GYMN-L Digest - 27 Jul 1996 - Special issue
There are 15 messages totalling 617 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. GYMN-L Digest - 26 Jul 1996 - Special issue (2)
2. Olympic gymnastics
3. "Balancing Act" on CBC/NW Today (CAN)
4. My hopes lie w/Oly. Gym. Barbie - Oh No!
5. <No subject given>
8. At the Olympics -- The Bombing
9. What scores did they get?
10. Television, Coaching, Olympics
11. Kerri didn't need to vault...
12. Olympic comments #2,034
13. In Defence of calling Shannon a quitter.
14. Gymnastics and the Olympics
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 18:11:35 +0700
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 26 Jul 1996 - Special issue
At 18:13 26/7/96 -0400, you wrote:
>I apologize for the length of this posting, but I checked out the ESPNET
>Sportszone (recommended by a few people on the gymn list) today and discovered
>this article. If you can get past the references to "little girls" and look
>beyond the fact that this writer has never had any respect for the sport of
>women's gymnastics up till now, this is a tribute to the USA team and shows the
>kind of impact the team gold is having on people who don't understand or care
>very much about gym as a REAL SPORT!! I posted the article rather than just
>referred to it because I'm aware that a number of us can't access the WEB yet.
>In Atlanta, the Children Have Led Them
>By Charlie Vincent
>Special to ESPNET SportsZone
>ATLANTA -- I apologize to all the little girls who have tumbled and vaulted and
>cartwheeled their way through all the practice halls, under the watchful eyes
>of all the demanding gymnastic coaches in the world.
>I never felt they belonged in the Olympics; I felt they were being used, being
>pushed to become athletes before they could be little girls.
>Here, I have learned something.
>What Kerri Strug did was heroic, carrying her team and her country to the gold
>medal on a bum ankle. What Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller and Dominque Moceanu
>did in Thursday's individual gymnastic events was just as riveting.
>I have always been against these children participating in Olympics, not only
>because of the stress on their little bodies, but because of the strain on
>families. Most leave home before they are teenagers to work with the most
>renowned coaches in the world. It is not unusual for families to come apart as
>a result; one parent approves of the move, the other doesn't. Or perhaps one
>parent moves with the child and the other, often feeling abandoned, remains at
>It is a huge sacrifice if only for a gold medal.
>This week, though, these youngsters showed the class and style and grittiness
>and maturity that a lot of our other athletes -- in our professional leagues as
>well as at these Olympics -- are missing.
>When Dawes was leading after two rotations of the women's all-around Thursday
>night, she gracefully descended the steps from the apparatus platform, eyes
>straight ahead, her mind on what lay before her.
>She did not strut.
>She did not do a victory dance.
>She did not do anything to say: Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!
>Dominique Dawes was doing what she had gone to Atlanta to do, and it was still
>a work in progress, and there was no time for posturing.
>My complaint about these children being in the Olympics has always been that
>we do not allow them time to be children. I think now, that is not the problem.
>The problem is that we allow a lot of our athletes to behave like children for
>These little girls did none of that.
>They no longer had a chance to medal, to stand on the podium, to realize the
>dream of four years' work. But they had to carry on, to do one more routine --
>In defeat, in what they saw as personal failure, they dissolved in tears.
>And we cried with them.
>They did not posture and pose and say, "Ain't I great," when they won the team
>title the other night. But they wept when they did not do well in the
>competition, because they did not live up to their own expectations.
>Not enough of us believe any longer the old adage: It's not whether you win or
>lose, but how you play the game. These young women play it the way it was meant
>to be played, with pride and fire and heart and commitment.
>Maybe I'm looking the wrong places, perhaps I'm watching the wrong sports, but
>it seems more and more these days, I see athletes who thump their chests at
>personal triumph and shrug off defeat, whether it is team or
>Our littlest Olympians have shown us how to win and how to lose in these Games.
>Little girls, I apologize.
>You are brave and you are mature, and American sports would be better off if
>more of our athletes behaved like you -- not like the children you appear to
>be, but like the mature people of purpose and value you have proven to be.
(Please ignore, if you find any error in my poor english).
Sorry to you all -and off course to Mr. Charlie Vincent- because I have
edited the article quoted above. But I am sure it is clear enough to understand.
I agree with many of his paragraphs. But allow me to say it happened to
other women team's countries. Kerrie's was showed us about many tears, pain
and missing of childhood, which hapened too on Romanian, Russian, Australia,
Indonesia -off course- etc.
