GYMN-L Digest - 31 Jan 1996 - Special issue
There are 10 messages totalling 1192 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. Introduction & Dawes question
2. Rik Feeney Book Report
3. olympic trials in the US
4. Be Realistic, Why Compare? (was Re: Figure Skating vs Gym...) (2)
5. Gymnastics/Figure skating
6. The Client
7. Theresa Kulikowski
8. Jenny Hansen
9. GYMN-L Digest - 30 Jan 1996 to 31 Jan 1996
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 08:28:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Introduction & Dawes question
> My question about Dominique Dawes is, a couple years ago I heard that
>she was going to go to Stanford on a gymnastics scholarship after the
>Olympics. But the Gymnastics Insider doesn't have her on the list of
>Stanford recruits for 1996. Also, IG reported that she's a freshman at the
>University of Maryland. So has Dom decided not to go to Stanford?
Dominique originally deffered her scholarship to Stanford to stay and train
with Kelli Hill for the 96 Olympics. However, after her 18th birthday she
signed with Len Elmore, so she is no longer eligible for a college
scholarship. She is currently taking classes at the University of Maryland.
She is in *great* shape gymnastically!
>Oh well; the team will still be very good and very competitive with Amy Chow
>and Larissa Fontaine on board.
Larissa has also deffered her scholarship to Stanford to stay and train with
Kelli Hill, although, I presume that she'll eventually go there.
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 10:06:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Rik Feeney Book Report
I second Mr. Baimbridge's book review of "Gymnastics: A Guide for Parents
and Athletes." It's a great book for both parents *and* gymnasts. My
mother bought it at a meet and read it through, then gave it to me to
read. I learned all sorts of useful tips, such as putting Neosporin on
rips at night and then covering your hand with a sock to make them heal
faster (it works!). And most importantly, the book wasn't a bore to read
or anything. A great guide for anyone at any level of gymnastics.
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 10:08:11 EST
Subject: olympic trials in the US
I'm answering the two Canadians who want to go to the trials. Where and
when are the trials? would I have to get tickets in order to attend? Where
in Canada do you live? (Canada is a pretty big place; your best bet on how
to get to the trials depend on where you live!!). What about accomodation?
I never thought of going myself, but it might not be a bad idea (I own a car
and could drive).
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 10:38:57 -0500
Subject: Be Realistic, Why Compare? (was Re: Figure Skating vs Gym...)
>Tickets to arena-sized gymn meets are too cheap ... Charge more and bring
>more $$ into the sport. ... I've paid as much as $60 a seat to see Kurt
>Browning. I've never had to pay more than $25 for a gymn show ticket
Yeah, but people actually *want* to go see skating shows. Gymnastics arenas
(or even smaller venues), at least in the U.S., are consistantly empty.
Tickets prices for gymn events are way too high already!
An example: last year at the US vs UKR dual meet I bet they got less than a
thousand people in an arena that holds 15,000+. Do you know what that looks
like on TV? Tickets were $25 per person for the women's session. Who could
afford to take a family of four for that price? That same arena hosted the
U.S. figure skating chmaps a few weeks back and sold out almost every session
-- when that starts happening with gymn *then* we can charge more for seats.
Until that day we've got to work on getting people into the habit of coming
to events. Give the tickets away if you have to! Selling 100 tickets at $100
each still makes you less than selling 10,000 at $1.00 each.
Ticket price isn't the only problem, of course, they have to advertise these
events at more than just the local gym too. Add to that the fact, that events
tend to be poorly run. The American Cup prelims tradationally take up to 5
hours. I'm the most diehard fan I know and *I'm* getting bored by the end of
If I was a mother with a mild interest in the sport who paid $150 (plus food,
t-shirts, programs, etc.) for her family to come to an event and it didn't
hold my child's attention (not to mention lasting until midnight) would I
ever come back? I think not!
>So we all know that Bart & Nadia can still do gymnastics, why don't they do
>Torvill & Dean have done and set up their own tour? Build it -- we will
They, along with IMG, *do* have a periodic tour called "Superstars of
Gymnastics" and they perform, on average, about 5-10 dates a year, wherever
there is interest (the last was in Charlotte last August). The crowds are
so-so, but never stellar.
