gymn Digest                 Wed, 17 Aug 94       Volume 3 : Issue   1

Today's Topics:
                        '92 Ivankov Interview
                      Admin: New Welcome Letter
                         collegiate gymnasts
                 Commentators ... Where are they now
                             Elfi (again)
                            Elfi Schlegel
                       Happy Belated! (3 msgs)
                  Henrich in "People" & other places
                         Henrich in _People_
                     Horses & Gymnastics (4 msgs)
                              SI article
                         training of gymnasts
                  Wants to go Back.............etc.
                  Wants to go Back....etc. (2 msgs)

This is a digest of the mailing list. 


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 19:23:11 EDT
From: ***
Subject: '92 Ivankov Interview

Shuffling through some old gym stuff I came across this article from Japan's
"Sport Eye" about Ivan Ivankov. It's from late '92 after the Chunichi & Tokyo
Cup (won by Aihara ... Ivan was 2nd). It's pretty funny (those wacky
Japanese!). Thought I'd share it with ya' all. Just a note, the Japanese are
*crazy* about Ivan Ivankov ... they tend to adore blonds (see Dudnik).
 They've formed a fan club and a group actually traveled to Belarus to see
him compete in the "Belarus Cup" last year. I've reworded some of the
questions and answers to make more sense but it's basically as I got it.

SE: What is you brithday?
II: April 10, 1975

SE: What's you sign? [I'm not even making this stuff up!]
II: Aries

SE: What color is your hair? [apparently the interviewer was blind]
II: blond

SE: What color are your eyes?
II: blue [isn't he just too precious???]

SE: [this is my favorite <drumroll pelase>] What's your blood type?
II: O (they call it "type 1")

SE: What's your hometown?
II: Minsk, Belarus

SE: What's your school?
II: High School of Sports and Physical Education (translation he goes to
school at Krugloye via tutor ... or he did then)

SE: Height & Weight?
II: 157 cm and 52 kg [I refuse to translate because it reminds me of too many
Chem/Bio classes from college]

SE: How big are your feet? [Just what are the JAP trying to discover anyway
;-) ]
II: 26 cm

SE:Tell me about your family?
II: Father -Alexander, Mother -Natalie, and younger brother- Alexander JR.

SE: Who named you?
II: My grandfather liked the name Ivan so my name became Ivan [Grandfather?
Lucky kid there's few little Sov boys who can say they had a Grandfather ...
something like 70% of adult males died in WW2 and the purges]

II: Vanya [tradtional Slav dimunitive for Ivan]

SE: What kind of a child were you?
II: Patient

SE: What are you like now
II: A little stubborn <grin>

SE:What's your best quality?
II: I decide my purpose and I will try to achieve it

SE:What's your bad point?
II: Nothing <laughing>

SE:When did you start gymnastics?
II: at age 7

SE:Why did you start gymnastics?
II: Unexpectedly, a trainer of gymnastics came to my kintergarden and said to
me 'Will you start training in gymnastics?'

SE:What club do you belong to?
II:Provsakorzu [transliteration by JAP ... I've never heard of this club]

SE:What is your coaches name?
II: Vladimir Vodkin

SE:How long do you train each day?
II: 5 hours

SE: What's your favorite event(s)?
II: [in this order] Rings, high bar, pommel horse, floor, p-bars, & vault

SE: Have you ever wanted to stop gymnastics?
II: No, never

SE: What is your most memorable competition?
II: '92 Chunichi and Tokyo Cup because these were not competition for Juniors
like many others I have been in and many gymnasts who have high level
competed in these competitions and it became important competition for me.

SE: Who is your favorite gymnast?
II: Vitaly Scherbo

SE: Who is your biggest rival?
II: Vitaly Scherbo <laughing>

SE: What impression did you have of the '92 Olympics?
II: It was very nice for me. I want to compete in the next Olympics and hold
out 'til then

SE: How do you spend your free time?
II: I relax me body so I don't do anything If I must do something I either
read or fish

SE: What kind of gymnast would you like to be?
II: I want to be the kind of gymnast that people remember for a long long

SE: What are your hobbies?
II: fishing and collecting music tapes [funny he didn't mention shopping at
Foot Locker <g>]

SE: What is your speciality [I have no idea what they meant by this]
II: Only gymnastics!

SE: What other sports do you enjoy?
II: Soccer and basketball

SE: What is your favorite subject at school?
II: English ... the Japanese reporter adds a note that he "speaks English
very well"

SE:What is your least favorite subject?
II: physics and science

SE: What is your favorite food?
II: bananas, caviar, and salmon roe [salmon cavier ... "roe" is fish eggs]

SE: What is your least favorite food?
II: macaroni

SE: [the ultimate dorky question] What's your favorite color?
II: red and green [Ah a Bulgarian fan ... I thought I saw him staring at
Vodincharova <g>]

SE: What's your favorite animal?
II: Lion

SE: What's your favorite flower?
II: Rose

SE: What's your favorite place?
II: the woods and lake around Moscow [I would assume he meant Krugloye]

SE: Where would you like to visit?
II: Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, and Latin America [he's been to all
those places excpeting CAN now ... that I know of anyway ... actually he'd
been to the UK already]

SE: What would you rather be doing now?
II: relaxing

SE: How long do you sleep every night?
II: 9 hours [wow ...  let's see train 5, sleep 9 ... no wonder he doesn't do
much else]

SE: What's your [as my JAP friend put it] "charmpoint"?
II: myself of course <laughing>

SE: What bad habit do you have?
II: nothing

SE: Whom do you respect and admire?
II:  my parents and my coach

SE: What kind of woman do you like?
II: beautiful, clever, and a hard worker <laughing> [if I know Ivan you can
also add "blushing"]

SE: Do you have a girl friend? [here's the one where he disappoints lots of
little Japanese girls ... or makes their day]
II: I have girl's who are friends but no they are just friends

SE: What are your goals?
II: I want a gold medal at the '96 Olympics ... nothing else matters

SE: What would you like to say to your coach back home?
II: I thank him every time I see him ... I have no message for him now

SE: What would you like to say to your fans?
II: I want to come back to Japan some day ... I wish you all happiness and
good health

Now all of you rush out and write down Ivan's shoe size now ... and don't
forget his blood type just in case Scherbo accidently lands on him in
training ;-)



Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 22:14:21 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Admin: New Welcome Letter

Hey Gymn,

Well, we've updated the welcome letter (aka Gymn Guide) again.  Here's
the new version:

Welcome to Gymn, an electronic discussion forum for gymnastics. You
should begin receiving Gymn about 24 hours after you receive this
letter. In the meantime, you can look over the following, which should
tell you everything you need or want to know about Gymn; please keep
it handy (we suggest printing it out).

Thanks for joining Gymn!