There are only to kind of sport I do like : basket ball and gymnastic. I
love both to watch and play basket ball, but for gymnastic I can do nothing
except watching them. While I wacht, I always wondering whether is it their
choice of their life or just for fun.
Different from basket ball player, the peak of women gymnast's performance
is at their teenage, exactly from 14 to 16. This is not what I know myself,
but after read an article about Cetate Deva.
In Indonesia, sport is not the choice for life. Even some did, they do not
plan to rest their life as an athlete. Many of our new generation's athlete
keep going to college to get their degree and then work as an entrepenuer or
other office's works. So does with our gymnasts. I am sure that they got
injuried when they were trained to competitions, but they did the train
outside their school time. Besides, our education system is not as full of
facility as on USA.
That is why -as I have written before- I like gymnastic -especially the
women gymnasts- and respect of them. The article I read told me about what
the answer of tiny girls whose trained on Cetate Deva : I want to be like
Nadia Commanecci ! What an answer !
Yeah, I want to talk more -and get somebody bore- but my english quality
tell me to stop here. Oops, just one more thing, look at again the last
paragraph of Mr. Vincent's article : Do you feel the same I feel ?
Regards from Indonesia,
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 16:53:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Olympic gymnastics
>Does anyone have any suggestions as to what would help me with getting my
>full? I'm just a young gymnast, tumbler mostly, and a full is what I'm
>really lacking. My coach has been trying to help me, but I just can't
>to pick up on it. Could someone who can do a pretty good one explain it
>Thanx in Advance,
My coach approached the full in the very simple manner: a full
is nothing more than a areal cartwheel with a half-twist before. So, start by
getting a *good* side areal with +++ air time; then move on with coach
spotting to linking this side areal to a previous 1/2 turn in the air...
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 09:50:02 -0400
Subject: "Balancing Act" on CBC/NW Today (CAN)
Thought we'd have a day off of gymn on TV today, eh?
CBC NewsWorld is re-showing its "Balancing Act" documentary on BC gymnasts
Kim Allan and Atlin Mitchell today at 3pm and at 8pm EST.
And for those who know me & watch this doc, yes ... that is Me with the
cameras, but I wasn't at Nationals in Vancouver (May '95) as the narrator
says. It is me at Elite Canada in Toronto (December '95).
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 10:07:38 -0400
Subject: Re: My hopes lie w/Oly. Gym. Barbie - Oh No!
The beginning of the Rhythmic Gymnastics events start in 5 days, and after
what I've seen on NBC thus far, since the US competitors are not considered
medal contenders, my only hope of any coverage lies in the fact that the
Olympic Gymnastic Barbie is rumored to have rhythmic equipment included. The
computer generated routines in the inevitable commercial could possibly be
entertaining, but I am no fan of Barbie and the "lessons" she teaches young
girls - materialism, materialism, materialism. I can't believe I rooting for
a Barbie doll, of all things, to possibly gain minimal TV coverage of my
favorite sport. I feel so cheep.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 11:59:16 -0400
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 26 Jul 1996 - Special issue
please resend, I didn't get it
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 12:03:01 -0400
Subject: <No subject given>
Dear Fellow Gymners,
After learning of the bomb at Centennial Park in Atlanta, I feel compelled
to post this. I hope that each of us will pray to any Supreme Being that we
believe in and worship that there are no further deaths or injuries in
Atlanta. I also pray that the true Olympic Spirit, the Spirit that was
great enough to stop wars in ancient Greece, the Spirit that is an
expression of all that is good in Humanity, will spread forth until all the
worlds people know peace and freedom from terror and violence.
I confess that as I write this tears well up in my eyes. Tears for those
killed and injured and sorrow that such a sickness exists. I also cry from
relief that none of my friends or loved ones were injured. I have not been
able to contact everyone, however, and I hope that Rachele or Mayland could
let us know if everyone is well.
As patriotic as I am, I cannot help but mourn the violence and terror that
exists in my beloved country. I was one of the first to believe that the
terror of Oklahoma City must have come from abroad. The bombing of TWA 800
must be the work of foreigners. Centenniel Park could not have been bombed
by Americans. However, to my horror, Oklahoma City, at least, was the foul
deed of our own citizens, and I just heard on CNN that Atlanta seems be the
work of Americans as well. To those I accused in my heart, I ask for
forgiveness. To those that live in the shadow of terrorism constantly, I
pray for peace. To all of us I pray to my God that His mercy will be
showered on us all, and especially the victims and their friends and families.
