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Ugly Gymnastics

Discussion in 'The Summer Olympic Games 2016' started by Xela M, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

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    On one of the gymnastics boards, someone stated that she had done it as a tribute to Olga Korbut who used it in 1976. I have no idea if that's true or not, but I imagine Olga was one of her influences.
     
    gk_891 likes this.
  2. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. I agree with floskate that it was a better routine overall than the ones she did in team finals and event finals.
     
  3. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Someone recently uploaded this in-depth behind-the-scenes look at Nelli Kim (and the rest of the Soviets) at the 1976 Olympics and the pressure they felt as Nadia was stealing their thunder:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8H82fCozVE

    The Soviets were so dominant and always seemed so invincible that some times I forget how much worrying, anxiety, pressure, and work everyone in the program suffers through in order to be that "invincible".
     
  4. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

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    @VIETgrlTerifa

    Thanks for the video from the Nellie Kim/Soviet perspective. The 1976 Olympics was sure devastating.
     
  5. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed it and the footage is glorious. The standing O that Nadia got in the film was after her compulsory bars set though - the first of her 10's. Not the AA which was implied here. But interesting to see Marta shake Nadia's hand. No neck squeezes there!!

    ITA that the Soviets must have been under unbelievable pressure. Didn't they have to sign pledges that they would win and stuff like that? :yikes:
     
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  6. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

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    It is crazy to think the Soviets left Davydova, Shaposhnikova, Filatova and a couple others off the team in 1976 out of principal, believing gymnastics was going in the wrong direction. I wonder if they could have muted Nadia's and Teodora's athleticism with those gymnasts?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  7. rhapsody

    rhapsody Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this! I've never seen much of this footage from Montreal before!
     
  8. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it. Davydova and Shaposhnikova were way too inconsistent and unpredictable at that time.
     
  9. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

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    The selection did not think so.
     
    skateboy likes this.
  10. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    Based on my understanding, the Olympic team selection was based on 2 competitions in the Soviet Union. Gymnasts like Saadi and Grozdova did better on average that Davydova and Shaposhnikova in those competitions. IIRC (and my memory could be wrong since I read this so long ago), Shaposhnikova placed very high in one of those competitions but placed outside of the top 10 in the other. Davydova managed to place 6th in one of those competitions but she was lower in the other. Based on what I saw of them in 1976, I thought some of their acrobatics were very insecure and kind of scary looking. It wasn't until later in their careers that they started to look more comfortable with what they were doing. Although based on what I've seen of Shaposhnikova throughout 1976 to 1980, she was a deeply unpredictable gymnast who could never hit when it counted.
     
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  11. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

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    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yelena_Davydova
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  12. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    Davydova and Shaposhnikova were doing a lot of things on paper that would definitely challenge Comaneci. But with the way the team was selected (looking at how the gymnasts did at both competitions) and looking for gymnasts who could hit their routines, I think it's understandable why Davydova and Shaposhnikova weren't selected since gymnasts like Saadi and Grozdova, although very very old school in their style, could hit more often than Davydova and Shaposhnikova even though the latter gymnasts did much more groundbreaking acrobatics.

    I guess it's kind of like why gymnasts like Groshkova and Kozlova weren't selected for World or Olympic teams. Both had absolutely insane difficulty but the consistency just wasn't there.
     
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  13. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

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    skateboy, Alez and Coco like this.
  14. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    I think she is also an inspiration to young gymnasts who become tall young ladies. There is room for them in this sport.
     
    lala likes this.
  15. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    After reading through this thread I wanted to look for some of Nadia's floor routines and came across this monstrosity, proving that even Nadia was capable of ugly gymnastics:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=40meautvoX0

    So here is a palate cleanser:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-gD9mdbqNPE

    I do find it interesting that Nadia had such beautiful form and lines and fluidity (horrible 1978 floor routine notwithstanding), but the Karolyis never really replicated those qualities with their American gymnasts, who were almost all known for power. Betty Okino is the only American gymnast I can come up with who trained long-term with the Karolyis and was known more for elegance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  16. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

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    Nadia was not with the Karolyis at this time. She had been transferred from the Karolyis Club in Onesti along with the rest of his gymnasts to different coaches at the National Training Center in Bucharest.

    Here is a clip of her dramatic return at the 1979 World Cup. She looks like an entirely different, not just gymnast, but person. It was at this event that she performed the most difficult beam routine of her career and showed herself to be ready to compete with the Karolyis most recent top athlete, Emilia Eberle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs17DDs48dg&feature=youtu.be&t=1777

    After the event, Cathy Rigby interviewed Nadia, and Nadia claimed it was the Karolyis' training that got her back in shape.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs17DDs48dg&feature=youtu.be&t=2212

    However, later she claimed she regained her fitness by rationing her food and water in the same way as Olympic wrestlers cut weight, which includes even going for days without.

    At the 1979 World Cup she did receive a perfect 10 in the FX in both the AA and EF.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs17DDs48dg&feature=youtu.be&t=307

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs17DDs48dg&feature=youtu.be&t=2800

    Nadia also won the Vault EF.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs17DDs48dg&feature=youtu.be&t=1454
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  17. douglasottawa

    douglasottawa Banned Member

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  18. douglasottawa

    douglasottawa Banned Member

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    Davydova had a horrible meet the American Cup where she was against Nadia, and came nowhere close to her there. That alone probably greatly hurt her chances at the Olympic Team.

    The main priority for the Soviets was the Team Gold, and they selected a team that already ensured that. They probably thought they already sent the gymnasts with the best shot of winning or medaling in the AA in Tourischeva, Kim, and Korbut anyway, even if Nadia was favored regardless. For bottom end team members the stable ones made most sense and that wasnt Shaposhnikova and Davydova.
     
    gk_891 likes this.
  19. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

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    You realize that the quote I used from Wikipedia had an in-text citation, right?

