GYMN-L Digest - 21 May 1996 to 22 May 1996

There are 15 messages totalling 491 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Shut up posts
  3. Kim Kelly (3)
  4. Moceanu vs. Marinescu (MY LAST OFFICAL POST ON THE TOPIC).
  5. NCAA eligibility
  6. media/quiet girls (2)
  7. Level 10 JO on "Olympic Odessy," Nelli Kim,
  8. Kim Kelly & the 1992 Olympics
  9. What ever happened to....
 10. Stacy Wong
 11. NCAA News
 12. Oprah


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 16:16:01 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Shut up posts

In a message dated 96-05-21 06:04:56 EDT, Jen writes:

>Are we STILL hooked on Spartanburg or whatever the hell it's called?!?!?!
>Can we not move on with our conversation?!?!?!  Do we not know how to take a
>hint and DROP a subject when complaints are posted?!?!  Look, I'll teach you
>how...see this:
>That is someone NOT saying anything about this issue!
>WOW!  It's just so easy to do!  If you want, I can even teach you what
>PRIVATE email means!  It's an amazing thing, I urge you to try it!

I would assert that there are some of us who really don't care about the
whole Moceanu vs. Marinescu issue. But we understand that it is related to
gymnastics, and is therefore fair game for discussion. Further, we realize
how rude it would be to try to restrict freedom of speech in relation to

If you wish, I can demonstrate how easy it is to skip a post that you don't
wish to read.


I might add that a post about the situation in Spartanburg has at least an
arguable connection to gymnastics. Whereas, a post telling people to shut up
has none.


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 16:53:43 -0400
From:    ***@GNATNET.NET

Okay.. for everyone who has privately and publicly requested this:

I don't have time right this minute... but I PROMISE... tonight or
tommorrow I will post in-depth instructions for connecting to IRC!!

Happy Gymming!


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 14:03:33 -0700
From:    ***@ASU.EDU
Subject: Kim Kelly

        I believe Kim considered a lawsuit, but decided not to file one,
because of the disruption this would cause for her, and for the team.
She went to Barcelona as a spectator and handled it as gracefully as
could be done, under the circumstances.  She's always been a class act, and
I was thrilled to see her end her career with a team national championship,
and a 10 and the title in her final performance.



Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 16:18:00 -0500
From:    ***@CARLETON.EDU
Subject: Re: Kim Kelly

>I was watching the women's NCAA Championships, and the commentators said
>that Kim Kelly earned a place on the Barcelona Olympic team, but lost the
>spot to someone who came back from injury.  Does anyone know who the
>gymnast was?

I was just reading that Chapter of Little Girls in Pretty Boxes last
night. (I checked it out of the library so Joan Ryan isn't getting a
cent!)  It said she'd made the team as well as Michelle Campi.  Betty
Okino was the one trying to get on the team.  Michelle had missed the
Trials, but was still on the team due to her finish at nationals.  Betty
Okino had competed at neither, but was the one that cause the special
selection meet to be held.


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 17:26:03 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Kim Kelly

It could also be taken that Betty Okino was the gymnast that replaced Kim
Kelly. Michelle Campi was also injured, but she made the team by counting her
Nationals scores twice, and then qualified based on that point total. Betty
didn't compete in either the Trials or Nationals, but she was named to the
training squad based on her ranking of #4 in the world. (Betty was a great
gymnast, and I admire her a lot, but I never did see how her level of
difficutly got her that ranking.)

After they named eight people to the training squad, they had to decide which
gymanst would be cut from the team. Wendy Bruce was the logical choice since
she finished last in the Trials of all the squad members. However, all the
gymnasts had to try out again in front of the coaches. The coaches, in a
closed meeting, then decided who would stay and who would be taken off the
team. They chose to take Kim Kelly off.  Wendy Bruce, though she did do a
good job at the Olympics, would have been the more logical choice, if you ask



Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 18:19:31 -0600
Subject: Moceanu vs. Marinescu (MY LAST OFFICAL POST ON THE TOPIC).

I wanted to get people on this list to tell me what Moceanu has accomplished
so far to make her a favorite for the Olympics. I only know of a weeks
effort in Japan last year and her current National rankings. I was hoping
that someone would post something but that never materialized, which I
am kind of dissappointed about since I don't know about all the meets
around the world.

