GYMN-L Digest - 23 Apr 1995 to 24 Apr 1995

There are 14 messages totalling 686 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Introduction and Mukhina (2)
  2. event finalists (2)
  3. PC gymnastics
  4. Notes from the coaches' meetings
  5. NCAA Team Finals (2)
  6. Government Enquiry into AIS
  7. introduction
  8. Introduction and AIS
  9. TV alert
 10. Mukhina
 11. Mukhina article


Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 01:55:00 -0400
From:    ***@ACS.BU.EDU
Subject: Introduction and Mukhina

Hi Everyone!!
  My name is Leah, and I'm a freshmen at Boston University, in
Boston, MA. I'm originally from Lowell, MA.  I've actively been doing
gymnastics for about 5 years now. I've only competed at the High School
level, and that was only for three years. I am currently a member of BU's
gymnastics club, and I still belong to my gym club at home, although I
don't get there too often. I love watching and do gymnastics, and I
regret the fact that I've only competed High School and nothing else.
Becuase of my lack of competing in anything other than high school, I was
never taught a lot of the proper names for different skills. My coaches
always showed us the moves, and we came up with our own
names/descriptions for them. So sometimes I get lost when listening to
people talk about different moves and their values, etc.  But anyways,
this is actually leading to my question: a few of the recent messages have been
about Mukhina and her being paralyzed as a result of her trying to
perform a Thomas. So my Question is: What exactly is a Thomas??? Any
answer to this question would be greatly appreciated!!
   I've really enjoyed gymn, and all the info and discussions about
everything. It keeps me up to date when I would otherwise have gotten
behind. Keep up the good work and Thanks!!
           Leah :)
P.S. I too think that it would be cool to have the Code on CD ROM!!!!


Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 09:19:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Introduction and Mukhina

A Thomas is a 1-1/2 twisting 1-3/4 salto.  In other words, a
1-1/2 twist that continues past the feet to the hands and rolls out.



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 11:07:38 -0400
Subject: Re: event finalists

Christina Bontas was the number one qualifier for beam at the Olympics,
I believe. She had the highest Compulsory score and a 9.9 in the 1B competetion.
I think you are right aboutit being Milo who shut out the gymnast.



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 11:04:00 EST
From:    ***@MCIMAIL.COM
Subject: Re: PC gymnastics

I'm delurking again because I can't resist this topic, seeing
as though I work in the computer industry.

I'm not aware of any games that are currently on the market, so
I look forward to hearing if the GYMN folks can turn up any leads.
As to Dory's original post regarding Summer Games, here's some
more info...

The now-defunct Epyx (or at least the last I had heard they were
going out of business) in the mid-1980s manufactured a game for
Atari and Commodore (and maybe Apple) computers called Summer
Games.  The only gymnastics event on that game was women's vaulting,
and the options for your vault were not many and were limited
to the traditional approach only.

The second game that was mentioned was the sequel released in
conjunction with the 1988 Seoul Olympics; it was available for
PCs (I don't know about any other platforms).  Titled The Games,
Summer Edition (there was also a version called The Games, Winter
Edition), this program included a great uneven bars event, and a
not-as-great still rings event.  At least this time they gave
men's and women's gymnastics equal time.

Suffice it to say that I've played both games, er, um,
extensively in my youth. Oh he**, I was addicted to these games,
particularly the summer edition. If you can still track down a copy of
The Games, Summer Edition, you'll have lots of fun trying to get
a 10.0 on the unevens.
     Although at one time I knew the routine by heart, I don't recall
off hand the different elements on the Unevens.  But I've now got
a hankering to go home and play it again tonight...  I'll post
more details then.  What I can tell you is that the game was quite
clever -- you'd use the joystick/keyboard arrows to instruct your
ponytailed performer to do particular moves; depending on what
move or pre-determined sequence of moves you chose to perform
would you then be able to move into another sequence.  I'll
explain it better (I hope) after I've played the game again.

