Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I just saw Rick, at Gymnastic Coaching's post that linked to mine about the Mostepanovafan top 10 most successful gymnast montage.  A comment he made at the end caused me to think.  He said that none, bar #10 would be among his favorite gymnasts.  #10 I believe, was Shannon Miller.

I loved a lot of those gymnasts, and Khorkina definitely ranks in my absolute favorites.
I know she was sometimes overscored.  I know her media-created histrionics swallowed up the whole space where ever she was sometimes.  And I know the whole 'diva' thing was a bit much.

But I love her style, her flair, her originality, her ability to yank vaults around, her fierce patriotism in such a tough time, her swagger, her smile and her longevity.

Beside, half the drama was media rubbish, the broadcasters feeding rabidly on the fact they had a gymnasts to capture who had a distinctive personality.

 As Rick pointed out as being the common denominator of all the gymnasts in the top ten, she was tough.  You gotta give her that.

So, what I wanna know is, what do you think of Khorky?
Love her?
Hate her?



  1. I hated Khorkina when I was a new fan of gymnastics, because frankly, I was really only a fan of USA gymnastics. But when I got older and began enjoying it for the viewing pleasure and not strictly for the competitive aspect, I grew to appreciate her work and now I count among my favorite gymnasts of all time. I love how she was unabashedly and unapologetically herself, in a sport where sweetness and faux modesty was the status quo. She basically said "Screw that - I'm pissed!" when she didn't win, and she became a character whose story you always wanted to know more about. Love her, love her show.


  2. I hate her!
    She was IMO a lousy gymnast. Only on bars she was good. She received entirely waaaay to many presents from the judges. I don't think she was elegant at all, wriggling your butt doing bad jumps and having badly landed tumbling is not being elegant.
    Besides her gymnastics I think she was a complete bitch who should never have gotten the attantion she received. I hate the diva behaviour she displayed.

    I do admire her for competing for so long though but the day she retired I was the happiest person in the world.

    This might all sound very harsh but I just really didn't like her. Like her better now that she retired ;)

  3. I love Khorky ... no doubt that its attitude of Diva brings some sparks for the world of gymnastics... :-)

    Catch my attention that in the top 10 gymnast Nadia is missing for the count...

    Ironic isn’t?

    I love the video and I can agree more of the selection of this 10 gymnast, just I think that is really ironic that one of the trademarks of the modern gymnastics is missing the count…. 

  4. Altaugh I'm Romanian I always admire her but I can't say I'm a fan or that I love her. She is Khorkina, the special one, the artistic one.

  5. I loved Khorikina... in a sport where meotions are always on check and its always about good sportsmanship it was refreshing to see a gymnast that was not afraid to show her true emotions, no matter how unprofessional it seemed. We need more of her especially in this day and age where gymnastics has become so vanilla (e.g. boring).

  6. Love her. She's the reason I'm here, on your blog. On any blog. The reason I post hundreds and thousands of videos. Khorkina was what drew me into this sport at 9 years old. Sure, I saw trials, but I wasn't hooked. It wasn't until team finals when Khorkina took the floor that I really started to LOVE it. I was rooting for her every time out and got a huge smile when she nailed her sets. And also felt really upset when she didn't. Khorkina is one of my all time favorites.

  7. love her!

    did usually hate her floor music and chorography

  8. Hate her. Well I take that back... I liked her early days of gymnastics (when she had longer hair). After that her gymnastics just got fugly. Couldn't stand it and she was only decent on Bars.

    I agree with Rick, I loved Shannon on that list. Others I liked but they're not my favorites.

  9. Love Khorkina. I don't care about the attitude, I think it was played up by NBC in a most ridiculous fashion ("their tempermental queen?" seriously?) But I love her gymnastics.

  10. I never have been and never will be a Khorkina fan.

  11. I'm totally indefferent about her, i enjoy watching some of her routines but that's all

  12. To be honest, the thing that bothered me the most about Khorkina is her body type. I liked her lines and her originality, and her attitude always made gymnastics interesting... but I was legitimately afraid her legs were going to crack every time she landed (expecially in Athens!) and I could never relax and enjoy her gymnastics. I will also say that it is a shame she placed the highest in the OG All-Around when she wasn't at her best... the Khorkina of 2004 couldn't compare with 2000.

  13. From the moment I first saw her (which was the 96 olympics when I was 12) I loved her. I wanted to know everything about her. That's how I felt about Nastia, too. Just something about them...

  14. The greatest Bar gymnast of all-time, I would concede.

    But - really - on Floor and especially Vault she was the most over-scored gymnast of all-time.

    She had "personality", I'll giver her that too.

