Mon, 1 Aug 94 Volume 2 :
Assorted Goodwill Thoughts (2 msgs)
Aussie Commenwealth Team Trials
Aussie Commonwealth Team Final (Women, Men and RSG)
GG, W All-Around
GG, W All-Around II (2 msgs)
GG, W Team tidbits (2 msgs)
Goodwill Games (Womens All-Around)
Goodwill Games Coverage
Goodwill Thoughts (2 msgs)
Gymnastics Coverage / Commentators (2 msgs)
Women's AA, ABC style (3 msgs)
Women's AA Comments
This is a digest of the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:33:25 EDT
Subject: ABC's AA
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by today's coverage of the AA on
ABC. Lots of routines, ALL the rotations, routines by non-medalists... What
came over them? But now I'm totally mystified as to what TBS is going to show
tonight. I guess I'll find out in an hour.
I meant to comment last night on how Kathy Johnson criticized Chusovitina
for not landing in handstand in her transitition to low bar, but overlooking
the fact that not a whole lot of gymnasts do. So I'm glad Nancy brought it up
and reminded me! It really is unfair to single out Oksana and not mention any
of the errors the Americans make, especially when so many of our girls do not
land in handstand either. The one gymnast who immediately came to my mind, even
though she's not at Goodwill, was Kerri Strug. If I remember right, she does
that transition and is totally piked, but I've never heard any US commentator
point that out. So leave the foreign gymnasts alone unless you're willing to
point out the same mistakes by Americans!
After Kathy said Dina reminded her of Julianne McNamara, I could see what
she meant. But does she remind anyone but me of the ice dancer Jayne Torvill?
They seem to have almost the same facial features. Pod reminds me of a mix
between Lashchenova (face, body type) and Omelianchik (toe point, form and
expression). And Khorkina kinda looks like a hybrid between Biatova and
Mostepanova (after Olga got tall). Now is she REALLY 5'4"? I saw her up close
in Brisbane and she, Dina and Oksana posed for a candid photo, and although
Svetlana did tower above her teammates, I don't remember her being taller than
me (and I'm not even 5'2"). So she either grew a lot since April or that height
might not be accurate. I wonder if someone just messed up the metric
How did Shannon make beam finals with such a low score in team finals? It
never even occurred to me she'd be in finals until she mentioned it in the
interview today. I guess all the people we didn't see on beam must have done
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 19:22:46 EDT
Subject: Assorted Goodwill Thoughts
>Waiting to hear what the rest of you thought ...
-I was much more impressed by Khorkina (and the whole Russian team) here than
at Worlds. I wonder if this was their 'big' meet (as opposed to Brisbane)
since it was their first big meet at home
-Here's hoping Kathy Johnson's comment about Miller preparing a new routine
-Chussy has contracted 'Dawes' Disease' (no UB releases)
-Pod's music has *got* to go!
>plus that Russian compulsory layout Pak
Hey, if *something's* going to be compulsory, the layout Pak ain't a bad
choice! Better than the oak tree thing!
-it would be poetic for Chussy to win vault final
-Kotchetkova and Miller do two *entirely* different UB dismounts
-loved Grosheva's fx ending (with the *fingers* extended)
>I'm inclined to think Russia would win even if Milosovici
>and Gogean were competing
It would certainly have gone down to the wire. I have a feeling Belu was
watching this meet closely.
-the Russians have only had a red/white/blue flag for three years, yet they
managed to come up with a *much* better leo than the US has in its
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1994 16:48:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Assorted Goodwill Thoughts
> -the Russians have only had a red/white/blue flag for three years, yet they
> managed to come up with a *much* better leo than the US has in its
Oh COME ON !
The USA has ALWAYS had dippy outfits.
The leos always look dumb. The US Olympic uniform worn to the ceremonies always
makes me ashamed of my country, and how about those stupid oputfits they make
the skiers and the speed skaters wear ?
Now if the ice dancers look dumb, thats THEIR doing because USOC doesnt design
But nearly every outfit the USOC DOES design makes me wretch.
Face down, 9 edge first, roadkill on the information superdata highway...
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:33:25 EDT
Subject: Aussie Commenwealth Team Trials
A couple people expressed interest so here's the highlights from the article
I mentioned earlier ... from the Australian AP by Terry O'Conner (the "-" are
taken directly from the article and all personal quotes are in quotes; the
rest is my own summary of the main points)...
- [Aussie Fed. Director Peggy Browne On Hughes selection] "Her selection was
based on her performance, she was always in the team subject to her fitness
in terms of her injury"
Hughes finished 3rd in the trials held yesterday
-[Joanna on her finish] "I was hoping today to just show them I could perform
in all events"
-Her inclusion means Clare Cribbes of Victoria has been omitted from the
final Games squad
Joanna performed a reduced difficulty FX (worth only 9.4) due to her ankle
-[on wether her FX set will be up to snuff for Commonwealth] "My routine
wouldn't be as strong as it could be, but it would still be good enough to
help the team,"
- [about her ankle] "The doctors say the ankle is good, it's still a tiny
bit painful but you don't really feel it in competition."
