GYMN-L Digest - 24 Jul 1996 - Special issue
There are 19 messages totalling 654 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. Looking for scores
2. Women win gold!
3. Dom M w/o the fall
4. tv Alert
5. NBC Coverage Good
6. The US CROWD
7. USA team
8. Olympic Questions...
9. If I hear one more complaint about NBC....!
10. UNSUBCRIBE ME!!!
11. NBC's coverage Tues. 7/23 (LONG) (2)
12. various gripes about whiners
13. 0.2 deductions
14. Recording of yesterdays optionals
15. AA Qualifiers
16. Life During Wartime
17. Canadian Coverage (Not CBC vs NBC)
18. Comments on NBC (constructive and otherwise)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:33:07 -0400
Subject: Looking for scores
HELP!!!!!! I am very frustrated because NBC did not give the scores for
Moceanu's beam and Kerri's floor. My daughter and I were keeping very
careful track of scores and were really aggrevated!!! Does anyone have the
scores? If so, please E-mail them. Thanks so much. I wish NBC had shown
the competition a little earlier instead of making us stay up until all hours
of the night. I couldn't get my 13 year old unglued from the TV and of
course she still had to go to gym early this morning! As much as I hate to
see any gymnast get hurt, and as much as I hate to see Kerri miss the chance
at AA that she's been waiting so long for, I think her vault will go down in
Olympic history. She will be remembered forever, as she never would have
been before. Things work in strange ways!
CONGRATULATIONS TO AMANDA, AMY, DOMINIQUE D., DOMINIQUE M., JAYCIE, KERRI AND
SHANNON ON A JOB WELL DONE! THEY WERE SOLID!
Janet Lynch, still awed in Vermont!
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 11:38:29 -0500
Subject: Women win gold!
I was really excited to be able to watch the United States team claim the
gold medal. When I was watching the Team Finals on TV, I couldn't help
but notice the electricity that emanated from the crowd as the Mag-7, as
they were called, entered the Georgia Dome.
>From the beginning, these athletes competed as though they were posessed,
sticking every move they attempted. After the first rotation when the US
ladies overtook the Russians, it seemed that that competitive drive
Even onto the last rotation, the US women were clearly in control of that
night. I thought it interesting that they quoted the Russian coach saying
that he didn't really care for the venue because the people were so loud
there. But, that is what you can expect when you have the home-court
advantage, I guess.
But the real story of the night were the efforts, and ultimately the gold
medal-winning efforts of Kerri Strug. I don't know...it seems as if the
people whom the media crown as being the best hopes for gold on the team
are the ones who are overshadowed by the oft-unmentioned teammate (e.g.,
Shannon overshadowed by Kim, Kerri overshadowed by Dominique and
Shannon). It was her performances that seemed to cap the evening off.
When she performed her second vault, I was having feelings of both joy
and concern for her. First, she captured the gold medal for the team
(which it later turned out that she did not even have to do the vault),
but ultimately it was the concern for her physical health. When she
landed from that vault, you could tell she was really hurt...she
mentioned later on that she was hurting even before the vault, but she
chose to do it anyways so as not to let her country, her teammates, and
ultimately herself down.
For this, I commend Kerri. She is the true hero of these Games.
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 11:39:53 CDT
Subject: Dom M w/o the fall
It seems that Dom M would be in 2nd or 3rd place going into
all-around finals without the fall on vault and about a 9.70 score,
which would be safe to say(she is capable of it). A 9.80 might
would have put her in first or close to it. So, let's see how the
all-around will go.
Another interesting note and for those Bama fans out there, U of A won
the NCAA National Championships this year with the same rotation order as the
USA women's team. They started on bars and ended on vault.
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:51:16 -0400
Subject: tv Alert
Today, Wednesday, July 24, 1996, there is going to be gymnastics on Day and
Date which airs on CBS at 4:00. It is supposed to be about gymnastics,
including the contoversies, so it's probably based on Little Girls in Pretty
Boxes. Maybe we'll actually be lucky and it will show more than one side of
Yours in Gymnastics,
Congratiulations to the US women's team for job well done.
