Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Youtube Gems #28385

1996 European Gymnastics Championships.

 Youtuber Gongolo65 has been slowly posting the  1996 European Championships in parts, including the AA and the first three event finals.  It is obviously from a very old video and the quality is shocking, but it is worth persevering to see this particularly interesting gymnastics period in Europe.

I have to admit, sometimes I really enjoy watching the Euros because the USA and the Chinese aren't there.  One, because it means no evil NBC trio commentators, and two, because it isn't all about just those two top teams.  It feels like the old days when the Eastern Europeans were totally dominant!

This contest really epitomises the extreme oppositions at work in gymnastics in the nineties.  On one hand there was the delightful, pretty work of Podkopeyeva, Khorkina, Kochetkova, Galieva and Sheremeta, and one the other hand their was...well... there was the Romanians.

Okay, look, I know they were technically outstanding gymnasts who were capable of insane tumbling, rocksteady beam work and sky high vaulting, but the drab duo of Amanar and Gogean make me want to cry. They simply oozed lack of personality, joy and expression in their work, and as much as I try to admire them I am just left feeling nothing much at all.

But the Russians were looking really interesting at this point.  The states had been divvied up, so they were all competing for Belarus, Russia, Ukraine etc.  Khorky was rocking bars as usual.  Bogey was an older, happier, even I might go as far to say slightly effervescent person than she used to be though her gymnastics wasn't as grand.  

Kochetkova was having a shocker of a day in the event and generally frowning through everything.  She got seriously out of line on her beam tumbling pass and had to step off, and then i believe she missed catching her Shaposhnikova and ended up in an ungainly heap on the floor and mildly ticked off.  

Her gymnastics was beeyootiful though and she remains an eternal favorit of mine.  For those of you who are fans, but haven't read THIS INTERVIEW, you should because she sounds like a lovely, sunny person, which makes up for the ice queen exterior during competitions.

The teeny tiny and very cute Lyubov Sheremeta delivers a lovely bars routine, demonstrating Ukraines growing talent for swinging.  She kind of reminds me of an early Semenova.

And if you watch this routine for  anything, watch it for the much maligned Roza Galieva's beam routine in event finals.  Holy toledo, it was amazing!  Mostly, what was amazing was her first tumbling row.  It was whip quick and spot on.  Bam!  Bam! Bam!  I watched it three times! 

Yelena Piskun was there too.  I have always had a soft spot for her though she wasn't particularly graceful.  She always seemed like a great team player and she was so sweet to the Lilipod when she won the AA.

Anyway, if you can bear the bad quality, it's totally worth watching!!

1 comment:

  1. I wish someone would upload the 1994 euros!!