Jenny Smith (age 14) won the trials with a strong 9.712 on vault
-[Smith on her vault] "I was really happy on the vault because I was doing a
different one today, a backward vault and I normally do a frontward one"
-[Smith on the selection procedure] "a bit nerve racking"
Ruth Moniz (age 16) whom the article says "just missed" making the '92
Olympic team said "I was very disappointed to miss the last team but it made
me more determined to succeed this time and I think I'm a better gymnast
Another interesting note the article says that team selection includes a
"skinfold test" (I assume for body fat percentages) which has been quite
controiversial (I bet!). As well as all members having to score at least 37
points in the AA at each of *three* trials ... tough selection procedures!!
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 14:46:35 EDT
Subject: Aussie Commonwealth Team Final (Women, Men and RSG)
Found this via the Austrailian AP and will just send the team names in case
Rachele also posts it. If anyone's interested in the rest of the article just
drop me a line.
The national [Oz] team is -
Women: Joanna Hughes (Vic) Ruth Moniz (NSW) Jenny Smith (WA) Rebecca Stoyel
(SA) Salli Wills (WA).
Men: Brennon Dowrick (ACT) Peter Hogan (NSW) Bret Hudson (NSW) Nathan
Kingston (Qld). Reserve: Damien Crozier (ACT).
The three rhythmic sporting gymnasts are Kasumi Takahashi (VIC) Leigh
Marning (NSW) Katie Mitchell (NSW).
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1994 15:11:39 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: GG, W All-Around
Wow, thanks to Sherwin for such a speedy, detailed report! To
supplement that, here's some info from the news wires:
-This was Miller's first defeat in two years, since her silver at the
-Miller's BB, 9.887
-Miller's FX, 9.912 -- including a 10 from the Romanian judge, and a
9.95 from the US judge; however, it was later discovered that the
Romanian judge, Mirela Szemerjar, had pushed the wrong button; she had
intended to give Miller a 9.9.
-Kochetkova's FX was a 9.900 -- including a 10 from the Russian judge.
She is the reigning world champ on FX.
-Kotchetkova collected $1000 in prize money.
(re Miller): "The American turned in a superbly choreographed
performance to gain a mark of 9.912, the highest individual score of
the day for any event." [thought I'd included since Gymn seems to be
pretty split on whether they like Miller's choreography.]
Kotchetkova "looked to have been the victim of dubious judging after
the first discipline, the vault... The Russian performed two faultless
jumps for a 9.800 score but Miller received the same mark despite
making a bad mistake on the second dismount."
Miller slipped slightly when dismounting from UB.
Lu Li, UB world champ from China, fell off the bars halfway through
1. Dina Kochetkova (Russia) 39.325
2. Shannon Miller (U.S.) 39.268
3. Yelena Grosheva (Russia) 38.943
4. Liliya Podkopyeva (Ukraine) 38.893
5. Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan) 38.818
6. Ana Bican (Romania) 38.793
7. Ionela Loaies (Romania) 38.250
8. Yelena Piskun (Belarus) 38.230
9. Monica Martin (Spain) 38.211
10. Oksana Knizhnik (Ukraine) 38.175
11. Li Chjan (China) 37.798
12. Oksana Fabrichnova (Russia) 37.729
13. Angela Ghimpu (Romania) 37.692
14. Tatyana Malaya (Ukraine) 37.600
15. Marianna Webster (U.S.) 37.417
16. Lu Li (China) 37.111
>From the AP, apparatus rankings (I believe however that these are not
the rankings for event finals -- those qualifiers were determined
yesterday, in the team competition -- but no, I did not get a list of
Vault--1, Piskun, 9.868. 2, Kochetkova, 9.763. 3, Angela Ghimpu,
Romania, 9.743. 4 (tie), Miller and Chusovitina, 9.731. 6, Podkopyeva,
9.706. 7, Bikan, 9.694. 8, Monica Martin, Spain, 9.687.
Uneven bars--1, Grosheva, 9.825. 2, Kochetkova, 9.787. 3 (tie),
Miller, Podkopyeva and Piskun, 9.750. 6, Tatyana Malaya, Ukraine,
9.675. 7, Chusovitina, 9.650. 8 (tie), Bikan and Loaies, 9.625.
Balance beam--1, Miller, 9.887. 2, Kochetkova, 9.850. 3, Oksana
Fabrichnova, Russia, 9.762. 4, Bikan, 9.712. 5, Oksana Knizhnik,
Ukraine, 9.675. 6, Chusovitina, 9.662. 7, Grosheva, 9.637. 8,
Floor exercise--1, Kochetkova, 9.925. 2, Miller, 9.900. 3,
Podkopyeva, 9.850. 4, Grosheva, 9.812. 5, Chusovitina, 9.775. 6,
Bikan, 9.762. 7, Loaies, 9.650. 8, Knizhnik, 9.625.