 #                                                                 #
 #  ________ G y m n ________                 \       |      ___   #
 #                               o     __o     |o     |o    (o     #
 #     An electronic forum       !__   \!      !      !      \.    #
 #       for gymnastics.       ====== ====== ====== ====== ======  #
 #                                                                 #

                           The Gymn Guide


last revised: 10 Aug 1994

___Table of Contents___

1. What is Gymn?  How does it work?
2. Subscribing to Gymn
3. Netiquette on Gymn
4. Who is that person?  Getting to know your fellow posters...
5. Current gymnastics news
   5.1: From other sources
   5.2: From our members
6. Trivia contests
7. What's available (via ftp, gopher, or email)
   7.1: Addresses
   7.2: Calendar
   7.3: Back issues of digests, trivia sets
   7.4: Info on other publications
   7.5: FAQ
   7.6: History files
8. GIFs anyone?
9. An address book
10. Referring friends to Gymn

Headings may be searched for with the pattern "-- n. " and subheads
may be searched for with "n.m:"


-- 1. What is Gymn?  How does it work?

Gymn is a friendly forum for the discussion of all aspects of the
sport of gymnastics. People of all levels of knowledge and interest
are most welcome on Gymn. Novices are especially welcome, as
increasing the number of people interested in gymnastics is always
good for the sport. On that note, we'd like to emphasize that no
question will be considered "dumb" so feel free to bring up anything
that has been puzzling you here. Please don't hesitate to ask
questions if some of our more technical members get too carried away
in terminology. If you want to get a taste of the "flavor" of Gymn,
back issues of the digest are available (see 7.3).

Gymn was founded as a simple mailing list by Robyn Kozierok and
Rachele Harless in August of 1992. Gymn has since evolved into an
organized forum with various services for its members. In mid-1993,
George Atkins was added to the Gymn Admin and many responsibilities
were passed out to various Gymn volunteers (all very appreciated!). If
you're interested in helping out on the forum, contact Rachele.

All Gymn communication takes place via email on the Internet. To send
a msg to the forum, address your msg to (NOTE!: PLEASE
do *NOT* give out this address for subscription purposes, or send your
unsubscription requests to this address.) Traffic is typically about 5
msgs/day, but has been as high as 40 and as low as 0.

Some helpful hints:

-When replying to a post, make sure that your msg is addressed to
Gymn, not the author of the original post (unless that's your intent).

-Individual addresses on Gymn are sometimes temporarily unavailable,
resulting in bounce msgs to you if you post. Just ignore and delete
these msgs unless a specific address persists in bouncing beyond 5
days; in that case, forward the entire message to

-Don't repost a message to Gymn unless a full day has gone by and you
still haven't seen it get through.

eventually archived and are accessible via gopher or anonymous ftp.
Gymn members should be aware that their posts to the forum can be read
by _anyone_ with Internet access.

-- 2. Subscribing to Gymn

All administrative requests (subscribe/unsubscribe/switch formats)
should be sent to Robyn at

Subscription is available in two formats: standard or digest. The
digest format is advantageous if you want less traffic in your

-- 3. Netiquette on Gymn

We're often asked by new members "What is appropriate for posting?" We
suggest that you either retrieve old digests (see 7.3) or sit back for
a week and just observe the traffic.

We don't like having rules, so don't make us enforce any. However, in
an effort to keep our forum efficient and friendly, we've developed a
simple set of posting guidelines.

-> If your mail is really of interest to only one or two people, spare
the forum and don't waste net resources by posting your msg to all of
Gymn; use private email instead.

-> If your post includes previous postings, please label the inclusion
with the original author. Always sign your posts. Avoid excessively
long signatures.

-> Catch up with a thread before adding to the discussion. Someone may
have made the same observation you have. Mail sometimes comes out of
order, so just do the best you can.

-> Make sure you have something substantial to add to the discussion.
If you include a previous posting and only add "Yeah, that was
funny!", your post is probably not essential.

-> _Please_ do not digress from the discussion of gymnastics.

-> In order to keep the forum friendly, we ask that all members be
respectful of others' points of view. It is, of course, all right to
disagree with a person's opinion, but attacking them for holding it is
considered inappropriate in this forum. Similarly, we hope to be able
to keep the "signal-to-noise" ratio high, so PLEASE AVOID ALL MANNER
OF "FLAMING". This includes statements that could be considered
libelous in nature. Please remember that jokes are easily
misinterpreted when communicating via computers.

-> *DO NOT* post copyrighted articles on Gymn. This includes retyping
something you saw in the newspaper, forwarding articles from a
newswire, etc. You may, however, quote small parts of the article and
post a short summary of the story to Gymn (with proper reference), per
the "fair use" clause of copyright law.

IMPORTANT: Gymn is NOT responsible in any way for the content of
messages posted to the forum. Complete and total responsibility lies
with the author of the post. However, if you have a complaint with the
content of a message (especially if it is a direct violation of the
above guidelines), please mention it to Gymn admin; if the problem is
serious enough, we will consider removing the member from the forum.

-- 4. Who is that person?  Getting to know your fellow posters...

In order for us to get to know one another, it would be helpful if you
could send a brief self-introduction to Gymn (less than 50 lines).
This should include things such as your name, age, where you live,
what you do, and of course, your connection to gymnastics (any
personal gymnastics experience, or how you got interested; how long
you've been following gymnastics and how closely, etc.) and particular
areas of interest within it (men, women, international, collegiate,
etc.). Of course all items are optional, as is the request to write an
introduction; feel free to add anything else you'd like to.

If you want to find out more about the other people on Gymn, or check
out some other intros before you send in yours, you can request our
file of compiled introductions ( Once you've
posted your intro to Gymn, it will be inserted into this file. Please
remember that Gymn is a public forum (see 2); any information that you
post in your intro will become part of the next Gymn digest and stored
on the ftp site. So far, Gymn members haven't had any problems yet
with abuse of information. We still strongly encourage you to submit
an intro; just please be careful about how much you tell about

-- 5. Current gymnastics news

In general, you will learn results of meets or other current events in
the gymnastics community fairly quickly on Gymn. This is completely
dependent on the volunteer effort of Gymn members, however, so please
keep this in mind when you're just dying to know some results. 

   5.1: From other sources

We monitor the BBS's of both USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic
Committee for press releases, and we also monitor some other
sportswires (AP, Reuters, UPI) and send summaries of new stories to
Gymn. If you know some recent results, news, or other current events,
we strongly encourage you to post to Gymn.

   5.2: From our members

One of the best features of Gymn is getting posts from members who
have attended competitions; if you get a chance to see a live meet, we
strongly encourage you to post about it.

If you are going to be attending a larger meet and want to write up a
detailed report for Gymn, in other words be our "official Gymn
Reporter", then it is sometimes possible that we can secure press
credentials for you. With a press credential you become a member of
the press: you get a seat on the floor, score sheets, and access to
interviews. However, in return, you must submit complete reports to
Gymn about the competition. Don't mistake "complete" for "technical";
we just want a report of your impressions. If your impressions *are*
technical, that's great, but if you're not well versed in terminology,
that's fine too-- there's still a lot that you could contribute to
Gymn in a report.

