Back from the dead–with presents

June 6, 2008 at 10:58 pm (watch)

So this whole thesis and graduating and starting a job 7 days after graduation thing killed my blog. But I’m back! For all of you remaining readers…and by that I mean Liz, who has me on her blogroll.

But anyway, I’m back because I just saw something that blew my mind, and I thought I’d share it.

I love gymnastics–I did it, I taught it, I wrote a script about it–and this weekend is the US Championships, which determines the Senior National Team and who competes at the Olympic Trials in a few weeks. So I was talking about Shawn Johnson (a girl, btw–currently unstoppable and super cute and charismatic) and my dad brought up how he has a really strong recollection of when he first saw the cute and charismatic Olga Korbut (from Belarus) in 1972.

Olga changed the game. Before her, gymnasts were actually women, not girls. And while this whole shift to the waif-like gymnast child hasn’t necessarily been pretty–see the book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters–Olga captured a nation. Claims her website: “She did more to ease the tensions of the Cold War than all the politicians and diplomats of the day put together.” Says my dad: “That might be true.”

But to the blew-my-mind part: usually, if you watch old gymnastics routines, they look really easy and not that impressive compared to the dare-devil routines today. But this bar routine is the coolest thing I have ever seen. It’s also funny that you can hear the announcer say, “This is a historic performance you’re watching”–and I’m watching it 36 years later.

So watch this:

Then watch it about ten more times because you can’t get over that sequence where she did a backflip on the high bar.



  1. Julie said,

    Liz isn’t your only reader. LOVE YOU!

  2. Liz said,

    YAY! It’s Alllliiiivee. (that was meant to be very Dr. Frankenstein-y. I’m not sure that comes off in blog comments)

    Also, Little Girls in Pretty Boxes is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. Creepy.

    I miss you. I keep almost calling you then realizing you’re at work. Stupid real life.

  3. Cliff said,

    Liz and Julie aren’t your only readers either.

  4. sbaird said,

    these people commenting dont really read your blog. so liz…is probably…realistically…your only reader. But does it matter? Of course not.

    Gymnastics(whew…i hardly even know how to spell it correctly)?

    exciting…something i didn’t know about you…

    the only memory i have of gymnastics is fantasizing about being the boyfriend of at least one of the girls on the USA national team during the Atlanta Olympics.

    “Kerri! You can do it! You can do it Kerri!”

    I must of been really lonely with a bad haircut then.

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