- OLYMPIC CHAMPION 1996 -
Mr. Bruno Grandi,
behalf of the below listed retired Olympic, World and European
gymnastics champions and athletes, we are writing this letter to
share with you our concerns with what is happening and could
happen to our wonderful sport of gymnastics.
Specifically, we are concerned about the changes to the code of
points for the upcoming Olympic cycle.
We would like to bring to your attention several questions
regarding this issue.
of all, what happened at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, in our opinion,
made those Games one of the worst ever in the history of our sport. We
think that all of the problems and embarrassment happened because of the
unacceptable performances of
some of the judges.
We know that the FIG acted strongly to rectify some of these problems,
including suspensions and warnings to the judges involved.
We congratulate you for that. To permanently resolve these problems that
occur among the judges, it is not necessary to make changes to the
difficulty of the code of points, which brings us to our next concern ó
that the changes to the rules that have been made and are being prepared,
especially in the past 5 years, are making our sport not artistic gymnastics; it now looks much more like extreme
By continually increasing the difficulty of the sport, we are
discouraging younger athletes from starting and continuing in the sport.
But most importantly, we are losing the beauty of our sport. All of
these concerns became clear to the fans through the performances at the
Furthermore, how can you speak about the world record aspect of a
code of points for a subjectively evaluated sport like gymnastics?
By what authority are the changes to the code of points being made
by the FIG?
We are not just former athletes;
we also continue to be active in the sport through coaching and working in
clubs all over the world. We feel that we have a genuine right to know how
the decisions are being made. Is there some code of conduct that is used
in making these decisions? Where are we allowed to have direct input?
We feel that more people should be involved in this and other
decisions, especially the people that are working in the gyms everyday
with the athletes at high levels of performance.
a qualified group of athletes, we are imploring you to please consider
our concerns regarding this matter. We do not want gymnastics to lose what
makes it so greatóits artistic beauty. Donít forget that gymnastics is
the beginning of any sport. It lays the foundation of grace and strength
that any athlete needs. Please consider this before making any decisions
that could become mistakes for the future of our sport.
& Lilia Podkopayeva, Vitaly Scherbo, Peter Vidmar, Shannon Miller,
Svetlana Boginskaya, Tatiana Gutsu and Dmitri Truch