    Sovetski Sport was a Soviet magazine, and June 22, 1976 was the date of publication.
     
    Erin likes this.
  20. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure for them, hindsight was better than foresight. But I could swear Shaposhnikova once said that she placed 3rd in one of the qualifying competitions but then 12th in the other which put her out of contention for the Olympic team. But I read this so long ago that I could be mistaken.

    It's also to my understanding that finishing well at qualifying competitions in the Soviet Union wasn't a guarantee for anything. For example, Tatiana Groshkova finished 6th at the 1991 Soviet national championships but didn't even make the World teams that year, not even as an alternate. From what I remember, you need to finish somewhere in the top 8 and they also look at how you perform in the event finals as well as during training camps. I'm sure for some, their groundbreaking acrobatics made them seem 'more useful' but history has shown that they were never consistent with performing them. I'm sure that was taken into consideration, whether rightfully or not.
     
  21. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

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    The one time the Soviet Nationals was used as the straight criteria for who made the World team was in 1987. As a result, this was by in large considered to be one of the least artistic teams that the Soviets produced, and they deservedly lost the Team event at worlds to Romanians that year. Gymnasts like Frolova, Lebedenskaya, and Priakhina were left off the team that year; meanwhile, Gurova, Touzhikova, and a very juniorish Boguinskaya competed instead.
     
    Loves_Shizuka likes this.
  22. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I loved Frolova but she seemed to be a major headcase on the balance beam. That probably kept her off the team.

    I go back and forth on Elena Gurova. She was explosive and powerful yet she also had nice form and polish. But by Worlds, she had lost a lot of her grace and ease to her gymnastics and her body movements looked much clunkier than usual. Still, she hit her routines (except for her compulsory beam routine) and I honestly thought she was fairly underscored. I thought her optional vault, beam, and floor routines should've scored at around 9.950. Some hated her FX routine (understandably) but she performed it fantastically. Her spot in the line-up seemed to have hurt her.

    Touzhikova was excellent on floor but pretty mediocre elsewhere. I had read somewhere that a Soviet coach said that she was chosen for the team because she had nice compulsories which I can sort of see. Still, to leave off the European AA silver medalist (Priakhina) was something that was very questionable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  23. douglasottawa

    douglasottawa Banned Member

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    I am just curious why anyone thinks Davydova and Shapshnikova could ever have beaten Nadia in 76 when in 1980 Davydova barely beat Nadia with a fall, and Natalia couldnt beat her even with the fall. Shaposhinikova couldnt even beat her on her 2 best events in event finals- beam and floor, even if Nadia was grossly gifted in both of those and Natalie in reality did beat her in both, and disgraceful Nadia got the loud booing from the crowd she deserved for her shameful beam and floor golds which moved her to tears. Still Nadia was way better in 76 than 80, and Yelena and Natalia way worse so if they couldnt beat her in 80, how on earth could they in 76.
     
  24. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    Shaposhnikova had some glorious compulsories but her optional routines were kind of scary to watch. I sometimes got the impression that she was just throwing herself into the air and it was a crapshoot as to whether or not she would land them properly. I know some thought that Shaposhnikova was underscored at the 1980 Olympic beam final but her form on the layout stepout was atrocious, she had noticeable waver of the arms after her valdez, and her dismount wasn't pretty. During floor event finals, both her first and second tumbling runs were short on rotation. She was just way too unpredictable.

    I personally thought Davydova improved quite a bit in 1980. But it was only at her absolute best in Moscow that she could beat Comaneci (who had to count a fall from team optionals) and Gnauck (who had 2 very very poor vaults during the AA). I doubt she would've contributed very much to the Soviet team in 1976.

    If Natalia Yurchenko had been healthy in 1980, i wonder what she could've accomplished that year if she had made the Olympic team.
     
    montrealsurfa likes this.
  25. montrealsurfa

    montrealsurfa Active Member

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    Want vault always Gnauck's nemisis? It cost her the 1980 Olympic title and many other victories over the years.
     
  26. montrealsurfa

    montrealsurfa Active Member

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    Want vault always Gnauck's nemisis? It cost her the 1980 Olympic title and many other victories over the years.
     
  27. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not 100 percent sure as I'm not overly familiar with Gnauck's era of gymnastics (early 80s). What's interesting is at the 1984 Alternate Games, Gnauck lost the AA title to Mostepanova due to uneven bars which was ironically her best event.

    But her vaults during the 1980 Olympic AA competition were kind of scary to watch. She got such poor distance from the horse that I thought she was going to hit it while somersaulting in the air.
     
  28. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka The Stolbova/Klimov and James/Cipres Uber

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    I will forever love Shaposhnikova but yes, this is true.
     
    gk_891 likes this.
  29. montrealsurfa

    montrealsurfa Active Member

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    Shaposhnikova was the Sasha Cohen of late 70s gymnastics. So much talent, beauty, and originality, but could never put it all together. Total headcase. It is ridiculous a gymanst of her talent never won a major AA title such as Olympics, Worlds, World Cup, when even infinitely less talented gymnasts like Davydova, Zacharova, Filatova, and Illenko all managed it. Those girls could do what Shaposhnikova never could though, deliver under pressure. I would argue she was the most talented Soviet of that whole era, even over Kim and the tragically unlucky Muhkina.
     
  30. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer watching Shaposhnikova's compulsories than her optionals. But whenever she simplified her optional routines, they were much more pleasant to watch. Like the floor routine below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BruMuM-FoUk