GYMN-L Digest - 21 Nov 1995 to 22 Nov 1995
There are 9 messages totalling 280 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
2. Society's reaction to the death of an athlete
4. Reply about patriotism (2)
8. Sullivan Award Nominees
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 00:06:46 -0500
>Korbut did two variations on a layout back salto. On beam she did a
>back flip to a sitting position with no twist. I think she introduced
>this after the '72 Olympics, it wasn't in her gold medal performance.
I recall ONE version (which sounds like the one you are describing) which was
in fact in her 72 routine.
>A Rulfova is a Korbut with a full-twist which was pioneered by Jana
>Rulfova in the early '80's. I think she was the '83 World Beam champ.
Olga Mostepenova was the 83 World Beam Champ. I don't think Rulfova ever won
a World (and certainly not Olympic) medal on this or any event. Many have
mistakenly accredited Shushunova with being the first to perform this move.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 08:37:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Society's reaction to the death of an athlete
>I thought of this when hearing the news reports on the death of skating star
>Sergi Grinkov(sp?). Every news report I heard mentioned that there weren't any
>drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of death.
>Why is it that as a society, we assume that when an athlete dies at an early
>age that that person has had a drug or alcohol over dose? This is the
>impression that I got from the broadcast. Please tell me if there is something
>to my line of reasoning, because my family tells me that I'm nuts.
Tell your family that I don't think you're nuts, but fortunately I haven't
heard any reports with the drugs/alcohol remarks, and hope that I never
will. It's not necessary and is simply bad journalism, characteristic of
what I call "swampTV" (Geraldo/Hard Copy/Enquirer/buy this swampland -
kinda stuff). I'm not exposed to as much swampTV up here in Canada as I
was when I was in the U.S. I find Canadians don't have much
tolerance/curiosity for swampTV as Americans seem to. (BTW, while I'm here
in GYMN, Joan Ryan's book belongs in the swamp too, IMHO).
Before I heard the autopsy results, I was remotely concerned that the heart
attack might have been caused by some medication he could've been taking
for his back problems that I knew he has been having recently.
The societal assumptions that you refer to are based on factual past incidents.
Young athletes HAVE died from steroid use. Even teenaged non-athletes have
had heart attacks and died from first time cocaine and crack use. River
Phoenix's untimely drug-related death came as a similar surprise, as a
recent example. There are also enough scary drugs (prescription and
illicit) out there that can induce heart attack. There have been very few
well-enough-known cases of non-drug-related heart attacks in young people.
Sergei Grinkov's death is truly shocking and tragic. I had expected G&G to
skate forever, like the Protopopovs. They have so many exceptional and
exquisite qualities about them. I am honoured to have seen them skate in
person and have even been fortunate to have briefly shared some ice time
I have mixed feelings about the autopsy. If I were Katya, I wouldn't have
wanted it done either, but on the other hand, when the world asks, "How can
a 28-year old top-conditioned athlete have a heart attack?", the question
HAS to be answered; the public record begs to be set straight. That it was
not drug-related is a great relief, yet, this is certain to raise the
awareness level on heart disease amongst all ages.
If we find the journalism unnecessary, distasteful, or unacceptable in any
way, we should write to them and state our positions. They do write FOR
the public, after all.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 12:38:18 -0600
The only competition I can remember this gymnast competing in was the 1981
Europeans held in Madrid Spain. IG covered this meet very well and there is
a picture of Rulfova doing a korbut like move *BETWEEN* the bars. I think
that if someone has the back issues available in their library or at hone
they could see if she did this move on beam back then. I don't recall her
competing in Bucharest in '83 or Olumouc '84.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 11:21:53 MDT
Subject: Reply about patriotism
A short note was posted regarding an anti-patriotism issue with
regard to gymnastics. I thought I would just add a couple of
sentences to this idea because it might help put things in a
perspective that I believe is true of the vast majority (bordering on
100%) of the coaches and athletes who represent the US in gymnastics
in international competition.
Having coached a couple dozen international gymnasts some years
ago, I must say that representing the US in international competition
was taken very seriously by all the athletes and coaches I have ever
known. I think I can say that doing this was considered an honor on
a par with being an astronaut in the 60s. Moreover, the times when
the American flag was hoisted in honor of one of the athlete's
performances there were many teary eyes in the contingent. Call it
partiotism, pride in country, or whatever ALL of the athletes and
coaches I have known regard such experiences with enormous pride and
feel honored to be able to represent their country.
