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1970 East Germany Interviews & Profiles WAG

1970: A Conflicted Portrait of Karin Janz

From 1956 until 1962, Larisa Latynina dominated the all-around at the major international gymnastics competitions. Then, it was Věra Čáslavská’s turn, and she won the major all-around titles from 1964 until 1968.

Once Čáslavská retired from the sport, there was a power vacuum. The title of the world’s best female gymnast was up for grabs. Who would win the all-around title in 1970? Would it be Karin Janz, who won the all-around at the European Championships in 1969?

The gymnastics world had its reservations about Karin Janz. Sure, she had tremendous difficulty, but she lacked “femininity and softness.” Words like “machine” and “mechanical” were often used to describe her gymnastics.

The following profile of Janz, printed in the Czechoslovak magazine Stadión before the 1970 World Championships, summarizes many conflicted sentiments about the East German teenager.

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1970 Czechoslovakia WAG

1970: An Interview with the Czechoslovak WAG Coaches before the World Championships

Between the Mexico City Olympics and the Ljubljana World Championships, the Czechoslovak coaching staff had changed. Luděk Martschini was coaching the Swiss women’s team, and long-time head coach Jaroslava Matlochová was coaching in Italy.

Alena Tintěrová was in charge of the women’s program in 1970, and at the training camp before the World Championships, each coach was responsible for a different event. Jaroslav Šťastný, for example, was responsible for floor, while Petr Kouba was responsible for bars.

Here’s what Tintěrová and the other coaches were thinking as they prepared the team for the World Championships in Ljubljana.

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1970 Interviews & Profiles MAG USSR

1970: Albert Azaryan Training His Son Eduard

Many expectations are foisted on the children of Olympic gold medalists. Albert Azaryan’s son, Eduard, was no exception. Already in 1970, there were media stories about Azaryan’s 11-year-old son.

Albert Azaryan was best known for his performances on rings, an event he won at the 1954 World Championships, the 1955 European Championships, the 1956 Olympic Games, the 1958 World Championships, and the 1960 Olympic Games.

Though Eduard did not end up winning as many major titles as his father, he was part of the Soviet team that won silver at the 1978 World Championships and gold at the 1980 Olympic Games.

Here’s an article from 1970 on the father-son duo.

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1970 Czechoslovakia MAG WAG

1970: The Czechoslovak Championships

1970 was a time of change for the Czechoslovak women’s team. The majority of the gymnasts who won gold at the 1966 World Championships had retired, including Čáslavská. Several of their coaches had also left. Luděk Martschini was coaching the Swiss women’s team, and long-time head coach Jaroslava Matlochová was coaching in Italy.

For the Czechoslovak men, there was some optimism ahead of the World Championships in Ljubljana. After the team finished fourth at the Mexico City Olympics — just 0.05 behind the East Germans — there was some optimism. That said, the Czechoslovak team was going to put together a young, inexperienced team for the 1970 Worlds.

Here’s what was reported in the pages of Stadión after the 1970 Czechoslovak Championships.

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1970 USSR

1970: The Buzz around the Voronin Family

Zinaida Voronina (née Druzhinina) and Mikhail Voronin were a gymnastics power couple. When they had a child in 1969, it was an exciting event in the sports world. The press was buzzing with questions, such as: What would the child of two Olympic gymnastics champions be like? Certainly, he would be a gymnast, right? And would Zinaida be able to get back into shape in time for the 1970 World Championships?

Let’s take a look at some of the excitement and speculation surrounding the Voronin family in 1970, both in the Soviet and Czechoslovak media.

Seen after their wedding in the Palace of weddings in Moscow are Soviet gymnasts Mikhail Voronin , all-round world champion, and Zinaida Druzhinina , silver medallist of the European Champsionships. They are seen viewing the capital from the Lenin Hills. 11 August 1967, Russia Federation Copyright: Topfoto
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1948 1970 Czechoslovakia Interviews & Profiles WAG

1970: A Profile of Mother Zdena Honsová and Daughter Hana Lišková

Zdena Honsová was part of the Czechoslovak team that won gold at the 1948 Olympic Games. Had there been an all-around competition, Honsová would have won the gold medal in London. She was also part of the Czechoslovak team that took bronze at the 1954 Rome World Championships. (By then, she had married, and her surname was Lišková.)

Twenty years later, Honsová’s daughter, Hana Lišková, was part of the Czechoslovak team that won silver at the Mexico City Olympics and bronze at the Ljubljana World Championships. Her gym was so small that it could not fit a full-size floor exercise mat.

Here’s their story, as told by the Czechoslovak magazine Stadión.

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1970 Books USSR

1970: A Book Review of Latynina’s Autobiography, Balance

In 1970, four years after her last World Championships, Latynina published her autobiography titled Balance. The book is somewhat meandering, but it captures Latynina’s mentality as a gymnast and as a coach.

What follows is a translation of a book review, as well as a few quotes from the book itself.

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1970 Chunichi Cup Japan

1970: The Inaugural Chunichi Cup

In 1970, Japan held its first Chunichi Cup in the city of Nagoya. The field was a mix of established gymnasts like Nakayama and Köste and up-and-coming gymnasts like Korbut.

Eventually, the Chunichi Cup became one of the premier international competitions. For example, Tourischeva competed at the competition in 1972, and Nadia Comăneci did the same in 1976. But in 1970, very little was written about the meet.

What follows are the results, as well as the newspaper articles that I’ve unearthed in the archives.

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1970 Canada

1970: Canada’s World Invitational Gymnastics Tournament

Just weeks after the 1970 World Championships concluded, there was a rematch between the Japanese and Soviet men’s teams in Canada. The Soviet Union sent some of its stalwarts, including Voronin and Lisitsky, while Japan sent gymnasts who did not compete at the 1970 World Championships. The competition was close, but once again, Japan managed to eke out a win.

On the women’s side, the Soviet Union sent its stars: Tourischeva, Voronina, and Petrik. None of the other countries even came close to defeating those three.

Let’s take a look at what happened…

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1970 Gym Nerd Trivia World Championships

1970: Gym Nerd Quiz about the World Championships

If you’re reading this site, you’re a gym nerd at heart. Now, it’s time to see just how much of a gym nerd you are. Take the quiz below to find out how much you know about the 1970 World Championships.

To study, you can review the posts on the 1970 men’s competition and the 1970 women’s competition.