I think we need to find a software developer to fill this particular
void in the recreational software industry; I mean, there's enough
basketball/football/baseball/soccer/tennis/golf programs out there



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 08:35:55 PDT
From:    ***@MCM.COM
Subject: Re: Notes from the coaches' meetings

The AD's would be more willing to drop a program of 20-25 gymnasts
because a team of that size costs more money!!!  That is all they care
about.  If there are less people on the team, there are fewer plane
tickets, fewer hotel rooms, fewer people to outfit in competitioin attire.
--- Begin Included Message ---
Chris wrote:
The main goal now of the CollegiateGymnastics Association
is to "ensure the future of the sport" but they still kept the nine man
rule for regionals and nationals.  I think the nine man rule is  bad for
the sport.  It limits the size of teams and the number of men who
can do gymnastics. It discourages against specialists, thus keeping some
people out of the sport.   This is oppisit of what is needed to keep the
sport alive. The more people involved the better.  When fighting the
people who are cutting the teams (athletic directors and other
administration) I would think a team of 20-25 people would have a
stonger case than a team of 10 people.   For the good of the sport
there should be no rules limiting the size  of gymnastics teams



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 08:52:57 PDT
From:    ***@MCM.COM
Subject: Re: NCAA Team Finals

Mara writes:
>"An unintended consequence of Title IX" -- the goal of the CGA is to speak
positively and non-confrontationally about men's gymnastics in relation to
money-making and women's sports.

I'm interested to hear other opinions, but I find this phrase *highly*
Well, I think that there is a lot of anymosity in non revenue men's sports
towards womens programs.  The reason for this is because of Title IX.
Don't get me wrong, I am for Title IX,  I just don't agree with the way
the universities are complying (or I should say TRYing to comply since
none of them are complying).  Instead of boosting up women's programs,
the Athletic departments just cut all of the men's non revenue sports.
For instance, right after Title IX passed, the AD of the University of
Colorado had an emergence meeting with nine of the coaches of the
small sports on campus (gymnastics included).  None of them knew
what was going on at the meeting.  In that one meeting all the sports
were dropped, period.  I believe there were nine sports in all.
At this point, yeah what they said in the coaches meeting might be
a little confrontational, but I think that it is a way of addressing the
problem without attacking the wrong people (women's sports), and
directing it towards the administrators.  I have always wondered why
the football team needs 88 scholarships when only about 30-40 play
in a game (45 on professional teams).  Do they really need two full
squads out there?  If they didn't have so many bodies, maybe they
would treat them better, and fewer injuries would be the end result, as
well as a more competitive field of teams.

Well I feel better with that off my chest.



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 15:08:39 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: event finalists

>Christina Bontas was the number one qualifier for beam at the Olympics,
I believe. She had the highest Compulsory score and a 9.9 in the 1B

She did have the highest compo score of 9.9 (and yes that was a joke) but she
had less than that in 1b (9.862 or something).  Lyssenka was the top qualifer
with 9.837/9.95 qualifying score.


Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 15:38:37 -0500
Subject: Re: Government Enquiry into AIS

I don't know the truth about what's going on at the AIS, but I think it's
important to acknowledge some of the abuses that _do_ go on in the sport
and to opposing them.  I can give some examples out of personal experience:

1.  In the gym in which I trained, any senior team gymnast whose weight
exceeded 95 pounds was called "lard ass."  This, BTW, included a 5' 6 girl.

2.  I was never hit by a coach, but I saw several other girls get hit.  I
never told my parents because I knew I'd be pulled off the team if they
found out.  To the best of my knowledge, no one was ever hit hard enough
for it to hurt, but the threat was always there.

3.  A gymnast complained of severe wrist pain after falling from the beam
on a back handspring.  Our coach, presumably worried that the gymnast might
develop a debilitating fear of the move, made her complete several more
before letting her off the beam.  It turned out she had broken her wrist
(and had been made to continue pounding it to "ward off fear").

4.  We were weighed daily.  Sometimes these weigh-ins happened at the
beginning of practice.  During those months, we all drank quite a bit of
water during a 3-6 hour practice.  At other times, we'd get weighed in
after practice.  During those months, all the girls would try not to drink
anything during practice so that it would appear that we weighed less.  If
our coach saw us drinking during practice he would yell at us that we were
"in trouble" if we weighed more than we did the day before.  So often we
went through a whole practice with little or no water.

