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Goodwill Games Report

I've decided to make a goodwill game report after each night when the game concluded till the Games end. So that those of you who are outside of the US may enjoy the games too. These reports will not be written by myself(that's doesn't mean I don't have the telant to), it will be written by others gymnastics fans in e-mail form (since these are e-mails from Gymn-L) who are at New York watching the competition live, please enjoy!

GWG Experience
Final results
End of the document

First night: the AA competition

11 observations by Alisa who is at NY

1) Dominique- I must say, she deserved the win and was very emotional
upon realizing she won.  Her start values were ten for all events except
vault where she had a 9.8 and a 9.9  Her vault score was 9.587,
bars-9.625, beam 9.75 and floor 9.7 (As I continue I will just list
scores, know that they go from vault on.)  Her bars in very interesting,
with her mount somewhat like Amy Chow's but goes right to the
Shapashnikova.  Her pak to toe on was great and was her 1 1/2 to double
front.  She really was spot on entirely and I hate to make false
predictions, but she just may be national champ in a month.  Her only
flaw that I saw was that her triple didn't fully rotate..
2) Olaru- the perfect example of not needing ten SV's since none of her
routines did.  She was consistent but unspectacular and I really didn't
take too much notice of her.  Her scores were 9.55, 9.55, 9.625 and 9.25.
3) Amanar-in person she is spectacular.  Her fall on beam was unfortunate
because the rest of her routine was great.  I really liked her floor
though there was a technical error from the meet.  the green light
wouldn't turn on so the head judge had to raise her hand to signal to
go.  Her vaults were great but she still pikes badly on her phelps.  her
scores were 9.6, 9.425, 9.15, 9.675.
4)Meng Fei- Love the floor.  She was also very consistent. Her bars and
beam start from ten , but her vaults are only 9.5 and 9.6.  her scores
were 9.237, 9.5, 9.6, and 9.5
5) Sapunar- it was very unfortunate.  During her warm-up vault she
hyperextended her knees and was in tears for a few moments.  I think it
rattled her.  However once past vault she was really great.  Her bars is
the typical CGA clean and crisp.  Her routines are exciting and I really
like her.  She only had on 10 SV and that was bars.  Beam and floor were
9.9 and vaults were 9.5 and 9.6,  her scores were 9.012, 9.575, 9.525 and
9.475.  She has a bright future and I think she will do well at nationals.
6.Olga Teslneko had a hard day.  She just looked sluggish.  She has great
form and typical Ukrainian technique.  her SV's were all tens except
vault which was 9.5 and 9.6  I'm sorry I don't have much more on her.
her scores were 9.025, 9.6, 9.425 and 9.425
7) Khorkina SIGH,- my friend Sveta didn't do so well.  She had trouble on
her khorkina vault and her 1 1/2 yurchenko was off.  Her bars were
fantastic, and her beam was good except for a few big bobbles.  She just
ran out of steam on floor.  She was VERY unhappy and left the arena.  I
really felt for her.  Her floor was to pulp fiction and her triple full
was really nice.  I really hope she does better in EF.
8)Zeena Mclaughlin-SImone- I told her you said good luck and she almost
cried.  She was very happy to know that people in Australia are thinking
of her.  Ok, her SV's were v-9.5 and 9.8-she did a yurchenko full and a 1
1/2.  her score was 9.262.  Her bars Sv was 9.8 and she got a 9.250.  her
bars was not so great today. Her beam SV is 9.8 and it was pretty good
for a 9.4.  Her floor was a 9.9 SV.  When the music started, it was
Simona Amanar's music and there was a short delay.  She looked rattled but
did very well.  I really like the floor ex and a lot of the fans were
cheering for her.
9)Ling Jie-I didn't see much of her because most of the times I had stuff
to do was during her routines. 9.8, beam 9.9 with a score of
8.65.  She had two falls on that routine and the audience really seemed
to feel for her.  Her floor was a 9.9 SV and a 9.525 score.
10) Produnova- very difficult night but she held up really well and was
very sportsmanlike.  She had big steps on her vaults and her phelps was so
bad I almost choked.  Her back was arched and her legs bent and it was
terrible.  Her vault score was 9.375 though.  Her bars was a 9.4 for a
decent routine, her beam a 9.05 for a fall, and floor a 8.95 for a fall
on her double front.  She did nail her arabian double, punch front and
her artistry was great.
11) Alena Polozkova.  I think I can sum it up by saying, before her floor
we were chatting and she was very down.   She was very cute though and her SVs were
v-9.5 and 9.8, bars-10 with a score of I told her a great floor would
be good to get her back on track.  She hit floor and then gave me HUGE
smile and a thumbs up sign.
So, that's about it.  Dominique cried quite a bit during the awards
ceremony and the new USAG president presented her with a 10,000 dollar
All in all it was a fun night.  I thought you guys might want to know
about it.  Oh yeah, it turns out halfway throughout the first rotation we
discovered that the Hungarian and Chinese judges were in the wrong seats
and their scores were coming up inverted as a result.  It was kind of funny.
I hope you enjoyed this.  I'll be back tomorrow night with the men's AA. 
How was the TV coverage?
To the Top