[FX can't be right -- every other wire report says Miller got a 9.912,
the highest score of the day, and that Kochetkova got a 9.90.]
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1994 15:24:41 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: GG, W All-Around II
whoops, forgot to include these morsels of information in that last
Taken from the AP wire:
Nunno: "Basically it comes down to: if you've got to beat Shannon,
she's got to beat herself."
Miller: "I think the little steps I took out of both my vaults made
the difference. It was so close."
-Miller stumbled after her full-in mount on floor.
Miller again: "I did better than I did yesterday, but I still need to
clean up my landings... (Kotchetkova) deserved to win. She had the
difficulty and she stuck her landings. Hopefully, I'll stick my
landings next time... I won't say it's not disappointing, but I've
learned something and I still have championships coming up. I've
learned I've got to clean up my landings and increase the difficulty."
-There were apparently several computer scoring glitches. First, the
scoreboards were showing only the top vault instead of the average of
the two vaults. Then, the computer and the official scoresheet were
rounding up rather than rounding down the scores. And finally, the
final scores were originally listed as 39.30 to 39.28.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:11:28 EDT
Subject: GG, W All-Around II
The following seriously ticks me off:
>Nunno: "Basically it comes down to: if you've got to beat Shannon, she's got
to beat herself."
Even Miller herself said Kotchetkova deserved the win, but Nunno absolutely
refuses to acknowledge a great performance by another competitor. Whether or
not Shannon had small errors is not the issue. Giving credit where credit is
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1994 10:57:45 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: GG, W Team tidbits
Another collage of news wires...
United Press International--
-Russia led after its first rotation on bars, and stayed in 1st place
-Kochetkova is 17 years old (! -- I thought she was one of those new
14-15 year olds).
-Top score on bars was Khorkina, with a 9.875. She also got the
highest score on vault, a 9.85.
-The top score on beam was yet another Russian, Fabrichnova (9.800).
-The fourth team member, Yelena Grosheva, *is* one of those new 14-15
kids... she's 15, to be exact. Quote: "I am very happy with result
... everything was perfect. In the team we are all friends and we
give each other a lot of support."
Miller: "I felt good about the floor (exercise), I was trying to
redeem myself. I made mistakes in each event today, and I'll need to
clean them up before (the individual competition) tomorrow. As a team,
we could've done better, but it was a new experience for the other
Now, from the AP (btw, the writer has the coolest name: SALVATORE
Miller: "I felt good about the four exercises as a whole. But tomorrow
I am coming back to redeem myself after today and do better in
everything." [I wonder if Miller said "floor" instead of "four" and
the reporter got it wrong... it doesn't fit the context, but it seems
odd for Miller to say she felt good about her four exercises when it
was such a sub-par performance for her.]
-Before Miller's floor ex that brought her up to 3rd, she had been in
Miller: "I felt good about my floor exercise. I was trying to redeem
myself after my beam. I had a wobble, then another wobble there.
Hopefully, I can clean things up for tomorrow... We could have done
better as a team, but it was new for the other three (her teammates).
It involves getting experience. They just have to go out there and do
what they do all the time in practice." [Hmm, slightly different
wording from the UPI... I wonder if she gave each reporter
extraordinarily similar interviews, or [more likely] if they each
transcribed the press conference differently.]
-Now here's a good quote from the AP: "At the world championships in
January, Miller won the all-around title for the second consecutive
year." [The worlds were in April.]
-Jennie Thompson is: the youngest ever US Junior Nat'l Champ; 13 years
old as of Friday, 7/29; 4'1"; and 58 pounds. She scored a 9.0 on
vault, sat down on her bars landing to score a 9.15, but then garnered
a 9.55 on beam.
-Kochetkova got a 9.825 on bars. AP says she had a double layout in
her floor routine (9.875), but I've learned to not trust general media
coverage regarding names of skills...
And a note from Reuters... three of the four Russian gymnasts were in
the top twelve at the 1994 Worlds.
Enter choice !
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 14:46:51 EDT
Subject: GG, W Team tidbits
>-Kochetkova is 17 years old (! -- I thought she was one of those new
14-15 year olds).<
I think I've mentioned this before but you can catch Kochet as far back as
the '91 Jr. circuit and prior to that in at least the '90 USSR Nationals (the
really good one since you can see their names on the scoreboard during FX ...
"oh so that fuzzy spot on my video" - with home video of Sov nationals
they're all fuzzy spots - "was Yulia Kut" ... FYI, Yulia had grown about a
foot since '89 and had the highest double tuck I've ever seen ... man or
>-Kochetkova got a 9.825 on bars. AP says she had a double layout in
her floor routine (9.875), but I've learned to not trust general media
coverage regarding names of skills...<
Kochetkova *did* do a double layout for her FX mount (for once they got it
right ...amazing isn't it?) . She also did a front, front full, punch front;
front, front full, front whip; and a double tuck dismount. No, my memory is
not quite that good but I thought she did a double lay and just had to pop
the tape in to check.
