From Triple Full:
Once upon a time, Belarus was a force to be reckoned with in artistic gymnastics. On the women’s side, the country produced the likes of Svetlana Boginskaya (surely one of the most memorable gymnasts ever) and Elena Piskun. On the men’s side the program was even more successful, producing stars like six-time 1992 Olympic champion Vitaly Scherbo and 1994 and 1997 all-around world champion Ivan Ivankov. Over the last few years, however, there has been a marked decline in success. While the Belorussian men qualified a team to the 2008 Olympics, it wasn’t particularly successful. The women haven’t qualified a team to the Olympics since 2000.
A few months ago (to be exact, on October 30, 2008), Belorussian sport site Sportpanorama posted an interview with women’s coach Antonina Koshel, who had some pretty depressing stories to tell about the state of gymnastics in her country. If you always wanted to know why Belorussian gymnastics has been in steady decline ever since the retirement of Svetlana Boginskaya, look no further – here are your answers! …
Boginskaya is a stay-at-home Mom in Texas. Scherbo now coaches in Vegas. Elena Piskun coaches at NorthWind Gymnastics in Atlanta. Ivan Ivankov just competed … for fun. He coaches at University of Illinois.
Belarus needs attract back some of their best coaches from the past. They need to find a way to fund elite gymnastics as Russia is doing.
related – Triple Full – A Quick Look at the Belorussian Girls