I could go on all day.  I continued to complete because I loved the sport,
and since there wasn't another gym anywhere near us, I stayed where I was.
I've coached at several gyms since, and I've never seen one as bad, but I
have seen things I consider abusive at all but one.

I'm willing to believe that the allegations of abuse at AIS may be
inaccurate, but I refuse to believe that we should pretend that such things
never happen.



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 15:50:03 -0400
From:    ***@BCVMS.BC.EDU
Subject: introduction

Hello.  I think the introductory message I received when I subscribed said that
I might want to introduce myself.  My name is Amy.  I am 23, and live in
Boston.  I would rather be in Cincinnati :( where I grew up and did gymnastics
since I was about 8.  I participated in my local YMCA gymnastics and later in
high school, but never in a private gym, largely becasue of my parents'
finances.  But I had my own little victories, like never being beaten in that
old class III floor routine (the one that started with a split leap and ended
with a roundoff back extension, and that silly handstand that you rolled out of
on your stomach I can still hear the music:)), and competing at the state level
in HS.  I must admit I
wish I had been more committed as a teenager.  Since HS, I have taught a lot in
a few gyms and Y's, and miss that a lot. I stopped when I became pregnant.

I have heard a little discussion so far of competitions I never knew were going
on.  Are these televised? on cable?  I used to get IG, but no longer (finances
again 8))

Well, I was so glad to find out that this list existed.  Nice to join!



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 18:13:35 -0500
Subject: Introduction and AIS

Date sent:  24-APR-1995 18:07:01
Sorry this is so late in coming, bnut after rereading my subscription
information, I thought I'd introduce myself.

My name's Jennifer, and I'm a junior at the University of
Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a Division III school. I'm 6'2", and not
a gymnast, but I have followed the sport extensively, especially after
1988 and the US women's team fourth place finish. After watching that
competition, I was hooked on the sport. Somewhere, I still have the phot
of the group hug after the competition. And Phoebe Mills floor routine
still sticks in my mind as a superb piece of work.

I could go on and on about my interest in the sport, but I'd probably
just bore everyone. :) Suffice it to say, I've got a fair ammount of
expertise and alot of opinions, so I'll apologize now if I offend anyone.
I hope I don't. Being a journalism major, I want to go into covering
gymnastics when I graduate.

Now, about AIS, and these allegations. It reminds me of the whole
bruhaha regarding Bela Karolyi. Now, no doubt, case will and DO occur
with abusive coaches, but I think that to make uneducated opinions
without an investigation (which is being done at AIS, from what I
understand and which I applaud) simply fuels rumors and causes more
problems. If its true, fine, bash away. But let's save that until it
is proven...



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 20:21:24 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: TV alert

This is just to remind all that this Saturday (Apr 29) there will be
gymnastics on TWO times!

NCAA Women's Team Championships will be on at 12 noon on CBS

Visa Challenge (US-BLR-CHN) women's competition will be on ABC's Wide World
of Sports at 4:30.


Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 21:56:08 -0400
Subject: Mukhina

     I think I heard the uneven bars story too, but I also think that was
notorious Soviet "disinformation." When she first got injured, they put out all
sorts of conflicting stories about it and made it seem like she would recover
fully, etc. Somewhere I have a Russian-published article/interview with
Mukhina, and she said she was doing floor and trying a move she really wasn't
ready to be doing. On top of that, she had broken her takeoff leg sometime
earlier, and wasn't back at full strength. She knew she had no business
attempting the move, but her coach insisted that she keep doing it. I think she
said she will never forgive him for that.
     If I can find the article, I'll post it.



Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 22:29:29 -0400
Subject: Mukhina article

     Here is the Mukhina article. It's from a 1987 issue of the
magazine "Ogonyok." I was wrong about the "not forgiving" quote
being from this article. I must have read or heard it somewhere
else (maybe on "More Than a Game"). Anyway, Elena describes how the
injury occurred, and since the words came straight from her, this
version is probably accurate. She doesn't state what the element
was, but it was something on floor, and a Thomas seems a likely
candidate. (Just a warning: the article is a bit hard to follow
because the author seems to have a penchant for drama and also
jumps around in time. She mentions a fall Mukhina suffered from
beam, but I know that wasn't the fall that paralyzed her.)