But I also hope that people get the message that it is unfair to call someone
a 'favorite' simply out of patriotism and 'liking what you see on the three
seconds of air time gymnastics gets on Saturdays and Sundays'. I have been
on this list for about three and a half years now. I have seen alot of
posts about really strange topics and some not so strange, but I recall
alot of traffic concerning the 'build-up' and media hype putting pressure on
gymnasts. I can't see *ANYTHING* different between John Tesh saying that
Moceanu is a 'shoe in' that what IG said about Phillips in 1988 (THE
SAME) and what people said about Zmeskal in 1992.

I see no difference between what television banters about during fluff
pieces and the ignorant gymnastic fans who build up a gymnast on this
list without giving much (or ANY) support for their reasons based on
the performances of the athlete in internationallly judged, internationally
competed competitions.

I think that as aavid fans of this sport is so easy to put the 'blame' on
the pressure on athletes on the media, but we have to agree that sometimes
we, some of the sports biggest fans, are doing it to on this list.

So, I ask that everyone just think about what they say whenever they type
"so-and-so" is a better gymnast that so-and-so. I just might call you on it,.
as I have called several people on the list.

I may not like Moceanu's form, her dance style, and some of her routine
composition, but I don't bash her and say she's worse that Marinescu. I
simply defended Marinescu's record as a good gymnast with a gropwing list of
international accomplishments and recognition. I hope that subscribers to
this list would think about these qualities when they try to talk about
Olympic champions. It routinely, if not always, comes down to these
qualities, not just what the crowd wants. After all, if that was the case,
Shannon Miller might have retired after winning Barcelona, since the
crowd was definitely more supportive of her than ofd Gutsu's performances.

(Exceptions being 1980 and 1984).

Sorry for the banter..


(Usual .sig file).


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 19:56:04 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: NCAA eligibility

Quick Question:
I run a recreational gymnastics program for the local Parks & Rec. Dept. and
we have some excellent junior staff (we call them LITs Leader-in-Training)
that volunteer their time to learn to coach and help us out at the gym.  I
have one young man in particular that has been with us for approximately 2
years.  He also takes classes at Miami-Dade gymnastics.  He is 15 and I am
considering hiring him as a paid staff in the future.  Would this affect his
NCAA eligibility??

 He is an excellent gymnast who has a double-full on our non-spring floor and
is learning full double back.  We would love to see him compete; but he does
not have the monetary support for a private gymnastics program. . .

If anyone has ideas or answers please e-mail me or post.. .



Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 06:02:41 +0000
From:    ***@IGC.APC.ORG
Subject: media/quiet girls

I see it this way: a young woman athlete who bluntly
sizes up her competition (Marinescu); or who seems happy
to bubble over to the media about her ambitions (Moceanu);
or who enthusiastically chatters with the camera about
her life in gymnastics and her feelings on its ups and downs
(Borden)---is far more interesting and does far more for the sport
than one who, when faced with the media, simply repeats the
mantra "I don't think about [fill in blank], I just want to go out
and hit my routines."

Someone correctly, in my mind, drew the link between
our exhaustive analysis of the off-the-cuff, translated statements
of then-14 year old Marinescu, and whether women's gymnastics
over-encourages its participants to be "quiet" or "submissive."
Whether or not that is true I'll leave for another day.  There can be
no doubt, however, that most of today's female gymnasts are
*perceived*  that way, and thus although they receive a great
deal of respect for their skills, it's hard for the public to feel as
though they relate to them as people.   It does a lot for the
sport when we hear from the more extroverted gymnasts, or
hear something (anything) unexpected.

