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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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1968 MAG Olympics

1968: Willi Jaschek, the Gymnast Who Competed with a Torn Achilles

In early April, Artur Dalaloyan tore his Achilles. In July, he competed and helped his team win an Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

It’s a jaw-dropping story, but it’s not the only jaw-dropping Achilles story in Olympic gymnastics history.

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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 1969 1970 FIG Congress Politics World Championships

1966: Notes from the FIG Congress + a Failed Worlds Qualifications

In my post about the men’s technical committee meeting, I noted that Arthur Gander had been voted the next president of the FIG, replacing Charles Thœni.

Let’s take a look at some of the key decisions that were made during the FIG Congress in Dortmund.

As we go through the information, try to guess which decisions became a thorn in Arthur Gander’s side.

L’Express, Wednesday, September 21, 1966
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1966 Men's Technical Committee World Championships

1966: Notes from the Men’s Technical Committee Meeting

1966 was a big year. Charles Thoeni, the president of the FIG, resigned for health reasons. At the 45th Congress, Arthur Gander, president of the Men’s Technical Committee, was elected president of the FIG.

Also, it was the year that “risk, originality, and virtuosity” would become the guiding principle in gymnastics for years to come. Arthur Gander made that perfectly clear during the technical committee meeting and judges course.

Here are some notes from that meeting. They are based on Thomas Maloney’s article in Modern Gymnast, November 1966.

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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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2021 Floor Music Olympics

2021: The Floor Music of the Tokyo Olympics

This post throws off the chronological order of this website. I know, it bothers me, too.

Nevertheless, I feel like it’s important to document the floor music of this year’s Olympics. FX music tells us a lot about the general cultural zeitgeist in the world, as well as what is (and isn’t) allowed by the FIG.

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1964 Olympics

1964: The Cold War and the U.S. Quest to Be Winners

Even before the U.S. selected its teams for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, American politicians were concerned about the nation’s performance.

After the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, Senator Humphrey of Minnesota wanted to create a “White House Commission of Sports.”

Why? Because the Soviets were kicking our asses, and it was not a good look for the United States because Americans were winners. 

He didn’t actually say that. Here’s what he did say:

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1964 Gym Nerd Trivia Olympics

1964: Olympics Gym Nerd Trivia

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.

Answers below.

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1964 Code of Points Judging Controversy Olympics Perfect 10

1964: Questioning the 10.0 Again

A quick recap: At the 1964 Olympics, Endo Yukio won the all-around competition after a questionable pommel horse routine. He had 3 major breaks during his routine. Yet, he received a 9.10, and gymnastics fans were outraged about the overscoring.