Saturday, October 17, 2009


Now for the gossip portion!

It seem that i have spent more time around Marta Karolyi tha i have my own mother lately.

Has anyone seen this picture of the moment Alexa Chung, British fashionista/MTV reporter found herself sitting next to vogue editor Anna Wintour, the woman the evil Meryl Streep character in The Devil Wears Prada was based on?

She clung to Peaches Geldof for dear life!  That's kind of how I felt for a fleeting moment when the hag of the Karolyi Kingdom sat near me during qualifications.  Then I got over it.  And when I found myself sitting next to her, Kathy Kelly (is that her name?) and Nastia Liukin at the AA, I took it as a fabulous opportunity to eavesdrop.

I don't get really starstruck by gymnasts, probably because i am a lot older than them, but I took a couple of pics of Liukin for you, my readers, which i will post later and thoroughly enjoyed watching Karolyi watch gymnastics.  Liukin didn't reallt watch much, it seemed, she just kind of looked around.  Maybe uits boring for her!  She also sat with Nelli Kim in front of us during the quals, wearing an obnoxiously pink top.  She was kind enough to sign autographs for all the little gymnasts who lingered behind her, waiting.  I did laugh though, when the unfortunate commentator they had for the comp, made some inane comment about Anamaria Tamirjan doing a "businesslike" performance on floor (her floor is lovely) and both Nastia and I scoffed and went "businesslike?"

Anyway, thing only got really entertaining when Liukin left and Kelly joined Marta.  Then the crones really got down to their nagging, yelling and bitching.

They were kind of handy, because Kelly was doing all the scores, so if i missed something, she had it. All she did was crunch scores. To be honest, though, I really got the feeling that Marta was totally gunning for Bross to win over Sloan.  Or perhaps it was that she expected, after Sloan's not great qualifications.  When Sloan performed bars and vault she was kind of quiet, or just nodded and yelled no support, and then before beam, when Bridget didn't get right up on the podium the minute before the girl before her climbed off, she was bitching at Sloan and Sharps, "Vot the hell are zey dooing?"  Whenever Bross was up, she yelled and cheered, and called out reassuring "Eeet's alright Rebecca!" as the little girl waited her turn.  It wasn't until the tide turned, and Bridget hit beam, that Marta started cheering and yelling for her too.  It was weird.

I, of course, made a point of hollering for Mitchell and Porgras at every opportunity!

They did make me laugh.

Some of the things they said/did.

Martha Karolyi saying about France's Morel  "No, no, zat eez not ze good one.  Za good one eez other one, on bars before"

Kathy Kelly rolling her eyes and saying "charisma?" like it was a dirty, useless word, after Semenova was described by (the rather shite, sorry Brits, but she was) live commentator as being one of the few gymnasts with charisma.

Or about Peggy Liddick and Lauren Mitchell's beam routine.  She kind of scoffed at the 6.5 difficulty, and then said " 6.5?  I vould not expect a 6.5 from Peggy"

The opening of Porgras's beam, she kind of shrugged and said "Eeez very nice".  The nicest thing she said all day!

"Vot the hell are zey doing?  Get her off ze podium!!"  Marta Karolyi yelling about Bross waiting so long on the podium to do her floor.  One thing about the HAG, she knows her gymnasts and she knew Bross would be freaking.  And she was. 

They both started clucking and grumpling when the Korean girl sprayed the beam down.  "You cannot spray ze  beam!" Marta grumbled. Kathy Kelly said the same to me, and feeling cheeky, I ignored it and commented on what a gorgeous routine the Korean girl does.

In typical USA style, before the third rotation, Marta confidently said, "All she needs is to land on her feet and it eez hers" About Bridget or Bross, i don't know.

And when it became clear Bross's floor fall wasn't going to drop her any lower than second, she nodded, satisfied and said "US one-two?  Hokay!!" and then I walked away, because the nausea created by the US gymnastics-alooza that was that final was too much.

But like I said, highly entertaining!



  1. Marta picking on anyone for no difficulty is a joke. Her Karolyi gymnasts coasted their entire careers on safe routines.

    I really hate that bitch

  2. Oh my lord please please keep sitting next to Marta. This is seriously the best coverage of Worlds I've seen yet. Can you videotape her being a complete nutcase?

  3. Oh, your report just confirmed Marta to be the witch I always thought her to be.

  4. Did you see Paola Galante's leo in the AA??Omg it's so ugly!!!

  5. aha awesome gossip. thanks for the updates.

  6. Best commantary ever! It cracks me up! This and Dominique Moceanu's who was sitting next to Svetlana Khorkina during the prelims. It's hard to immagine whose reactions are funnier ;-D

  7. hilarious!!!
    i voood not expect 6.5 from peggy

  8. This is hysterical. Love your observations and your writing.

    Just FYI, the in-arena commentator was Kelly Rawlings (nee Hackman) who was equally uninspiring as a gymnast when she competed at the 98 CWG and Sydney 2000 Olympics.

  9. OMG you are as funny as Bridget Jones (yeh I know, not a real character but you get my drift)
    You have such talent of writing and I was in stitches reading it all. They should give you your own column in a gymnastics magazine!!!!

  10. I truly did enjoy your commentary. Marta did always look like she can really have a nasty streak to her. But hey, after years as a gymnast and now being on the sidelines of high school football (American not soccer) and basketball, I just think head coaches just love to talk smack all day long. It's not like they really have anything else to do.