Thursday, October 21, 2010
Rick over at Gymnastics Coaching just informed us of the news of the passing of Boris Pilkin at the age of 82. He was the man who made gymnastics work around Svetlana Khorkina and all her length and leanness. He was wise, innovative and more importantly for gymnastics and a gymnast like Svetlana, versatile.
He watched from the sidelines as the drama that was her life in gymnastics unfolded. He was ever-patient and ever-present, and we will never know the work he put into her and the other gymnasts in his care. He once said that he would never leave Russia, although so many coaches were leaving for better jobs and money elsewhere. That he would never leave her. And he was the one person she always honoured, always treated well. When victory was hers, sometimes it was Arkaev on the scene first to congratulate her, but it was always Pilkin she looked for.