If you think you want to be a Gymn Reporter, email Rachele requesting
Gymn's Press Pass Guidelines (PPG). (You must agree to abide by these
before we will apply for a credential in your name.) If you already
know of an upcoming competition that you want to cover, ask Rachele
for an application (takes approx 5-10 minutes to fill out). We do have
to be selective about who we choose to be Gymn Reporters; gymnastics
knowledge and writing skills count for a lot.

IMPORTANT: To be Gymn's official reporter at a meet, you MUST first be
authorized to do so by Gymn Admin. Even if you are a Gymn member, you
CANNOT present yourself as a reporter or other representative of Gymn
unless you have been specifically authorized by Gymn Admin to do so.

-- 6. Trivia contests

Every so often, we'll run trivia contests to highlight interesting
facts, both historical and technical, on Gymn. The topic will be
introduced and everyone is invited to submit questions (with answers);
then, a few days later, a compilation of the questions and answers is
posted. Keep your eye out for these. They're challenging!

-- 7. What's available (via ftp, gopher, or email)

Gymn has several volunteers that maintain the various resources of the
forum. All of these files can be accessed at via ftp
or gopher. Our directory is pub/gymn. If you don't have ftp or gopher,
just contact the appropriate volunteer directly through email and
s/he'll reply with the file(s). Any questions should also be directed
to the appropriate volunteer.

Many thanks to Gymn member Dan Bernitt for getting us this ftp site!

   7.1: Addresses (Efton Fuchs)

We have the addresses for the more popular international federations,
collegiate programs, and also U.S. private clubs. Useful for those
wanting to send fan mail.

   7.2: Calendar (Efton Fuchs)

A calendar is published at the first of each month. Keep an eye out
for meets near your city! If you or your kid is competing in a meet
not listed on the calendar, just throw a msg Efton's way and he'll put
it in.

   7.3: Back issues of digests (Rachele Harless)

Every message ever posted on Gymn (minus the first two weeks of Gymn
when we didn't yet have the digest option) is archived in digests
stored on our ftp site. Digests are named where nn is the
issue number. Currently we do not have an index for the digests; if
you are interested in perhaps volunteering to do even a small part of
this, PLEASE contact Rachele -- you'll be showered with many many

   7.4: Info on other publications (Anil Rao)

While the discussion format of Gymn is unique, you will undoubtably
find yourself wanting still more gymnastics material. We have
electronic subscription cards and addresses for several different
publications, and also various descriptions of these publications
(written by Gymn members, not the magazines) to help you decide which
ones are best for your interests. If you have a favorite gymnastic
magazine not on our list, please send a message to the forum telling
us about it.

   7.5: FAQ (Rachele Harless)

This is just in its conceptual stages, but we eventually hope to put
together a gymnastics FAQ (document of Frequently Asked Questions).
We'd appreciate any help with this that you'd like to offer
(especially suggestions for questions)!

   7.6: History files (Debbie Poe)

Our goal is to create a directory on our ftp site with files listing
important results in international and national competitions. We have
some files over there now, but it's just the beginning.

-- 8. GIFs anyone?

For those interested in gymnastics GIFs, there is an ftp site at, in the directory outgoing/may/gifs. This is _not_ a Gymn
ftp site. Any questions about the site go to Ben Fu,
While this resource is not maintained in connection with Gymn, it is
highly recommended by many Gymn members. ## Note, the gifs are
currently not on the site, but will hopefully be replaced soon. ##

-- 9. An address book (clip and save!)

                     Email Addresses you need to know:
Mail to the alias "" will go to _all_ members of the Gymn
forum, and will be included in the digests. (I.E., *don't* send
administrative requests, such as unsubscribes, to this address!)

Our anon ftp site is (Login: anonymous, password:
your_address). If you do not have ftp or gopher, feel free to request
files via email from the following contact list.

Got a Question?  Who to Call?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Addresses                   *** (Efton)
Administrative problems     *** (Robyn)
Apply to report a meet      ***, (Rachele/George)
Calendar                    *** (Efton)
Digests                     *** (Rachele)
FAQ ideas and questions     *** (Rachele)
FTP/gopher site questions   *** (Rachele)
Introductions file          *** (Anil)
Miscellany                  *** (George)
Publication info            *** (Anil)
Results project             *** (Debbie)
Subscribe/Unsubscribe       *** (Robyn)
Switch to/fr digest format  *** (Robyn)
Trivia                      *** (Mara)

-- 10. About The Gymn Guide

The Gymn Guide is written specifically for Gymn members. If you have a
friend who wants to know more about Gymn, The Gymn Fact Sheet is
probably more appropriate for distribution than this Guide, as the
Fact Sheet is _much_ shorter. You can obtain the Fact Sheet by
ftp/gopher or by requesting it via email from Rachele. NOTE: Please,
if you refer your friends to Gymn, DO NOT give them the
address; this only results in subscription requests being delivered to
all members of Gymn.


Yours in gymnastics,

- Robyn Kozierok, Gymn List Administrator, ***
- Rachele Harless, Gymn Forum Manager, ***
- George Atkins, Gymn Assistant Forum Manager, ***


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 1:19:35 EDT
From: ***
Subject: collegiate gymnasts