P.S. I really hope Kerri is going to be OK since she certainly was a key
player in the US chance for winning gold. Look what she's done for the USA.
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 10:50:50 -0600
Subject: NBC Coverage Good
NBC is doing a fine job of covering the Olympics.
What those of us who want more gymnastics with a diminished focus on the US
discount is that NBC paid an enormous amount of money for this premier block
of entertainment programming. They've got stockholders that demand they
break even or make a profit on it. If this were PBS, you'd probably get
more balanced coverage but I'll bet there'd be quite a few more pieces on
Atlanta & the history of sports. (Side question: If this were on PBS, who
would take John Tesh's role? Would we have the Laughlin Group covering
There are very few truly knowledgable gym fans in the audience. I estimate
that less than 1 1/2 million potential viewers have had enough technical
exposure to gymnastics to tell a Jaeger from a Geinger. Meanwhile, there
are millions of people who like watching gymnastics because they think it's
pretty and shows the incredible skill and dedication of these athletes.
They *want* to think they know what's going on but they need a connection
that can explain it to them, on a level they can understand.
John Tesh is that link. He acts as a fan of U.S. gymnastics and people can
feel that they've got him in the living room to interpret what Elfe & Tim
have to say. Sure, he's repetitive and keeps talking about the beam being
four feet high and four inches wide. That's his job--because he's there to
make gymnastics accessible to people who would love to appreciate it but
don't see enough of it to be able to follow or determine which routine was
best. Heck, if you listen to football & baseball commentators, they're
always doing some things to educate novice members of their audience,
although they have the comparative luxury of knowing their audience can
usually tell a touchdown from a turnover.
Four years ago, NBC gave us the tremendous gift of the TripleCast. It was
supposed to make money but it tanked. Although I can see a number of
marketing mistakes that were made with the TripleCast that could be avoided
in the future, enabling a network to make money on such an offering, NBC was
burned badly by the experience.
I'm afraid that some of the more vocal of us are comparing current coverage
with the TripleCast. We're getting so much in terms of gymnastics now that
I know basketball , baseball and tennis afficionados who are pretty ticked
off about all of the gymnastics. Which pleases me because we don't get to
see gymnastics like this except during the Olympics.
Yes, it's not the TripleCast. Yes, it's focused on the US gymnasts. That's
for two reasons.
1. NBC is broadcasting within the US. They'll lose folks on the commercial
breaks if there isn't something interesting to bring them back. So we see
US gymnasts, a few outstanding gymnasts from other countries, some focus on
the most competitive teams and we see the big mistakes. All of these are
interesting to a partisan U.S. audience.
2. This year we've seen the men's team improve tremendously with some great
individual and team efforts. They're going places. This year the women's
team is great! With the continuity on team from Barcelona, the audience
wants to see Shannon, Kerri & Dom. They know that Amanda just barely missed
out on Barcelona & there's all of the hype about Dom M. Even the coaches
seem to be more cohesive, less locked in their ego trips. The team is
working together rather than competing against each other. In the past,
when the US has not had strong teams, there's been more coverage of other
gymnasts. This year, the viewing audience wanted the gold and the glory.
I hope that there will be a number of great tapes made of the gymnastics
competition at the Olympics. NBC has terrific raw footage that they can
polish and sell (but why not take orders for it now?) or license to other
I do appreciate the amount of gymnastics coverage that we're getting from
NBC and the sport should see a popular boom because of it. Now, if USAG
would only go to work on maintaining this Olympic coverage of gymnastics as
a popular spectator sport, we might be able to look forward to meets that
are broadcast on the day of competition rather than being delayed for months.
My $0.02 worth. Flame away!
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:55:21 -0400
Subject: The US CROWD
I remember reading somewhere at Sabae that there were cheering
sections for a lot of the countries composed of school children. Talk
There wasn't any "Southern Hospitality" at these Games.
The solgan for 1996 is : Atlanta Come share the dream. Yeah right.