Must mention that in '94 Euros Oksana (Fabrichnova) was doing *the* most
wonderful 1 1/2 Yurchenko (high, clean, and totally laid out) I've ever seen
... she must have thought since they were so far ahead that this was a good
time to try a new vault (the double) that has a better chance of sticking
once she masters it. That makes a double, full, 1/2, and 1 1/2 Yurt that
I've seen her do. She also has a cool handspring pike front with a half.
It's a damn shame that they didn't show her bars since her double double is
cleaner and *higher* then most girls full-in's. I personally think that she
has the best set of the bunch (real clean Geinger and I think Tkatchev plus
that Russian compulsory layout Pak) ... which is quite an accomplishemnt when
you look at the Russian talent on that event (UB).
>And a note from Reuters... three of the four Russian gymnasts were in the
top twelve at the 1994 Worlds.<
Fabrichnova only did one event - beam - since she had broken some fingers in
podium training. She got the bronze medal behind Shannon & The Pod on that
During the preview they did Friday night I saw Nikoleayeva (sp?) working out
so maybe they were training her in case Fab couldn't compete (that fever Bart
and Kathy kept mentioning). BTW, she (Nikoleayeva) does front handspring
front not-quite-a-layout on beam a lot like Bobrova ... now where did Bobrova
scurry off to anyway?
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:05:33 BST
Subject: Goodwill Games (Womens All-Around)
Hi all again. Hmm, I haven't received any E-mails at all this weekend,
there may be something wrong with our mail server here. I hope you'll
get this OK although I didn't get anything in return (not even my own
gymn message from yesterday). Anyway what I'm trying to say is if there
had been any comments about my last message, I'm sorry I can't reply to
them now simply because I haven't received them.
Swiftly into the gymnastics (sorry about the non-gymn rubbish in the
last paragraph). The Goodwill Games womens all-around final has just
taken place and here are my thoughts. The German TV was showing it
live but they were mixing the broadcast with the women volleyball which
was going on at the same time though, so I missed some of the important
There were 16 competitors in this field, presumably the top 16 from
the team comp. They are Kochetkova, Fabrichnova, Grosheva (RUS); Miller,
Webster (USA); Bican, Ghimpu, Loaies (ROM); Luo Li, Zhang Li (CHN);
Podkopayeva, Knizhnik, Malaya (UKR); Chusovitina (UZB); Piskoun (BLR);
and Martin (ESP).
I'll describe what happened chronologically...
Fabrichnova surprised us (or me anyway) by not doing her double-twisting
double-back dismount from bars... instead she just did a double back pucked
for only 9.537. (Oh yes I got more scores from the TV than yesterday.)
Miller's 1/2-twisting Yurchenko has a now familiar step forward to it for
9.800 (first vault). Her second had two steps staggering backwards for an
average score of 9.731. Kochetkova scored 9.763 for her front VT with
1/2 turn. Loaies's VT had a large side step after her 1/2-twist-Yurch.
The caption on TV says Oksana Knizhnik is 17 years-old (? She doesn't
look like one?). Webster's bars was nice, she had a big smile on her face
after landing her double layout dismount.
Luo Li the World champion on bars fell off them after losing her swing
gradually throughout the routine. Knizhnik lost her leg form badly during
her Jaeger release from bars, but did a nice double pike to finish.
(That's all for the 2nd rotation... the TV channel was showing volleyball
instead for most of this period...)
Webster fell on her head in her full-twisting double-pike tumble on FX
(don't worry, there wasn't an injury). Webster's posture was VERY like
that of Miller's, her hands and feet movements and her body shape was
very reminiscent of Shannon Miller. I'm not saying it's boring, but I
think it'll be more interesting if the US had sent some gymnasts who
were not from the Nunno camp. Miller herself did a nice beam for 9.887.
Chusovitina's floor was still very good with all her power. Her first
tumbling pass was double layout, and then striaght back down the diagonal
for a double twist punch front. Kochetkova remained on top with 9.850 on
Miller's FX, though old, was still very good and she seemed to do her
last front tumbling pass very well now (which was causing her problems
in Worlds'94). Her score was 9.912. Kochetkova soon followed on FX, I
didn't know her score but hers too was a nice routine (I love her dance).
Anyway that was enough to hold off Miller for the AA Gold medal.
Fabrichnova did her approach wrong and only did a straight Yurchenko for
her first vault. (Think she did a double-twist Yurchenko for her second)
Bican's FX was good with a clean high full-in stuck to start, and a
triple twists to end. Loaies's FX was just starting when the satellite
TV lost the picture (It can only happen to gymnastics) and it's a few
minutes before the pictures return, and then they were showing volleyball
Anyway these were the results:
Goodwill Games 1994 Womens All-Around Final (Top Eight) :
1. Dina Kochetkova (RUS) 39.325
2. Shannon Miller (USA) 39.268
3. Elena Grosheva (RUS) 38.943
4. Liliya Podkopayeva (UKR) 38.893
5. Oksana Chusovitina (UZB) 38.818
6. Ana Maria Bican (ROM) 38.787
7. Ionela Loaies (ROM) 38.250
8. Elena Piskun (BLR) 38.230
More tomorrow from the women apparatus finals!
