GYMN-L Digest - 1 Apr 1996
There are 7 messages totalling 272 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. gymnasts in showbiz
2. Reese's (uggh) (long)
3. gymnastics vs. aerobic
4. Brandy and some skills (2)
6. all Caps.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:07:13 -0500
Subject: Re: gymnasts in showbiz
>Despite the teasing male gymnasts get about not being macho,
>male gymnasts while still in competition mode tend to be the
>athletes in best physical condition of the population.
>In commercials, thay are a natural. Biggest problem is that
>advertisers want taller models, like close to 6ft.
Tom Cruise is short. Dustin Hoffman is short. They can alter the scene or
have a model alone. Height is a major factor only for live modeling. Print
ads don't care as much.
>As the average height of NCAA male gymnasts gains on 6ft,
>male gymmnasts are becomming more and more viable.
>We should see more. There was a small blast of male gymnasts going into
>right after 84 LA but they kinda botched their careers and they fizzled.
???? Say what?
All the guys on the Olympic team appeared as themselves in one episode of
the TV show Different Strokes. Bart did a terrible movie about BMX bikes.
Mitch did a movie about gymnastics, American Anthem, which the critics
panned, but I thought was pretty good. (A *LOT* better than Kurt's
Gymkata!) Mitch also hosted a children's TV show for awhile, but I don't
know how that went because I never saw it. Since then Mitch has made two
other movies, American Tiger and Sexual Outlaws. Neither of those were very
good in my opinion. I'm not saying Mitch wasn't good, but the so-called
plots were pretty weak. Mitch's older brother, Chuck, did the gym stunts in
Footloose, and Mitch was Robin's stuntman in the most recent Batman movie.
As far as fizzled careers, I don't know of any of the guys except Mitch who
ever intended acting to be a career. Was there something I missed?
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:08:17 -0500
Subject: Reese's (uggh) (long)
Well, I guess I am glad there are those who liked it, if that means shows
like this may increase popularity . . . but I couldn't even watch the whole
thing. There were some nice points, but (with the exception of some of the
men in comedic roles) I thought the high points were the ones when the
pretense of showiness was essentially forsaken. (i.e., when Bogi went ahead
and did some real work on bars). It was nice to see some old faces again,
but it's hard for me to imagine an appeal beyond that (except perhaps to the
very young, or to relatives).
This is not to say that I think there is no role for professional gymnastics
exhibitions -- but that I doubt that trying to look like a figure skating
show is ever going to work. Great artistry in gymnastics has nothing to do
with costumes and role playing and fancy lighting -- I think the rhythmic
gymnasts go about as far as you can go with this and still carry it off. And
few gymnasts have honed the dramatic and dance skills necessary to carry off
the in-between material (Roethlisberger, despite the blatant theft from of
all things competitive ballroom dancing exhibitions (hate to admit it, but
I've been known to channel surf in strange directions); and also Bogi and
even Phillips, were the best at this, but the latter two had trouble
combining the athletics and the acting, I thought). To succeed with this
kind of material in a professional exhibition for general audiences, the
dance and theatrics has to be competitive with professional dancing and
acting (or professional circus performers, or whatever). Figure skaters do
pull this off (the best ones, that is), and within the context of pure
gymnastics -- which is, after all, what these folks do best -- so do
gymnasts. But I thought this looked amateurish and hokey, and that the
announcers went way overboard trying to plug it as a great advance. Also,
if you're going to do hard moves, it is very difficult to stay in
character in the process; the switches from acting to preparation for
tumbling, etc., even in the best routines, were therefore often abrupt and
distracting; they called attention to the fact that the dance, etc. was
tossed on somewhat artificially. You could probably throw these kinds of
routines in as occasional asides in a program devoted primarily to straight
gymnastics and get away with it, but a whole program devoted to this stuff
will probably never attract those who don't desperately want to see their
favorite gymnasts, no matter what those gymnasts are doing. (And if they're
going to try, then they have to do something to have the color of the
equipment and mats not be a distraction from the dramatic purpose of a
routine.) Also, the skaters get to develop what they're doing for,
typically, 4-4.5 minutes (long programs); it's much easier to build a show
around that than around shorter routines.
What I do think could work: a professional judging regime that placed more
emphasis than the amateur scoring does on artistic impression, by which I
mean not theatrics, but virtuousity, extension, great timing and swing on
bars -- the sort of performance that rewards beauty rather than, primarily,
tricks. Mo Huilan's gorgeous layout on beam is an example of what I have in
mind; or the best of the old Soviet gymnasts on p-bars (I also really like to
watch Jair Lynch on that event, but am not following men's closely enough to
throw out other names). You could also have some kind of demonstration of
best tricks, along the lines of the things we used to do as kids, in which
all the gymnasts on the team would run passes, either in groups, or seriatim,
with each gymnast throwing off a good hard trick. (This could be
competitive, too: best double layout or whatever; or a game in which
gymnast A does one trick and then gymnast B has to either top it or
(different contest) one-up it; then B sets the standard on the second trick,
etc. Or A,B,C,D,E; B,C,D,E,A; etc.)