     Behind me is an enormous gym bathed in white light, as in an
operating room. Thousands of people are in the stands. Everyone is
looking at the platform, where a little girl with tousled bangs is
soaring through the air. The deathly white light of the floodlights
produces practically no shadows. Yet what is happening behind me is
shadows. Black and white images of people who have long gone their
separate ways to great and small destinies. Behind me is a
reinforced concrete wall, on the wall is pink flowered wallpaper,
and on the wallpaper is a large photograph of an enormous gym,
thousands of people in the stands, and a girl with tousled bangs is
flying, flying, and it seems that she will never be able to land.
She sits in front of me in a wheelchair, her hands resting on its
arms, her hair neatly combed, and she is even slightly made up. She
is Elena Mukhina.

                              GROWN-UP GAMES

     Petrovsko-Razumovsky Way. A labyrinth of old Moscow
courtyards... And in the very heart of this labyrinth of countless
buildings, addresses written as fractions on the walls, puddles,
fences, and curves there is an apartment building. A castle, a
fortress, where in a two-room apartment a fate is imprisoned, a
fate which many would like to forget and not bring up again, having
stricken it from the official history of Soviet sports as if
nothing ever happened. The leaders of the industry that produces
champions have hidden from people not only the tragedy of a young
girl, but much more - the conscience and shame of our sports,
supposedly "the most humane in the world."
     ...In the entire eight years that have passed since the
fateful injury suffered by Mukhina at the training camp in Minsk
only two weeks before the start of the Moscow Olympics, the
newspaper "Sovetsky Sport" has mentioned her twice - the first time
in a brief report that Elena Mukhina had suffered an injury and in
all probability would not be able to participate in the Olympic
competitions, and the second time when the president of the
International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, awarded
her an Olympic Order in 1982.
     There are things that cannot be learned quickly. Sometimes it
takes a whole lifetime to grasp simple and clear truths. The eight
years that have passed since that tragic day that split Lena's life
into past and present, memories and immobility, youth and maturity
are enough time to draw a lesson from what happened. And today it
is finally time to talk about the inhumanity of top-level
competitive sports. This is not a pleasant topic. For long years we
have tried to sidestep it or, as a last resort, the officials in
charge of top-level sports have offhandedly uttered some edifying
words, thinking to themselves that there was no need to delve
deeply into it.
     ... Lena's grandmother, Anna Ivanovna, the girl's only and
most solid support in life, opened the door to me. On top of all
the misfortunes that have fallen upon her, Lena is an orphan. When
she was five years old there was a fire in the building and her
mother burned to death. Lena wasn't home at the time, but by the
time she came back everything had already been cleaned up and all
traces of the recent disaster had been eradicated, for all
practical purposes. Only her mother was never there anymore.
     Lena was sitting in her wheelchair. "Come in." Her voice was
quiet, so you had to listen attentively. It was femininely pleasant
and soft.
     She had refused for a long time before agreeing to our
meeting. She agreed only when we had established that the article
wouldn't be about her, but about sports.
     "I was waiting for the fame to pass. I didn't need it anymore.
Letters? Yes, people wrote letters. But they were stupid for the
most part. They kept asking when I would return to competition. And
I wanted only one thing: to be left alone. Of course, those people
weren't to blame for the fact that they were being deceived - after
all, it was obvious right away that I would never return to a
normal life, let alone to sports. Yes, they were being deceived.
The fans had been trained to believe in athletes' heroism -
athletes with fractures return to the soccer field and those with
concussions return to the ice rink. Why? For what purpose? In order
to report that 'the task of the Homeland has been completed'?"
     For what purpose?
     "Two things are necessary in order for a country to become
fascinated with bullfighting," Hemingway wrote. "First, the bulls
have to be bred in that country, and second, its people have to be
interested in death."
     Any comparison or parallel is relative, as everyone knows. But
still, these words from the book Death in the Afternoon disturbed
me and led my thoughts around in circles. Are the bulls athletes?
Is sport a bullfight? Death? What nonsense! Bred in that country...
     But then in the impassable thicket of logical intricacies, the
parallel I was seeking crackled like a dry twig in my hands. "The
prestige of the nation is a flight to the moon and an Olympic
medal," said another American, US President John F. Kennedy. Aptly
said. And for our country, athletic successes and victories have
always meant somewhat more than even simply the prestige of the
nation. They embodied (and embody) the correctness of the political
path we have chosen, the advantages of the system, and they are
