Editorial No. 2, August 2007

by Bruce Davis

Let’s talk gymnastics has short biographies on Kurt Thomas and Ron Galimore. I coached Kurt and Ronnie for the NAAU Junior Olympics. The articles include some interesting photographs.

Let’s talk gymnastics also has short biographies on Dick Gutting and Chick Cicio. Dick Gutting held my job at Miami Dade Junior College several years before I was hired. Chick Cicio sent me many fine gymnasts from the North Miami and Miami Springs. Dick and Chick are both in the Florida State University Hall of Fame.

FSU Gymnastics ReunionSpeaking of a great group of people, the FSU gymnasts, both male and female meet annually for a reunion on the Memorial Day weekend each year. Rita and I have been to three of the reunions. I can think of no other gymnastics group in America that has such a group loyalty like the FSU bunch. When you are on the let’s talk gymnastics website biography page, click on www.fsugymnastics.com and see and read the history of FSU gymnastics. Mike Mann has done a wonderful job with this site. Jack Miles has published 36 newsletters that are archived on Mike’s site.

Speaking of great sites, click on www.gymnasticshalloffame.org from my bio page. Larry Banner, 1964 Olympian has collected over 150 biographies of America’s Helm Hall of Fame recipients. Larry approached USA Gymnastics with this idea several years ago and they turned him down flat. He did it on his own anyway. USA Gymnastics seems to be concerned with winning medals and has failed to understand and value the history of American gymnastics.

The most amazing guys on the planet in my book are Paul and Morgan Hamm. When on my bio page you can click on www.makingtheolympics.com and see video presentations of valuable training sessions with the Hamm’s. This is a must site for all young American boy and girl gymnasts. Here is an opportunity to study technique and learn about all phases of gymnastics training. The Hamm’s cover women’s gymnastics as well. Have any other two young gentlemen done as much for gymnastics as Paul and Morgan? Best of luck to these guys for making the 2008 Olympic team.

Wasn’t it strange that Bob Colarossi, the USA Gymnastics Executive Director, did not come forward and defend Paul at the 2004 Athens Olympics in Paul’s quest to retain the gold all-around medal? Was it because Paul and Morgan had not signed the contract to participate in the 2003 & 2004 post WC and Olympic USAG gymnastics tours? It is reported from a reliable source that Colarossi wanted Paul to give up his medal to South Korea in exchange for South Korea’s vote, as well as other Asian Rim nation’s votes, for the Olympic Games bid going to New York instead of London in 2012.

It is no surprise! When Ron Froehlich, Chairman of the USA Gymnastic board, wrote a glowing letter of Colarossi’s accomplishments in the February 2005 issue of Technique magazine, I wrote a three page letter negating every one of Froelich’s accolades. I sent it to the entire board. I did not receive one letter back in response. Can you imagine that the USA Gymnastics board nominated Colarossi over Bart Conner as their nominee for a position with the International Federation of Gymnastics? What a failure!

It is time for the United States gymnastics community to get the picture and recapture the sport of gymnastics from a small group of individuals who are strangling the sport. Many are afraid to speak out for fear of losing a coaching or judging assignment or having fear of hurting their gymnast. The question is: “Is the gymnastics community any better of with USA Gymnastics today when compared to the Amatuer Athletic Union of the fifties and sixties?” More on this topic in my next editorial.

Walt and Mary Leinert celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on June 9th at the Athenaeum Turner’s. Walt coached three time Olympian Muriel Grossfeld, Olympian Sandra Ruddick, Pan American Games medalist Sharon Phelps, NAAU Champion Myra Perkins and 1971 Pan American Games team member Terry Spencer. Most importantly, Walt is undoubtedly one of the best physical education teachers of all times. He and Mary have directed the Liernert Gym Camp in North Indianapolis for almost fifty years. Indiana University Normal College, from which Walt was a graduate, will celebrate it 100 year birthday in Indianapolis at IUPUI on September 29th. I attended the Normal College in 1961.

Rita and I are headed to San Jose for the USA Gymnastics Congress and Championships. Please send me an E-mail whether you agree or disagree with my point of view. In any case let’s talk gymnastics!