How Women’s Gymnastics Rose to Prominence and Fell from Grace
How the Cold War era changed the trajectory of women’s gymnastics
Georgia Cervin is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and a former international gymnast.
Electrifying athletes like Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci helped make women’s artistic gymnastics one of the most popular events in the Olympic Games.
But the transition of gymnastics from a women’s sport to a girl’s sport in the 1970s also laid the foundation for a system of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of gymnasts around the world.
Georgia Cervin offers a unique history of women’s gymnastics, examining how the high-stakes diplomatic rivalry of the Cold War created a breeding ground for exploitation. …
Cervin also charts the changes in style, equipment, training, and participants that transformed the sport, as explosive athleticism replaced balletic grace and gymnastics dominance shifted from East to West. …
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