becoming a symbol of superiority. Hence the demand for victory - at
any price. As for risk, well... We've always placed a high value on
risk, and a human life was worth little in comparison with the
prestige of the nation; we've been taught to believe this since
     "It happened on July 3, at a workout at the Minsk Palace of
Sport. My coach Mikhail Klimenko had gone away for a few days and
I was left with the coaches of the national team - virtually with
no one. But that's not the point. The injury was still inevitable.
Not necessarily that it had to happen on that day. I think they
just as easily might have carried me off the competition floor.
Because I just wasn't able to do that element. What good is it to
tumble into a foam pit two times, without really understanding
anything and without any coordination, and then immediately go up
onto the podium? Especially since I had broken my take-off leg at
a competition in 1979 and was doing the somersault badly. But the
race was on - the Olympics were coming up. The doctors? What about
the doctors... They aren't there to serve health, but to serve
sports. I asked, 'Don't discharge me from TsITO [Central Institute
of Traumatology and Orthopedics], they're dragging me from home to
workouts.' They removed the cast and I was walking crookedly. They
took an X-ray and it turned out that the bones had separated. I was
on the operating table right after lunch. My coach came the next
day and said that I wasn't conscientious and that I could train in
a cast...
     "I was stupid. I really wanted to justify the trust put in me
and be a heroine. While I was in the cast I gained weight. I had to
get rid of it. Everything was rushed again. I would come to TsSKA
[Central Army Sports Club] two hours early and rush around the gym
like a crazy person. The workout would just be beginning and I
didn't have a drop of strength left. I was so tired then, both
physically and psychologically."
     When Lena fell for the last time her first thought was "Thank
God, I won't be going to the Olympics."
     She fell on her chin, bending like a ruler that had been
pressed onto the table at one end and forcefully pulled upward at
the other. The ruler broke right at the base. Her cervical
vertebrae crunched. Lena felt no pain.
     The pain came later, at the hospital, when the doctors kept
conferring and deliberating, while the time during which it was
still possible to at least attempt to restore or fix something, at
least to try, slipped by in long, thick moments, minutes, hours,
and days, flowing away like hot porridge. She very much wanted to
die. But they wouldn't let her.
     "Who pushed you?" the doctor asked at the hospital.
     From the newspapers: "Lena Mukhina was crying. The pain was
squeezing out the tears. Lena had struck the beam with such force
that everything went dark before her eyes. It was very painful to
stand on her leg. But she still had one last event - the floor
exercises. She made a decision and ordered herself, 'You must work!
You must give your all!' And she went out on the mat... Klimenko
was terribly pleased: 'I see her as a real fighter. She has
character, that she does!'"
     "...Mikhail Klimenko came to women's gymnastics from men's and
has firmly mastered techniques that are more complex than the
women's. He is a believer in reason and logic. The way to achieve
boldness is through mental conviction, through the brain to the
     "... Do you know when I get really scared? When I watch my
bars routine on television..."
     If humanity is divided into children and grownups, and life
into childhood and maturity, then there are very many children and
a whole lot of childhood in life. Only we, immersed in our own
struggle and our own concerns, don't notice them... We have
arranged things in such a way as to have children interfere with us
as little as possible and to guess what we really are as rarely as
possible. These words were said a long time ago by a pedagogue who
won universal recognition. But the point is that these words have
not yet lost their relevance. On the contrary, when applied to
sports, they have acquired an ominous and ugly nuance. I'll permit
myself to offer the following allegory: a healthy and cheerful
person (nowadays it is a child with increasing frequency) gets into
the brightly painted, classy, and attractive car of top-level
competitive sports. The car whirls him around in circles and at
first it seems enjoyable, like a fun amusement park ride, but the
speed gets ever faster, the centrifugal force ever stronger, and
the pressure ever greater. Then, when the car finally stops, it
discharges an invalid, crippled both physically and
psychologically. Physically because you can't write off the
numerous dislocations, fractures, and concussions. Psychologically
because after having gotten used to living amid universal attention
and esteem, the person is not able to adjust to living at a lower
level and so after retiring he feels totally unneeded.
     "If only we started sports at age 16-18, when a person can
consciously choose his path, but at age 9 or 10 we don't see
anything around us except sports, in which our interest is so
skillfully kindled. It seems to us that it's some kind of special
world. We don't yet know how narrow that three-dimensional