It was nice to see Japanese, Russian, Brazilan, Greek, British and Dutch
cheering sections.( I was watching CBC and SRC not the NBC ) It was also
nice to see matches that feature athletes that were not from the US (
again I wasn't watching NBC) For a minute I thought that the US was the
only entrant in the games and everybody else was just there for show.
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 10:03:33 +0100
Subject: USA team
I must admit that I was skeptical when I got the results... USA won...
anyway, after watching the coverage I must admit the US looked good..
however, we have NOTHING to compare them to, because NBC showed nobody
else... Its like, I like my car and I think its powerful, but then I drive
another car and I'm like wow, my car lacks bigtime... the same goes here...
Of course the US is going to look strong if they dont show anybody else....
so now Im even more skeptical...
However, I am so impressed with Shannon Miller... she is the hero of the
team... she was so strong and so solid... such a leader.. and she actuall
emoted in her floor routine... she is the best competitor I've ever seen..
such a rock...
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:01:50 EDT
Subject: Olympic Questions...
Well, I have the same question others have had regarding the Olympic
coverage or lack of coverage in this case. Does anyone know if Frank
Endo or some other merchant is going to offer videotapes of the gymnastics
at the Olympics? I would kind of like to see some routines by gymnasts
from other countries.
Does anyone have a copy of the CBC or SRC coverage? Would you like to
trade for NBC's coverage or another meet? I have been recording gymnastics
meets for about 14 years, so I have a lot of meets on tape and I would be
willing to trade.
NBC showed all 24 US routines last night (women's team final) and less than
10 routines from other nations. I think I can actually remember the ones
they showed - one Romanian on vault (don't remember her name), Marinescu on
beam, Milo on floor, Grosheva on vault, Khorkina on beam and bars, and
Lilia on floor. I believe those were the only non-US routines NBC aired.
I understand NBC can't show every routine from every rotation, but they could
have at least aired highlights from the earlier rounds. I got to work this
morning and someone asked me why only 4 countries competed in the team
finals? I don't think NBC even mentioned that the other 8 countries plus the
individuals competed earlier in the day.
I'm glad the US won. I was rooting for this team (which is, BTW, the first time
I have ever rooted for a US team in the Olympics). However, I would like to
know if they really deserved the win. Were the Russians, Romanians and Chinese
underscored or were the scores accurate? The US seemed to get some slightly
elevated scores, but overall, I didn't think the scoring was too bad. I do
know the Romanians and the Russians were devastated, but I don't know if they
were upset because they didn't do well or if they were upset because they didn't
agree with the results. Does anyone have any comments on this situation?
I was a little miffed about the audience in Atlanta. The Americans were
doing great, but the audience seemed to totally ignore routines by gymnasts
from other countries. I realized that there was no clapping or cheering
for Khorkina after her beam routine. I thought that was odd... It appears
that the crowd in Atlanta for the gymnastics was not a very gymnastically
knowledgeable group overall. I have a feeling the US won't be getting any
major gymnastics meets, like the World Championships or the World Cup, for
quite a few years.
I would have liked to have seen the Romanians and Russians get their medals
along with the Americans. I'm curious if they were congratulatory towards
the AMericans or if they were ambivalent.
Another question-- NBC mentioned that the Romanians were complaining about
everything, but they never really went in to detail about the complaints.
Does anyone know the nature of their complaints? I read today that the
Chinese have had a lot of problems with the accomodations, transportation,
food, etc... in Atlanta. What are the complaints of the Romanians?
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:11:06 -0400
Subject: If I hear one more complaint about NBC....!
Ok listen, we all know that you would like to see more gymnasts covered on
TV. And that's completely understandable, but do we have to reiterate EVERY
time we see the broadcasts? I mean think about it, in all of NBC's other
Olympic coverage, do they really show more than the United States athletes?
No, and gymnastics is not an exception. The majority of the people watching
in the US are not familiar with the world's gymnasts and therefore are not
willing to watch non-Americans. We all have to understand the aspect of
interest for NBC, which is the American gymnasts. Besides, they are the
best team in the world right now. I hope you all will stop beating a dead
horse and realize that they're not going to change so enjoy the coverage you
********Go Kerri Strug! What a trooper!*********
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:20:56 -0400
Subject: UNSUBCRIBE ME!!!