    Rick -

    ... BTW, the "post a comment" system on blogspot is terrible. Often I cannot comment, no matter how I try.

  15. I always found it awkward watching her pull dismounts and vaults around. It seemed like there was never enough room for her legs...and there were so skinny it seemed they would break when she landed.

    But I like that she gave everyone something to talk about, and that she stuck with it for so long.

  16. I never liked her gymnastics although I've enjoyed watching the Khorkina show while she was not on the podium. It was very funny to see her reactions and seeing her real moods, unlike other gymnast who tend to be stubborn and boring and all the same.

    But for her gymnastics, I think she didn't have good form, especially on vault. Yark. I never understood why people were so crazy with her and saying that she was elegant...

    Anyway, she is definitely part of the gymnastics history and deserve that place. And yes, she was there for 3 olympics and that's tenacity, you have to give her that.

  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her! I could go on for days but I'll just focus on what I believe are her biggest achievements:
    1) Medal count; surprised to see she's the most decorated gymnast ever (I know she came in 2nd, but compared to Latinina, it's like we're watching another sport!)
    2) Innovation; 8 named skills, at least one on each piece of apparatus.
    3) Longevity; she competed internationally for 10 years, she adapted to 3 different CoP, she stayed competitive every single time and she medalled at least once in every competition! That's nothing short of amazing.
    4) Charisma, personality, artistry; gymnastics is so boring without her...
    5) Leadership; after the 2000 Olympics, she was single handedly responsible for the good/decent showing of Russia at Worlds and Olympics. In fact, after she retired, Russia won 2 international medals!
    6) Patriotism; Sveta would give her soul for the team, even if she had to stay behind. How many Olympic EF does a gymnast get in a lifetime? 3 (if they're lucky)? Who else would have let Zamo compete instead of her?
    PS: The whole diva thing was almost entirely constructed by the Western media. I've never seen Khorkina as an attention whore. She didn't need to, she was bigger than that. She didn't have to make the slightest effort to stand out and yet she did. More than anyone.
    I think it's way too early to appreciate her brilliance and her contribution to the sport. In my eyes, she's much better than Mary Lou, Olga, even Nadia. In 20 years time, I won't be the only one who thinks so.

  18. She was overrated, over scored and should not have won most of what she did.

    I don't hate her. I don't know her but I always thought her gymnastics was boring including ehr bars

  19. I don't know that I would want to hang out with her, but I love watching her. She brought a lot to the sport that it needed (and still needs). Innovative skills. Proof that you don't need to be like everyone else to succeed. She broke the mold in more ways than one (her stature, her personality, her longevity). Love her or hate her you always knew who she was and where she was. So many gymnasts can be so cookie cutter they blend together. I even appreciate the jumps she would throw in to "hide" incomplete rotation on twists. She wasn't fooling anyone, but it was so much nicer to watch than a typical stumble around.

  20. uh, i was always under the impression Khorkina and Zamo shared the monetary bonus offered by the Russian government/authority for Zamo's gold medal on vault at Sydney.
    Not sure about her being a team player either - I can remember seeing the footage of Zamo falling off the bars at a World Cup meet in an unco way, and replays showing Khorkina laughing at her.
    Khorkina was an enigma - Beijing just didn't feel the same as the OG's that came before it because she wasn't there.

  21. I loved watching Khorkina looking at Nastia on that gold medal podium as if she were as much a win for for the former Soviets as the US. It was as if a torch were passed.

  22. During the time she competed I didn't like her. Especially towards the end of her career. I saw her live in 2004 and she looked sickish.
    But, now when I look back at her gymnastics especially in the mid 90s I realise how special she was. The artistry, the playing with the public, the extraordinary bars ....
    She was very much liked by the press and she brought a lot of attention to gymnastics. I have to give her the credit for that.

  23. LOVE HER! Not only she was a one-of-a-kind athlete but, moreover, she has brought in gymnastics an artistic contribute that has been lately unespressed by robotic tumblers and tricky gymnasts (tough with some obviuos exceptions, I'm thinking e.g. about Pav). We had the opportunity of spend some time with her in Milan last year during Euros (maybe you remember me, I'm the father of little gymnast Diana and my wife is russian). We talked and had dinner with her and she was so disposable with us and with Diana! She was so impressed and from then on she love her even more than Vanessa! So ... Sveta is in our hearts!

  24. I started out loving her around 96, but sometime around 2000 she started to wear on me. Yes, her routines were innovative... at first... but she essentially did the same routines most of career. I got bored after a while, especially once the diva attitude took a turn past empowered to obnoxious.

  25. I liked her when she started, then about athens she started looking and acting like a total drug addict