Welcome to the live blog for the eighth meet watch in our 12 Days of Gymnastics series, featuring the 1988 Olympic Games!
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7:49 pm. So Elena Shushunova wins the gold, may she rest in peace, followed by Daniela Silivas with the silver and Svetlana Boginskaya with the bronze.
I’ll see you again tomorrow for two American Cups, with 1990 and 1991 on the docket! I don’t know why I picked either of these, tbh? I have no real yearn to watch them and am kind of like, why did I pick them? What was I thinking? ALAS.
7:48 pm. “You have to feel bad for the loser” HAHA MITCH.
7:47 pm. Elena Shushunova URS VT: Gorgeous FTY, had an adjustment on the landing with her chest forward and an arm wobble, should not be a 10 and yet alas it is. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Still stronger overall than Silivas’ vault, the form was tighter, but to not deduct for a clear wobble on the landing is mind blowing. I feel like I’m watching an NCAA meet and debating a Maggie Nicholas 10 to a Kyla Ross 9.95 hahaha. Except, you know, with a billion percent more at stake.
7:46 pm. Beata Storczer HUN FX: I feel like I just saw this routine a couple of days ago, maybe at the USSR vs The World meet? She has the other “Rite of Spring” routine but Olga Strazheva’s is far superior and true to Nijinsky. Lands her full-in suuuuuper low and lunges it forward. And we just cut away from her LOL. They’re like do we REALLY care about this? Nah.
7:43 pm. Gabriela Potorac hit floor very nicely in terms of her performance but I wasn’t typing for it. Was super low on the full-in. It’s crazy to me that she’s less than a tenth behind Shushunova and Silivas on this event honestly.
7:41 pm. Aurelia Dobre ROU BB: Side aerial bhs loso, fabulous. Split ring with a really low back knee. Little random beat jump to body wave, hahaha. Bhs loso with her chest forward and a little stumble, pauses before going into the Korbut. Hit the dismount.
7:39 pm. Here’s part eight!
7:36 pm. Shushunova and Silivas sitting side by side while Silivas looks upat her and Shushunova just sits with her eyes closed is the most awkward TV I’ve ever seen and I love every second of it.
7:34 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU VT: Stuck the FTY cold. Just leg separation in the pre-flight, which they normally don’t care about for anyone else, but Nelli Kim is judging 🙂 🙂 🙂 and gives the Romanian a 9.95 🙂 🙂 🙂
I love Shushunova and am like, happy for you boo, but I might cry about Silivas too. Second vault attempt has more of a slide back. First vault was better overall, and yes, it had its room for deduction, but they absolutely would NOT have given that deduction to someone else. Either way I think Shushunova should have won the meet, I think. Like when you compare event to event? She hasn’t even gone yet on vault but I’d give her vault and beam, and I’d probably give Silivas bars and floor…but then I’d go with Shushunova overall.
7:31 pm. Going into the final rotation it’s Daniela Silivas with a 69.687 to Elena Shushunova’s 69.662. MENTAL.
AHHHH, it’s Mitch Fenner commentating!!!!!!!! Excuse me while I sob. He sounds so different from when he did in his most recent coverage before he passed away, I didn’t even think this was possibly him. Now that I think about it he sounds vaguely similar, it’s probably just the old recording it making it sound different I assume.
7:29 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU FX: Tucked full-in to start instead of the double double, some leg form there. Double full to punch front through to double full to punch front, bless her heart. I love that. Imagine what Simone Biles could do with a back-to-back pass? She just pops off on a triple double through to Moors. Double tuck into a well-controlled lunge. Yeah, that was just as good if not better than Shushunova’s. And the judges think so! Another 10!
7:28 pm. Here’s part seven!
7:26 pm. Elena Shushunova URS FX: Tucked full-in to start, one of the least cowboyed tbh. She has some really good choreo moments and then other times I’m like wtf. Arabian side salto 3/4 to roll-out, and then jumps into a back handspring to roundoff then through to a full-twisting back handspring at the end for the connected run, GOD it kills me. Finishes with a double tuck. A 10!