Not too be rude or anything but I can't stand the opinionation and the
complaining that goes on in this list. Every single time I read it, I get
really upset at the pessimism that is all over the list. I've tried
unsubscribing before but the computer wouldn't let me, so please let me off
this list, somebody. I'm sorry to those people who this does not refer to.
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:14:07 EDT
Subject: Re: NBC's coverage Tues. 7/23 (LONG)
Suzanne L asks whether I'm sure the men's team optionals competition
was only "plausibly live." The schedule I saw for it listed the final
session starting at 4:41 p.m. (Eastern), so I'm pretty sure it would have
been over by 8:30, long before they started covering it. Same thing with the
women's team finals; the last group started at 5:11 p.m. (Eastern)
so it should have been well over by 8:30 Eastern time.
Ann K. Reed comments about Civil War pieces and Tesh's intro comment
about "little girls dancing." I actually tried to bet a friend of mine
how many days in it would take before we got an excruciating Civil War
piece, but he was smart enough not to take the bet! And did you notice
that the music under Tesh's intro was the Amish tune "Gift to Be Simple"
(as part of Copland's "Appalachian Spring")? Odd choice of music.
Joy Bauer mentions San Fujimoto competing with his broken leg
at the 1976 Olympics; NBC also mentioned this (with accompanying
footage) in their post-Leno show.
As for NBC goofing up on whether Kerri needed to do her second vault:
They mentioned that they were telling us was the score needed
under the assumption that any Russians left to compete would
all throw 10.0 sets on FX. Obviously, that didn't happen,
and wasn't likely, given the judging to that point, but that's
where the 9.4xx benchmark came from.
I had been hoping that Miller, Strug, and Dawes would end up being the US
qualifiers for AA, but this was _not_ the way I wanted it to happen. Even
if Kerri can't safely continue competing in Atlanta, I'm looking forward
to her 4 years of NCAA competition for UCLA. What a gutsy team player!
And maybe now the NBC folks will finally be able to get her age right
(18, guys, not 19, at least until November). Can you sell the rights
for your made-for-TV biopic without endangering your NCAA eligibility?
Interesting that the US had only two major breaks in the team
competition (not counting Kerri's first vault in finals), and
that they were from the two youngest team members--Phelps on
compulsory beam and Moceanu on optional vault. The "old ladies"
came through for us. How wonderful that Borden saved the best beam
routine of her life for team finals, and that Amy Chow threw
the great UB set she's capable of.
BTW, did I miss something about Miller's optional UB routine?
It seemed underscored to me, and the commentators said nothing.
Now for the not so wonderful aspects of NBC's coverage:
Optionals shown scorecard:
US all 24
Russia Khorkina on beam and bars, a couple of vaults, a clip of
a major bobble on beam, and snatches of BB routines
in the background of US FX routines, when the camera
happened to be pointing that way. (4-5)
Romania Milosovici on floor, Marinescu on beam (2)
Ukraine Podkopayeva on floor (1)
This is ridiculous. What about Amanar's FX, the high score of the day?
Only one routine for Pods, the World and European AA champion?
Nothing from Gogean, the 5th place individual finisher?
No Romanians on vault or bars, no Russians on floor?
Surely we could have watched a non-US routine instead of having the
lengthy coverage of Miller adjusting her wrist tape after UB.
They actually ended up with less coverage of the team optionals
than the team compulsories!
I missed NBC's morning coverage; did they show anything of the
earlier sessions, such as the one with China and Belarus?
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:26:23 -0400
Subject: Re: various gripes about whiners
>I am so sick of hearing all of the complaining going on on this list. The
>people on this list probably represent 1% of the serious gymnastics fans in
>the world and that IS NOT NBCs TARGET AUDIENCE. The average US viewer...AND
>NBC IS A US BROADCASTING COMAPNY...watches gymnastics during the Olympics
>and not much more than that. These people do not know much about gymnastics
>and probably don't care much about the other countries, this may be sad to
>you, but it is true.
