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. …
Headlines The overturning of Roe, the disastrous implications for human rights and gymnastics, and which gymnasts have hit the streets The good news: Sanity has prevailed and Rhys McClenaghan can compete at the Commonwealth Games Japan has left world beam champion Ashikawa Urara off this year's worlds team. We dissect how this happened and whether it makes sense Meet News Germany got the band back together for nationals, Kim Bui won two titles at 33, and a wolf turn reaction for the ages Naomi Visser dominated Dutch nationals, Eythora returned with a new floor routine, and Sanne left the national team! Italy sent its A team to win the Mediterranean Games, while France took 2nd despite an injury to Lorette Charpy because we can't have nice things. BUT, Melanie is back to being perfect in training Olga The film about a Ukrainian gymnast who goes to live in exile in Switzerland during the 2013-2014 rebellion is out in limited release in the US. We discuss the AMAZING performance from Anastasia Budiashkina, how it pays to have real gymnasts in these roles, and why this is among the best gymnastics movies ever made. JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd (or give it as a gift!) for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have a Ukraine Fundraiser design, all proceeds go to the CARE Ukraine Crisis fund. RELATED EPISODES & RESOURCES Donate grips and tape for Ukrainian gymnasts Donate to family of Alabama volunteer assistant coach in Ukraine To follow the effects of the Russian invasion to Ukraine on gymnastics, go to Gymnovosti The Rise and Fall of Ukrainian Gymnastics The Judges Go Off The New Era: Alicia Sacramone Quinn and Chellsie Memmel lead USAG TV's Biggest Gymnastics Fails The Three-Headed USAG Uncle Tim's Mythbusters Athletistry GYMKATA The Leotard Episode: Part Deux WATCH HERE Club Gym Nerd members can watch the podcast being recorded and see some of the gymnastics we discuss, plus get access to all of our exclusive interviews and Behind The Scenes episodes. Please login to your Club Gym Nerd account to listen and/or watch this episode. Not a member? Join here.
A delight for all lovers of rhymed poetry and gymnastics, Gymmy the Owl and His Friends offers children and parents entertaining and amusing poems and useful information about gymnastics and gymnastics terminology.
Author Vladimir Zaglada, who worked at the highest levels of Soviet gymnastics during its heyday, created Gymmy and his friends as a way of introducing young children and their parents to the world of gymnastics. Readers of any age will be drawn in by his parallels between the natural abilities of animals and the skills humans must work hard to develop in order to perform gymnastics ….
Illustrator Katya Korobkina brings to life a charming community of “Nature’s Gymnasts.”