     Don't worry Ben, I'm not going to criticize you! I haven't personally
worked with female collegiate gymnasts, but I have heard stories that
corroborate what you said about their being very immature, etc. I think a lot
of this comes from having been in a disciplined gym-club situation for many
years, during which someone else was always telling them what to do, and then
when they get to college and have to think for themselves, they sometimes go a
little wild. The stories I have heard had mainly to do with partying, drinking
and sexual promiscuity. The sources seemed very reliable, and I just found the
whole thing very sad. They had been sheltered for so long that they couldn't
handle making responsible decisions once they reached college. And I agree with
you that it's not fair to blame the collegiate coaches. Even though the
gymnasts are often immature, they ARE adults, and they should have enough sense
not to go overboard with their newfound freedom. And certainly they should know
better than to get into anorexic/bulimic behaviors, or to get treatment if they
come into college with that behavior. You often hear the NCAA gymnasts say they
love competing in college because the pressure is much less than in int'l
competition and they can really enjoy the sport a lot more. I'd also think and
hope that the more relaxed atmosphere would make it easier for them to seek
treatment in they wanted it.
     I also agree that the SI article was trying in many ways to be
sensationalistic. It looked to me that they tried to find of Shannon when she
was at her slimmest (Barcelona, before she'd even hit puberty!) and chose a
shot where the expression of concentration on her face looked more like
emaciation. It certainly would have been more honest to have run a photo of
her today, where it would be clear that she has grown and started to develop
into a young woman, yet she is STILL at the top of her sport. I was also very
annoyed by the caption to the photo of Nadia at the 1980 Olympics, where it
said that she grew and lost her gymnastics dominance. Did they mention that she
won the silver AA at that competition, plus some individual golds? No, of
course not. I thought that was very irresponsible and misleading journalism. I
mean, I personally think that Nadia in early 1979 and in 1980 was a wonderful
example of how you CAN go through s growth spurt and still remain very
competitive. The article also conveniently "forgot" to mention some very
successful gymnasts from the past 10 years who were either stockier or taller
than other int'l competitors: Mary Lou Retton, Ecaterina Szabo, Elena
Shushunova, Kim Zmeskal, Svetlana Boginskaya, and now Svetlana Khorkina, to
name a few. They all had body types that didn't fit the stereotypical "norm,"
but they all did just fine in their careers. I think it would be nice if the
media would point out these athletes and tell aspiring gymnasts that they don't
have to be 4' 11" and 90 pounds to succeed. They can do what these athletes did
- use their body type to their advantage. I think it's refreshing to see
gymnasts who don't fit the standard mold - their routines are often more
innovative than others.
     As for eating disorders, there are so many factors that can cause them.
But it can't be ENTIRELY a coach's fault, or if he/she had one anorexic
gymnast, the rest of the team should logically be anorexic too. I wonder if
some people just have a predisposition for it or something? But no matter what
causes it, it seems to me that it ultimately comes down to the anorexic
herself whether or not she is (a) going to admit the problem, and (b) get
treatment and cooperate with it. No outsider can cure an anorexic, just like no
outsider can cure an alcoholic. The desire to stop the destructive behavior has
to come from within, and the person has to be willing to seek treatment and
follow through with it. From what I've read about Christy's case, where she was
firing the people  who were trying to help her and pulling IVs out of her arm,
it sounds like she just never really got past the denial stage. Yes, she
admitted verbally that there was a problem, but it seems that in her heart she
still believed she could conquer it without help - and that's just plain
denial. She had an addictive behavioral problem, and I don't believe anyone -
Al Fong, her fiance, her family, her therapists - could have saved her or
should be blamed in any way for what happened. I just hope that what happened
to her will shock other anorexics/bulimics out the denial stage and prompt them
to admit they have a problem and to get help and follow all the medical advice
they are given. That's my two cents' worth.



Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 23:44:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Commemorative?

You know, you sit there at your computer, reading this plethora of
Gymn msgs, and you begin to wonder: "Who exactly *is* this person?",
"Does Robyn's kid resemble Robyn?", and the most pressing of all: "IS
Susan a blonde?"

In honor of Gymn's 2nd anniversary, Robyn and I thought it might be
nice to compile a photo album-ish thing of Gymn people.  Everyone is
welcome and *strongly* encouraged to send in photos!
(hint-Robyn is the link here, not me!) put together an album that had
200 entries!  The final cost was $22.  Now considering we *have* only
200 people -- it would be amazing if we had 200 entries, would it not?
We'll keep our cost much lower than the r.m.k album -- they used
color.  We'll just stick with black and white.

Things to Know
1. If you want to buy the album ($5-USD), you need to submit an entry.
2. If you have an entry, you do not need to buy the album.
3. Submitting an entry
 -- pick one standard snapshot or two smaller pics to submit
  (B&W preferred, certainly not necessary)
 -- email me a blurb to be printed with the photo(s).  It'd be
  nice if your blurb contained info on what the picture was
  about, your full name and hometown residence, and maybe some
  info on what's been going on with you lately, and perhaps some little
  msg to your friends on Gymn or some symbolic quote or
  what-have-you.  (Read: this is your space, do what you want.)
  Make it 250 words or less.  Email blurbs to
 -- OK, now, all in one envelope, mail me:
  1. The photo(s) (labelled, if you want them returned)
  2. A hard copy of your blurb.
  3. Five bucks to cover copying and postage (checks
     accepted, payable to Rachele Harless)
  4. A note with your return address and email address.
 -- Where to mail this package of goodness?
  Rachele Harless
  Houston, TX  77005
  (yes, this is my old address, but it still works)
  (ohyeah, pls. write "Gymn" somewhere on the envelope)

Blurb must be emailed to by 9 September.
Package of goodness must be received by 21 September.

FOREIGN MEMBERS are of course extra strongly encouraged to
participate.  If you are in a foreign country, however, I have no idea
how much it will cost to mail it to you.  So, don't send $5(USD) in
your envelope -- I will simply email you and let you know how much the
total is after I mail it, and trust you to send it to me.

OF COURSE your picture doesn't *have* to be of you -- if you think
there's a better way to express yourself, then by all means, go crazy,
if that makes you happy.

INFORMATION about yourself that you specify that you do not want
included -- such as last name, email address, residence, etc -- will
be omitted.  First name (or nickname) is of course required because,
well, otherwise then we have nothing at all to place with the picture.

EVEN if you don't post, I'd love it if you sent in an entry!  The more
people in this book, the merrier.  Less than 20% of Gymn posts with
any regularity -- let us know you're out there!



Date: Sun, 14 Aug 94 22:43:51 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Commentators ... Where are they now

Hey I was just watching some Eurosport coverage of Brisbane and noticed some
"famous" commentators listed.

Sylvio Kroll for German Eurosport (see he really *did* retire). East
German/German star from '84 (at least) -'92. I also heard from a friend
that's he's involved in local German gov't back home and just had a second
child (he already had a daughter who was 4 or 5 years old) ... well his wife
actually "had " the child but you get the idea.

Also for France Eurosport the husband and wife pair of Olga Bicharova and
Valentin Mogilny ... Olga for the women and Valentin for the men. They also
have at least one child (a boy about who would be about 6 now) and I knew
that they have been invloved in coaching in France for several years now.
Olga was the '81 World AA champion and Valentin's only AA win was the '90
Men's Europeans though he was many times pommel horse champion. Mogilny is
best known for his beautiful gymnastics and his tendancy to fall ... a *lot*.
He was coached by Alexander Alexandrov who also coached champions like Dmitri
Bilozerchev (had to throw that one in <g>) and Vladimir Gogoladze. He
(Alexandrov) went one to be the head coach of the Soviet women's team.



Date: Sat, 13 Aug 1994 15:45:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***@leland.Stanford.EDU
Subject: Elfi (again)

Well, I guess I didn't quite beat Ron.
I hadn't gotten his message yet when I sent mine.
Now you all know more than you ever wanted about Ms. Schelgel.



Date: Sat, 13 Aug 1994 14:59:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***@leland.Stanford.EDU
Subject: Elfi Schlegel

Karen writes:

>     The article also mentions that Elfi competed for 4 years in the US on a
> gymnastics scholarship while completing a degree in telecommunications. 
> Does anyone know where she went to school?

Wow!  I guess I beat Ron to the punch.

