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This is the most current issue of the Adult Class Newsletter.  

Some of our previous Newsletters include:

June 2000

March 2000

Adult Gymnasts and the Olympics

The Sydney 2000 Olympics are now a memory and only the record books will serve to remind us of what will probably be remembered as one of the most unusual world-class gymnastics competitions ever held in this quadrennial event. Looking back, it’s easy to spot the negatives and overlook the positives. The coaching fiasco with Bela Karolyi, the technical fiasco with the women’s vault, the political fiasco surrounding the taking of the gold medal from Romania’s Andrea Raducan, and the disappointment at seeing our American athletes fail to reach the medals podium, will be etched in our memories for some time to come. Certainly, these negative aspects of this 27th Olympiad might overshadow some outstanding performances by some of the world’s premier gymnasts. However, I think most of us will also remember the dominance of the Russian and Romanian women as well as the great mastery of the Chinese men. The fact that our American men’s and women’s teams failed to bring back gold, silver or bronze does not take away from the hard work they put into their training nor the high level of their performances. These are fine women and men with great talent who deserve a gold medal for all the hard work, heart and soul, that they’ve given to the sport. Congratulations to the American gymnasts!

While our young athletes were representing our country in the land down under, a different kind of Olympics was taking place back here at home in L.A. County. The Senior Olympics is an annual gymnastics meet for adults held at the L.A. Valley College in Van Nuys. This year, the Senior Olympics was held on Saturday, September 24, and a trio of gymnasts from the USGTC adult class participated along with approximately 20 others


from Southern California. Although these gymnasts do not enjoy the benefit of training four or more hours a day, seven days a week in a picturesque setting like Colorado Springs (home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center), they still have the heart and determination to do their best when they perform at events such as the Senior Olympics and the Gym Masters Classic, which was held this past June here at the USGTC. USGTC adult class participants at the Senior Olympics this year were Daneen Leidig, Masako Kardos and Ross Shaw. All three received gold medals in their respective events and in their respective age divisions. Daneen received the overall highest score in the balance beam competition.

Throughout the Senior Olympics competition, the contrast to the events unfolding in Sydney could not have been more striking. While the Sydney athletes enjoyed the most modern sports facilities in the world today, the older gymnasts in Van Nuys had to contend with very cramped quarters, including a vaulting horse that was located approximately three feet from a wall (on the side) and about ten feet from another wall. I’m sure our Sydney athletes would have declined to vault in this setting, even if the horse were set at the correct height. Also, while the Sydney gymnasts could rely on two or more coaches to help them along, in Van Nuys most competitors had only themselves for a coach. In many cases, competitors helped each other with apparatus set-up, mat placement, spotting and even tips on improving a performance.

Our Van Nuys competitors proved once more that many adults of all ages are still putting their hearts and souls into gymnastics for the sheer love of the sport. Congratulations to all our adult competitors - your efforts deserve a gold medal!




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