GYMN-L Digest - 21 Oct 1995 to 22 Oct 1995 - Special
There are 13 messages totalling 519 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. 3rd Annual National Gymnfest
2. Intro -- I'm Here!
3. CBC Coverage of Worlds (2)
4. Deva vs Bucharest
5. a few things
6. A letter I think you should read. (2)
7. Wolrd Ef on CBC
8. Zmeskal at nationals?
9. Question for coaches
10. CBC Show on Event Finals
11. Subway World Challenge WWW Pages
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 21:41:00 MDT
Subject: 3rd Annual National Gymnfest
>On the October gymn calendar, there is an entry for the 3rd Annual USA
>National Gymnfest in Carmel, Indiana. Does anyone know any details of
>what this meet is, where, when, who etc?
Gymfest is the American version of the World Gymnaestrada. It is "general
gymnastics." I've only heard great things about it. I will look around
USAGO! for some more information when I have time (Monday?)...
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 11:39:39 -0400
Subject: Intro -- I'm Here!
Howdy. I'm Michele, a new subscriber to the list. I've been
looking for GYMN for a long time, and am thrilled to finally be a part of it.
My background was in dance, I'd been tapping and stuff for about 8 years
when I discovered gymnastics at the tender age of 13, so needless to say, I
didn't make the Olympics. But somehow I eventually made it to states on BB
and FX (my only events, being a dancer, and all...). That was back in the
mid-eighties. Now, I just follow the sport avidly, taping everything I find
out is on TV, and being an armchair commentator (though I HAVE been known to
actually walk on my hands now and then, and to try that thing you all are
calling a 'fish jump'...).
Nowadays, by day, I am a humble, twenty-something teacher of foreign
languages to eighth graders (!) in Northern New Jersey, and by night, I
perform in community theatre (also began that late in life, too--do you
notice a trend in my life?)
I suppose I have three reasons for joining the list: (1) I feel out of touch
with the sport, (2) As a polyglot, I LOVE communicating with folks from
around the world, and (3) I always feel like I am missing one of the rare
gymn broadcasts on TV. Like I said, I tape everything I know about, but I'm
quite sure I don't know about everything.
Other important info: I just got married in July to a man who thinks I
border on obsessed when anything GYMN is on TV--but if I support his football
fix, he supports my gymnastic fix. That is probably why most of us are
here--because folks who weren't in the sport or haven't learned to appreciate
it just don't understand the fascination we have with it--finally I have
found folks that are as nuts about the sport as I am (and who are way more
knowledgable, too, so I might learn something!)!
Nice to meet you, thanks for your attention.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 12:25:52 EDT
Subject: CBC Coverage of Worlds
> Hi guys! I just watched the Canadian coverage of the Worlds and I
>must say the I was impressed. Kudos to Scott Russell and Carol
>(anybody know whether or not she is still coaching at Sport Seneca?)
>exellent non-biased coverage.
Carol Angela is still coaching at Sport Seneca, beginning this new
competitive season after taking a six month sabbatical. Also
coaching at Seneca are Brian McVey, Peter Grozdanovic, and Melissa
Hawrylyshyn. I'll be sure to pass on the kudos....
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 12:49:12 -0400
Subject: Deva vs Bucharest
Could someone please explain to me how this is turing into a debacle
in Romania (i.e Deva vs Bucharest)
Whats the deal here...has romania just decdided that i want to move
the training facilities from Deva to Bucharest...have they both been
around for awhile and now they are just tring to consolodate all
training camps into one? Would Belu join forces and work at Buccharest..
So does this mean that after 1996 deva will be shut down????
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 08:17:58 PDT
Subject: a few things
Khorkina - Why did she sub her triple twist for a double? She is my fav (I
haven't had *one* for ages) and, as happy as I am for Pod, Sveta was alwasys
my dream AA winner!