Elfi competed for the University of Florida from 1983-1986.  In 1984, she
won every event title at the the Southeast Region Championships (at
Florida, BTW), then finished fourth AA at NCAA's, including a second-place
finish to teammate Maria Anz (of _American Anthem_ fame) on floor exercise.
(If I have my info straight, Schelgel was next-to-last and scored 9.65 to
take the lead.  Anz followed with a 9.7 to win.)

In all, Schlegel won 4 SEC titles, 12 Southeast Region titles, and 6
All-American awards (AA, FX 1983-1985).  She earned Academic All-SEC
awards from 1984 (its inception) to 1986, as well as Acedemic All-American
honors in 1984.  She still holds the Gator record for career all-around
titles at 26. 

No, my memory is not that good.  This info is taken from the 1994 Gator
Gymnastics media guide.



Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 22:25:07 -0500 (CDT)
From: ***
Subject: Happy Belated!

Happy Birthday to Gymn!  We were two years old on Aug 12th.

An interesting tidbit... about 25 of our subscribers have been with
Gymn since the very beginning. They are:

Abby G, Anil Rao, Atul, Ben Fu, Chops, Chris Bj, Geraldine Dotson,
George Cifrancis, Helena and Ken Robinson, Karen Kuder, Kathy Godfrey,
Catherine L. C., Lisa Su, Manish, Mark Claypool, Michael Cox, Mike
from Compuserve, Lori Notthingham, Olga Kuhn, Rachele Harless, Robin
Carr, Robyn Kozierok, Shinjinee, Toby Rabold, Tia Watts

If I overlooked your name and you belong on this list, send me a msg
so I can make a note of it.  (If you don't want your name broadcast to
Gymn, just say so -- I took that liberty with the above names because
they had all posted an intro at some point.)

Also, since I'm feeling <sniff> sentimental -- thanks to all the Gymn
volunteers.  This includes Efton, who assembles the calendar; Anil,
who maintains the intros and magazine blurbs; Debbie, who helps with
the history files; Debbie and Susan together, who have helped to get
started on the FAQ and will eventually be writing most of it; Mara,
who puts together the trivia; and all the posters, of course, for the
great range of opinions...



Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 00:36:34 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Happy Belated!

>Also, since I'm feeling <sniff> sentimental -- thanks to all the Gymn

It seems that the most thanks belong to Rachele, Robin and George, without
whom there wouldn't be a 2nd Anniversary!



Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 11:03:10 +0200
From: ***
Subject: Happy Belated!

>Also, since I'm feeling <sniff>
sentimental -- thanks to all the Gymn
 >It seems that the most thanks belong to Rachele, Robin and George, without
 >whom there wouldn't be a 2nd Anniversary!

 I agree with Mara. Happy birthday to all of us.


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 22:27:49 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Henrich in "People" & other places

To add to the Henrich press blitz CNN Headline News has been running a 5-10
min spot all day that shows Henrich's interview when she was scary thin
intermixed with out-takes from her comp. days and out of context lines from
Coaches, family, etc.



Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 23:30:00 UTC
From: ***
Subject: Henrich in _People_

This week's _People_ carries another article about Henrich.  The title,
"Dying for a Medal", pretty much sets the tone.  If you thought the _SI_
story was biased, this one is a must-read.
While I think that Henrich's story is important and should be told, the
press has had numerous opportunities to report about the positive aspects of
the sport.  For example, Miller is 2-time world champion and I don't recall
reading anything about this in *any* non-gymnastics magazine...


Date: Sun, 14 Aug 94 11:21:26 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Horses & Gymnastics

To All:
   Okay, here's a weird gymnastics tie-in.
   As a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer, I was at a miniature horse
competition this morning. These horses get about 30 inches high.
   Anyhow, I was sitting in the pretty-empty bleachers with members of the
local horse club. They were complaining how nobody shows up to these things
and even when spectators do show up, they stay for a while, get bored and
    That's when I told them about my love for collegiate gymnastics and
proceeded to tell them what women's collegiate gymnastics had done to get
   I said, "Hey, you have judges out there judging the poise of  the horses
and the spectators don't even know how they're judging. Have the announcer
explain it."
   And then I told them they should bring out a horse ahead of time and have
a judge get on a microphone and explain what he/she looks for. As I spoke,
you could see their eyes beginning to light up.
    Somebody said, "I went to a gymnastics meet and they did that, too. I
loved that."
   And then I pointed out how it took 15 minutes between judging classes
while they leisurely walked the horses in and out. "You're losing your crowd
to boredeom," I said.
   Well, before the show had ended today, the horse club had gotten together
and came up with a plan to make all the changes.
   How about that? Gymnastics influences horse competition.
--- Ronald


Date: Sun, 14 Aug 1994 14:13:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***
Subject: Horses & Gymnastics

I enjoyed Rons post about the horse show.
Ever been to the county fair to watch the livestock competition ?
The "Show" and the "Market Show" are incredibly boring.
The judges walk around, look, go back to a huddle, come out again, look,
return to the huddle.  You get the picture.
Gymnastics is not the only even to have a crowd bored.

Someone up on history ?
Wasnt gymnastics once done with people & horses ?

I am having ENOUGH troulbe staying up on gymnastics for guys.
I dont have the time to support/watch womens gymn.

Rons posts almost ALWAYS are on gals gymn so I can only presume that based on
his posts that is tyhe part of gymn that he stays up on.

I have never been to a guys gymn even where we had fewer than 2 guys doing
routines simultaneously.  It anoys me, because greedy guy I am, I wanna see
it ALL !  Often times, I catch events where there are 3 or 4 guiys doing their
routines simultaneously.  Again irritating to me.  But at least in guys gymn
we seldom have big gaps.  Bout only time is when we have an disagreement
between judges at the end of a rotation, so that hangs EVERYTHING up.
This is rather rare in the guys events Ive gone to.

I think the guys gymn problem all comes back to the whole macho thing that
we guys are supposed to live up to.  Someone's kid on here got called a sissy
at school over his gymnastics shirt.
Yup, the stereotype male crap is still with us.
Ah yess, I remember it well, I was building my own computers
(Back in the days before the PC or even the Apple was even made !
 Bearskins & stone knives, oh my !
 Any of you out there old enough to remember "bit slice" processors or even
 the "Cosmak" chip ?  Even the 8085 hadnt been out yet)
Well I was busy doing ham radio & computers and telephone switching
(Built my first "step-by-step" phone switching office when I was 12)
And the entire neighbor hood was afraid that if they didnt get me out of my
ham shack, that I would turn into a fruit.

I still remember coack Quirico saying
"Hell with the Spivey brothers on your block, how can you be such a lousy
athlete?"  Dont you just LOVE that logic ?

I went out for gymnastics, then the program was gutted to make more money
available for football. "Only fags do gymnastics anyway" was their explanation.