But part of the job of a broadcasting company is to educate the public
about the sport and it's stars. NBC didn't do that. I hope they do better
in the AA, and show the gymnasts who are the best in the world but
may not be American. I mean, people who don't watch gymnastics
regularly probably have the impression that the only good gymnasts in
the world are American, which isn't true.
>And the fact that Bela...and others were coaching from the barrier, so
>what!!! It is not like all of the Russians ans Romanians even HAVE
>individual coaches that they leave behind. They are coached by one person,
>not 5 individual coaches.
>As for the American fans screaming the whole time....I AM SO SORRY THAT
>AMERICANS ARE MORE LIVELY than the quasi-dead crowd in Barcelona, which may
>have cheered in an unpartisan way, but the whole time they sounded like they
>were cheering for a badminton match.
The Americans are more lively? Yeah, but only for their own team. I mean,
the other gymnasts could have least recieved polite applause for a good
routine. And this isn't just happening in gymnastics. There are a lot of
other sports I've seen covered where the American fans failed to
awknowledge foreign athletes.
Did you watch any of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway? The
Norwegian fans cheered loudly for EVERYBODY, Norwegian or not. I
thought this was very classy and sportsmanlike of them.
NBC could at least awknowledge that other gymnasts are there and are
>I don't know how anyone can feel worse for the tears of the Russians than
>for a gymnast in pain either. I am sorry that only one team could win the
>gold, but in Barcelona when the American's finished what people considered
>to be a disappointing 3rd...I didn't see them bawling all over the
>place!!!!! Part of competition is losing too. The US DESERVED THIS. I am
>sorry that the Romanians drew the first comp rotation, but it happens.
I don't think anybody's saying that the US shouldn't have won. What they're
saying is that the other teams also performed well and should be
awknowledged for it. And that maybe the competition would have been
a little closer if all teams had the same conditions.
I saw a piece
on the American Team and where they were living and training before
the competition. They were living in a fancy college fraternity house -
by themselves - and training secretly for three hours a day. I'm SURE that
the other teams didn't have that advantage. The other teams also had
to put up with the noise generated by the American fans and not getting
any applause when they hit a routine. Was it just me or was the FX music
louder for the Americans than for the other teams?
>And compared to all of the 9.9s and 10.0s that were flying around in
>Barcelona, I think that the scoring here was much more consistent and
>correct. The US was not overscored nor were the others underscored. If
>anything, some of the US scores DID seem to be too low.
>In closing, I have just one thing to say....SUCK IT UP AND QUIT WHINING!!!!!
>Flame at will, but privately please.
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:35:28 -0400
Subject: Re: 0.2 deductions
>The 0.2 deduction for not being American and competing at the Olympics in
>Atlanta....in a team event is this deduction per person, or per team?
>If it were per person, then per team that would mean a 1.0 deduction, in
>which case if this deduction was not made Russia would have claimed team
Except for that other deduction, the one for not being American and
competing at the Olympics in Atlanta and FALLING OFF THE APPARTUS
thats still a .5 deduction, so Russia would still get the silver
Most people had thought the Russians would place 3rd or 4th -- they're my
favorite team and I'm thrilled they got the silver. Its a shame they didnt
feel the same way
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 10:50:15 -0700
Subject: Recording of yesterdays optionals
My VCR went *KAPUTZ!!* yesterday while I was at work so I missed
everything! Did anyone record yesterdays gymnastics?
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:53:08 -0600
Subject: AA Qualifiers
Could someone please e-mail a list of the women's AA Qualifiers? I can't
seem to find a list of them....
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 11:09:06 +0000
Subject: Life During Wartime
One of the touted joys of the Internet is that it allows people who
live in nations where "news" is only state propaganda to get the
real scoop from the outside world, free of the heavy hand of the
nationalist media. In that spirit, this news-deprived U.S/NBC
resident would be extremely grateful if any of you who attended
the Games, or who live in countries where TV showed what actually
*happened* at the Womens Team Comp rather than just the USA
routines, would report to the forum *any news* on the performances
of medal winners Russia and Romania, and anyone else.