I too feel somewhat violated by words and actions that in any way
"cheapen" that experience. Although I will defend to the death
anyone's right to their own opinion, I do not share an antipatriotic
view, and in my experience, none of the coaches and athletes that I
have known share such an opinion. A democracy must always have a
sort of "background noise" of dissent that helps keep the democracy
alive and healthy. In that spirit I can tolerate views that are
counter to my own. However, it is important that all views be heard,
partiotic and otherwise. The arguments for and against a particular
view should also be voiced without fear. It would be nice if
athletes could compete on a level playing field with no influence of
politics whatever. However, this has not been the case since the
original Olympic Games and is even less likely today. The political
aspects of sport are what often produce the national medal counts as
some kind of indication of what nations are the "best." This results
in a chauvinism that is also difficult for me to take, but I also see
this as some of the background noise that surrounds sport. Sport has
been used as a vehicle for many things besides giving young people an
opportunity to test their abilities. One need only look at the
commercialism surrounding the 96 games and the amount of money that
is likely to be made to see that sport can be subverted for a variety
of "other agendas." It is the responsibility of citizens in a
democracy to be tolerant of a wide variety of views, but also to
recognize that often the background noise of dissent can rise to such
deafening levels that real changes occur - in my opinion usually for
the better. This is certainly a clumsy way of doing things, but it
does work, and I believe that history has shown us although a
democracy with all of its freedoms is a horribly inefficient form of
government - all of the rest are much worse.
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Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 14:45:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Reply about patriotism
>A short note was posted regarding an anti-patriotism issue with
>regard to gymnastics. I thought I would just add a couple of
>sentences to this idea because it might help put things in a
>perspective that I believe is true of the vast majority (bordering on
>100%) of the coaches and athletes who represent the US in gymnastics
>in international competition.
My initial response to the issue of patriotism that was brought up by Mr.
Grinde (Re: Nancy Raymond's attack on patriotism) was to email Mr. Grinde
directly and not bother the rest of the list. However, with Dr. Sands now
posting in response to his article I feel the need to publicly respond. The
statement by Nancy Raymond to which Mr. Grinde objected was IN HER SIGNATURE
FILE! There was nothing in the body of the message that had anything
whatsoever to do with either patriotism or an attack on it. The message was
actually about how to get back issues of IG. Nancy Raymond is an IG
Mr. Grinde indicated that if political issues were continued in messages, then
he was going to have to unsubscribe from the list. Well, congratulations Mr.
Grinde, *you* have succeeded in prompting others to post re: political issues!
If this prompts you to unsubscribe from the list, then I have only one thing
to say... Don't let the door hit you on the way out!
Dr. Sands, I eagerly read all of your articles in Technique and, in general,
look forward to your input on the list, but in regard to your current item I
have one question.... What's your point? I'm sure that that last statement
sounded rude, but I really don't mean it as such. I'm just damn pissed that
someone has taken a line from a sig and has blown it so far out of proportion.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 16:03:53 MDT
I tried to state my position as politely and tactfully as I could.
But here goes again: I think Mr. Grinde, et al. overreacted to the
issue and I simply tried to state that "in my opinion" an anti-
patriotism idea is not a mainstream view of the gymnastics people I
have come to know in the last 25 years. As for not including
political issues on this forum, I think it is unlikely that we could
get much agreement on what constitutes a political statement or
argument. In fact, many of the issues discussed on this forum are
political in my view, but I hold a rather broad idea of what
constitutes "political." Frankly, I think that any statement that is
made without supporting evidence is largely political. Certainly,
there have been many issues discussed on this forum that carry no
such evidence with them. As I think back to various threads I can
recall issues of individual coaching competencies, child abuse,
various kinds of implied threats made by coaches to athletes, whether
judging has been fair, whether a specific athlete has an eating
disorder, and so forth. At times I cringe a little in reading these,
but I also understand that a free exchange of ideas requires
tolerance of other views and ideas.
As for reading my articles in Technique - of course I am
flattered. What hurt a little bit is that it appears that my last
post was taken as somehow beneath those works in quality. If I have
offended anyone by my statements I apologize. However, like others
on this forum, when I see something posted that moves me to respond I
will respond. I mean no disrespect to anyone. I hope that Mr.
Grinde, et al. will take my comments as those of a critical friend
and not as a flame.
Best Regards to all.
Wm A. Sands
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 19:16:31 -0500
I was just watching Jeopardy, and they had a sports category in
which the answer was: Kim Zmeskal and Shannon Miller are the only two
Americans to win all- around titles at this sports World Championships.
Well, the first person to answer got it right, I think it was supposed to be
one of the harder questions, but not for anyone on this forum! Just thought
you'd like to know.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 19:53:41 -0500
Subject: Sullivan Award Nominees
Gymnastics has three 1995 AAU Sullivan Award Nominees:
End of GYMN-L Digest - 21 Nov 1995 to 22 Nov 1995