Goodwill Games Experience

By Ellen

A few things worth mentioning:
First, some nice things:
1. I loved the way they introduced the gymnasts at the beginning. They
all had to walk up to a microphone, and introduce themselves. Most of
them said, "Hello, my name is ______and I am from_______." The Chinese
were really cute- just about everyone else knew how to say this in
English, and I don't think they did. Meng Fei just said, "Meng Fei,
China." and I still don't know what Ling Jie said. She was so adorable,
you could tell that everyone in the audience thought so. Poor Zeena
McLaughlin had to go first, (they went alphabetically, according to
country) and she kept looking back at a volunteer, not sure if this is
what she really has to do. Svetlana Khorkina was funny too. She had a
big smile on her face, and the only way I can describe her voice is
joyous. "Hello everyone! I am Svetlana Khorkina, and I am from Russia!"
2. The last meet I attended was the Olympic Team Competition, and after
experiencing the "I'm embarrassed to be an American" feeling after the
way the foreign athletes were treated there, I was proud to be one last
night and even proud to be a New Yorker, something that does not happen
often. Sure, the crowd cheered the most for Dominique (but she deserved
it) and the second most for Sierra, but they showed appreciation for
everyone, and seemed honestly sorry for anyone who fell. One moment that
stands out was the supportive, encouraging clapping that everyone did
for Ling Jie after she fell twice from beam. And after Alena Polozkova
fell on bars and beam, she got some of the loudest applause after she
hit floor (unless it was just because they liked her tacky leotard- this
is Long Island we're talking about). And there were a group of girls who
yelled "Let's Go ______" for just about everyone at one time or another.
-that's who Svetlana was blowing kisses to after vault. The only thing
annoying about the crowd was the use of flashbulbs, usually only when
Dominique was up. Not as bad as in Atlanta, but it got worse as the
evening went on- I guess the security didn't do anything and the people
got braver.
Of course, there are some things I could have done without...
1. Taz, the mascot dancing around between rotations
2. The people shooting t-shirts into the crowd between rotations- this
is getting more and more popular- first I witnessed this at an Islander
game last year, then a Mets game last weekend. They make obnoxious
noise, and at one point I thought they were going to hit the girls
warming up on beam!
3. The elevator music during everything but floor- too loud and makes me
not want to ever listen to Phil Collins again
4. The big fat check they handed Dominique at the awards ceremony. She
looked embarassed about it. How cheesy.
5. And the worst of all.......I had awesome seats in the second row,
the corner between vault and beam, I had my Dad's camera with the
telephoto lens (no flash of course) that I took 36 pictures with, and
found out this morning when I tried to take the film out that it jammed
and I GOT NO PICTURES AT ALL!!!!!! Well, at least it was only the first
night, I am going Tuesday and Wednesday and my seats are just as
Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the experiences I had that you
won't get on TBS (well, judging from last night's coverage, what did we
get from TBS? Oh yeah, Bart and Cathy calling both Russian gymnasts
"bizzare" and "freakish")- if anyone has any questions or things that
they would like to share, feel free to e-mail me. I'm off to watch TBS
tonight, but then I'll be back there live tomorrow and Wednesday! Thanks
Ted Turner!
Mastic Beach, Long Island, NY
To the Top

Brief comments of a fan who was there:

It was an incredible night for Dominique and she deserved every bit of
the win!  She has matured so much both physically and gymnastically and
her floor routine and she was just beautiful to watch.  Our Russian
visitors staying with us for one month- Ksenia Kekkonen and her coach
Olga Efimova- were very impressed with Dominique.
On the other hand, I was very dissappointed in Prudunova whose form I
thought was very sloppy and her skills poorly executed.  Khorkina was
good as usual but seemed to give up going into floor knowing that there
was no way to catch Dominique.
By the way, we videotaped the entire competition!  Every blessed routine
including the emotional award ceremony.  Seeing Dominique's tears of
happiness brought tears to our eyes as well.  What a great comeback for
her.  I'm sure we will see many more great things from this gymnast! 
To the Top