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 11:27:56 EDT
Subject: Goodwill Games Coverage
My main impression of both the ABC and TBS coverage was that it seemed
like they only had one camera there -- they were jumping around like
crazy trying to get the most important thing going on at the time on
tape. Sometimes you missed the beginning of someone's routine (at least
one beam routine with no mount!) and often they showed only one of a
girls 2 vaults, and not always the better one, so it seemed like they
had missed getting the other one on tape or something.
In general though, I thought that they showed a fair number of routines,
without too much jabber in between.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 13:47:52 EDT
Subject: Goodwill Thoughts
Hi! I just couldn't resist commenting on the meet to y'all. :)
First, on Susan's msg:
>I am constantly annoyed how they point out every little fault on the foreign
athletes and the American's only make "little errors."
I totally hate that too, but when I say so, my mom says, "Remember who's
paying them." Which doesn't make it any better, but helps remind me that
there is a rational explanation (not to be confused with an excuse) and that
they might not actually be that biased in real life (which does make me feel
a little better).
>Speaking of Spain ... they are really improving.
Kinda hard to say on the basis of two routines.
>Edwikomova really doesn't get the credit for that layout front vault that
she deserves. Way cool. Has any other girl ever attempted that?
Denisse Lopez (MEX) does it. Unfortunately, I missed it at the PR Cup, but
everybody seemed to agree it was better than Evdokimova's (who was also
there, so direct comparison was possible). She (Lopez) does it hollow rather
than arched, I'm told, and if her tumbling is any indication, she has the
power to do a great one.
>I'm ticked that they cut away from that cool little Russian kid (with that
punch into immed. slow front walkover/something-or-other ... >what would you
really call that?)
That was a roundoff layout punch front walkover. It was slow b/c she didn't
hit the handstand right and had to strain to make it over the top. I was
ticked they cut her off in the middle, too. When the local kids look like
that, <sigh>. Wonder why the Hungarians didn't show?
Finally (since this will make for a good segue into my own comments):
>The Russian's were amazing!! They were not only lovely but consistent
Blech. Like I commented to Susan last night: overall, "everybody sux." I
now wish to modify that to "everybody suck*ed*", since a lot of people didn't
have their best meet and w/o the falls might look considerably better. Plus
they looked a little better to me upon reviewing the tape this morning.
Russia was clearly better than the other teams. Of course, we saw all of 4
Romanian routines, but if they were any indication, I'm surprised they even
finished 2nd, and I'm inclined to think Russia would win even if Milosovici
and Gogean were competing.
V: Khorkina. That vault is incredibly cool and so well done.
UB: This was where I had the least problems. Overall I thought most
everyone looked at least decent; some had better form than others. I just
*cringe* every time I see a girl bend her knees on a straddle jam, and just
about everyone who did one did (there's just *no* excuse. If she's too
short, then let her do something else: a regular jam or stand on the bar or a
toe-on to catch the hb like Jennie T. did. Much as I dislike standing on the
bar, it's not so bad if she does a toe-on or something to keep the rhythm
going, and I think I prefer it to a form break). The Russians looked
excellent. Gorgeous Tkatchevs. Would've liked to see Fabrichnova and
Kochetkova (maybe today?). Malaya's Xiao was cool. Shannon has to do
something about her knees on her giants. She used to have such impeccable
form, then she started bending before her double layout, and it's been
spreading to her other giants like a disease.
BB: You'd think there was an earthquake the way everybody was shaky and/or
falling. It seemed like everyone was going from requirement to requirement
like a checklist. Podkopayeva, Knizhnik, Kochetkova were nice enough,
though. The Americans (except Meduna -- those knees) weren't too bad (esp.
Jennie's tricks, but her leaps -- eeek), but those Omelianchiks do look
suspiciously like back walkovers. I **love** Khorkina's tricks and
extension, but she was blah, and those spazzy hands... :-P I thought the
Romanians were just awful. Romania used to have such great routines. Btw, I
thought Bican looks more Hungarian than Romanian, with those hyperextended
elbows of hers. Oh, and btw again,
>(the Milosovici oak tree thing <g> ... not a true Omelianchik which is a 1/4
turn swing to hip"catch" crosswise on the beam)
Omelianchik herself continued to a back hip circle, but the trick which bears
her name in the Code ends at the handstand, so what Milosovici does is in
fact an Omelianchik (of course, what the Code says and reality are not always
the same thing. Omelianchik did a 3/4 twist as far as I can tell, but that's
not what the Code says).
FX: I don't think I've ever seen so many ugly routines in one meet with so
many of the world's best (and adding the ones who were missing probably
wouldn't help much). Frankly, I thought the Americans had the best
choreography, despite all four routines being variations on the same theme.