7:23 pm. Karine Boucher FRA FX: Piked full-in, legs go a little sloppy. Front through to double pike, she’s basically straddled. Her choreo is lovely. Also had a triple handstand pirouette in a double stag, loved that. Reaaaaally low on her full-in to finish, but somehow pulls it out.
7:21 pm. Chen Cuiting CHN BB: Good mount series. I like this leo for China, it’s really different from what I’m used to for them. Also nailed a flight series but I wasn’t paying attention to what. Excellent extension on her leaps. Bhs to Korbut, then high kicks out of it like a queen. Clean double tuck with a hop back.
7:19 pm. Svetlana Boginskaya just chillin on the side. I always see her as this mythical being in the sport, but forget that she was still such a baby here.
7:17 pm. Eva Rueda ESP VT: FTY, a bit deep in the landing, with a small hop. In the ladybug leo! She’s higher on the second round, but still has a big step out to the side.
7:15 pm. “Dagmar Kerstin is finding it hard living in such exhaustive company” this commentary is sometimes gold lmao.
7:13 pm. Dagmar Kerstin GDR BB: I think did a bhs mount into another acro skill, I caught it just as she was wobbling through it, but she stayed on. Yes, in the replay she does a bhs mount right into a bhs and then goes a bit wild. She has one of those heinous super 80s East German leos where it looks like a romper over a turtleneck but in neon. Toddler, but make it FASHION. Korbut is nice. Double full looked mostly clean, just a slide back.
7:12 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU BB: Her chest stand shoulder spin mount, always love it. Bhs loso loso is super solid. Split leap and split jump both have pretty severely low back legs. Bhs layout, little check and a small hop backwards. Walks over into a handstand, into a split, then pirouettes it around halfway. Full L-ish kinda turn, wobble. High chest on the double tuck it seemed, slide on the landing.
7:11 pm. Part five is here!
7:08 pm. Elena Shushunova URS BB: Bhs loso loso, tiniest check, at the hips, but overall a good series. Rulfova is excellent, really good alignment on that one. Switch leap to switch leap to a baby cat leap lol. Holds in a side scale but I forgot to check her relevé before she came down, NORMALLY the first thing I do. Hit the double back with some cowboying and a balance check.
In the slow mo her Rulfova is still perfectly aligned, AND she lands it SO parallel to the beam with her chest/face, it looks so weird, she’s literally flat out on the beam. I don’t think I’ve seen it done like that before.
7:07 pm. According to the commentators, the head judge on beam is a Soviet and the head judge on bars is a Romanian. Literally THE most passive aggressive about this hahahaha.
7:06 pm. “Spritely performance from a spritely girl” lmao Brits
7:04 pm. Natalia Laschenova URS BB: The LOWEST punch front mount, she barely cleared her head from the beam! GORGEOUS bhs layout but she’s off-balance on the layout and really has to fight to hang on, leg comes up. Side scale hold, then a switch leap. Makes her way across the beam on a triple leap series, then a slow walkover into a layout stepout, then walks over again to a swingdown. Beautiful double tuck dismount. GOD I love her.
7:03 pm. Diana Dudeva BUL VT: Tucked tsuk full, a little awkward in her position on the landing, low and kind of lock-legged, but her tuck form in the air was lovely.
7:02 pm. Svetlana Boginskaya URS UB: I wasn’t typing but everything was great, Tkachev was excellent, then a quick hop to mix grip down to the low bar, also almost stuck the double back dismount, I’d call it a college stick.
7:01 pm. Here’s part four!
7:00 pm. These long pauses are driving me NUTS tbh. I keep fully zoning out. GET MORE ACTION PLZ.
6:59 pm. Brandy Johnson USA VT: Good FTY in the air, just goes a bit crooked on the landing and has a small hop back.
6:55 pm. Moving onto the second rotation! Daniela Silivas has the lead right now.
A discussion now with SUZANNE DANDO talking about the Rhonda Faehn deduction but they cut it off midway through SADLY.
