By Olga Vetchina.
Gymnastics new consideration.
The European sportswoman of the year 2001 is Svetlana Khorkina! Truly, the journalists have chosen the Russian World Champion as the best female athlete of the year. A fine success for her and an interesting information for the gymnastics universe.
Khorkina symbolizes a special gymnastics style, the young women gymnastics, a beautiful one, skills alone are so uninteresting, elegancy and style are both essential parts of the gymnastics Art. I love 'this' gymnastics.
The gorgeous results of Oksana Chushovitina at the World Championships, Glasgow Grand Prix... can be considered on a same point of view. The successes of a young 26 years old mother in elite gymnastics competitions is today changing, modifying our sight on gymnastics. At first it's useful to remember some gymnasts who were also the heralding signs of this evolution: Kathleen Kern-Stark from germany for instance! Competing in Barcelona 92, like Chushovitina (!) and so good on Bars in 96 and 97, she gave the right way to the today German gymnasts being a reference for them. Adrienn Varga and Adrienn Nyeste, both from Hungary are also symbols of this beautiful gymnastics.
This gymnastics is fascinating, the coaches and choreographers can be innovative, creative, and can avoid the acrobats circus way chosen by some gymnastics coaches. A gymnastics exercice is not only a sum up of skills, tricks and acrobatic series, it's firstly a spirit. Thanks to this spirit, a gymnast is communicating with any observer of her performing! Russian gym style is still the reference as the communicating gym... even if I am a bit concerned watching girls like Zighanshina, good competitor but deprived of any soul in her routines. She could have been a girl from Deva!!
The triumph of Svetlana Khorkina attracts the medias attention on gymnastics, the success of a new tiny baby-doll would have been ignored...we saw so many little girls in our sports.
So my wishes for the coming new year 2002: to keep alive the gymnastics of Khorkina, Shushovitina, Van de Leur, Zamolodchikova... Such one is Art!
Gymnastics is recovering its prestige in Russia too: several tournaments have been managed during the past weeks:
-The rhythmics Gala of Moscow with Tschashina, Belova, Utyasheva... Guizikova Zarina, the eternal hope of the Russian R.G. won the rhythmics Russian cup managed the same week. Alina Kabaeva is still waiting the F.I.G. decision after absorbing forbidden products at the Goodwill Games held in Brisbane. Maybe as an official support, she attended the Gala with the Russian President Putin. (Is doping existing in gymnastics? Sydney 2000 was an accident, Brisbane 2001 seemed to be a positive answer!).
-The open Cup of Siberia held in Leninsk-Kuznetsk in early December, won by Anna Pavlova.
-The Mikhail Voronin Cup held in Moscow: Second december title for Anna Pavlova who defeated the Bulgarian (ex-Russian) Yevguenia Kuznetsova and the Ukrainian girl Yarosh Tatiana.
And Svetlana Khorkina is the Russian athlete of the year after the vote managed by the Itar-Tass Press agency. Then her thiumph is completed.
Page (c) Vetchina Olga for Kostiskal
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