I enjoyed watching them. The Russians stood around a lot. And what was
depressing was that they were even trying to perform instead of just going
through the movements (at least at times), but they had nothing to work with,
like giving a good actor a lousy script. Podkopayeva was cute. But
Bulakhova can't keep her knees tight on a ff, yuck. Again, I didn't like the
Romanians at all. Tumbling was a different story. Fabrichnova does her
piked full-in with her legs together; now that's a rarity. I think
Khorkina's triple full was the highlight for me; that and Podkopayeva's
double front and Grosheva's Thomas (Neil, not to be confused w/ Kurt, who
also owns a FX trick) Front tumbling seems to be improving some as gymnasts
try harder, more worthwhile combinations (for which they get mega bonus
points). But what was with the Russians and back-to-back (but unconnected)
Overall I enjoyed Khorkina most, b/c she's so original and uses her
extensions. I liked Meduna least. I expected her to be better than she was.
Mainly I was surprised that she was so lacking in form. I thought Jennie
Thompson looked good despite the mishaps; very promising.
On the coverage, we should've seen more of Romania, considering they were
second. I'm also sick of them showing the little baby gymnasts like Jennie
Thompson crying and talking about the sacrifices they make. Sure, that's
part of it, but these girls also have a great time and I never hear them get
to talk about how much they like what they're doing.
See how it goes today.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 14:47:10 EDT
Subject: Goodwill Thoughts
>>Speaking of Spain ... they are really improving.<<
>Kinda hard to say on the basis of two routines.<
Well I was commenting on what I've seen of them lately from Europeans and
other meets since Barcelona. Did you see the Gymnix Invite out of Canada
from early this year? Well they sent some real *little* kids and they were
quite cool. Rulfova's, double layouts, Deltchev's ... real high level tricks
and funky dance and with good form.
I agree that the Russian's dance is miserable considering the way Grosheva
and Fab *can* move. Kochet just is not all that graceful so I think I'll
have to settle for good extension and form. I mentioned what a waste I think
Khorkina's choreography is. She's also never on her toes (I cant spell
releve). In fact she always looks stoned. Kind of Yurchenko's enthusiasm on
>But what was with the Russians and back-to-back (but unconnected)
It seems like a trend. Like standing on the low bar. Not something I really
like either but it seems very intentional ... in other words it 'fer sure
doesn't look like it was supposed to be connected.
>Frankly, I thought the Americans had the best choreography, despite all four
routines being variations on the same theme.<
I agree that their routines looked the smoothest and most together. Of course
they've all had those routines *forever*. I don't know with all the Russians
but Fab's is 'fer sure new and I've never seen Kochet do that one until
worlds (and it is bad don't get me wrong). Khorkina had a diff. one in '93
too. I also think that they lost a *lot* of choreographers. I mean look at
the Brit girls with Illienko and how great their dance looks now.
>FX: I don't think I've ever seen so many ugly routines in one meet with so
many of the world's best<
Well I disagree I think we hit bottom in '93 Worlds (skill, form, difficulty
and dance all lacking from almost every set on every event) and are getting
better. We're not back to what I would say is "normal" yet but we're getting
better. In Brummie I could count the number of watchable floor ex's on one
hand ... easy.
>V: Khorkina. That vault is incredibly cool and so well done.<
For fear of sounding like Kathy Johnson her stiff straddled legs and totally
flexed feet (and with legs that long it really shows) really bother me. The
vault is cool though.
Date: Sat, 30 Jul 94 23:56:28 EDT
Subject: Gymnastics Coverage / Commentators
>Also, Kathy Johnson drives me nuts! She is completely obsessed with toe
I don't think that Kathy is obssessed at all. She usually says someone has
"wonderful form" when they obviously don't. Toe point is a crtical element
that seperates gymnasts from circus performers. Presentation (form, body
line, extension, and toe point) are as much a part of gymnastics as double
layouts and full-in's.
My problem with her comments about Shannon is that she didn't really make it
clear that her drastic shortness on the landing and total lack of amplitude
was an *error* regardless of wether or not she got it around.
As for Dagget; just say no (as a commentator I mean he seems like a nice
guy). Really he has the natural on camera spontenatity of a sea sponge. He
only knows to things to say "wonderful" and "too bad." Of course that's just
this nosey, annoying, loudmouthed gymnastics fan's opinion.
PS-My god there's a 26 year old women with *7* kids that she gave to her
boyfriend so that he could collect welfare on them on "Cops" and know she
can't find them. God bless America. Oops, I just realized that I admitted
publically now that I watch "Cops" ... oh the horror!!!
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1994 08:28:13 -0400
Subject: Gymnastics Coverage / Commentators
Well, I see everyone's beginning to get their licks in about the TV
coverage (or lack thereof)... In part:
>>Also, Kathy Johnson drives me nuts! She is completely obsessed with toe
>I don't think that Kathy is obssessed at all. She usually says someone has
>"wonderful form" when they obviously don't....
>As for Dagget; just say no...
