what ever happened to baby Nadia?

More on the ugliness of Olympic female gymnastics – this from Dave Zirin’s online column on the issue, a quote from Joan Ryan’s book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes:

In 1956 the top two Olympic female gymnasts were 35 and 29 years old. In 1968 gold medalist Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia was 26 years old, stood 5 feet 3 inches and weighed 121 pounds. Back then, gymnastics was truly a woman’s sport….[In 1976] 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci clutched a baby doll after scoring the first perfect 10.0 in Olympic history. She was 5 feet tall and weighed 85 pounds. The decline in age among American gymnasts since Comaneci’s victory is startling. In 1976 the six US Olympic gymnasts were, on average, 17 and a half years old, stood 5 feet three and a half inches and weighed 106 pounds. By the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the average US Olympic gymnast was 16 years old, stood 4 feet 9 inches and weighed 83 pounds, a year younger, 6 inches shorter and 23 pounds lighter than her counterparts of 16 years before.

So what’s driven this trend toward ever-younger athletes? (They would be ever-younger had not a ruling finally been delivered limiting competition to girls and women 16 and over.) Not the sport itself, evidently.


1 Comment

Filed under obscenities, sports, webbities

One response to “what ever happened to baby Nadia?

  1. yellojkt

    On another blog, we have been arguing this for days. The smaller bodies and pre-pubescent build makes it easier to do the extreme flips. Hips and breasts only get in the way. I’ve been tempted to do a blogpost about this but my idea is too tasteless for even me.

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