6:52 pm. Aurelia Dobre ROU FX: Whip through to double tuck, her set in the double tuck is rather low but she still pulls it out pretty easily. Switch leap with a low back leg to front aerial to straight jump full down into her choreo. The double full into her punch front is again crazy on the tuck forward, her legs are very diver, but a better landing than we saw in the team final. Ooh, a butterfly! I was just thinking about wanting to see those trend on floor. Hit her last pass, a double full, just ankles crossed. Beautiful overall.
6:50 pm. Here’s part three!
6:46 pm. This coverage is British, btw, so I’m getting commentary on it. And SO MANY LONG PAUSES. They seem to only want to show top routines, which like, fine, I guess. But there’s LOTS of lulls. And lots of Shushunova just sitting with her eyes closed.
6:44 pm. Boriana Stoyanova BUL BB: Full turn, bhs bhs loso, just a little soft in her knees but kinda solid. Love that she just like, trust falls forward into her low beam choreo, hahahaha. Love this leo. Another one that’s sporty and simple and excellent. Stag ring jump, and then a back handspring to jump series, a tad bit low. Bhs loso. Double tuck, rotated a bit slowly. Took a step.
6:43 pm. Shushunova had a 9.9 on bars, by the way. I always think that Silivas won this, and am always surprised that SPOILER ALERT it was actually Shushunova.
6:41 pm. We skipped to part two in the middle of an East German bars routine, so I wasn’t typing. Here’s part two. Looks like it’s Dagmar Kersten. Just had a step on the dismount but the majority of what I saw was fab.
6:38 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU UB: Stalder half to Endo half, great! To Deltchev, then down to the low bar. Excellent handstand before her Tkachev, then a clear hip front tuck half, stuck. GOD, so good, I gave this a 10 in the team final but it’s like a double 10 here. And it’s another 10!
6:37 pm. Elena Shushunova URS UB: A brilliant routine, I wasn’t typing, but everything on the bars looked great, just had a hop forward on the full-in dismount.
6:35 pm. Natalia Laschenova URS UB: Looked great on both her shaposh and Tkachev. Also lovely on a stalder on the low bar. Very clean double pike but she’s a little low and long, lands with her chest a bit forward and it causes her to take a hop.
6:34 pm. Okay, I think I just missed the first competitor here. Jumping back in now!
6:30 pm. Getting into this in a second, just had to answer yet another work email. GO TO BED EVERYONE. I’m literally an hour and a half overtime at this point.
6:28 pm. Okay after we watch the all-around final I’m gonna go back and find some U.S. coverage of THE DRAMA because it’s literally what I’ve been looking forward to all week.
Gonna press play on the all-around final at 6:30 pm! The video is here.
6:27 pm. THE SOVIET UNION WINS!!!!! Shocking! And Romania is second.
WHERE IS THE DRAMA THOUGH????
They just showed the scores with East Germany in front of the United States by three tenths. But the drama is that the U.S. got the half-point penalty for having Rhonda Faehn, the alternate, on the podium during a routine after she moved the springboard. But we didn’t get ANY of that in this broadcast?! I’m offended!
6:24 pm. Elena Shushunova URS FX: Whip through to tucked full-in, stuck, and then did the most purposeful intentional lunge out. Like, yes, I stuck it, and now I’m going to do this, but I don’t have to. I know her music from Schindler’s List. Oof her crazy arabian side 3/4 to roll-out which is honestly insane, and terrifying, and then she just casually jumps up and runs into her next pass, like TAKE A BREATH, you literally just threw yourself at the floor. A 10!!!!!
6:23 pm. Now it looks like we’re just waiting for scores, everything seems to be over?
WHERE’S THE DRAMAAAAA? I’m sure the U.S. broadcast would have been POPPING OFF by now.
Oh, Elena Shushunova still has to go on floor. Bogi got a 9.925 btw.