May the Lord bless us and keep us. May the Lord lift his face to shine upon
us. May the Lord give us peace.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 12:28:14 -0400
With all the discussion going on about the US Team Members actually
supporting each other, Milo congratulating Pods, etc, I thought I'd pass
this on, although it is somewhat off-topic.
Jackie-Joyner Kersie (probably spelled *all three* of those wrong, but you
know who I mean!) just withdrew from the Heptathalon, due to injury, after
the first event. As she and her husband/coach were sitting there crying, a
whole bunch of the other women in the hept came up and gave her hugs and
told her how sorry they were. None of these women were americans, they were
just showing their tremendous affection and respect. It was extremely touching.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 12:22:01 -0600
I was really pleased with Boginskaya's performance in the AA, although NBC
didn't show all her events. Does anyone know where Boginskaya is training,
where she lives, her future plans, or any other info?
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 13:22:35 -0400
Subject: At the Olympics -- The Bombing
It was a beautiful night at Olympic Centennial Park in Atlanta Friday.
There was a cool breeze, a shining moon and at least two free concerts
playing at any one time in the park. The park is at the heart of the Olympics
and a few blocks from the basketball and gymnastics venues.
I had been talking with a family from Canada in front of me. They were
all decked out in Canadian flags, pins and hats. They laughed when I joked
that they were trying to out-do the American fans. As we spoke, the free
concert by a jazz artist played about 10 rows in front of us.
Two rows in front of me, a man and a woman sat Indian-style on a bench,
kissing each other and giggling. They were speaking in a language I did not
recognize, but their smiles gave away their fondness for one another.
You could see the Olympic spirit everywhere, in the faces of the two
lovers, in the joyful giggles of children, in the smiles of total strangers
talking to one another while the music played.
Two hours later, about 30 feet from where I had sat, a bomb exploded.
I was already on a bus on my way back to a friend s house when the bomb
went off. Like most people, I didn t learn of the bomb until I awoke this
morning. I sat in front of the television in horror, watching replays of the
home video taken of the bomb exploding.
I thought of the Canadian family. I thought of the two lovers. Were they
still there when it went off?
Police are now saying it was a pipe bomb three of them tied
together, with a bag of nails sitting on top. Fortunately, security personnel
had seen the suspicious bag and managed to clear much of the crowd from the
area before the bomb went off.
Still, at least one person died and more than 100 were injured.
As I sit here, writing this on a Saturday afternoon, I begin to
appreciate just how much security there is at the Olympics. You cannot get
into any sporting event without walking through a metal detector and having
all your bags searched.
Security at Centennial Park was even more impressive. When I visited the
park Saturday afternoon, there were police officers and military personnel
around every corner. You might think this was intimidating to visitors, but
the security force was extremely friendly. They walked around the park,
starting up conversations with people. They posed for pictures. Some traded
I even took pictures of police officers on horses lifting little kids
into the saddle.
At one point, security surprised me with their efficiency. I had bought
an ice cream cone on a busy street and wanted to sit down but there were no
seats around. So I wedged myself between two giant planters at the front of
a building and sat down. Within one minute, an undercover police officer was
standing over me, wanting to know what I was doing there.
As soon as he saw what I was doing, he smiled and then jokingly asked
where I had bought the ice cream cone. He walked away, but across the street,
I could see another officer keeping an eye on me, just to make sure I wasn t
a bad guy.
I was amazed that in this sea of people probably 50,000 people at any
one time in the area where I was sitting the security was good enough to
What happened at Olympic Centennial Park most likely could not have been
prevented. Even if security had attempted to put up thousands of metal
detectors to check everyone entering and leaving the park, the bomber would
have simply found another populated place.
But I grow angry at the cowardice act of this bomber. I grow angry that
he hurt so many people physically and put a pall over the Olympics. I keep
wondering to myself how many children have been affected mentally by this
Tears came to my eyes when television journalists interviewed people
going to the venues this morning (Saturday morning). People from many
countries vowed that this bomber would not keep them from attending the
games, that they would not be forced to cower in fear in their hotel rooms.
In them, I saw the Olympic Spirit.
I think back to the Opening Ceremonies, when all of us in the stadium
were asked to embrace the ideals of the Olympics. We were asked to dream
dreams that mortal had ever dared dream before.
I think about the rousing cheer when the flame was lit. I think about
gymnast Kerri Strug fighting pain and landing her second vault. I think about
the group of Koreans who took me in as their friend during the weightlifting
competition and gave me presents.