Things turned out well in the end although returning to the sport at my age
is an uphill battle.  None of the Spivey brothers has ever managed to get
a decent job.  I do OK doing data systems contracting (darn good at irt too !)
and a little broadcast work sometimes.  I even did a stint as a model.
I love my job.
I participated in building part of the internet that we enjoy today.
Im active in my ham radio club and several comunity groups. I even find time
to rebuild pipe organs & player pianos.  And about that fruit thingy ?
Well they were too late.  I was already one by the time I was 5.
(MWAHAHAHA!)  Indeed there is justice in the universe.

Scott Mc Gowan once told me "The best revenge is to live WELL "

If Ron actually does do guys meets then :
#1 Talk about 'em !
#2 Come out here where a guys meet is almost always less than 2 hrs.
   We dont have the gaps that you complain of.
   (Heaven forbid ! Could this be an east/west coast phenomena ?)
(Cue: ghostly cackle)


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 08:45:30 +1000
From: ***
Subject: Horses & Gymnastics

>I have never been to a guys gymn even where we had fewer than 2 guys doing
>routines simultaneously.  It anoys me, because greedy guy I am, I wanna see
>it ALL !  Often times, I catch events where there are 3 or 4 guiys doing their
>routines simultaneously.  Again irritating to me.  But at least in guys gymn
>we seldom have big gaps.  Bout only time is when we have an disagreement
>between judges at the end of a rotation, so that hangs EVERYTHING up.
>This is rather rare in the guys events Ive gone to.

You should have attended the eastern qualifiers meet - they did one guy at
a time - it took forever!!!  Not that it wasn't great to see everyone, but
it did become boring, well at least through compulsories - optionals it was
okay.   They could get away with it at that meet though because the crowd
was there for gymnastics - parents and campers.  (it was held at
International gymnastics camp). 

If you want one at a time - come to nationals - team and event finals are
done one at a time and it is still finished in about 2 hours - sometimes

My favorites are the double duals (PSU is where I experienced them) somehow
the guys would be finished before the girls - still havn't figured that one
out - 6 events to 4 - seems like something isn't balanced.  I would prefer
it if they could wrap up at the same time.

oh, well, those are my observations.



Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 08:45:30 +1000
From: ***
Subject: Horses & Gymnastics

>I have never been to a guys gymn even where we had fewer than 2 guys doing
>routines simultaneously.  It anoys me, because greedy guy I am, I wanna see
>it ALL !  Often times, I catch events where there are 3 or 4 guiys doing their
>routines simultaneously.  Again irritating to me.  But at least in guys gymn
>we seldom have big gaps.  Bout only time is when we have an disagreement
>between judges at the end of a rotation, so that hangs EVERYTHING up.
>This is rather rare in the guys events Ive gone to.

You should have attended the eastern qualifiers meet - they did one guy at
a time - it took forever!!!  Not that it wasn't great to see everyone, but
it did become boring, well at least through compulsories - optionals it was
okay.   They could get away with it at that meet though because the crowd
was there for gymnastics - parents and campers.  (it was held at
International gymnastics camp). 

If you want one at a time - come to nationals - team and event finals are
done one at a time and it is still finished in about 2 hours - sometimes

My favorites are the double duals (PSU is where I experienced them) somehow
the guys would be finished before the girls - still havn't figured that one
out - 6 events to 4 - seems like something isn't balanced.  I would prefer
it if they could wrap up at the same time.

oh, well, those are my observations.



Date: Sun, 14 Aug 1994 20:41:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: ***
Subject: SI article

At the US Classic I talked with Mark Cook, UCLA's new assistant coach, and
he and Val were both very hurt and irritated with the SI article. They
talked with several of the girls about the things said and found no
substantiation to the things said about the team. He said that they are
seeking a retraction from SI (good luck!) and were generally upset with the
whole thing.
To be expected I am sure, and taken with the knowledge of who said it. WE
will probably never know the whole truth, but I get the feeling that a
little sensationalistic journalism has occured here.
I'll probably get flamed on for this, but after 5 years as a Div 1 assistant
coach, I saw too many instances of female college gymnasts behaving and
training in very irresponsible ways, and when things went kablooie, turning
a finger at the head coach and laying the blame at their ( and everyone
else's) doorstep to be believed. The real shocker was how ready the press
and administration were to fall for it and join in condeming the coach!
The only thing the head coach did wrong was not putting an early and
abrupt stop to such behavior, by removing the offenders from the team and
revoking their scholarships. Of course, when she tried that she opened a
whole new can of worms,( abusing the athletes, student rights, etc.) One of
the main reasons I ran from that job. 
Granted,This was only one team out of many, and only for 5 years, but I saw
and heard of similar circumstances on other teams. Actually, almost all of
them truth be told. (OSU was one notable exception.)
People will think I am a real jerk for saying it, but after over 20 years
coaching, by far the most irresponsible, self centered and spoiled group of
athletes, I have ever worked with (BUT NOT ALL OF THEM! Just an unusually
high percentage of them), has been college women's gymnasts.
It was also the greatest waste of truley gifted and talented athletes I have
ever witnessed.
So what's the point here? I think that if the Universities would support
their coaches and their decisions regarding discipline and team rules and
not get on this bandwagon of sensationalistic blame laying (on coaches) for
the problemns of these 'young adults' maybe they could do something to
remedy these problemns.
Go on, I've got my fire suit on.
Ben Corr


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 15:48:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***
Subject: training of gymnasts

