And yes that is Michelle Campi on floor during Kalinina's beam routine. Michelle Campi in wheelchair still would've been a better choice than Kim Kelly for the '92 Team or Jana Bieger for Beijing.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Real 1991 World AA Champion
Fans often debate whether it should've been Bogi or Kimbo in Indy. Eff that. Natalia Kalinina may have been royally screwed over by the Soviet powers that be and made to go first up on every event, but she was still the best AA gymnast at Worlds that year. She had the form, the difficulty, the fierceness, the name and most importantly, one kick ass deltchev. Kalinina is further proof that when it comes to gymnastics, Ukraine kicks Russia's ass. Notice how Kalinina's former coach, Oleg Ostapenko, has now been brought back to mold Russia's juniors. Russia may consider Ukraine as a part of itself, but it is certainly true that Ms. Natalia would've been 4th, 5th or 6th in the lineup had she been born in Moscow.
Posted by OlympicEffect at 2:28 PM
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I couldn't agree more! Let's not forget that she did win the Goodwill Games with a stuck Yurchenko:ReplyDelete
In case anyone wants an update on her life: She's now coaching at a gym in Northern California. Unfortunately, she hasn't whipped the girls into shape using her former Soviet coaching techniques, but she still has a pretty fierce standing arabian.
Someone needs to interview her. I called her once and she agreed to be interviewed, but it needs to be in person because her English is not the best.ReplyDelete
Why did she in particular get screwed over? None of the members of the 1991 Soviet team were Russian.ReplyDelete
I HATED the middle part of Kalinina's floor. It was supposed to be bouncy and fun, but it was awkward as hell to watch and just didn't work. No smile, no expression, no sense of playfulness at all. I get it, she's a Soviet, but ick.ReplyDelete
Well she was 1 of like, 3 or 4 Ukranians on the team, right? Gutsu and Lyssenko got late spots. I'm not combating the argument, I just seriously want to know if there was some sabotage thing against her, because she and Lyssenko, IMO, really were the best AA.ReplyDelete
Gutsu and Kalinina were the favored Ukrainians. Kalinina made controversial statements (but I believe there was something else, which is why they tried to keep her off the team.) Stovbatchaya was also Ukrainian and one of the alternates. She was ranked 8th or 9th. Grudneva was the only Russian and she originally had Kalinina's spot on the team. She did podium training with the other six girls.ReplyDelete
It is one of sport's great injustices that she was not World Champion that year.ReplyDelete
Anon I suspect that bit was in there to apease the Amurricans. I loved her middle tumbling pass though!ReplyDelete
I think the Soviet coaches where getting the kids they suspected would be peaking the next year at the Olympics a name/reputation. They probably figured Kalinina had already peaked and wasn't going to be able to handle a growth spurt or the pressure. But I do agree had she hit all-around she would have won. She had just about everything.ReplyDelete