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German version


Nobody in German women's gymnastics took part in so much German Championships in the Nineties,
like Gabriele Weller, from Heuchelheim/Germany:
From 1990 to 1999: 8 times! (only without 1996 and '97)
The 4times German Master got also another 9 medals in German, and in her last German Championships in 1999, she was 4th in all around again and won her 4th silver medal (vault) in her long and succesful career, which starts in 1990.....

1991 - World Championships, Indianapolis (10.Team)
1992 - WCh, Paris (14th, vault)
1992 - Olympic Games, Barcelona (10th, team)
1993 - WM Birmingham (32th, AA)
1995 - Universiada, Fukuoka (AA-Final)
1997 - Universiada, Sizilia (AA-Final) 
Four times German Master:
1992: - Vault and floor,
1993: - Vault
1994: - All around
(..13 medals between 1990 and 1999 !!)

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Gabriele Weller:
"... I can't stop in gymnastics!"

Gabi weller is undergratuade now in the USA, but she is very activ in gymnastics, too: Competitions, week by week! In Interview with GYMmedia-Chief Eckhard Herholz:

. gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)How are your memories of the first contact with gymnastics?

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Gabi's first steps...

GABI:  It loved to be able to move my body in all directions and that it is possible to make rotations and flips in the air and feel free like a bird.
I tried to jump higher to be able to enjoy this moment of weightlessness even more. Of course I wasn’t aware of it yet (at the age of six) but when I look back into the past I have had exactly this feeling.
The picture over there shows me when I was eight years old. I didn’t know that the picture still exists.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Your parents found it… Do you have any memories out of the category "unforgettable"?

GABI:    I think I never want to forget how to be able to move in such different ways like you do when you do gymnastics. Maybe that is the reason why I can’t quit gymnastics. It seems like I’m addicted to it.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)The goal of gymnastics is achievement. Did gymnastics form you in another way, too?

GABI:   Of course! It formed my whole personality! I learned to deal with defeats. My father used to say that if I have had a bad meet, that a defeat isn’t there for giving up but for getting up again. That made me strong. I think that gymnastics helped me to get open and tolerant. I got to know other countries and cultures and I got new friends who live on the other side of the earth.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Which roll did adults play when you did gymnastics as a child?

GABI:   I respected adults but only as long as they respected me, too. Although I was still young I have had my own thoughts and I didn’t want anyone to tell me what I should do or not. I wanted to get involved too. I think a relationship between coach and gymnast does only work if they communicate with each other and not that only one person tells the other one what to do and he or she agrees and keeps quiet. It suppose to be teamwork! The worst a coach could do is to force someone to something. That usually turns exactly into the opposite.

1987: Little flying Gabi..
and in front of the photo:
Sandra Weller, Annika Frisch
und  sister Nadja Weller

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gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte) How should someone - according to your opinion – work with little girls who have the talent to get very good at gymnastics?

GABI:   You should deal with them individually and the gymnasts shouldn’t be lumped together. You should trust them because only if you do so they can trust you also. Also you should give them enough time for private things. But the most important thing is: Children suppose to have fun in the gym. haben.

After her first German AA title 1990 - one year later:
Gabi in the first reunit German National Team to the World Championships in Indianapolis: 
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In the Hoosher Dome, Indianapolis: (v.l.)
Andrea Drissler, Kathleen Stark, Jana Günther, Anke Schönfelder, Gabi Weller, Annette Potempa

(Have also a look, please,  to the GYMmedia-Interview with the first German Master of unit Germany of 1991,  Anke Schönfelder,  from Berlin)

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Gabi - in front, left
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Vault 1991

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Why do you think Germany wasn’t able- after the reunion of East and West Germany and the good working structure of East Germany- to hold a constant level?

GABI:   The main reason in my opinion is, that the athletes of East Germany were simply better promoted. They have had special schools for athletes. Today most of the teachers don’t care about whether you are an athlete or not and you had to make sure by yourself that you didn’t miss anything of your class. I also think that it’s because of political reasons. The girls suddenly had to go through a completely different system and they didn’t get any support anymore like they got before. Each athlete had to make there own decisions and had to take care about their future themselves. I think that almost only sports made it possible for many athletes to see a different country. After the wall fell it was a lot easier to visit and travel to other countries.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Should it be Germany’s goal to get back into "Olympic Family of Artistic Gymnastics"?

GABI:   Yes, definitely! I think that gymnastics is one of the most important kinds of sport in the history of Germany!

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Mother Elisabeth as trainer:
Jaeger sault - perfectly!