6:21 pm. Svetlana Boginskaya URS FX: A PERFORMANCEEEEE RIGHT FROM THE FIRST BREATH. Hit her opening pass but I was already blinded by her choreo, I barely saw anything else happening. GOD this was so good. 1.5 through to double full to punch front, then she gets SUPER DRAMATIC and pops tf off, it’s literally too good. Best of all time with her expression honestly. Front tuck through to double full, awesome ending. A QUEEN. Her teammates are like “YAAAAAAS.”
6:20 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU VT: FTY with a small hop back. Some leg form in the air, but good landing!
6:19 pm. Natalia Laschenova URS FX: Hit all of her passes, mostly with some form things, but I wasn’t typing. Remember when her daughter Sasha paid tribute to her mom with her mom’s floor routine in her final NCAA performance? I think she used her 1989 routine, though. God, I love Natalia Laschenova. ❤ ❤ ❤
6:15 pm. Sorry, have to dip out for like two minutes. BRB!
6:14 pm. Elena Shevchenko URS FX: Whip through to tucked full-in. Starts off with Sweet Charity music and it turned into Pink Panther, what a cool lady she is. Whip to double tuck for her second pass, the form is eh, but hey. It’s the 80s. We don’t care. Double tuck like she’s straddling two horses, but again, that’s absolutely FINE! 9.85
6:12 pm. I missed who this was on bars, literally every East German has the same mullet, but she hit.
Camelia Voinea ROU VT: Hit her FTY the first time around, looked good to me. Also hit the second, great landing but just a bit off in the air.
6:10 pm. Chelle Stack USA BB: Aww, she’s such a wee one here! Nice work on her mount series, which she launches up out of into a Korbut, then does more fancy rolls and handstands. Like, almost too many, LOL. But I love it. Legs are pretty bent on her flight series. Front handspring to two feet is better. There’s a giant JOHN 3:16 sign in the background LOL. Hhhhhokay, go off, CROWD! Double tuck with a step.
6:09 pm. They’re carrying Olga Strazheva out on a stretcher now but she’s sitting up and doesn’t seem to be all that upset anymore. I feel like at this point in time it was still chill for coaches to just shoot drugs into your knee in the middle of the arena so I hope she’s on the good shit.
6:07 pm. The Soviet Union is now in first, Romania in second, and the United Statesa ahead of the East Germans by a tenth, so GET READY FOR THE EAST GERMANS TO GET THEIR REVENGE! I assume that happens at the very end of the meet? They’re like “NEVER do we place fourth to the United States!!!!” UGH.
6:04 pm. Sorry, I had to duck out for a second again, it looks like Olga Strazheva is having her knee wrapped or iced or something, I believe she didn’t hit beam…they’re showing a replay now. Started out well, OOF, YEAH THAT’S BAD. She does a bhs loso and as she lands the loso, she fully twists her knee into the beam, GOD, that looks like a tear for sure. Hops off in excruciating pain. I forgot she didn’t do floor here. UGH. Poor sweet baby angel.
6:01 pm. Aurelia Dobre ROU FX: Wow, we’re not seeing basically anyone on beam? I just heard the world “equilibrio” which is beam (Gym Spanish 101!) but we’re back on floor. Whip through to double back is maybe a bit low. Double full to the cowboy-est punch front, omg. She didn’t get any punch into the tuck, so it was like, a miracle that she got it around.
5:59 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU FX: A Silivas for Silivas! A little short but I mean, damn girl, it’s 1988 and it took us 31 years to get that upgraded in WAG so I think you’re good. Gorgeous double full to punch front through to a double full to punch front. The rest of her routine is her just going back and forth on that acro line doing the same exact pass for a full minute. Finishes with a low double tuck, but still gets it around without any big issues.
5:57 pm. Phoebe Mills USA UB: Tkachev, hip rotation was a tiny bit off, then a Tkachev to mixed grip down to the low bar, love that for her. Blind full to double tuck with a baby hop. That was fab, just little messy spots, but a big routine.
5:55 pm. Dörte Thümmler GDR VT: Yurchenko layout, perfectly straight in the air, just a slight hop back. Does an FTY for the second vault with a slightly larger hop, but her form was still pretty good for the majority of her flight.