Fish jump - I'm not sure that it *is* called a fish jump (it may be) but the
pike jump with one leg bent is worth a B on beam. The same jump with a half
turn is a C and a full is an E. I'm working the full in my beam and it *is*
worth the E. It isn't the 'double nine' as someone said, because you are
supposed to have your knees together with one leg bent.
Sorry if these topics have been dicussed or closed but I haven't read all my
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 15:04:59 EST
Subject: Re: CBC Coverage of Worlds
> Hi guys! I just watched the Canadian coverage of the Worlds and I
> must say the I was impressed. Kudos to Scott Russell and Carol Orchard
> (anybody know whether or not she is still coaching at Sport Seneca?)
Yes, isn't she great? We are so proud of her here. Carol Angela Orchard is not
just coaching elite gymnasts at Sport Seneca but also teaches coaching. In
her spare time she handles administration and does CBC commentaries.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 15:31:08 -0400
Subject: A letter I think you should read.
Hello Fellow Gymners,
I was given this letter by one of the parents at our gym to send to 60
Minutes via email. I did so, but she also asked me to post it in any other
forum that I thought it belonged. I will forward your comments to her.
Respond to: ***@AOL.COM
WARNING! It's long, but good and true!
<<60 Minutes Editorial Staff October 18, 1995
CBS News Division
New York, New York
To the 60 Minutes Editorial Staff:
Our family enjoys sitting down in front of the television on Sunday nights to
watch your show. Our 15 year-old son even watches because he thinks its
"great" the way you show both sides of issues and give each side equal time.
This is rare on today's shows and it is what makes your show unique.
However, recently we watched a 60 Minutes segment regarding elite gymnastics
and eating disorders. We watched as Leslie Stahl accosted Bela Karolyi in
the hotel lobby at the World Championship qualifying meet and marveled at the
restraint Karolyi showed at this ill-timed intrusion. We continued watching
only because we wanted to see how you would present the "other side" and were
amazed to realize that the 60 Minutes staff decided that there was no "other
side" to be told. Rather, the segment seemed to be a forum to further
publicize the views of Joan Ryan, the author of a book about elite gymnastics
which does nothing but sensationalize the problems of a few kids. At the
very least, you should be made aware of the fuller picture and the result of
your irresponsible journalism.
I know a young lady who is now 12 1/2 and about to start her third year of
Elite level gymnastics. She started gymnastics at the age of 6 and attended
only three classes before she was asked to try out for the competitive team.
After only five years of gymnastics training she went to Palm Springs in
August 1994 and placed eighth in the nation, becoming a member of the Junior
National Training Squad.
This gymnast attends public school because she and her parents feel it is
important for her to have relationships outside the gym and that home
schooling would be socially detrimental. She is in the 8th grade taking all
honors classes and consistently makes the Honor Roll, which is not unusual
for Elite level gymnasts (male or female). She asks for no special
consideration for school assignments while traveling and refuses to use
gymnastics as an excuse when she is absent from school for competitions. Her
school day ends at 2:50 p.m. and her mother meets her with food and drink,
and they drive 45 minutes to her gym in a neighboring city. She is changed
and on her first event by 4:00 p.m. and practices until 8:15 p.m., Monday
through Friday. Her practice schedule also includes Saturday practices from
1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., for a total of 23 1/2 to 27 1/2 hours of practice
After practice, this young lady has a 45 minute return commute, at which time
she does homework until she gets car sick. She arrives home between 9:00 and
9:30 p.m. and eats the dinner her father has prepared while she does her
homework. On a good night she can be in bed by 10:00 or 10:15 p.m. If there
is a heavy load of homework, she may not get to bed until 11:00 p.m.
Normally, reveille is at 6:15 a.m. and her father will not let her leave the
house to catch her 7:10 a.m. bus unless she has eaten breakfast.
