Monday, August 9, 2010

Training At Round Lake

This 1991 training home video is one of life's pure gems. It is amazing to watch the training in Mother Russia back in the day. First of all, the training center is delightfully poor by today's standards. It is unclear whether this was filmed on some sort of media day when the cameras were allowed in for 'More Than A Game' or if the athletes always wear the same leotards.

How do we prepare for floor? Oh, just go do a routine with all double layouts. Those girls weren't tumbling into the pit! Their training is somewhat different than Romanian training where the girls are constantly on the equipment like some sort of militia. There is more finesse and thought given to this training and yet the girls are constantly doing ridiculous skills.

Who else adores the T Shirt over the leotard look? Was it just cold in Round Lake? I also dig the T Shirt and leggings thing they had going on. It was definitely filmed prior to '91 Worlds as Laschenova was still training. She was unable to compete at '91 Worlds due to Latvia's independence and thus was unable to compete at the '92 Olympics because Latvia did not send a team to Indy.

Poor Groshkova is screamed at by Saadi in both the training video and documentary. While no spring boards are thrown, Saadi does come close to smacking Tatiana as they walk from balance beam to floor exercise in part one of the training vid. Obviously, Tatiana took a step on her beam dismount and had it coming.


  1. Thank you for this! I was the one who asked on formspring about how the SOviets got their power- and I was so hoping you'd post something like this. Any more?

  2. I feel bad for the kids that lived through this Soviet gymnastics factory. The system obviously produced results, but every one of these kids looks miserable. Looks life an awful place to spend your childhood.

  3. The '89-'92 generation always seemed the happiest to me. Lysenko always gave off the ''reunion committee chairperson'' vibe. The girls were all close. It was hard work but I believe they knew that they were truly a part of something great. They knew exactly how good they were. People are always serious during training. I think doing floor was much more fun when they actually got to dance, perform and express themselves. Many of those girls are absolute artists. I don't see them looking any more miserable than the American girls. They certainly looked happier than the 90/91/92/93 American team.

  4. I'm so tired of people banging the drum for mediocrity. Oh, she wanted a NORMAL childhood, they want a NORMAL life. Any ignoramus can be normal and have an ordinary life. One in a million can be extraordinary, can transcend mere mortality with their work, their artistry, and their commitment to mastery of their craft. There are millions of kids in America right now living a normal life and having a so-called happy childhood. A vast field of unremarkable dullards and the world wouldn't change with or without them. THAT'S pitiful, that it wouldn't make a difference in 20 years if you lived or died. How many people have the chance to change the history of an entire sport, or to be remembered for something so sublime and exquisite that people will talk about it and long to relive it forever.

  5. What he said (up above). Thank you.