A few observations/comments:
1. Every commentator has his/her area of emphasis where "analysis" is
concerned. Kathy may appear "obsessed" with toe point, I recall Cathy
Rigby constantly citing a competitor's "dance" skills on FX. Of course,
these "experts" may be going on about stuff THEY kept hearing about from
coaches and others when THEY were active competitors...
2. It's Elfi Schlegel, last I noticed.
3. Perhaps part of the problem with the quality of commentary is that there
are ONLY "expert analysts" covering for both TBS/ABC. A knowledgeable
sportscaster might have been able to draw out some of the explanations we
might be looking for here. (Greg, who was on the late lamented Triplecast
- and whose last name escapes me - immediately comes to mind.)
4. Following up from Item 3, Bart appears flustered trying to be both
expert and host. I've seen him do much better at other events, so perhaps
TV folk get just as nervous as competitors when it comes to major events...
5. Not to make any excuses for ABC, but I did notice that Julie Moran sent
get well greetings to (among others) Chuck Howard at the end of yesterday's
broadcast. Chuck has been one of ABC's top producers for big events over
the years (at least since Roone Arledge moved to the news side) - perhaps
this is a sign that his absence is indeed sorely missed.
6. Interesting to see how ABC edited the intro to the event - I THOUGHT it
looked a little choppy yesterday afternoon!
Breakfast time! Now to see how much of this stuff (if any) has made the papers!
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 11:32:27 EDT
Subject: Jennie Thompson
>Kathy Johnson made a good point in regards to the US Gymnastics 'community'
>putting excessive expectations on Jennie Thompson.
>'94 and '95 *should* be learning years for Jennie. Perhaps it is even better
>for her not to get too much attention yet.
I have just one question: "WHY was Jennie competing with a broken toe?"
(which Kathy mentioned during her floor exercise) Was this competition
really SO important an experience for her? It can't have been great for
her toe, and it certainly must have been very painful.
I hate to say it, but it makes me wonder about whether having little kids
embroiled in such fierce competition is such a great idea, once again.
Date: Sat, 30 Jul 1994 14:31:12 PST
Subject: TV coverage
Gotta take my turn trashing the coverage...
Quick, anchors: How many syllables in "triathlon"? BZZZT! Wrong. You lose.
Oh, and thanks for showing us Chinese FX & V. Wouldn't want to miss those.
We saw few, if any, releases to overshoot to handstand on low, Kathy. Why
pick on just one kid?
Did the Russians get their music from Romania? At least the giraffe -er,
Khorkina - had some class. "Carmen" is awfully popular among ex-Soviets
On the positive side, nice to see form, attack, "real" difficulty and
presentation all in the same exercise, and by more than one gymnast. A
couple of girls even listened to their music. Whatever next?
BTW, I tried the Goodwill bbs (perhaps Rachele has, too?) for results, but
no luck so far. They had track stuff from yesterday (I tested to see if
they'd posted anything). Guess they're behind. Maybe the AP wire will yield
Anyone wanna start a pool on AA winner? Maybe I'll go with the underdog,
Pod. Guess it's her, Koch, Fab and Shannon. One will fall, the others
medal. Or will someone pull a Kolesnikova?
Based on previous Games, K's a lucky letter (Kalinina won in '90), so the
money's gotta go on Kochetkova. Oh yeah, she's also good - and consistent.
Trivia: In the '90 Goodwill Games, an unknown 13-year-old Soviet competed
exhibition and did some cool beam tricks. Two years later, she was Olympic
...should we keep an eye on Kuznetsova? Or start a second pool: How long
before she blows her achilles, reversing direction on beam? Ouch.
Okay, I'll leave you alone now.
Nancy's evil twin
(whose opinions do not in any way reflect those of the IG management or
staff, except when they do)
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1994 18:42:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women's AA, ABC style
First of all, my figurative hat off to Shannon Miller, who didn't turn
around and slug Donna DeVarona during her rudely phrased questions, that went
D:"You've grown 4 inches, had injuries and, well, gained weight. How do
you manage to cope?"
S:"Well, I'm still only 4'10", and the weight helps my tumbling and
And the press talks about how eating disorders among women are such a
tragedy in sport...
What's with the brunette craze among ex-national teamers? First Kim
then *whoa!* Kristie. I wasn't that thrilled with the imbalanced tone of the
interviews, and how many more times can we watch the '92 BB fall? Like it cost
her the AA title or something like that, which it did not. Just ask Kerri
Strug. They could've easily grabbed 90% of the retired national team members,
especially the ones who competed collegiately, and had completely positive
responses. Why not show a variety of opinions? Grrr.
I liked Kathy's comment at the end about how one judges success doess
not have to be in terms of winning.
The Pod rocks my world. THAT vault is the best Yurch-1/2 in the world,
even with AA steps.
Okay, so Khorkina does look like a giraffe with pink eyeshadow on
Valium. But the choreography, for the most part, I consider wonderful,
especially the sequence to the prone position. What cool stuff with the music.