existence of the gym, home, and competitions is. And even though
athletes get to travel and see so much, they are terribly deprived
spiritually. Work, work, work. Nothing exists except work and
pressure, which constantly increase, and sometimes it seems that
that's it, you haven't got any more strength. But my coach once
told me, 'Until you break, no one will let you go.'
     "I got so used to conquering myself - I don't want to, I'm
scared, mustn't eat, mustn't drink - that in the first years after
the injury, when all I could do was lie around, it seemed weird
that nothing was required of me. I so needed those feelings of
having some sort of control that I began to starve myself for no
reason at all. To torture myself. Out of habit..."
     I often remember an episode from the life of our renowned
Olympic figure skating champion Irina Rodnina. Remember when she
fell out of a lift during training and hit her head on the ice and
was taken to the hospital with a serious concussion, and then a few
days later she competed anyway and won, our courageous little woman
Rodnina. Quite a few newspaper articles were written then lauding
her courage, television films were made, and even books were
written. But I ask myself again and again, for what purpose was it
necessary to make her go out on the ice in a semi-conscious
condition? If she did it of her own free will, then who hypnotized
her with the idea that "Moscow is behind us," "there's no room to
retreat"? After all, it wasn't a war! Sport is a noble endeavor!
     "There are such concepts as the honor of the club, the honor
of the team, the honor of the national squad, the honor of the
flag. They are words behind which the person isn't perceived. I'm
not condemning anyone or blaming anyone for what happened to me.
Not Klimenko or especially the national team coach at that time,
Shaniyazov. I feel sorry for Klimenko - he's a victim of the
system, a member of the clan of grownups who are 'doing their job.'
Shaniyazov I simply don't respect. And the others? I was injured
because everyone around me was observing neutrality and keeping
silent. After all, they saw that I wasn't ready to perform that
element. But they kept quiet. Nobody stopped a person who,
forgetting everything, was tearing forward - go, go, go!"
     One cannot say that the current changes under way in our life
have not affected sports, for instance, artistic gymnastics. For
example, its officials have decided that from now on it will be
more pleasing to the eye and more womanly. In other words, on the
platform we won't see little girls with the bodies of
kindergarteners, but... This was stated most assuredly by the head
of the gymnastics administration of the USSR State Sports
Committee, Leonid Arkaev, at a press conference dedicated to the
opening of the latest Moscow News competition. With pride he
mentioned the names of female gymnasts whom we have seen performing
for several years now, but who, no offense meant to them, despite
their age still bear little resemblance to women. At the same press
conference he went on to say that in contemporary artistic
gymnastics today there is not a single athlete performing at the
world level who has not been injured. True, he added that this was
not for the press (what a concept: not for the press at a press
conference!) We nodded our heads obediently. But I still allowed
myself to cite this revelation because, first of all, that's the
nature of the times, and second, because I'm sure that it won't
reflect on Arkaev's career in any way. Who is interested in
injuries when our school of gymnastics is in the vanguard of world
sports? There's no stopping a steamroller, as they say.
     The picky reader may object that in the West and abroad,
athletes are subjected to the same conditions, they also have to
take risks and sacrifice their health. Yes, I am forced to agree.
But there is a small "but." Over there the athletes do it for the
sake of incredible amounts of money, for a secure future for
themselves and their families. Here we have been duping people for
so long with the false notion that our sports are of an amateur
nature that it was totally incomprehensible - why do they do it? So
that the State Sports Committee functionaries could give proud
     I certainly do not mean to blame sports - a beautiful and
noble invention of mankind - for all sins. Moreover, one of the
main achievements of the new socioeconomic system was sports,
sports of a mass nature, accessible to one and all. But gradually,
like, incidentally, many other areas of our life, sports have moved
from the everyday sphere to May Day parade grounds and the frames
of cheery, uplifting movies. A false mass nature has been
established. Inflated figures for the number of recreational
athletes, a dead national fitness program which people are trying
in vain to revive, run-down stadiums, a lack of any kind of
athletic wear. And against this background are the brilliant
victories, raised flags, and tears in the eyes of the victors.
     "To the mentors who have preserved our youth..." Sports are
the domain of the young. But behind them are fully grown people
playing fully grown-up games. They have to change their attitude
toward sports. Or they have to be changed, i.e., replaced. For the
fate of Elena Mukhina is only the tip of an enormous iceberg of
crippled fates. Let's think about this.

