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1968 Compulsories Olympics WAG

1968: The Women’s Compulsory Routines for the Olympics

Let’s take a look at the compulsories for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, including the piano sheet music!

The bar routine turned out to be brutal. Every single team had at least one gymnast score in the 8s (or lower) — even the Soviet Union.

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1968 Code of Points WAG

1968: Villancher’s Commentary on the Women’s Code of Points

In 1968, the Women’s Technical Committee President Berthe Villancher visited the United States. During her tour, she explained the 1968 Code of Points. This included her unwritten rules and preferences.

Let’s take a look at what she said.

Note: Villancher’s comments have been filtered through Jackie Uphues, who chronicled Villancher’s time in the United States for Mademoiselle Gymnast May/June 1968. (Jackie Uphues might be better known as Jackie Fie to some readers.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from Mademoiselle Gymnast May/June 1968.

100 Years of the FIG
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1968 Code of Points WAG

1968: The Women’s Code of Points

The 1968 Code of Points was to be ready by May 1, 1968. Opening ceremonies for the 1968 Olympics were set for October 12, 1968. That’s not a lot of time to read the Code and adjust routines.

Thankfully, compared to the men’s Code, the women’s Code was much shorter. Let’s take a look at some of the most salient parts.

The 1968 Women’s Code of Points
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1966 WAG World Championships

1966: A Critique of Čáslavská’s Podium Etiquette in Dortmund

Most gym nerds know about Věra Čáslavská’s political stance on the podium at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. (If you don’t, Google it. There’s plenty that has been written about it.) 

But did you know that some saw tension between Čáslavská and the Soviet gymnasts already at the 1966 World Championships?

On October 1, 1966, the Feuille d’avis de Neuchatel published a column called “Le sport vu par une femme” (“Sports as Seen by a Woman”), chastizing Věra Čáslavská for her actions on the podium. Here’s what it said…

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1966 Judging Controversy WAG World Championships

1966: Doris Brause Made “Swing the Thing”

Mademoiselle Gymnast, Sept./Oct. 1967

Recap: Doris Brause’s uneven bars routine created quite the sensation at the 1966 World Championships. When she received a 9.766 on bars, the crowd stopped the meet for over an hour, hoping to coerce the judges into raising her score.

The judges didn’t budge.

But uneven bars would never be the same again.

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1966 WAG World Championships

1966: The Women’s Competition at the World Championships

The gymnastics community was buzzing about the women’s competition in Dortmund in 1966. The Soviet Union brought a younger team to the competition, which raised several questions.

Could the Soviets continue to win the team competition?

Could stalwarts like Čáslavská and Latynina continue to dominate the sport?

*Insert dramatic music*

Let’s find out…

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1968 Judging Controversy Olympics WAG

1968: The Myth of Petrik’s Floor Scores in Mexico City

As gym nerds, we’ve heard the story about the 1968 floor exercise final. It goes something like this: “Soviet Larisa Petrik’s preliminary scores were mysteriously upgraded, enabling her to tie Věra Čáslavská for the gold medal on floor.”

Well, the story is more complicated, and the sinister undertones aren’t true. The judging scandal is a myth. Plain and simple.

Let’s take a look at what happened by looking at primary resources from the time.

1968 Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico, Women’s Gymanstics, Floor Event, Shared gold medal winners Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia and Larissa Petrik of the USSR stand on the podium along with bronze medallist Natalya Kuchinskaya of the USSR (R) (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)
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1966 WAG World Championships

1966: The Men’s Competition at the World Championships

As Arthur Gander said during the technical committee meeting, “Finally, gentlemen, a gymnast who shows a routine with none of the elements of risk, originality, and difficulty should never win a world championship.”

Let’s dive into the 1966 World Championships and see if Gander’s words came true.

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1966 Compulsories WAG

1966: Women’s Compulsories for the World Championships

If you’re reading this website, you probably have an affinity for compulsory routines. Heck, if you’re like me, you might even want to learn these old routines.

Well, I have good news for you: I have the written text for the women’s compulsories at the 1966 World Championships in Dortmund.

Here ya go…

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1964 Olympics WAG

1964: Women’s Gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics

In preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, let’s look back at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, starting with the women’s competition.