Gymnastics is just starting to become a viable exhibition sport, you can't
expect a "Stars on Ice" type tour to appear over night. Despite the
enthusiasm we all have, the interest is just not there for the general
There are a million other problems I won't go into here -- sufficiet to say
you just can't compare gymnastics and figure skating. It's apples and
oranges. Maybe in 20 years gymnastics will be at the point skating is now ...
*MAYBE*. Just because they attract a similar audience doesn't mean they're
Trust me, if these skating tours, professional competitions, and whatnot
didn't make buckets of money for everyone involved (television, skaters,
promoters, agents, etc.) they'd stop in a heartbeat.
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 10:52:14 -0500
Subject: Gymnastics/Figure skating
From what I know, figure skating use to be in the same "boat" as
gymnastics is now. I was watching the figure skating show that was held
in California, I believe. I think it was called "Too hot to Skate".
Anyway, they were interviewing Scott Hamilton. He talked about how he
had nothing to do after the Olympics were over. a couple years later, he
was offered to start organizing exibitions and so forth. He is the
"main man" behind all of the exibitions that we see on t.v. (the ones
Scott Hamilton's in). I am sure that gymnastics will eventually reach
that point, but it is going to take a fromer star to do it. Good
promotioning will help after it is established. Right now, figure
skaters don't have to worry about being a "professional" skater. Many of
the gymnasts out there are unable to compete "preofessionally" because
they would become ineligible for college gymnastics. Although I would
like to see gymnastics on television all the time, I can't. I am sure
that in a few years, it will be almost like figure skating. Already
there have been a couple of exibitons that are leading the way. The
recent Rock 'n Roll gymnastics competition and the competition that Bart
Connor and Nadia Comeneci held with the musical skits and routines.
Let's also not forget the past events that have had the gymnasts dressed
up performing routines. I remember the first time I saw Dominique
Moceanu was when she was in a little cat costume performing on bars.
Well, I think that is enough for now, I'm beginning to confuse myself.
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 12:54:08 -0500
Subject: The Client
Just thought I'd voice my opinion on the tv program The Client that aired
last night. It was horrible, it totally degrated the sport of gymnastics.
It was filled with stereotypes of the sport that aren't true for all
gymnasts. Anyone who watched it, and doesn't know that much about
gymnastics, would never think about putting anyone they know in the sport.
The program was kinda cheesy as it was but I will outline some of the
stereotypes for those who didn't have a chance to watch it - no big loss.
(This is kinda long)
- they had the girl living away from home and her family. They said that it
was common practice. (Shannon Miller doesn't live away from home) The
program made it seem that anyone who is at the Elite level HAS to live away
from home - not true.
- the girl (Amy) had anorexia, making the stereotype that all gymnasts have
eating disorders. (I have no proof that EVERYONE in the sport has a
disorder, however that I am assuming that not everyone does, if they did
then more would have to retire due to their body falling apart and not being
strong enough to continue.
- Amy's mother said that there is ONLY 1 shot at making the Olympic Games -
many gymnasts today are changing that - Janine Rankin, Lori Strong, Bogi,
and most likely for the '96 Olympics...Shannon Miller, Kerri Strug,
Domonique Daws and possibly Kim Zmeskal.
- Amy's grandmother said that the coach said that unless she lost weight she
would never make it to the Olympics. Coinsidence? I think not - Christy
Henrich. (I know it was a judge that told her that but definately a parallel)
- One gymnast on the program died from doing a vault. She broke her back
(later in the show they said she died from a heart attack, from pills given
by the coach to keep her body like a childs, but still) just like Julissa
Gomez, then later Amy was afraid to vault, just like Christy after Julissa's
- the coach of the girls in the show was named Yuri Salanivich (sp?). They
said he was the best and that he had come from Russia and that he was the
toughest and that he pushed his athletes too far, although all of us who
know the sport would know that the coach was really Bela Karoyli.
- the show addressed overbearing parents who want the win for themselves and
not for their child. I don't believe that every parent of and elite athlete
wants the win for them, most want their child to be happy.