5:53 pm. Natalia Laschenova URS BB: These leos are so simple and sporty and perfect, I LOVE THEM. Hit her flight series with a little bobble, then did a little side scale. Good jump series. Tick tock into a loso, then walks it back over into a swingdown. Just gorgeous. Her kick-out on her double back was PERFECT. WOW.
5:51 pm. Celestina Popa ROU FX: Piked full-in. Why is her music “Tea for Two” LOL. Love it. Whip through to double tuck, low on the double tuck but still got the landing. Love her little chassés!! Double pike with a lunge back.
5:50 pm. Gabriele Fähnrich GDR VT: Tsuk layout was nice!
Hope Spivey USA UB: She had a weird transition to the low bar and smacked her legs. Spain was like “let’s only show mistakes for this team lol.”
5:48 pm. Elena Shevchenko URS BB: Kind of iffy in her form overall, especially noticeable on her flight series. Hop back on the double pike.
The U.S. should be on bars for this rotation so HOPEFULLY WE GET TO SEE THE DRAMA but so far this broadcast only cares about the Soviet Union and Romania.
5:47 pm. Nothing changed in the standings…Soviet Union still leads Romania, with Bulgaria in third. I assume Bulgaria and China were in another subdivision that we didn’t see since it’s just the top four here.
5:44 pm. Gabriela Potorac ROU BB: Going back to watch this after the rotation has ended. She hit her flight series and was short on a jump, also nailed a layout series. Double tuck almost stuck. Another excellent beam for Romania!
5:40 pm. Aurelia Dobre ROU BB: They just cut away from her and this commentator almost had a heart attack. Does the same head spinny mount that Silivas had, which Dominique Moceanu also had. A little step back on her flight series. Ring leap, kinda. Tiniest baby wolf jump, bhs los looked a little short, doesn’t connect it to the Korbut. Really low split jump into the full turn. I didn’t see the dismount for some reason? God I need to not glance away in the middle of a routine. I feel like I lost a full two minutes there. 9.9
Wait so the other day I watched a meet where Eva Rueda of Spain did a cool kind of Korbut that kicked out from a pike into the swingdown and I just assumed it was like a stylistic thing, but I was looking through the code for something unrelated, and saw this is actually a Rueda! THE MORE YOU KNOW.
Also I kept calling a back handspring to handstand 1/4 an Omelianchik but then also saw in this code dive that the Omelianchik is the 3/4 version.
5:38 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU BB: Again wasn’t typing during most of this but she did fabulous work. I love her little choreo bit where she just smacks herself in the head. Girl, same. Especially solid on the layout series. Stuck the double tuck.
Well, Shushunova just got a 10 for that bars set and Silivas should also get a 10 for this. AND SHE DOES!
5:36 pm. Elena Shushunova URS UB: Took me a second to clock that first release, I was like wait, we never see that, WHAT is that called again? OH. RIGHT. A SHUSHUNOVA, or as the Georgia commentators used to say, a “full-twisting Tkachev” which I guess is like…kind of almost right? Who had a Shushunova for Georgia…Brandie Jay I think? Gienger to overshoot, and a stuck full-in. MAGNIFICENT.
5:35 pm. Olga Strazheva URS UB: I wasn’t typing during this but it looked excellent. Her Tkachev was gorgeous, and always love her one-foot-at-a-time” toe-on. “Magnifico exerciso” and “muy bien” were said multiple times by my favorite commentator in HISTORY and I agree. 9.925!
5:32 pm. Celestina Popa ROU BB: Bhs loso loso was excellent. Split leap to stag jump, basically into a layout stepout and then right into a full turn. Some fancy choreo, her eyes are stunning, Tyra Banks would be so proud of that smize. Back walkover into her dismount series, ending with a double back, absolutely lovely!
5:31 pm. Long ass wait for Baitova’s score. But she gets a 9.875. So does Natalia Laschenova, but we didn’t see her routine? Am I going nuts?