                                                         Oksana Polonskaya.


Date:    Mon, 24 Apr 1995 19:45:30 -0700
From:    ***@LAFN.ORG
Subject: Re: NCAA Team Finals

>Mara writes:
>>"An unintended consequence of Title IX" -- the goal of the CGA is to speak
>positively and non-confrontationally about men's gymnastics in relation to
>money-making and women's sports.
>I'm interested to hear other opinions, but I find this phrase *highly*
>Well, I think that there is a lot of anymosity in non revenue men's sports
>towards womens programs.  The reason for this is because of Title IX.
>Don't get me wrong, I am for Title IX,  I just don't agree with the way
>the universities are complying (or I should say TRYing to comply since
>none of them are complying).  Instead of boosting up women's programs,
>the Athletic departments just cut all of the men's non revenue sports.
>For instance, right after Title IX passed, the AD of the University of
>Colorado had an emergence meeting with nine of the coaches of the
>small sports on campus (gymnastics included).  None of them knew
>what was going on at the meeting.  In that one meeting all the sports
>were dropped, period.  I believe there were nine sports in all.
>At this point, yeah what they said in the coaches meeting might be
>a little confrontational, but I think that it is a way of addressing the
>problem without attacking the wrong people (women's sports), and
>directing it towards the administrators.  I have always wondered why
>the football team needs 88 scholarships when only about 30-40 play
>in a game (45 on professional teams).  Do they really need two full
>squads out there?  If they didn't have so many bodies, maybe they
>would treat them better, and fewer injuries would be the end result, as
>well as a more competitive field of teams.
>Well I feel better with that off my chest.
I couldn't agree with Josh more wholeheartedly.  Title IX is a great idea
in concept but in reality it just isn't working.  Low revenue athletes,
such as gymnasts, are losing out so that woman can compete.  A perfect
example of this is myself.  I am an eighteen year old x-gymnast of
about a year
and a half now.  I competed in the sport for nine years, three of which I
was a member of the Junior Olympic National Team.  I ate slept and drank
gymnastics... I devoted my life to it.
About a year and a half ago it all became too overwhelming, and I decided
to quit :(.  I'm still not sure if that was a good or bad decision, but
that's besides the point.  The fact of the matter is that a college
scholarship, which had been hanging in front of me like a carrot to a
rabbit for all those years, suddenly disappeared.  NCAA gymnastics was
going down the toobs and my life's devotion would no longer pay off with
that scholarship that I was always expecting.  Of course there were
many other factors which lead to the demise of my gymnastics career, but
NCAA gymnastics, and its sorry plight, was definitely a large part of that
decision.  Even if I had choosen to stick around and do gymnastics, the
chance of winning a scholarship has been cut in half in the last few
years.  Take UCLA for example:  They wanted to take away Men's
gymnastics and replace it with WOMEN'S SOCCER.  Now I don't care what
anyone says, but thats a bunch a CRAP!!!!!  Kids like me who worked all
their lives in the hot sweaty confines of the gym basically got their
colons ripped out by Title IX!!  TITLE IX SUCKS!!!!
        Thanks for your time :)


End of GYMN-L Digest - 23 Apr 1995 to 24 Apr 1995