Friday, June 25, 2010


(photo: Don Johnson Photography)

I think my all-time favorite tumbler has to be Viktoria Karpenko.  The girl epitomised the 'springs in her legs' type.  Her whipback- BHS- Double Arabian- Punch Front combo makes me go weak at the knees nearly every time I see it.

Even though she didn't give all to her chorey, she had that typically Ukrainian polish and flair that made even the non-dancers look pretty good.  When I think about what happened to her in Sydney, I want to throw up.

I wonder if Oleg Ostapenko completely lost his @#$% after that floor ex.  That was probably what made him move to Brazil.  She did have an awful bad habit of screwing up at the wrong moments.

Poor thing.  And all she gets for all her magnificently massive talent is a bronze on bars ten years later.

Here is another example of the she-tumble-demon screwing up at the wrong mo.  The AA probably would have been hers......


God she was amazing.  Even her double pike was insane.  Look how she blithely leapt up a million miles in the air and just snapped those legs up in the air and pulled herself around.  Sure she broke form a little, but the height....the height!
Unsung.  If I could change and World or Olympic Result, I'd change the outcome of that all-around competition in Sydney. She would have the gold.



  1. I completely agree with you. I would have had her to beat Khorkina even if both hadn't messed up. She was insanely talented on every apparatus, one of the last great AA gymnasts who didn't really have a weakness. She was always one of my favourites, I just love how laid back she was about everything, almost to the point of not caring really! If only she hadn't tripped in Sydney...

  2. Karpenko would have been the third Ukrainian in a row to win Olympic AA had she not stumbled (I believe Tatiana Gutsu was Ukrainian).

    Karpenko is on my dream team squad! If I had discovered your blog earlier, I would have put her on the top of my roster when you did your dream team game. She would have done FX and Bars and been the front-running AA contender on my team. I was going to put her in with Yang Bo, Roza Galiyeva, Alicia Sacramone, Beth Tweddle, and Oana Ban. The theme, obviously, is Olympians who became known for "missing" their moment.

    I think about the result in Sydney a lot. I really wish it had gone like this:
    1. Khorkina
    2. Karpenko
    3. Zamo
    4. Raducan
    5. Amanar
    6. Lobaznyuk
    7. Xuan
    8. Olaru
    9. Skinner
    10. Ray

  3. I never ever liked her and her style.On the other hand: if this exercise was performed by a Romanian gymnast, comment was: "missing artistry...just another robot".
    Same style and execution to another gymnast is:" WOW .. she is GREAT, she is PERFECT"
    Nothing personal with this gymnast(I just dont liked's MY opinion,of course..others can adore her).But I have a problem with those who appreciate the same style and execution differently, depending on country of origin