are your memories of the first contact with gymnastics?
Gabi's first steps...
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.
Your parents found it… Do you have any memories out of the
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.
goal of gymnastics is achievement. Did gymnastics form you in another way, too?
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.
: Which roll
did adults play when you did gymnastics as a child?
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
Little flying Gabi..
and in front of the photo:
Sandra Weller, Annika Frisch
und sister Nadja Weller
should someone - according to your opinion – work with little girls who have the
talent to get very good at gymnastics?
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
In the Hoosher Dome, Indianapolis: (v.l.)
Andrea Drissler, Kathleen Stark, Jana Günther, Anke Schönfelder, Gabi Weller, Annette
(Have also a look, please, to the GYMmedia-Interview with the first
German Master of unit Germany of 1991, Anke
Schönfelder, from Berlin)
Gabi - in
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?
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
: Should it be
Germany’s goal to get back into "Olympic Family of Artistic Gymnastics"?
Yes, definitely! I think that gymnastics is one of the most important kinds
of sport in the history of Germany!
Mother Elisabeth as trainer:
Jaeger sault - perfectly!
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.
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?
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
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?
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....?
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?
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
: If you
would emphasize the last part, would you think the recent "code of points" is
the right method?
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.
Gabi Weller: 3rd left, Rufina Kreibich, 2nd left)
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
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
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…?!
.... just in time
in a competition in USA.
did you do after you decided to quit your international career?
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).
are your plans for the foreseeable future?
I would like to do my bachelor-degree this may and go back to Germany
where I want to get done, too.
people like to dream. What are you dreaming about…?
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!
what we wish you, too. Thank you and all the best!
(The Interviewer was Eckhard
* 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!