5:28 pm. Svetlana Baitova URS UB: Had a cool straddle salto transition to the low bar, then a Burda twirl. Big Deltchev to overshoot, and dismounted with a full-in, chest down and a hop, but such a cool routine.
Baitova looks like the little girl who played the little girl in Fun Home on Broadway.
5:26 pm. Someone just went on bars but I had to send a work email so I didn’t see who or what they did. A Soviet. A hit routine, just cowboyed on the dismount. Elena Shevchenko I think now that they’re showing the replay. Yes, Shevchenko, and she got a 9.8.
5:23 pm. It’s the Soviet Union in the lead right now, with Romania in second, and Bulgaria in third after the first rotation. Keep in mind that we’re in the era before new life began, so the scores include prelims!
5:19 pm. Elena Shushunova URS VT: Everyone is rocking these angry mom cuts. Pretty much a stuck FTY. Basically perfect. And a 10! Vaults a second time with a heel back, but I mean, who cares.
There’s an outline on the springboard where your feet are supposed to hit and it looks like someone just drew a butt.
5:17 pm. Daniela Silivas ROU UB: Stalder half to Endo half to Deltchev, queen. Goes down to the low bar, then a stalder, pops back up to the high bar for a quick little Tkachev, then a clear hip front tuck half dismount, just slides her heels together. That gets a 10 from me. And it does in real life as well!
5:14 pm. Aurelia Dobre ROU UB: I’m really loving not understanding any words I’m hearing. Can we do all of the U.S. meets in like, Cantonese? Aurelia’s just chalking the bars for 15 hours so we’re moving away from her. Just kidding, we’re back. Vaults over the low bar, then a stalder to Gienger, legs GLUED. Stalder on the low bar after was lovely. Short handstand before the blind full to double tuck, small step forward. 9.9!
5:12 pm. Ulrike Klotz GDR BB: Now THIS is a shiny leo. Messy legs on the cartwheel to layout stepout. Legs are also kind of meh on her flight series. Switch leap to split leap, low back legs. Double tuck with a lunge. Cowboyed af on the second flip. 9.85
5:10 pm. Olga Strazheva URS VT: Clean FTY with a couple of small steps back. She looks so young here! I feel like in 1989 she looked way older. Basically sticks it the second time.
5:08 pm. Eugenia Golea ROU UB: Jaeger was nice. Lovely stalder work on the low bar too. Clear hip, then dismounts with a double full, just a small hop.
5:06 pm. Svetlana Baitova URS VT: Yurchenko layout, a bit short. She’s like “that’s fine, haters, I’ll be one of the first girls doing a double soon enough.”
Oh, she legit did the double for her second vault attempt and it was better than the layout lmao. Really sneaks that last twist around but just takes a little hop back, excellent in the air! 9.825
5:05 pm. Still in warm-ups right now but it looks like the Soviets are hopefully going to start soon. Ugh, Elena Shushunova. 😦 RIP girl. Lots of commentary about Bela Karolyi. I assume they’re probably like “hey the U.S. could actually possibly win a team medal here at a fully attended Games!” We’re all in for a shock.
5:04 pm. I just understood “The United States are on floor” so I basically am bilingual. The funniest part of my life is that I know what basically every apparatus is called in every language. A true special talent.
5:02 pm. Okay, I think the link I picked is the Spanish coverage but tbh I’m fine with that because I don’t think I can handle American coverage anymore. But I’m going to miss all of the screams and shouts about Rhonda Faehn being on the floor!!
4:59 pm. Pressing play on the team competition at 5:02 pm!
4:58 pm. Welcome back to day EIGHT of this super fun meet rewatch. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the 1988 Olympic Games before, mostly just the occasional clips of various routines, but not the full team final and all-around final in their entirety, so I’m excited to watch the drama unfold all at once, especially after my recent dramatic watch of the 1989 world championships all-around competition.
Here are the links!
The all-round final link is just part one, but the next video up on the play list should be part two, and so on, though I’ll link you throughout the blog as we get to each part. I hope you can join us! Enjoy!