At the time of Mukhina’s injury Soviet officials had whittled their list down to eight gymnasts. LASTNAME I found this particular article of interest due to the inclusion of Svetlana Agapova in the equation – from the few videos I’ve seen of her, I’ve found her to be incredibly underrated. Born on June 1 st 1960 Yelena rose to prominence at the 1977 European Championships where she medalled on all the events taking gold on bars, beam and floor as well as silver in the all-around and bronze on vault.. When political and athletic considerations are on a collision course, it is usually podium training where one side finally loses. While now a banned skill, the fact that she successfully performed it for many years speaks to her enormous athletic abilities. Svetlana Agapova was in contention for that spot as well. share. Under different circumstances the Soviets might have been less likely to give such guarantees to as many as five gymnasts. Not only was Naimushina a marketing asset for the Soviets, her presence in the lineup and the favorable crowd response she generated would prop up the rest of the Soviet team as well. Before the arrival of Elena Mukhina, the Moscow clubs had been underperforming for a significant amount of time. The first group had all been formally named to the Olympic team. Coupled with decent AA scores, Zakharova had punched her ticket to Moscow as well with such vaulting potential. 2000 (19 y.o.) Sunhwa Girls Middle School [Korea] Would Elena Mukhina Have Made the Olympic Team if Not For Her Paralyzing Injury? It all comes down to how serviceable Mukhina was. A sneak peek into the much awaited Royal Enfield Meteor 350; specifications... Atomic Research facility IGCAR to transfer spin-off tech to start-ups, indu... Gold sales to dip this festival season to 12 years low, rural India to rema... iPhones can now alert visually impaired how far away others are, Google to allow Meet users replace background with image. In the case of these skills, they were banned outright for being too dangerous. For more information check out our top pick of the 23 best gymnastics moves on bars. So if Mukhina theoretically had been named to the team during the training sessions, the advantage would have turned to Naimushina as the Soviets debated the final lineup within the Olympic Village. The flip-flop ban is one of a series of moves to accommodate the thousands of visitors who disembark in Cinque Terre in summer. Furthermore, if any move becomes absurdly dangerous, such as the Thomas salto, we as consumers of gymnastics feats must put our faith in their review structures to ban it. If Mukhina was a gymnast past her prime and unable to compete at a high level, then why was she even training a Thomas Salto? amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; Naimushina wasn’t just the right look, she was the complete package when it came to finding a gymnast with the ideal image every Eastern Bloc country was looking for. Due to this and other accidents, the move is missing from the code of points for women, effectively banning in in competition for the gender. SEOUL, KOREA (3) Naimushina would beat out Mukhina, but the Soviets would still choose Mukhina for political reasons. Perhaps you will consider doing an article on this aspect of the Elena Mukhina story. COUNTRY GENDER Considering that the also banned Muckhina Flip is the same thing but made even more difficult with an in air twist, and in the 80s other gymnasts made it more difficult by doing it towards the lower bar, I don't think that's the case with the Korbut Flip. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Small, young gymnasts were significantly more popular than their older counterparts. Naimushina had political backing, but it paled in comparison to the amount of political backing in support of Elena Mukhina. This wasn’t Mukhina personally failing, but the inevitable cliff that every gymnast has to deal with as they get older. Change ). amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Furthermore, risky, impressive stunts are heavily rewarded in the gymnastics scoring system, further incentivizing dangerous moves. But later on, standing on the high bar was later declared illegal in accordance with the Code of Points, banning the Korbut Flip from Olympic competition because of the high level of risk involved. Given that difficult stunts are also often very dangerous, this scoring system in effect rewards gymnasts putting themselves in danger for a chance at admiration, glory, or perhaps a medal or shot at qualifying for the Olympic games. Meanwhile Zakharova had won a medal on vault at the 1979 World Championships, and would do so again at the 1981 World Championships. At this point, it was only due to her high-profile resume that Elena Mukhina hadn’t already been eliminated from consideration. The injury rate in gymnastics is high, and many athletes quit before continuing to the highest levels of competition out of concern for their own safety. The USSR Cup was a strong indicator as to who would make the Olympic team, but it wasn’t a sure bet. Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Hamilton's record-extending 93rd career win... Manchester United vs Arsenal, Premier League: Live streaming, MUN v ARS Dre... Aston Villa vs Southampton, Premier League: Live streaming, AVL v SOU Dream... 