I think a lot about the Canadian family. I think a lot about the two
I think a lot about the Olympic Spirit.
It is something that no bomber can take away. The Olympic Spirit is
something that will forever remain with the people here.
It burns brightly in their hearts.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 13:35:55 -0500
Subject: What scores did they get?
Does anybody know Dawes & Miller's 2 vaults in AA final, please?
(not the averaged score & not in team competition)
Thanx in advance,
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 14:11:08 -0400
Subject: Television, Coaching, Olympics
I thought I would take this opportunity to summarize my thoughts about the
Olympics and the Televison coverage.
I have read an awful lot of judgemental statements that, without proper
information, are pretty far out of line. One person said that Shannon Miller
QUIT in the All Around Finals because he didn't like her choice of vaults
after she was out of the running. QUIT?! Isn't that a pretty silly thing to
say, in view of all that she has accomplished in her career? I would submit
to you that being a quitter and being a champion are both learned behaviors,
reinforced by repetition. I hardly think that a young woman, whose actions
for many years have proven that she is a champion, would suddenly turn into a
quitter. Judgements like that should be based on fact, not surmise.
Along the same lines, the condemnation of what the coaches say to the
gymnasts is absolute proof that the idea of putting a mike on coaches is a
STUPID idea; the coaches themselves should have had the sense to refuse this.
The point is, and has been stated well in many of the posts of the past few
days, coaching is situational and personal and shouldn't be evaluated out of
the context in which it is done. One final note to the coaches (and to NBC):
You are NOT the show; you belong in the background, doing your job.
Finally, some remarks about the TV coverage. After reading and thinking
about the producer's post a few days ago, I no longer find John Tesh very
irritating. Tesh does present things in a light that informs the
non-gymnastics people and gives them an understandable story line to follow.
He does this quite well, although his periodic gaffes hit me badly. I am
much more irritated by the constant, grinding negativity of Tim Daggett's
commentary. After virtually EVERY routine, he makes a statement about how he
has seen the gymnast do it better in workout or somewhere. Another major
irritation is the camera close-ups of the faces of the gymnasts, particularly
after a miss. I am amazed that the same sense of artistry that created the
"fluff" pieces (I thought most of them had a good deal of artistic and and
entertainment merit, THE FIRST TIME THEY RAN) can't see that a more distant
camera shot, with a little more environment in the background and some
creative editing would communicate the situation better, more artistically,
more compassionately, and without being offensively intrusive.
Finally, I would like to suggest that the NBC people need to watch and LISTEN
to their gymnastics coverage, and then compare it to the coverage that their
people have done on other sports. The contrast is stark. In swimming, the
"color" people provide a lot of information about training and techniques, as
do most of the other sports. Some of the information is over my head (along
with the general public) but, in providing this detail, I can figure out a
lot of what they are talking about and I feel like I have a small
understanding of HOW things work and what is going on. By contrast, the
gymnastics announcers seem to talk down to the public (something we can ill
afford); they don't explain the skills and , they won't even NAME the skills.
For example, in the Men's Compulsory Pommel Horse, Tim repeatedly pointed
out the critcal skill that gives the gymnasts the most problems. He never
gave it a name or described what is going on, so the public is left wondering
what he is talking about. Suppose, the first time, he had said " This skill
is called a Spindle. It involves doing a double leg circle in one direction
while moving the hands and rotating the body in the opposite direction at the
same time." People would have a little understanding about what they saw,
the skill would have a name, and a terminology base would begin to develop.
GO TO THE FILM, NBC. A little more of what you do in other sports would
help in your gymnastics coverage.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 16:53:16 -0400
Subject: Kerri didn't need to vault...
...so why did she? Did she have to make the decision to vault or not before
the other relevant scores were in, or did they screw up by not finding out if
she really needed to do it first. Sorry if this has already been discussed
here but I am way behind on my email (due to a new baby) and missed this info.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 15:25:38 -0600
Subject: Re: Olympic comments #2,034
Dawes beam was more solid and a better landing. But better than a
difference of .012. She had three balance checks that were noticable, and
then the dismount. I love Mo, but that was OVERSCORED big time.
>As for Mo's beam - perhaps the 0.2 was for the landing? This girl is
>amazing on BB, and I couldn't discern any obvious errors. Compare Mo to
>Dawes on beam formwise, and see if you can work out how Dawes managed a 9.812.