This is obviously a very demanding schedule. However, it is the lifestyle
this young lady has chosen and her parents do everything in their power to
support her. The parents of any young athlete have many worries, but the
eating habits of this particular gymnast are of only minor concern. This is
because her parents are doing their job as parents to make sure she eats
well-balanced meals with an adequate caloric content for someone as active as
their daughter. Of course, she enjoys candy bars, cakes, pizza, etc. and
there is no reason why she can't have them in moderation just like any other
healthy child. Moreover, her gymnastic coaches are equally involved and
concerned with her health and nutrition (as they are for all five of their
elite gymnasts and the other 107 girls on their competitive team).
Sadly, this lovely, fun loving, energetic, warm-hearted kid who loves her
sport does not tell anyone that she is an Elite gymnast. Because of
sensationalistic journalism such as that evidenced by your segment and the
uniformed reaction of the general public, she has chosen to keep her
extraordinary achievements private. She has quit watching gymnastics on
television because too many times in the past derogatory comments are made
about the gymnasts' bodies, health, coaches, or parents.
This gymnast's name is Alexis Maday and as her parents, this breaks our
hearts. Alexis has EARNED the right to be proud of herself and her chosen
sport. It is an unfortunate result of shows such as yours that she is
hesitant to admit what she does because she fears how she or her parents may
Show the other side for a change! Come interview families like ours. There
are a lot of us out there. Every sport has it's skeletons and it is
important to bring them to light and to correct them. However, it is equally
important to show that there are many more successful young gymnasts out
there than there are those with problems. Please, be the good investigative
reporters that you are and be the first to do a story on how the gymnastics
world is changing because of these admittedly terrible incidents that have
been brought to light. We are inundated with truly bad news on a daily
basis. Don't you think it's time to stop dwelling on the negative and to
praise these kids with drive, determination and commitment to a sport that
they love? Show their happy, well-adjusted, supportive, loving families.
We once attended a seminar for gymnastic parents given by USA Gymnastics at
which we had direct access to a sports nutritionist and a sports
psychologist. We were amazed when only about 20 people attended, half of
which were coaches. But the thing we remember most is being told: "It is
the coach's job to tell your daughter what a talented gymnast she is, and
it's the parents' job to tell her what a talented child she is." It is your
job as responsible investigative journalists not only to expose wrongs, but
to inform and remind the public of what talented children America has to
offer. It almost seems that you need to be a bad parent to get notoriety.
Alexis chose her gym two years ago because of the training that was offered
at MarVaTeens by Gary Anderson and his staff of coaches. She was welcomed
with open arms by her fellow competitors and had no trouble quickly trusting
the decisions of her new coaches. We agreed with her decision because we
were warmly welcomed by other parents and were immediately offered an open
line of communication with ALL of her coaches. It is important to find a
good, qualified coaching staff that parents and gymnasts trust; however, that
does not mean that parents can stop parenting. These people are gymnastics
coaches not nannies!
It is certainly, not our position that there are no irresponsible gymnastics
coaches or undernourished gymnasts, but USA Gymnastics (and our gym in
particular) are making a concerted effort to ensure that all participating
competitors are healthy and well-nourished. The national exposure given to
such uninformed and one-sided opinions expressed on your recent segment
continually undermines such admirable efforts.
Kyle & Roy >>
Thank you for reading. As one of Alexis' gymnastic coaches, I am honored to
send this letter. Please respond.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 15:46:41 -0400
Subject: Re: A letter I think you should read.
>watch your show. Our 15 year-old son even watches because he thinks its
>"great" the way you show both sides of issues and give each side equal
time. This is rare on today's shows and it is what makes your show unique.
>However, recently we watched a 60 Minutes segment regarding elite gymnastics
>only because we wanted to see how you would present the "other side" and
were amazed to realize that the 60 Minutes staff decided that there was no
>side" to be told. Rather, the segment seemed to be a forum to further
Just some unformed comments for a reply: No matter how even-handed
a news organization tries to be, isn't a piece always based on someone's
particular opinion (how that opinion is chosen is another matter...)?