Someone should go over and over tapes of her and Bogie in '89 Euros with Soni
and tell her that she CAN look like that if she tries.
I wanted to jump off a tall building when I heard "Disco Carmen". Yech.
Yay for Chussy! Isn't this her highest individual finish in major intl
competition? Yay! Why was Kathy knocking her bars last night? Was she having a
bad hair day? I mean, Chussy is whipping around eagle giants and Kathy's going
"she just lacks that extension..." At least she shut her mouth more for AA. she
should have more releases, but then, so should Dom. And Shannon should have
more tumbling. And on, and on.
Shannon's actually working a new floor routine? I'll believe that when
I see it.
Chussy looks sooooo much like Shushunova now, it is scary. So they
compare her to.... ah, Mary Lou Retton! That's it! Duh.
Okay, this isn't strictly gymnastics, but why are the inbetween
segments for ABC *this* lame? Hello, I think everyone is doing drugs with Bart.
Earth to ABC sports... do y'all have to be this stupid when covering women's
events, like the triathlon (3 syllables, yes...) and gymnastics? I don't recall
this much stupid stuff inbetween during the boxing coverage.
Enough ranting for now. Susan, Gimnasta, Nancy, Sherwin, and the rest
of y'all - you rock my world, you're soooo funny! When I drop music, I'll go
into broadcasting, and I'll bring y'all with me. Forgot Rachelle and Beth in
there as well.
Apologies for the long post. ---- Cara
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:11:34 EDT
Subject: Women's AA, ABC style
>I don't recall this much stupid stuff inbetween during the boxing coverage.
Virtually every gym event on tv has a spot on the dangers of gymnastics to
young girls, yet there never seems to be a spot on the danger to young boys
of a sport whose objective is beating your opponent bloody into the ground.
Also, what about football <gasp>, wrestling, etc. If I had a child I would
much rather have him/her involved in gym!
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:33:12 EDT
Subject: Women's AA, ABC style
> Okay, so Khorkina does look like a giraffe with pink eyeshadow on
Valium. But the choreography, for the most part, I consider wonderful,
especially the sequence to the prone position. What cool stuff with the
My biggest problem with Khorkina is that she has the potential to be one of
the best ever. All the ingredients are there; she doesn't use them properly
... or at least she uses them inconsistantly.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 20:11:53 EDT
Subject: Women's AA Comments
Grosheva's FX tumbling and execution is impeccable. Every landing - out of
the most difficult passes I've ever seen - stuck cold. Form and line
completely tight and yet she scored a tenth less then Shannon who had far
inferior tumbling and no better execution. While Grosheva's dance was nothing
special neither is Shannon's (again her program is slightly smoother and more
complete but the tumbling doesn't even begin to match up).
On beam a similar situation as Dina rocked a far harder set and scored a
*lot* less then Miller with several wobbles. 9.887 for Shannon vs 9.537 (?)
It's not that I don't like Shannon 'cause I do ... it's just that after all
this Bart still had the gall to say after Kochetkova's floor routine [about
her upcoming score] "... Well we *are* in Russia." No need to judge the
world by America's own judging bias Bart.
On the other events; while Kochetkova's vault was far cleaner & had greater
amplitude and was overall much better executed then Shannon's. Miller's vault
is worth a 10.0 (I've already gone into how I feel about that) and Dina's
only a 9.9 so the scores were pretty reflective (9.8 for Dina and a 9.8+ avg.
for Miller). Now comparing Shannon's vault to Pod's would be more accurate.
Lilyia actually does the vault correctly (perfectly to be exact ...
completely laidout and impossibly high) with a slightly worse landing today
(both had steps foreward but Pod's were less controlled) and scored a tenth
or so less then Miller who get's no deductions for her very obvious pike.
***Where is the motivation to develop new moves and superior execution when
it goes totally unrewarded in favor of the stuck landing?***
It's so sad to see Chussy vault now. She used to be such a god on that event
and now is only so so. Poor ChuChu ... she won that event in both '91 and '92
it's just that no-one noticed (including the judges).
Kochetkova really attacks those unevens!
Overall, to me anyway, Grosheva looked like the strongest gymnast today.
BTW, Fab won the bronze on beam in '94 not on bars like Bart said. I mean
they are at these comps, they have the stats in front of them, plus
researchers to help them out and still they make endless technical errors
(it's a Xiao Rhizu that Malya does a 3/4 - not a true full - out of not a
Kim Gwang Suk as Kathy said yesterday). Rather pathetic actually.
Shannon has *not* grown four inches this last year ... since '91 maybe (she
was listed as 4'6 1/2" in Indy and claims to be 4' 11" now). The '94 USAG
media book lists Shannon as 4' 10" and 79 pounds and those are probably the
stats they took at '93 Nationals (last August). 1 inch in a years time is
hardly a catestrophe that needs to be rehashed more times then she has even
competed on events.
Shannon had a fairly good perfromance overall and these endless excuses only
detract from that.
End of gymn Digest