486-run opening wicket stand– This Australian duo shatters domestic and FC... Rohit Sharma faces D-day on Australia tour availability. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; Mukhina’s injury made that decision for them. When Korbut attended the London Games this summer, she was asked about the Korbut Flip, to which she replied: "I was always creative. "It was amazing. The first was rewarded with a high score and an Olympic qualification, while the second, while originally similar, has now been banned from competition entirely. ( Log Out / Having a recent AA title was not a guarantee for making an Olympic team in the Soviet program. I have been a huge fan of Muhkina ever since I discovered her gymnastics and her tragic story, and it’s so nice to see that people continue to remember her and honour her career. One would be an Olympian, one would be an Olympic Alternate, one would be neither. TITLE Elena Mukhina is best known for her performance at the 1978 World Championships where she won the All-Around (AA) title. Practically everyone was a salaried employee, even plumbers and waiters. With the exception of Nellie Kim who didn’t compete at the 1980 USSR Cup, every gymnast except Mukhina had finished 6th or better at that competition. Texas Dreams: The Questions That Were Never Asked, After Her Injury a Soviet Coverup Hurt Elena Mukhina Even More, Shortly After Her Paralysis Elena Mukhina Wrote a Letter. Politics are the reason this story exists at all. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "mylastvacat0d-20"; When the Soviets performed a last second lineup change, most of the time they replaced an older gymnast with a younger gymnast. While this process should happen seamlessly, it is possible that they could wait to ban something until the injury level has already risen much too high, in which case prompting by prominent gymnasts or the public would be warranted. All rights reserved. The move involves a one and a half backwards summersault with one and a half twists in a tucked, piked, or layout position. I do question if Agapova’s presence in the final selection process was to serve as a possible replacement to Mukhina in the event that Mukhina’s performance in training camp was so lackluster, the Soviets didn’t even want her as an alternate. Sooner or later age, injury, and/or fatigue catches up with a gymnast. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. If Mukhina was capable of winning her spot via athletic merit, then why was so much effort being given to political channels? ( Log Out / Due to this and other accidents, the move is missing from the code of points for women, effectively banning in in competition for the gender. Top Ten Gymnastic Camps In The World For Adults, Best paying gymnastics centers (info for coaches), Sassy (and brassy) gymnastics floor music, 60 things you need to know about the USA gymnastics team, How to Get a Full-Ride Scholarship for Gymnastics, Gymnastics at the 2012 Summer Olympics Recap – USA winning Gold | The Fierce Five, Life After Gymnastics: A Comprehensive Guide on Retirement, Triple Twist Gymnastics: Catching up with Shannon Miller Interview, Scott Sonnon Interview: Tactical Gymnastics, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith by Gabrielle Douglas – Book Review. Three gymnasts remained. Since the 2017-2020 edition, all “quad rollout” skills, of which the Thomas salto is one, have been banned for all genders. amzn_assoc_title = "My Amazon Picks"; If the gymnast lands too far forward, she can land wrong on her legs and break them, and if she under-rotates, she could land on her head and neck and suffer paralysis or potentially, death. Naimushina had demonstrated such capability by winning the beam title at the 1980 USSR Championships. I [was] bored to do the same thing over and over again.". It was at this stage where every Olympic and World Championships team was chosen. In effect, I am asked to revise my views on gymnastics without being given any choice in the matter. The eight gymnasts were divided into two groups. Mukhina was from Moscow and because of that, the Soviets were going to keep pushing her towards the Olympics regardless of how viable that goal was. Notably, famous gymnast Simone Biles has not attempted this move, and when asked why in an interview, alluded to it being simply too risky. Often, a mid-tier stunt executed perfectly can get the same points as a very difficult stunt executed fumblingly. To add perspective to this discussion, we must now review some examples of particularly dangerous artistic gymnastics moves. But there is one nagging question that serves as a counter to all of this. One is called the Produnova, a stunt performed in the vaulting event. I’ve just discovered your articles, they are fascinating and extremely empathetic. YEAR OF BIRTH Thus, to remain both impressive and competitive, the caliber of maneuvers and stunts has kept rising over the years, sometimes putting gymnasts in danger in order to keep up. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The truth is we don’t know. They also have to avoid the Korbut flip, which was performed many times by Olga Korbut, including at the 1972 Olympics.