Whoever produced the piece had a point of view that they carried with them
as they were working the piece, in this case more of a negative slant on the
story. They were nice enough to make some kind of stab at an alternative
viewpoint, but they're still presenting one opinion over another. It's
probably harder to sell a story that presents both sides of an argument
equitably and then *leaves them to think for themselves,* which I suppose is
something network execs keep in mind when they authorize these things.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 14:03:23 -0800
Subject: Wolrd Ef on CBC
Dear fellow gymners:
Just finished watching the EF on the Canadian Broadcasting
Cooperation (CBC) and it wasn't that bad. They had Bart Conner stop by and
give his opinion on the World's. That wasn't anything special. They also
did an interview with Bela. His usual Acadamy Award theatrics were on
display for all Canadians to see. You just get the feeling that even
though he has drawn a lot of fire recintly, he is still coaching because of
the sheer love of that he has for the sport. Now on to the competition.
Since the people that I'm living with at the moment turned off the VCR ni
the middle of the programme (without me realizing it), I am unable to give
a full summary, so I will just give some highlights. Men's floor was the
usual Scherbo-Misutin battle with Li thrown in for good measure. I still
say that Li has the highest layout double-double that the world has ever
seen. His feet nearly hit the Sun Dome roof on his double lay dismount.
Li deserved the gold, but Scherbo won it on the accout of his notoriaty on
this event. Gina looked a little weak on the vault in comparison to Lilly
and Simona. Lilly showed her patented RO half on front pike-half and front
pike-half, Simo had a Youchenko-DF and I forgot her last vault. Mo really
struggled on her Yourchenko-DF, but landed her pike front-half quite well.
Whoever mentioned the cow bells on this list after the swiss pommels
routine was on point. They seemed to be louder than usual! I can't
remember the rest of the pommels routines, but one of the Chinese swung his
Thomas flairs so fast that he looked like he was levitating off the horse!
On unevens, Mo performed her Double over the bar better than I have seen
her do and Lilly was as beautiful as ever, but when is she going to keep
her legs together oh he Geinger? It will be a while before we see a
routine as beautiful and as inovative as Svetlana's. She stuck her
full-out cold as she had done in the AA. Beam and PB's are fading from my
memory (Sorry). Men's Vault was a real treat, but where were the Korean's
and Chinese?. Since CBC only covered the medalists routines, I did't see
them (could somebody please fill me in?). Greg showed a Rudi (I think) and
a double front (wow was that ever high!). Scherbo showed his usual
Youchenko-DF and the patented Scherbo. Nemov showed spectacalar hight and
form an both of his vaults (small hop on the second). Again my knowledge
of Men's gymnastics is very limited and I can't name his vaults. Women's
floor was impressive. I'm tellin' ya if China can tumble like the Chinese
silver medalist on this event then the judges are going to have to think
twice about handing the gold to Romania in Atlanta! She had exellent
choreography too, but hey we're talking about China here! Fernon would
have gotten gold if this were not her first world champs and she hadn't
bent her legs a little on her double lay. Even though Gina doesn't smile
(wow real newsflash there!) she has much more mature choreo than she used
to have. Men's high bar was a real treat. Krasmir showed 6 releases in a
row and a stuck full twisting double lay and Andreas showed the two most
perfect Kavacs I have ever seen and when he stuck his dismount you knew
that that would do it. I'm really sorry that this is so choppy and am
counting on Allen and Grace to help me fill in the spaces (if they haven't
already). LATER YO:)
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 17:16:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Zmeskal at nationals?