Critics of A fan who was there

By Eric

Okay, I was there, here's some other stuff, or disagreements with others
Moceanu - A completely new gymnast, and one I love. Serious, CLEAN,
attention to artistic quality, lines, nice choreography on floor and
especially BEAM, all those who didn't see it on TV were ROBBED. Her
Yurch 1*s in warmup were awesome, less so in meet, but her layout front
1/2 is TEXTBOOK, the heeldrive alone is worth paying your money. And BTW
folks, its not a layout cuervo, that's what Polozkova does, the
technique is entirely different. Back to Moceanu, to watch her stay on
fully extended toe during the entire rotation of a dbl turn on floor was
inspiring, considering the junk she used to do. And I love the serious,
calm demeanor, as opposed to the fake smile/sell we used to get. If this
new coach can get these results out of a girl this fast, may we send the
entire national team to her. Bravo, bravo, a deserved win.
Romania - looked off peak, good dbl twist Yurchenkos, Olaru stood
everything up, but she is so archy on bars and was uncharactaristically
sloppy on floor, and aside from her vaults and tumbling Amanar was
UNWATCHABLE.Honestly, she is absolutely uninteresting or abonminable in
every area except tumbling, she has NO swing on bars, and if she retires
afterwards as has been threatened, I will heave a sigh of relief. She
did however look quite pretty in the red/black leo.
Teslenko - bars and beam stellar, her Higgens are my favorite moves, and
she does the smoothest geinger on the planet. Okay on floor, but why is
it the Ukrainians can't vault? A weak, sloppy, archy pike front and pike
front 1/2 with no possible upgrading that I can see. Oh well, so she's a
2 event girl.
China - Ling Jei. Oh my God. The tightest, straightest handestand
position thru the hips and shoulders I have EVER SEEN. And the longest
bar set, she healy's in and out of inverts twice, 2 releases, hecht btw
the bars, etc, she never stops. Beam could have been the best, 2 falls.
I liked the effort to be interesting on floor, choreog needs some
finetuning, but overall impressive.
Meng Fei. Typical, beautiful, consistant job, but why don't they fix the
dreadful toe circle to dead hang section of her bar set? Again, you were
robbed of her exquiste beam, it is head and shoulders above anyone else
Khorkina - I got to see her warmup beam, it was perfect over and over
again, she vaulted better than she has in about 2 years, but then you
saw the rest. BUT, she and Prod were the ONLY 2 girls to really perform
their floors, and the difference was noticeable. I wish Prod was in
better shape, she was shaking her ankles all night, but it was great to
see her in person. Her Pak is laughably strange, her Phelps is as close
to the action I would like to see as I have yet seen. And her hair was
Sapunar - Her bars were basically good, her beam was spastic, her floor
was unwatchable. She needs Prozac now, it's as if she's going to snap
her own arms off her body when she uses them. I do not see the AA
potential, but apparantly the USAG thinks they do. She wasn't a factor
at all.
Z McLaughlin - Pretty, flexible, consistent, good on beam and bars,
great lines, i was impressed in a quiet way. I will look for her in the
Polozkova - Was a good guest, she came, looked sexy, bombed, and left.
It was nice to see 'her' vault (layout cuervo), even though it is
heavily arched and piked down. I like her clean lines, her snap, and her
routine construction, she just had a bad meet, as she tends to do. She
is , however, definitely watchable.
Kuznetsova was chalking bars for Polozkova, it was sweet, I really am
looking forward to seeing her and Ungureanu compete. It was not a great
meet, but there was interesting stuff, and I was glad I was there. On to
the men tomarrow.
To the Top

The final result:

Women's All-Around competition
                   1 - Dominique Moceanu, United States       38.662
                   2 - Maria Olaru, Romania                   37.975
                   3 - Simona Amanar, Romania                 37.850
                   4 - Fei Ming, China                        37.837
                   5 - Sierra Sapunar, United States          37.587
                   6 - Olga Teslenko, Ukraine                 37.475
                   7 - Svetlana Khorkina, Russia              37.412
                   8 - Zeena McLaughlin, Australia            37.212
                   9 - Jie Ling, China                        37.212
                  10 - Elena Produnova, Russia                36.775
                  11 - Alena Polozkova, Belarus               36.550
To the Top

Quotes from athletes after AA.

Day 2 of gymnastics at the Goodwill games