Did people REALLY not cheer loudly for Sveta K? Was it that
bad? I am ashamed. What ungracious hosts.
--Mary Lynne (who wants to grow up to be like Kerri Strug)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 14:20:03 -0400
Subject: Canadian Coverage (Not CBC vs NBC)
Could someone please explain to me what were the numbers flashed at the
bottom. I saw flags and numbers and I was wondering what the
numbers represented. Was it the team's compulsory score of each event?
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 14:20:48 -0400
Subject: Re: NBC's coverage Tues. 7/23 (LONG)
At 12:14 7/24/96 EDT, you wrote:
>Suzanne Lainson asks whether I'm sure the men's team optionals competition
>was only "plausibly live." The schedule I saw for it listed the final
>session starting at 4:41 p.m. (Eastern), so I'm pretty sure it would have
>been over by 8:30, long before they started covering it. Same thing with the
>women's team finals; the last group started at 5:11 p.m. (Eastern)
>so it should have been well over by 8:30 Eastern time.
A related question... USA Today mentions that we've been seeing
"plausibly live" because part of the European broadcast deal was to show the
events live in European prime time, which is why they've been going on
early. I just looked over the times for men's and women's EFs... they're
scheduled to go during OUR prime time... so does that mean there will
actually be REAL live coverage coming up soon?
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 11:48:32 -0700
Subject: Comments on NBC (constructive and otherwise)
First off, my congratulations to all of the competitors, especially Team USA
and Kerri, but also Russia and Romania for hanging in there despite a crowd
that is about as clost to hostile as you will get outside of a
Georgia-Alabama dual meet. I agree that the U.S. has probably lost any
chance of getting a major championship here for quite some time.
Next, I think the ushers at the Olympics should be supplied with
pea-shooters to take out any moronic fans who ignore repeated pleas to stop
using their useless flash cameras.
On to NBC (I will try to be constructive):
Either get rid of John Tesh or take the time to educate him on something
other than the personal lives of the gymnasts and the dimensions of the
beam. I'm glad he lived up to his promise to keep quiet during one beam
routine in compulsories, but he needs to make and keep this promise more
often. Also, these are not "little girls" anymore. They may still be small
young women, but there has been a strong trend toward maturity in women's
gymnastics lately, and it's about time John ackowledges it.
What ever happened to the days when the commentators provided a bit more
education than the dimensions of the beam? I gained a new appreciation for
pommel horse when Tim pointed out how much more difficult single-pommel work
is, and I'm sure that viewers found it interesting to know that Jaycie's
vault is named for her. It seems, however, that there is a force in place
to discourage gymnastics-related information in favor of repeating the same
comments over and over. (They can probably stop telling us that Jaycie is
named for her parents' initials.) Elfie noted the height of Dom Dawes'
release move on bars, but it was as if she was making a point of not saying
that it's called a Hindorff, and perhaps I missed it, but were either of the
compulsory vaults called by name at any point in the competition? Please
encourage your commentators to provide more of this type of information.
I could be wrong, but if you want to keep viewers in non-olympic years (God
knows the rest of us would like to see something get enough viewership to
knock the Greater Smallsville Golf Championships off the air.), educate them
in lasting matters when you have their attention. To borrow from another
sport, note that nowhere in the MacDonald's commercial do they mention
"Pocket Hurcules." As interesting as he may be to these games, the guys on
the street are discussing the finer points of the Clean and Jerk, which will
remain long after the 1996 games are in the books.
And for heaven's sake, lose the features that have nothing to do with the
Olympics. If I want to learn about the Civil War, I'll read a book, watch
the History Channel (they aren't *that* big a rating threat, are they?), or
rent the video series myself. Don't whine about cramming coverage into a
limited amount of time when you're wasting it on this and then still going
over time on non-live coverage. The Olympics are not about Atlanta as it was
or even as it will be; they are about the people and events taking place
during these 16 days.
Sorry to clog the list with this, but I thought people might want to know
one opinion sent to NBC so that they can either reinforce or rebut it.
End of GYMN-L Digest - 24 Jul 1996 - Special issue