- Amy's mother said that she had to pay all this money and that her husband
had to work two jobs, that may be true, but she continued to say that the
pay off was winning the Olympics. I think not! The pay off in any sport,
no matter what the cost, is that the person participating knows that he/she
is doing his/her best and that they are having fun. (if you'd call that a
pay off, although I don't think someone should do a sport for a pay off)
- two former gymnasts that they talked to on the show talked about what it
was like to work with Yuri Salanavich. One was named Candy Phillips and she
was the next Mary Lou Retton, gee, what comes to mind but Kristie Phillips.
- they also said that the best reward after the Olympic Games was to get
your picture on a Wheeties box - again Mary Lou.
Sure some thing were different. Julissa didn't die with Bela
coaching her, it was Al Fong, and Yuri Salanavich came from Russia whereas
Bela came form Romania, however, the similarities were too close to be
forgotten. I can't help but think what Chrisy Henrich's parents or
Julissa's parents must be thinking if they watched that show. It is really
sad to think that that is what people think about a great sport. No wonder
gymnastics doesn't get tv coverage. The public must think it is the worst
sport of all time. I can't believe that it made money off of that show.
Then at the end of the show Amy said that she would tell the DA what was
going on in the gym, but only after the Olympic Trials. She said that she
wanted to see if she was good enough. Then, they didn't even tell you if
she made the Olympic Team, they ended the show. Talk about a bad ending.
Also at the ending the police came and arrested the coach for involuntary
manslaughter. I think that was a bit much aswell as cheesy.
If any one has any comments please e-mail me, I am curious as to
what others thought. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 12:23:39 -0600
Subject: Theresa Kulikowski
Was just leafing through an older USA Gymnastics, and looking ath the
profiles for the 1995 National team. For Theresa Kulikowski's hobbies,
it listed "praying" as one of them.
I'm just curious if anyone knows what religion she is, and whether it is
a big deal for her and her family. It's something you never hear about
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 13:35:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Be Realistic, Why Compare? (was Re: Figure Skating vs Gym...)
The ticket cost/Gymn PRelations vs. $$/Skating PR issues seem to boil down,
as so many (especially political) issues do, to two competing .philosophies:
1) The zero sum game , "it just isn't fair" paradigm (....this is overtouted
as a philosophy, it's not really a way thought, it's a way of EXCUSING
the way we thought that got us to where we would rather not be...),
2) The free market approach, "how do we package & promote", how do we
structure the sport into a presentation that fans (and media) will climb
all over each other to see.
I was four years old (36 yrs ago) when my parents took me to see an "Ice
Follies" type show, whatever they were called back then. The only
other singular event I recall from that age was the Harlem
Globetrotters. Even then, it was a show from start to finish. Every
aspect of the event was choreographed as tightly as any of Barnum
and Bailly's "Greatest Show On Earth". The skating industry has been
working at a feverish pace ever since, utilizing the latest,
greatest media hype and showmanship available. (how many of you saw
"Too Hot to Skate" in early January?
Gymnastics is a wonderful sport. Meets do need to be well structured,
promoted and professionally delivered at all levels to build a constituancy.
But gymnastics also needs to show more faces to the public to enhance its
image. The motorskill development for preschoolers, "Up close and personal"
pieces for young, straight 'A' students who are excelling at everything they
touch and attribute it to the discipline they learn from gymnastics, even if
recreational and not competitive. GYMN needs YEARS of dedicated, systematic
showmanship at all levels. This isn't going to happen overnight.
But note that Ukrainian Skating Gold Medalists are flown out of Moscow and
paraded on a stage right alongside their American and Canadian peers. This
success of the skating world is a sustained, World Class effort and has been
GYMN should watch what they do that works. Lord knows, there are certainly
plenty of programs taking up TV bandwidth that we could lose quick (Ricky
Lake, etc etc.
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 12:44:20 CDT
Subject: Jenny Hansen
Does anyone know if Jenny Hansen has any type of injury? It seems
like some of her scores aren't where they should be.
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 16:13:41 -0500
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 30 Jan 1996 to 31 Jan 1996
can anyone tell me when the kodak meet that jennie thompson won, will be
End of GYMN-L Digest - 31 Jan 1996 - Special issue