In a new anthology of sportswriting by women entitled a kind of grace (Zenobia
Press, 1994, ed. by Ron Rapoport), I found an article called "A Delicate
Balance" by Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald, written in August 1992. 
Considering what recently happened to Christy, I thought these excerpts might
be of interest to many of you.
 Susie Kincaid is hardly wider than the gap between her front teeth, but she is
counting calories at age 12.  To maintain her matchstick size, she tries not to
go above 1,500 a day, and during workouts, she wears an elastic 'tummy band' to
remind her to keep her stomach flat or, better yet, concave.
 Her hands are still small, so the skin rips and blisters when she hurls her
85-pound body around the uneven bars.  She holds up her palms to show streaks
of blood coagulating in the chalky powder.  She grins at her badges of courage.
. .
 There are moments when all the effort catches up with her.  She talks about
weariness with an adult's sigh.  'Some days I go home after a workout and tell
my mom I feel like I got run over by a truck.' . . .
 Athletes routinely push their bodies to the breaking point.  At a track meet
in May, long jumper Llewelyn Starks' shin bone snapped with an audible crack as
he launched from the takeoff board.  Larry Bird has to lie on the floor during
basketball games to rest his battered back.  Runners have been known to
hallucinate dring the final miles of ultramarathons.
 What price glory?  It is a question all athletes must ask.  But female
gymnasts are the only athletes who must grapple with the rise and fall of their
careers during the years when other children are finding it difficult enough
simply to grow up. . .
 On man has set the tone for women's gymnastics in this country: Bela Karolyi.
. .
 Training for Karolyi's hand-picked six is conducted in a boot-camp a
tmosphere.  The girls -- who range in age from 14 to 17 -- train eight to 10
hours a day, six days a week.  The get off Sundays, July 4th, and three days at
 "Gymnastics is not for fun," Karolyi says. . . Brandy Johnson, no an aspiring
actress who does stunt work in Orlando, described a typical day when she was
training with Karolyis prior to the 1988 Olympics:
 "From 7 to 10:30 a.m., we worked on compulsories.  Nobody was late and nobody
missed workout, even if you were sick.  I had chicken pox once, and Bela said
he didn't know what that was.  [She practiced.] From noon to 3 p.m. we had
dance lessons.  And from 4 to 9 p.m. we worked on our optional routines.  We
were supposed to get out at 9, but he always noticed some mistake so he could
keep us until ten. . . We ate just a little.  In gymnastics you don't eat
much.  Mainly we ran off of our nervous energy, which makes it difficult for
your body to recuperate when you're injured. . . "
 "My goal is to make them sturdy and aggressive girls," [Karolyi] says.  "Each
child has their own parent.  I cannot be responsible for everything in their
lives outside the gym."
 There are issues inside Karolyi's gym as well.  All his gymnasts say he
berates them in practice about imperfections in their routines and in their
 "Everybody gets called an idiot," [Phoebe] Mills says. "The first time he
called me an idiot I phoned my mother after a workout, crying.  I never let him
see me cry, and you never talked back.
 In fact, his former gymnasts say, there is no talking, period, during
workouts, except for Karolyi's voice, yelling out his pet phrases: "You look
like an overstuffed Christmas turkey.  You look like a donkey.  You look like a
dead frog.  You look like a pregnant goat.  You look like you're in the Special
Olympics.  You are an embarrassment.  What are you doing, making fun of
 "I hope they don't feel blame," Karolyi says about his name-calling.  "It is
only to make them stronger.  Competition is tough.  Holy cat!  Life is tough. 
They know not to take it personally." . . .
 "You want to impress him," Brandy Johnson says.  "You want the bear hug.  You
don't want him to grab you by the back of the neck, which is what he does when
you screw up."
 Some of his gymnasts say that Karolyi has an irascible affection for them. 
Lighter moments mix with the marathon of intensity.  Occasionally, he takes the
girls out to his ranch and they stay overnight in the cabins.  Johnson once
celebrated a birthday there.
 "There was a big birthday cake, and we were all eyeing it but trying to ignore
it, and Martha said, 'Go ahead, girls, eat some cake,'". . .
 Karolyi's favorite stunt was to let his herd of bulls out and have the girls
round them up.
 "We were scared of them, but he'd yell, 'Girls, keep running,'" Johnson says,
imitating Karolyi's accent.  After that, he invited them to play a game of
basketball, first to 21, then, when the girls were ready to rest, to 50.
 "And there was a railing at the gate where he'd make us do pull-ups," Phoebe
Mills says, laughing.  "Whatever he could find, he'd use to make another
workout.". . .
 Bart Connor . . . says Karolyi's methods would not be controversial if he was
coaching boys.  "People wouldn't give it a second thought. . . But because it's
cute little girls, they're appalled.". ..
 Karolyi says the ideal size for a gymnast today is 4-foot-7 to 4-foot-10, 75
to 85 pounds. . . By the time they're 17, 18, 19, they're getting old.  As they
grow more beautiful, less board-like, their gymnastics careers shrivel.
 Susan Stokes, mother of one-time Olympic hopeful Erica Stokes, is relieved to
see her daughter retired at age 16.  Erica trained with Karolyi for three years
before suffering foot and shoulder injuries.  She was demoted from the elite
six.  She and her family moved to Oklahoma City, where there was another
top-flight gym. . . Erica is tall for a gymnast, 5-foot-2, and while whe was
injured, she'd put on weight.
 Last December, Susan Stokes came downstaires at 2 a.m. and found her daughter
in the bathroom, throwing up.
 "She had bought chocolates as Christmas presents for the other girls, and had
eaten them all," Susan says.  "She broke down and told me she had been bulimic
for over a year.  It started when she was first injured.  She figured that no
matter how well she did her routines, unless she could somehow get down to 90
pounds, she'd never make it.  She'd be a 'pregnant goat' instead of a maturing
young woman.
 "I decided then and there that the price we were paying was too high.  We gave
it up.  We moved back home with our emotional scars." 
 Erica, 16, has been seeing a psychologist.  She's better now, as a 120-pound
cheerleader for her high school.
 "but she's still very concerned about her body," Susan Stokes says.  "One day
she'll panic about overeating and the next day she'll fast." . . .
 While at Karolyi's, [Kristie Phillips] says she took laxatives and diuretics
to maintain what she considered the ideal weight of 92 pounds at the
twice-weekly weigh-ins.
 "I was called an overstuffed Christmas turkey," says Phillips . . . "I felt
like a failure because I was fat" .. . .
 Karolyi denies that he forces girls into eating disorders.  He says nutrition
is stressed.  "I do not make their menus," he says.  "Yes, body style is
important.  But I am not there making their meals for them."
 Mike Donahue, president of the United States Gymnastics Federation, says he is
aware of the problem at the world-class level.  The USGF has started a coaches'
education program so "you don't just put a girl on a scale; you learn how to
watch for signs of anorexia" . . .
 With some exceptions, Karolyi's stringent methods are emulated among coaches
producing serious Olympic contenders.
 One of those exceptions is Tim Rand. . . "I have no objection to hard work. 
But with these kids, who are as eager to please as puppies, I think positive
reinforcement is more effective.  At some gyms, they're not bringing up
children, they're producing machins."
. ..
 But even Rand is not above using invective to motivate little girls.  The
diffence is: "I know whom I can call Shamu, and whom I can't."
 Rand consistently develops top-level gymnasts. . . But he has yet to coach an
Olympian.  Two girsl who went to Barcelona -- Wendy Bruce and Michelle Campi --
are South Florida natives.  When they began to show Olympic potential, their
parents shipped them off to more prestigious gyms.
 Michelle's mother, Celi Campi, explains. .. "There are the 'fun' gymnastics
coaches. .. But it won't make us competitive with the Russians." . . .
 [T]raining for Olympic-level gymnastics can lead to trouble.  The strenuous
exercise and emphasis on low body fat can actually delay the onset of puberty
and disrupt mestrual cycles.  Brandy Johnson, for instance, says she had no
periods while she trained at Karolyi's.  Kathy Johnson. .. did not start
menstruating until age 25.  Recent studies show amenorrhea -- irregular or
nonexistent menstrual periods -- can cause long-term bone damage or the early
onset of osteoporosis.  The eating disorders that often accompany amenorrhea
can cause thyroid problems, anemia, fatigue and, in extreme cases, cardiac
 "Amenorrhea leads to low estrogen levels and low bone mass," says Dr. Barbara
Drinkwater, of the American College of Sports Medicine.  "This is occurring at
a time when these girls should be maximizing their bone mass.  We don't know if
they'll catch up, and we won't know until they're in their 40s and 50s.". .. 
 Michelle Campi had the horrible misfortune of dislocating her elbow just two
days before June's Olympic trials. . .
 The doctors said it would take "something short of a miracle" for Michelle to
recover in time for the trials camp. .. a month later.
 But Celi wasn't ready to give up.  She and Miller's coach gave Michelle a
bedside pep talk.  She was lying there, wan and woozy, with IVs in her arm,
throwing up every ten minutes because of the morphine. . .
 When Michelle got out of the hospital, Celi put her on a macrobiotic diet. . .
to speed the healing process.  There was one frustrating workout when mother
and daughter retreated to a bathroom for a good cry.  "Then Michelle splashed
water on her face and went back out there" . . .
 Michelle's elbow did not buckle.  She made the team.
 but she did not compete in the Olympics.  Once she was in Barcelona, it became
increasingly clear that the elbow was not completely healed. . .
 By the time [Brandy Johnson] retired at 17, she had broaken her ankles three
times each, all the toes on her size-3 feet and her collarbone.  She has a
metal screw in one big toe.  She has three different hip problems, including
stretched ligaments that allow the ball to slip out of the socket. . .
 Phoebe Mill's worst injury was a cracked heel.  She had been trying an
innovative move on the uneven bars and kept swinging around and hitting her
heel on the bar, over and over, for weeks, until it finally broke.. . .
 "A dismount from the beam generates force equal to six times these girls' body
weight," says Dr. Lyle Micheli, a pediatric orthopedist at Harvard Medical
School.  "You can have long-term wrist problems; it becomes painful to turn a
key in a lock.  You can have stress fractures in the lower back, and if they're
not discovered early, you could need surgery.
 "In terms of injuries, gymnastics is right up there with pro football.  As
sports become more sophisticated and our training becomes more intense, we're
flying blind on the aftereffects.  We train and train a kid until she gets hurt
or until she stops improving."
 Wendy Bruce has lived with six different families since she left her own at
age 14.  She didn't always get along with her surrogate parents or siblings in
Altamonte Springs, so she moved a lot, from one awkward situation to the next.
 Wendy's parents, Virginia and Fred, sent Wendy upstate so she could train at
"a club with clout."
 They thought they could visit their homesick daughter every weekend.  They put
26,000 miles on their car the first year and often slept on the floor of the
bedroom where Wendy was living.  As the number of visits dwindled, it "became
every two weeks."  Then even less than that. . . Then there are the kids who go
so far from home their parents can afford to visit only a few times a year.  Or
parents who uproot themselves, find new jobs in the cities where their daughter
trains, only to have her not make it. . .
Some thoughts: I was never a serious gymnast, but I took classes for years in
elementary school and I loved to tumble.  My friends and I would get to school
at 7 a.m. to get early morning time on the apparatus (and in my school, girls
were allowed to use the rings, which I loved!)  I can understand the draw of
gymnastics to any little girl.
But it seems to me that at the highest levels, gymnastics is going terribly
wrong.  Some of what is described in this article and elsewhere reads to me
like child abuse.  And I don't agree with Bart Connor's statement -- if little
boys were being trained like this, I would protest vigorously.  But because
male gymnasts peak older, most of the elite men are men and therefore I would
assume more able to handle the pressure, to make their own decisions about
coaches, to live away from home.
I wish that the the International Olympic Committee would set stringent age
requirements on international competitors and stick with them.  And in America,
I think gymnastics training should come under the same rules as child labor
laws, meaning a limited number of hours worked every day, especially at night. 
I would gladly give up some spectacular tumbling if I never again had to see
the lonely, lost face of a little girl who just messed up on international
television and is facing it alone.
What do you all think?  Also, does anyone out there have any other articles on
the training of gymnasts, both at the recreational and elite levels?  I'm very
anxious to learn more on this subject.  Also, I keep hearing references to
Cathy Rigby's and Kathy Johnson's and Nadia's eating disorders but I never have
heard them talk about them. Has anyone read or seen interviews with them on
this subject?