Sure, opinions can be stated tactfully--Borden, for example,  seems
both uncensored and graceful.  But for now, I'll take the appearance
of honesty and spontaneity however I can get it, if it gives some
hint that there is a live,  sassy spirit within.   I'm still looking for the
female gymnast who takes after Dennis Rodman.... (ok, ok, maybe not)

BTW,  I've talked only about women's gymnastics because that's
the realm with which I am personally familiar, and thus about which
I have stronger opinions on these particular issues--I'd welcome
thoughts on how similar concerns play out in the men's gymnastics

---Mary Lynne


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 22:07:31 -0500
Subject: Re: media/quiet girls

This is my last comment on the Marinescu issue, then I'm going to
shut up. I promise. :)

Someone metioned earlier that American girls have media instruction.
They are taught how to speak to the media, and perhaps the Romanians
are lacking that. I think Mary Lynne just mentioned something equally
important. Borden appears to be "uncensored and graceful," if I quote
correctly. Amanda Borden is also 18 (19?) years old...Marinescu is
14 (15?). With that age comes a certain amount of....freedom in
speech, but also a lack of ability to know what to say, or how to
best say it.


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 21:10:03 CST
From:    ***@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Subject: Level 10 JO on "Olympic Odessy," Nelli Kim,

>Anyone else catch the Junior Olympic Nationals televized on the Sports
>Channel last night? I only saw the 13 - 14 and then the 16 + people

I too watched the competition and THANKS to whomever it was on this list
who "tipped us" that gymnastics would be shown.  I was one of the beam
judges at that competition, and got to watch myself in the background
(yuck).  Anyhow, the BEST competiton on beam was in the 17 and older age
group.  That competition was not shown, nor were the younger kids (10 to 12
age group?)  Does anyone know if those 2 age groups will be shown on a
different show?

As to the Nelli Kim question, I've mentioned in previous posts that she is
living in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.  She was supposed to judge with us
on Sunday at a USAIGC Regional meet, but had to cancel as she went to
the Europeon championships to judge.  Anyhow, Nelli and her 10 year old
daughter (by the way, who is also named Nelli), were here for an "exchange
program" for her daughter.  Nelli has told us (the judges here locally)
that she is not sure what she'll be doing after the Olympics, but her
daughter would love to stay.  So, we'll see what happens.  It's been a
thrill to have Nelli here in town.  She's a lovely lady, extremely bright,
and her English improved dramatically in just a few months.  She writes
down words she doesn't understand, and asks people the meaning,
pronunciation, etc.



Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 23:36:00 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Kim Kelly & the 1992 Olympics

>     I was watching the women's NCAA Championships, and the commentators
>that Kim Kelly earned a place on the Barcelona Olympic team, but lost the
>spot to someone who came back from injury.  Does anyone know who the gymnast

The brief answer to your question is Betty Okino, but technically, Kim Kelly
made it on to the "Olympic Training Squad," not the Olympic Team.

The long answer is that in 1991, the USGF made a decision that practically
assured any World Championship individual medalists from either Indianapolis
in 1991 or Paris in 1992 of a spot on the "Olympic Training Squad."  Three
individuals qualified for this provision:  Kim Zmeskal (AA Gold, FX Bronze
1991; BB & FX Gold 1992), Shannon Miller (UB Silver 1991), and Betty Okino
(BB Bronze 1991; UB Silver 1992).

The Olympic Squad could theoretically have consisted of 10 athletes:  the top
7 from Nationals/Trials, plus Zmeskal, Miller & Okino being allowed to
petition in.  The 7 Olympians would be chosen from this group by vote of the
coaches and a USGF "volunteer," Roe Kreutzer.  Zmeskal and Miller competed
(Miller competed only at Trials and her there score was essentially counted
twice).  Okino was the only petition on to the squad, sending 8 gymnasts
(Zmeskal, Miller, Okino, Kelly, Kerri Strug, Wendy Bruce, Michelle Campi and
Dominique Dawes) to the training camp in Florida.

It is my understanding that the USGF mandated the coaches to choose the 7
athletes most likely to gain the highest team finish in Barcelona, not
necessarily the 7 who were most prepared, most healthy or anything else.

IMHO (and I could be wrong), the competition for the last spot was between
Kelly and Bruce; and the decision was made, as least partially, due to
Kelly's "unfortunate" performances in almost all her international
competitions.  Wendy Bruce had competed internationally less than Kim Kelly,
but was generally consistent, and had gained the respect of the international
judges (especially due to a very solid 1989 Worlds).  Kelly, by contrast, had
at least two falls at 1989 Worlds, and her optional UB there without a fall
was only 9.3xx (9.362?).  Her most successful international that I am aware
of was the 1990 Olympic Cup, where she was able to hold 3rd despite a break
(not a fall) on UB.