The risk, I suppose, would be the difficulty in making these types of
exhibitions or competitions stay interesting if gymnasts don't want to, or
can't, continue to do moves that are exciting in and of themselves. But for
competitions, you could certainly let people specialize; and variations on
costumes and lighting, and the use of music, could help. But I do think that
the only reason the Reese's Cup (ouch, what a name) stayed interesting -- to
the extent that it did -- was that there *was* a lot of plain old, good
gymnastics being done (and that we haven't seen Kristie Phillips in a long,
I do think the idea of a place to watch while the gymnast waits for the
scores, even though also a blatant steal from skating practices, worked well:
chance to get a quick sense of personality, addition of a little dramatic
tension while we wait with him or her, etc.
Well, sorry to go on and on. Maybe this just means that I'm not quite the
fan that I was at 12 or so -- but then again, I think most people who watch
gymnastics are probably more casual in their fandom than I am now. I don't
doubt that there were those who really enjoyed this, but I'm skeptical that
the appeal of this type of format will ever be broad. (I couldn't watch the
Bart and Nadia stuff, either, for the same reasons.)
So perhaps all these reviews will help those of you who missed it decide
which camp you might fall into -- those who would have loved it, or those who
would have turned it off even if it had been showing in your town.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:17:15 -0500
Subject: gymnastics vs. aerobic
I am a coach and I have a level 9 gymnast that runs between 3-5 miles per
day. I know that gymnastics is an anaerobic sport but if a gymnast has a
high level of endurance in aerobic activity could it have an impact on her
anaerobic workout (gymnastics). Can a person function at a high level of
aerobic activity and then turn around and function at a high level of
I think she runs too much for a gymnast but I am researching this before
I render a decision. She makes it through her routines easily but I am
wondering if she could improve her gymnastics better and faster if she cut
down on the distance of her running.
I am not for making her quit running altogether because she enjoys it too
much. On the other hand if the long distances of running have a big effect
on her workouts I would like to have hard facts to show and explain this to
her. If anyone has information or has seen or has access to this type of
information please let me know.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:31:49 -0500
Subject: Brandy and some skills
>Also, I noticed when they showed Brandy Johnson that herbio said she lives
in >Tallahasse! Does she really live here? I thoughtshe lived in Orlando.
I believe that she now lives in the Orlando area and does stunt work.Brandy
lived here in Tallahassee until the mid 80's.She attempted a comeback early
last year but could not continue due to injury.
> I know
>that she first started here at Galimore's but was pretty sure she still
She never trained at Galimore's.Most (if not all) of her early training was
at Tallahassee Tumbling Tots.She moved to Brown's in Altamonte (and
eventually to Bela Karolyi) to train for the '88 olympics.
> The latest issue of IG says Chow's added "a mind-blowing new uneven bars>
mount >which she debuted in January." What is this skill?
I believe it is a stalder shaposhnikova with a half twist.Wow!
>The only mount I> can think of that was mind-blowing was by a Russian in '89
event> >finals (memory fading, so please bear with me if this description> is
not accurate) who >did something like a roundoff, arabian flip> over the low,
catch the high bar. > For the >record, the skill wasdone at least as early as
about 1982 (an American by the >name >ofBrumbaugh--I forget her first name
Michelle Goodwin did a round off arabian to sit on the low bar back at the
'82 Budapest Invitational.Olyesa(sp?) Dudnik did a round off arabian over the
low bar and catch the high bar in '89.Are these skills named after the
Does anyone know whatever became of Julianne Brumbaugh?She had loads of
talent and then disappeared.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:39:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Brandy and some skills
On Mon, 1 Apr 1996, Billy wrote:
> Michelle Goodwin did a round off arabian to sit on the low bar back at the
> '82 Budapest Invitational.Olyesa(sp?) Dudnik did a round off arabian over the
> low bar and catch the high bar in '89.Are these skills named after the
The Code doesn't list names for either.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:42:25 -0500
On Sun, 31 Mar 1996, Alex wrote:
> >>The only mount I
> >>can think of that was mind-blowing was by a Russian in '89 event
> >>finals (memory fading, so please bear with me if this description
> >>is not accurate) who did something like a roundoff, arabian flip
> >>over the low, catch the high bar. Or maybe I just imagined it.:)
> >I believe that this would be Natalia Laschenova. I think that it was her
> >beat Christie Henrich with a 9.975 to a 9.95. I have a pretty good memory,
> >but this could be a mistake.
You're thinking of Olga Strazheva. But as Billy mentioned, Dudnik was
the one with the arabian. I thought Strazheva used a straight front
flip (w/ hands) over low to high? Don't remember...
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 00:46:46 -0500
Subject: Re: all Caps.
In a message dated 96-03-29 06:02:50 EST, you write:
Could you please refrain from writing in all capital letters. THat is
equivalent to shouting on the net. It is also very difficult to read.
Shelley(Not flaming just letting you in on a little netique)
>I DOUBT THERE HAS EVER BEEN A FEMALE GYMNAST WHO DOES A DOUBLE FRONT LAYOUT.
End of GYMN-L Digest - 1 Apr 1996