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Please describe (your personal opinion) the value of gymnastics - for the relevant person, for the society -… and in general.

GABI:  There is no other sport you could compare with gymnastics. No other sport has such a big variety. Through gymnastics you are able to move your body around the different axis of the human body. Gymnastics increases a better development of the senses and it can protect against everyday life injuries through a good developed muscle apparatus. Sport in general influences the society in a positive way. If each child would be an active member in a sport club, we probably would have less violence. Sport in Germany should be better promoted in general.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Let’s assume Gabi Weller would be responsible (which kind of job would it be?) to get the country back into the top teams of the world, what would you change or create new?

GABI:   I had considered yet, what I would do if I were the head-coach of the Germany. I think it’s hard to say what I would do because you may have to deal with problems you didn’t expect. I would change a few things though. I would emphasize the things I said above: Children suppose to have fun in the gym! On the other hand the gymnasts would have to learn to accept that it isn’t always easy. I would talk more with the gymnasts and integrate them more and ask them about their opinions. It should be teamwork. Also I would emphasize the principles of coaching with young gymnasts. I mean I would make sure that the country has coaches with a good knowledge about how to teach young kids the basics of gymnastics. But like I said, you never know what will happen and with which problems you have to deal with you didn’t expect, especially financially.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Which reasons do you see for the growing ignorance of the electronic media of gymnastics in Germany- the media’s fault or is it gymnastics itself?

GABI: There are certainly many reasons. I believe that gymnastics isn’t easy to understand for everyone. Sometimes people look for athletes they can identify with. A tennis-player for instance has the possibility to be a top athlete for a long period. The career of a gymnast isn’t that long. Also it’s very easy in gymnastics, if you make only a little mistake, that you drop from the first place that far down that nobody takes any notice you competed at all. You will never know who will win.

Artistic Gymnastics -
ot beautiful enough for the German media....?


gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Should the judging be a crucial importance- only to determine the difference between the routines…or doesn’t it suppose to help the audience to understand, too?

GABI:  I think it is very important that the audience is able to understand what’s happening. People want to know what’s going on and they want to talk about it and tell their opinions. If they don’t understand the system though, they don’t have fun watching it because they can’t talk about it anyway because they have no clue about what’s going on

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gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)If you would emphasize the last part, would you think the recent "code of points" is the right method?

GABI:   I like the idea of having a book in which you can find the rules and regulations. But those people that know what they are talking about should determine the value of the skills.

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Gabi Weller: 3rd left, Rufina Kreibich, 2nd left)

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Gabi Weller (le.) in the TIGER team of the Towson University of Maryland (USA),together with another former German Champion,  Rufina Kreibich (2nd from right))


. Just now is gymnastics season with a lot of competitions in USA...
and also just now Gaby created her new element:
Tkatschew - twist, aher third flying element in the bars exercise!
Congratulation, Gabi!

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)During your life you got to know criticisms of women’s gymnastics. Which were the most frequent/the stupidest and which of them were justifiable…and what was your answer to that?

GABI:   The worst what ever happened to me was that while I was standing on the award stand (I became German National Champion in the all-around in 1994, Hamburg). That person, who was handing me over my trophy, said: "You did quit well. You have to lose weight though." I was speechless and tried to ignore it, what actually worked at this moment, but if I thought about it later…?!

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.... just in time in a competition in USA.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte): What did you do after you decided to quit your international career?

GABI: ...after a well-done knee-surgery I went to America. I study physical education and do gymnastics for the gymnastics team of the Towson University. We have a competition almost every weekend from January to April; that’s tough for a gymnast at my age (24).
gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte):   What are your plans for the foreseeable future?

GABI:    I would like to do my bachelor-degree this may and go back to Germany where I want to get done, too.

gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte)Creative people like to dream. What are you dreaming about…?

GABI:   I dream about a happy and fulfilled life, a family and to own a little house. My greatest wish is, that all people who are important to me, are happy and healthy, and I just include myself in there!

 gymmediaonline_kl.jpg (6904 Byte):   That’s what we wish you, too. Thank you and all the best!

(The Interviewer was  Eckhard Herholz)

* You can also read the  Interview with Anke Schönfelder,
    a long time teammate of Gabi Weller in Germany.)
* Update 28-SEP-2001:
  Ten years after the World Championships 1991 in Indianapolis Gaby Weller tries to reach the German
  Team for the 2001 World Championships in Ghent / BEL!
   She started at the German Championships 2001 in September in Dessau/Germany
   (it was also the German WCh qualification). Gaby is now 25 years old!

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