If you were on that committee, all political prejudices aside, who would you
have chosen?



Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 17:04:23 -0800
From:    ***@EFN.ORG
Subject: Re: What ever happened to....

I was just wondering what has become of Oksana Fabrichnova.  I haven't seen
her since the Goodwill Games.

It was briefly intended that she would compete at Subway, but was replaced
by Galieva.  I have not seen or heard anything about her since.  Does anyone
know how she is doing?  Will she be on the Russian team this summer?

Thank you,



Date:    Wed, 22 May 1996 00:39:12 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Stacy Wong

In a message dated 96-05-21 18:19:02 EDT, you write:

>Stacy Wong of California (the 16 + AA champ) Threw an
>an-inch-to-spare AWESOME non piked double layout (NAILED THE LANDING!) and
>a super high tkatchev on bars. Also, there were alot of triple fulls. A few
>gymnasts even seemed to finish the twist priot to landing and just dropped
>of the move. Super cool.
>Most impressive combination tumbling pass was Wong (again) for her second
>pass of front-ro-whip-whip-ff-double full with so much power. She's
>built like Mary Lou. She's SO STRONG!

I have to agree with you Jeff. STacy is one very impressive gymnast! I hosted
the Norcal level 9/10 State meet. She was awesome! She did a spectacular
double lay there too. Her bars are gorgeous as is evvery other event she
does. She is one of the most powerful gymnasts I have seen in a long time.
Kudos to her for doing so well at Nationals.


Date:    Tue, 21 May 1996 20:35:10 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: NCAA News

To all:
   For those of you who are NCAA women's fans, you'll be happy to hear this:
Gymnastics Insider, the only collegiate gymnastics publication out there,
will have a web site up by December.
    The Insider is the only publication to keep track of ALL scores,
injuries, updates, you name it.
-- Ronald


Date:    Wed, 22 May 1996 18:38:13 +1000
From:    ***@OZEMAIL.COM.AU
Subject: Oprah

"Little girls in pretty boxes" screened in Australia two days ago.  After
reading all the comments on this newsgroup, I thought I was in for a load of
crap.  But all the show really did was review The Book.  We all know The
Book is discussing the bad side of gymnastics.

>Julissa Gomez was injured performing a difficult move - Yurchenko. But, they
>didn't mention that hundreds of other girls all over the world are competing
>it successfully.

That wasn't the point.

>I wasn't impressed with Kristy Phillips much. She kept contradicting

Yes, very true, but I thought the ice skater in the audience who attacked
her was worse.

Betty should have spoken more, but what she said was good. She knew
>she had a serious injury, but chose to compete, FOR HERSELF!

I got the impression Betty has heard it all before, and is sick of defending

>As for eating disorders, you must remember that millions of people, not only
>gymnasts have anorexia or bulimia. (sp?)
>Gymnastics is a risky sport, so is motor racing, rugby, athletics, all
>What about the positive side of the sport? The fact that we enjoy it, it
>teaches extreme discipline, it keeps teenagers who could be out doing drugs
>etc. off the street.

I think we all have to remember that Joan Ryan never said in The Book she
was going to talk about the positive side of gymnastics.  Obviously it is
not the only side, but I really think most people have a bit of common
sense, and can see past the bad.  Contrary to what someone posted when the
show was aired in the States, Oprah did say that Joan Ryan was only talking
about elite gymnastics.

>The program overall, made me sick!

No, it didn't make me sick.  Every sport has it's controversial side.  I bet
if Oprah did a show on soccer hooligism, the soccer newsgroup would be
posting messages similar to ours.  Or the motor racing newsgroup when Ayrton
Senna died, and everyone said motor racing is dangerous.  Bad news is good
news to the popular press.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, I got sick to death of explaining to people
that gymnasts didn't take drugs to make them small.  In the 1990s, our sport
has to deal with this issue.

BTW, I think the best comments I've heard about the show were from my sister
and my husband, who are not gym fans.  They both had the opinion that Oprah
wasn't out to destroy the sport, but she was reviewing The Book.

Sometimes we gym fans can get a bit overprotective.



End of GYMN-L Digest - 21 May 1996 to 22 May 1996