Sunday, October 5, 2008

You tube Gems #1

The 1991 Seiko Cup

This is a rare gem I found in YouTube guru, LyssenkO’s incomparable meet collection. The Seiko Cup was an Australian competition, one of the handful that of various meets that were organised in the sunny state of Queensland in the nineties. The Seiko was a one-off that was used, I am sure, to give the rapidly improving Australian girls more exposure to international gymnastics. Why watch this particular meet?
Here’s a list (of course!) of reasons why…

The commentary is great. In fact I comment on it a bit on the Youtube vids.  It’s a bit odd and gender appropriate because the man always talks about the acrobatic tricks and the woman talks about the dance. But it is really enthusiastic and appreciative and minus many of the clichés we have come to know and despise from some of the usual gymnastic commentators!
Also, I am fairly certain the woman is Peggy Liddick and that is interesting because firstly, you don’t get Liz Chetkovich not covering an Oz gym meet very often, and secondly because I haven’t ever heard Peggy Liddick talk about gymnastics that much-not in such a general way at least, and it was really interesting to see what makes her tick. She is, it seems from this meet, a big fan of originality and beauty (if it is her. Whoever it is has a kind of whack Aussie-American accent and the dude keeps calling her Peggy. I could be very wrong-I’m just adding two and two).

We get to see a very, very young Lavinia Milosovici in one of her first big outings. Her floor routine had a lot of the same skills she took later into that perfect ten routine in Barcelona and her vaulting is great too. Can’t say I am a fan of her side somi on the floor. But at least it wasn’t on beam and done over and over like it is these days. Lavinia is tiny in this competition, but already very, very powerful.

Isabelle Lacatus’s awesome beam mount. Seen to be believed.....believe me.
I am sure it isn't quite as painful as it looks.

This is one of the very early examples illustrating how much the Australian girls had improved from the nineties onward under Lu Ping Tian. Kylie Shadbolt and Monique Allen were quite steady and impressive, and the young Joanna Hughes bar work and tumbling was already looking to become world class.

The Soviet floor routines were still in that beautiful eighties era of gorgeous, polished dance, but accompanied with tough-as-nails- nineties tumbling. Incredible to watch. And the competitors were two girls who we didn’t hear as much from after this as we did from their countrywomen in later years.  Yet they were superbly talented. 
Ah, remember how deep the Soviets used to be?

Watch it for the Russian, Liudmila Stovbtchataia’s wildly original and beautiful moves in her floor and beam work. This was when the code had that extra chunk of pointage for originality and execution and wow, did the girls milk it! Bring it back!!! Ironically, Stovbtchataia lost a spot on the C.I.S Olympic team the next year to Roza Galiyeva.  She now coaches in the states.

Also, it was one of those competitions when Yang Bo pulled off that stunning beam routine as flawlessly as we knew she was capable of, but just didn’t seem manage at times. There was no staggering around after her dismount either, which was a relief! 
It is also amusing to hear her move being called a blind leap and not the “Yang Bo” by the commentators!!!

P.S There is a new blog that is planning to devote itself to reviewing old competitions. 
Find it at

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! Since I knew it 3 days ago I've spent all night long reading your posts. I've found my self watching some comp like Seiko Cup from 1991... some things I've never known exists!
    Cheers from Argentina, and thanks for all the information you share!

    I've my own web page and it's about national gym... :)