in the US will cause another surge in
>enrollment like in 1984?
>Was there a surge after Barcelona?

Yes, and we club owners are counting on it!  Barcelona's broadcast was so
late that few watched.  This should be different.


End of GYMN-L Digest - 18 Jul 1996 to 19 Jul 1996