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 11:37:01 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Wants to go Back.............etc.

If you don't know what I'm talking about in "Wannts to go Back.....etc.,"
read "Wants to go Back," from previous mail. It will key you in on my

Jessica   :)


Date: Sat, 13 Aug 94 23:01:26 EDT
From: ***
Subject: Wants to go Back....etc.

As for soccer, my parents already payed 500 bucks for the season, and it
doesn't end until February.  I do want to go back to my old gym, but the
driving would be 1-2 hours a day for my parents, and they'd also have to be a
member of the parents club.  My Dad's not happy with his job, so money could
be a factor.  My old group has learned so many new difficult tricks, is very
strong, and I'm afraid if I go back, I'll have to first get my strength back,
get my old skills back, and learn the skills my old teammates spent 1 1/2
years getting.  It's discouraging.  Considering these circumstances, the road
back seems impossible.  I've tried rec. gymnastics, but it didn't recapture
the thrill of the sport for me.  Any new advice now that you know more about
the situation?


Date: Sun, 14 Aug 1994 14:43:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: ***
Subject: Wants to go Back....etc.

> As for soccer, my parents already payed 500 bucks for the season, and it
> doesn't end until February.  I do want to go back to my old gym, but the
> driving would be 1-2 hours a day for my parents, and they'd also have to be a
> member of the parents club.  My Dad's not happy with his job, so money could
> be a factor.  My old group has learned so many new difficult tricks, is very
> strong, and I'm afraid if I go back, I'll have to first get my strength back,
> get my old skills back, and learn the skills my old teammates spent 1 1/2
> years getting.  It's discouraging.  Considering these circumstances, the road
> back seems impossible.  I've tried rec. gymnastics, but it didn't recapture
> the thrill of the sport for me.  Any new advice now that you know more about
> the situation?

All your point on this are valid except one.
You said you were afraid.

Yoda once told young Luke Skywalker "You are afraid, that is why you fail"

OK you are paid up through Feb on soccer.  Then you have until Feb to build
strength.  You dont need fancy gardware to build strength.  SO just do it and
do it NOW. 6 months of strength work before you return to gymn and you should be
in pretty good shape.  You'd be surprised at what you can do on your own.
All you have to do is WANT it & WANT IT BAD.

Fear should be reserved for situations when you realize that the stick on TNT
you have in your back pocket has its fuse lit.  Fear there I understand.
Fear of getting back into the swing of gymn, I dont understand.
Perhaps you will learn faster than they did.  You might actually pick up the
slack in less than a year.  Depends on how fast you learn, and what your
body is doing inside.  Starting in Feb, you wont be in competition the first
year so the presure is off of you and you can work on picking up that slack.

If you have to be afraid of anything, let it be something worthy of your fear
like strawberries with grey hair !


End of gymn Digest