Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Bad Girls Files #7

Gymnast: Mohini Bhardwaj
Gymnastics Highlight:  2004 was a great year for Mohini. Winning the silver in Athens as team captain at the ripe old age of 25, and making it into the floor finals has to be a highlight.  She also had 'The Bhardwaj' named after her on bars. 
Crime: Being the gymnastics version of Jennifer Capriati.

Please Explain:  When she was still a teenager, Mohini moved into an apartment on her own in Texas in order to continue training with her coach Alexander Alexandrov  who had opened Brown's gym in Houston.  Given her newfound freedom, much predictable partying ensued.  What would you expect from a sixteen year old facing the freedom of her own place?
The partying may have affected her training as Mohini did not make the 1996 Olympics, though she earned a place in the Karolyi camp.  According to her, she watched Kerri Strug land her vault in a Cincinatti bar somewhere with her friends.  She said it saddened her, but she loved watching seeing the U.S girls take gold.
The partying habits continued into her college years, though Valorie Kondos-Field famously took a chance on the 'wildchild' of US gymnastics and gave Mohini a full scholarship.  According to Kondos-Field, she first heard about Mohini when in 1997 Mo apparently stayed out late partying with the Russian team during the World Championships in Switzerland.  For her freshman year Mohini spent too little time studying and plenty of time partying.  She gained 'the freshman 10', pulled a lot of al-nighters (not of the studying variety) and then lied to avoid a practice session.  That was the breaking point for Kondos- Field, who confronted her when she realised Mohini was just trying to get out of team practice.
Funnily enough, her father, an alternative medicine practitioner, who has been fairly forgiving of her past misdemeanors, was most ticked off by her tattoo (the olympic rings on her wrist), which she tried to hide from him.  "It is the worst thing she has done."  He told a journalist. She has another, floral tattoo as well, stowed somewhere under her leo.

Punishment:  She was nearly kicked off the UCLA Bruins team at the end of her freshman year after the lying stunt.  This threat actually encouraged Mohini to mend her ways and she came back for her sophomore year a reformed student and a team player.  At one point in her second year, she came to training crying when she finally studied hard enough to earn a B in school. She then, as we know, went on to have an absolute dream college gymnastics career and a wonderfully close relationship with Miss Val.  Her difficulty and artistry increased so steadily  during her time at UCLA that she was able, even after suffering a dislocated elbow, to compete for a berth on the Olympic team.

Badness Rating:  Medium
Well what kind of behavior do you expect from a smart, independant kid allowed to live on her own in a city? That, my friends, is what we call temptation! And anyway, the upshot of being the bad girl, is that you attract other bad girls like Pammy Anderson who are more than willing to spring for your Olympic trip!  Considering she claimed she was living by taking her pennies and playing the slot machines in order to buy soy milk and cereal while living in L.A and training for the Olympics,  Mo sure needed the help! 


  1. Could you revise the badness rating so instead of just a normal level, it can include types of badness. My idea for the types is: wild and crazy, rule breaking, deceptive, too free spirited for their own good.

  2. I think you might be right, cidlover, the badness rating don't work. Most of the stuff they do is just because they are individuals or just have 'out there' personalities, or sometimes just because they are so dang young!

  3. Also, I'm probably going to make "The Bad Girl Files: Rhythmic Edition." It won't be too long because most rhythmic gymnasts are good girls.