>The Australian girls weren't even shown on our telecast! I felt so sorry
>for their families and friends. However, later on there were highlights,
>but I've no idea where they finished. If you want to talk about off
I saw Joanna Hughes at one point! On floor.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 17:00:48 -0600
Subject: In Defence of calling Shannon a quitter.
Everyone wants to think of Shannon as a great gymnast. Well, lets
just say that she is. Fine. She's won two world titles (from behind, no
less) and in her last two nationals she had falls but came back in
the end and did well. She won nationals with a fall. She didn't collapse
into tears. She didn't come crying down the vault run way after her first
vault. She didn't decrease her difficulty. She did her job. IN the
Olympics, your job is to do your best. Your job is to compete, not just
win. Your job is to block it out and do your job. She didn't. She fell
to pieces after her FX. She looked and acted demoralize. She didn't
have to. She could have went for her most difficult vaults and still
gotten the emotional high of finishing the competition with the great
effort she is known for (and respected) and heard the thuderous
applause which could have made things different. But because she wasn't
'in it' anymore, she didn't do that.
You say she's no quitter, but I look back at gymnasts like Julianne
McNamara in 1984, who pulled herself up to forth place on her final
event with a 10.0 on bars, even though she couldn't win
a medal. She could have given a weaker performace, she was already in
final, and it was just for pride. She didn't stand there crying. She
didn't quit. She did it for herself. Others have done this, too.
It's called the Olympics. It's called doing your best. It's not
called feeling sorry for yourself because you didn't win.
I'm sorry if this feels harsh or mean, but at least I can separate
myself from being a patriotic zealot to an observer (which 95% of the
people in Dome couldn't do.) If you think I'm being onesided and anti-
Miller, I'm not. I'll say other things. Dina can't RO entry vault for
crap. She can't. But she had to. Just like Dawes had to do it in Birmingham.
She had to go for it. That is what the Olympics is about. It isn't about
the endorsement dollars some athletes will get. It isn't about
autobiographies. It isn't about sitting there and pouting. It is about being
an athlete, an olympian. It is about NOW, not how someone did before.
Shannon is a great gymnast. I just wish that she would have gone for the
ten instead of playing it easy and falling apart. Sure, it was sad, but
not as sad as Dawes in Birmingham, most of the Russians, Romanians, and
Ukrainians going unnoticed, or Chustovitina's power tumbling going
unnoticed as well. Moceanu didn't quit, and Dawes went for her 10.0
vault. Shannon just didn't look into it after FX, and it showed.
To say that Shannon wasn't a quitter in the Olympics only based on her
past performance is plain silly. Her past performances meant nothing to
the judges. She was treated like everyone else. She's known to
'stay in there' and fight in the past. Because she -could- have done this
in the AA and didn't, then I say she quit.
And these are my opinions. It isn't malicious. It's criticism. But you
people will be the ones to decide that issue, not me.
Dina, Dina, Dina.
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 18:44:44 EDT
Subject: Gymnastics and the Olympics
I just got back from the Olympics yesterday and have barely looked at my backlog
of gymn-digest messages. However, rather than read it all before posting, I am
giving a list of some observations from the Olympics.
Mispronunciations I heard on the radio of Kerri Strug's name: Kathy Strug and
Kerri's new nickname: Courageous Kerri.
I have to say I was not too impressed by Boguinskaya's floor routine. I saw no
transition between her tumbling passes and her choreography. It was like she
would dance a little, then completely stop and do some tumbling. Then, stop
tumbling and do some dancing again. I mean, in Chorkina's floor, for example, it
looked like she would make some arm movements and steps to gracefully switch
from dance to tumbling.
Jaycie Phelps's floor music really annoyed me. I'm surprised no one told her to
change it before going to the Olympics. That car engine noise apparently just
helps her to avoid doing any synchronized choreography.
Oh, by the way, the Bulgarians competed in the final session of men's team
optionals. I was at the Georgia Dome for the third session and got home in time
to see the broadcast on NBC. I don't think they showed a single routine of the
Bulgarians. I guess NBC did not deem Dounev's hi-bar, Ivanov's floor, or
Jovtchev's ring routine worth broadcasting.
I really think Podkapaeva has the best choreographed floor routine. Too bad John
Tesh couldn't keep his mouth shut during the broadcast of her routine on TV.
The volunteers at the Georgia Dome deserve a lot of credit for the excellent job
they did in handling the crowd there. They had to clear out the Dome and usher
in a new group within only an hour's time. All the volunteers I encountered were
friendly and cheerful.
That's all for now. More later.
End of GYMN-L Digest - 27 Jul 1996 - Special issue