> I read in a recent digest that Kim Zmeskal was invited to participte at
> National Championships. I think it is fantastic that she is finally making her
> come bck, but is that really fair to other girls who will lose a chance to
I've never liked this argument (see figure skating pro comebacks). I think
spots on teams are there for the best athletes; why should anyone have
any less right to them because they've been around and successful for a
while? And why should retirement/comeback make a difference; in other
words, why is this objection made to Zmeskal but not to Miller, Dawes,
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 16:20:01 -0500
Subject: Question for coaches
I am writing a gymnastics story for a journalism class and I need input from
some knowledgeable gymnastics people. The story is about how to make practice
productive and fun for gymnasts of all levels. It is supposed to be aimed at
an audience that is knowledgeable and experienced in gymnastics. So, I would
appreciate it if any coaches out there would let me know what they do to make
their practices productive and fun. Please also let me know your gymnastics
credentials for purposes of identifying you in my story. Thanks a bunch for
Also, if any gymnasts out there had a coach who was particularly good at
making practice fun and productive, I would appreciate it if they would
let me know what they did.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 17:53:17 -0400
Subject: CBC Show on Event Finals
I just finished watching the "Air Canada World Gymnastics Championships"
on CBC. In following up with yesterday's coverage, here are the highlights
of the highlights, if you will, of event finals. (And yes, I engaged 2
For only an hour-and-a-half-long slot, CBC all the event medallists and
They opened the show with a "Top 10 reasons to watch ..."
10. Li Xiaoshuang on floor
9. Svetlana Chorkina on bars ("the emerging diva")
8. Ivan Ivankov on p-bars
7. Lilia Podkopayeva in the spotlight
6. Huang Huadong on pommels
5. Gina Gogean on vault ("she'll get some airtime")
4. Alexei Nemov on vault
3. Mo Huilan on beam ("she will walk the walk in the Sundome")
2. Chechi on rings ("the ringmaster")
1. Vitaly Scherbo ("the bad boy")
FLOOR: Vitaly Scherbo, Grigory Misutin, Li Xiaoshuang,
VAULT: Simona Amanar, Gina Gogean, Lilia Podkopayeva, Mo Huilan
POMMELS: Li Donghua (SUI), Huang Huadong, Yoshiaki Hatakeda
U-BARS: Mo Huilan, Lilia Podkopayeva, Svetlana Chorkina
RINGS: Yuri Chechi, Jordan Jovtchev (BUL), Dan Burinca (ROM),
VAULT: Alexei Nemov, Grigory Misutin, Vitaly Scherbo
BEAM: Dominique Moceanu, Mo Huilan, Shannon Miller, Lilia Podkopayeva
P-BARS: Huang Liping, Hikaru Tanaka, Ivan Ivankov, Vitaly Scherbo
FLOOR: Ludivine Furnon, Gina Gogean, Ji Liya
HI-BAR: Krasimir Dounev (BUL), Andreas Wecker, Zhang Jinjing, Yoshiaki Hatakeda
- Sabae's eyeglass manufacturing industry was featured
(No origami? :^( not indigenous to the region, I guess.)
- Athletes Interviewed: Vitaly Scherbo, Yuri Chechi, Alexei Nemov, Shannon
Miller, Mo Huilan, Andreas Wecker
- Divas: Ludmila Tourescheva, Nellie Kim
- Chalk Talk: A feature on the Japanese men's gymnastics legacy and all the
vaults that women do that are named after Japanese men (Yamashita,
- Spotlight on Bela Karolyi and an extensive and charming interview. He
looks very happy.
- Bart Conner commenting on Vitaly Scherbo and Li Xiaoshuang
I'm sorry that I can't provide further details at this time, I working on a
deadline. I'll be happy to answer any further questions tomorrow.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 19:19:16 -0400
Subject: Subway World Challenge WWW Pages
I've gone and DONE it. I've posted my first publicly-accessible web page.
And it's about the upcoming Subway World Gymnastics Challenge. The URL is:
The pages include links to the press release and the delegations list that
I posted yesterday. No doubt, I will be enhancing them over the next few weeks.
The meet folks are going to send me the brochure to post.
Hope you like it.
End of GYMN-L Digest - 21 Oct 1995 to 22 Oct 1995 - Special issue