now i dont have anything more to saywe covered two decades
but thank you for your job
Once seniorita admitted than Shannon is #1 it pretty much ended my thoughts on this.
Well, I really love Nastia Liukin's gymnastics. When she's on she makes it look effortless with her elasticity and grace - much harder to do in gymnastics than even in figure skating, I would guess. I suppose it depends on whether she sticks around if she can match Shannon Miller's medal haul.
But Shannon Miller really is the Michelle Kwan of gymnastic, isn't she? The best gymnast never to win the top prize. (Olympic all around.) Who knows if coming just short in '92 was what motivated her to keep going. Maybe since Nastia already has that prize she won't muster the will ala Tara and Sarah. I mean, I can't blame them, I'd be the same.
No i didnt, just said No1 in Usa
Ok seriously she was great but for me she looked robotic, some other gymnasts were warmer in my eyes. I said also from the dream team I liked Moceanu the most!She is defenetely in my top ten list.
But I guess I was thinking about the Americans ... maybe we can say Shannon is the Michelle of gymnastics and Svetlana is the Irina of gymnastics.
Aw man, I miss the days of all four of them...
Anyway, to seniorita: My favorite of the magnificent 7 was Awesome Dawsome. (Dominique Dawes) Fab and charismatic. And THREE Olympics! Maybe the most underappreciated American skater ever, although insiders do appreciate her.
Moceanu was amazing but a little too cutesy for me in '96. I liked her better in later years like when she won the Goodwill Games.
I know Shannon wasn't bubbly like Mary Lou or Shawn Johnson but I sort of like her the way she was. She was just a quiet workhorse.
Last edited by Layfan; 09-03-2010 at 08:35 PM.
I appreciated Shannon on several levels. She was the opposite of the bubbly and cutesy Moceanu - but so much more reliable and a better performer under pressure.
I think looking back - Shannon has the Team Gold medal, and in gymnastics it is a pretty big deal. I still remember the tears from the Russian girls and the disappointment on the faces of the Russian coaches when they knew they had not won.
I agree with you about Dominique "Awesome Dawsome". She might have been the most talented one of the group but was beset not only by injuries but health problems. When her chronic wrist injury wasn't acting up or her tendonitis she could be sensational.
It was one of my favorites, Amy Chow, the piano playing Stanford girl who really came through for USA that night with two of her best ever routines.
Her is a memory from '96 - Amy's wonderful uneven bars routine: check out the dismount!
Some fans get too nervous to watch their favorite skater - I get like that watching the balance beam. Shannon was the only one who never made me nervous. What a rock she was on the balance beam.
I remember the headfirst fall into the balance beam Amy Chow took at the '96 US team trials. She had to get back up and finish the routine or she was not going to make the team.
I saw a picture of her a week later in People Magazine and what a shiner she had - but still managed to look awfully cute
Here is the fall and Amy showing the heart of a champion.
My memories of our girls from '96 are as good as any I have from skating. That night in Atlanta was one of the best competitions in any sport I ever recall seeing.
Last edited by janetfan; 09-03-2010 at 09:58 PM.
Remember Moceanu also had that horrible fall from the beam during the Olympics? She smashed her head right into the beam and then just kept right on going. It was during the event finals or the all-around, I can't remember. I remember Kerri Strug was watching from the stands because she was injured and her hands flew up to her face in horror. I remember watching with my dad. And during the replay, my dad said, of Moceanu, "no reaction! She's a robot!" I mean, he meant it in a good way... just how superhuman these girls can be.
That competition was definitely one of the most memorable ever. Who doesn't love the maginificent 7? But somehow, Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson seemed happier, more at peace than some of those girls. I wondered watching the 2008 Olympics if gymnastics culture had changed somewhat in the U.S.
But Shawn and Nastia do not have what Shannon and the Mag 7 have - the team OGM. Skating fans might relate this to the WTT in skating but nothing could be further from the truth.
Bela said before the '96 games the top priority for USA was the team Gold. It was that way in China too. The individual medals are important and the all-around title is great - but at the Olympics I think the biggest emphasis is on winning the team titles.
It was also a never in too much doubt that either Shawn or Nastia would win the all-around in China.
If not for injury problems and a couple of subpar routines from our backups USA would have won the Team Gold in '08. But it is not so easy, China had a great team and that's the way it goes sometimes.
I suppose it doesn't matter all that much that Shannon never won the all around gold. But it doesn't matter much that Michelle Kwan never won Olympic gold, either. Both are seen as the best of their eras because of their overall records. And yes, because Shannon was a leader on the team that won gold.
There was deservedly some fuss over Nastia and Shawn but it didn't compare to the acclaim the Mag 7 received after they won the Team Gold in '96.
There were commercials, the wheaties box, TV appearances, National tours, USA vs the World TV events, even a famous SNL skit. They became an "industry" the likes of which American gymnastics had never experienced.
Their win did alot to raise the profile of gymnastics in USA. Like you said, they also raised our level expectations by getting over the hump and becoming the first non- eastern European team to win the Olympic team championship.
I will give MaryLou a nod as well. The first USA lady to win the all-around was also quite an achievement and Marlou had the right personality to make the most of it.
She also undoubtably inspired the generation of American girls who followed her.
In the Olympic cycle that followed Barcelona if Shannon wasn't the best gymnast in the world she was certainly the most dominant. She won and won and won some more including back to back Worlds all-round titles. No american Lady ever did that, Marylou never did it once in a non-boycotted worlds or Olympics.
Looking back I think I was a fan of the whole group - even if Shannon, Dominique and Amy were my favorites.
ETA: I remember Olga Korbut charming the world with her routines. Here is her floor exercise:
She was the first to really get me interested in gymnastics.
Maybe seniorita or some others will add a few clips of favorite performances over the years.
Last edited by janetfan; 09-04-2010 at 12:03 PM.