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For Rhythmic Gymnastics Judges
by Beth McCloskey (Level 8 Judge)
Dear Rhythmic Gymnastics Partners:
Below is a progress report on the National Rhythmic Judges Partnership (NRJP) organization and information that
we think is of interest to the rhythmic community.
As of May 11, 2004 we have 66 paid members in NRJP (34 are judges). If you are not already a member and
would like to be one, please contact me for an application. Membership fees are $20 per year.
International Competition Impressions
By Simona Zakheim (Brevet judge, NRJP member)
Impressions from Corbeil-Essonnes:
As most you know, I try to provide some impressions from international
These are my scrambled thoughts after Corbeil-Essonnes which occurred this
past weekend. Since I have little time to edit my ramblings, please excuse my
As many of you are aware, Corbeil is one of the more prestigious and popular
international competitions. This year, marked its 30th anniversary. The
competition is great, although the venue makes things very difficult on the
athletes, due to the lack of warm up space. Nonetheless 45 countries,
comprising 79 athletes, attended this year’s event and the audience packed a
So let’s talk competition: the winner was Irina Tchachina who was gorgeous
as ever. Other stars included Aliya
Yussupova, Sessina, Paisieva, Cid Tostado and many more. However I think
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the real stars were Mary Sanders and Lisa Wang. So maybe I am little biased,
but hey... they deserve the acclaim. First, the most impressive thing about
both these athletes is their remarkable consistency. If we were to count,
maybe 10% of the athletes performed with the same consistency. (Granted, I
was only there for the qualification round and did not see the finals.) Even
Tchachina had major faults. Mary and Lisa performed like the stars they are.
For those of you who are unaware, this competition is divided into three
groups: A, B & C. A country qualifies athletes to these groups based on the
prior year’s results. The top countries from the year prior, are assigned to
group A, then B then C. Upon arrival, we had two spots: one in group A with
the top athletes in the world and another in group C, with the weaker.
Needless to say it is not easy to move from one group to another.
The competition begins with Group C, and that meant Lisa Wang. At the end
of this 2 hour - 2 event group, Lisa was 2nd only to a Greek athlete who was
an event finalist in the 2003 World championships. After another 2 hours and
2 events of group B, Lisa's scores were high enough to keep her 11th. This
means she actually beet more than half of group B, a major
accomplishment. Mary's turn came in the evening in Group A. Now I have to
say, Mary is such a professional master, it is beautiful to watch. At the end of
the first day, Mary was 6th ahead of many international sensations, and Lisa
The second day brought on the same group order: Group C with Lisa, Group
B and then Group A with Mary. Again both ladies competed with confidence
and virtually error free. By the time the competition closed, Lisa had moved
into 32nd place and Mary ended 8th. This placed our US team a remarkable
6th!!! We had actually beat Greece and Italy, not to mention China,
Japan, Azerbaijan, Italy, Israel and more. What does this mean for
us next year: we will have 2 athletes in group A. If I am not mistaken, and
here I may be wrong, we will have permission to bring a 3rd athlete to either
group B or C, however don't quote me on the exact logistics of this. Although
I can not state with certainty, I think this may be the highest result US has
achieved in Corbeil to date.
Now on to the talk that occurred in Corbeil. As a judge I get a great deal of
comments from other judges and coaches. I can not express how many people
commented on Mary's and Lisa's performance. Funny enough both our
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gymnasts’ ball routines proved to be a huge success: comments about Lisa's
included the originality of the elements, music and theme of the
choreography, and Mary's ball, which was flawless on the floor had only been
choreographed about a week prior to the meet. When I heard this, having
been both a coach and an athlete in my former years, I could not believe the
mastery this young woman possesses that can pull off such fantastic execution
with a brand new routine.
It is also important to note that both athletes survived the ribbon event. Since
there are about 20 athletes warming up in a gym that is barely big enough to
fit one floor mat and has a ceiling of maybe 20 feet, there is no real way to
warm up this event. As a result, 95% of the athletes severely mess up the
ribbon event. Both Lisa and Mary were the exception. The ability to adapt to
circumstance is another great attribute these ladies possess.
I can not express the pride I had during this international meet. It’s even fun
hearing people try to nit-pick our athletes because you can hear the
competitive jealousy in the voices. The US is really making their mark on the
RG international scene.
By the way, Lisa and Mary arrived in Corbeil after competing in Bulgaria the
week before, where Mary came in 2nd and Lisa 7th. (I think!) Again, a
Finally, I did not get a chance to provide my impressions after the Pacific
Alliance in Hawaii, so I want to add a few words. Both our junior and senior
teams did a great job. Mary won the all around and every event as did Rachel
Marmer in the junior division. Additionally both the junior and senior teams
won their respective silver medals, with Russia cleaning up the team golds.
Rachel has a future ahead of her that can be envied by the top stars. Her
difficulty and maturity rivals that of many seniors. The other three juniors,
Tracy, Kristian and Rebecca provided the solid performances necessary to
insure the silver medal. These three girls competed with consistence and
showed great character at their first international meet. Lisa and Olga
rounded out the senior team with each making 2 finals. Thanks again athletes
and coaches for your dedication. You make me proud to travel with you as a
Rhythmic Publicity Blitz
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Below is a request for action from Terri Marshik. I am including it as informative, not as an endorsement by
myself or NRJP.
REQUEST FOR ACTION FROM RHYTHMIC COMMUNITY
I am asking for your help. I want to create awareness of our beautiful sport by coordinating a story blitz to Oprah
Winfrey from the rhythmic community around the world. Let’s have hundreds of gymnasts, families, friends,
coaches, and judges send stories to Oprah at the same time to gain her interest in providing time on a future show
to discuss our sport.
GOAL: Show the impact rhythmic gymnastics can have on young women.
WHEN: E-mails should be sent to Oprah on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 (US daytime)
HOW: Contact gymnasts, clubs, coaches, judges, family, and friends and ask them to prepare a 50-300 word e-
mail message about our beautiful sport. Share their stories of what rhythmic gymnastics means to them and how it
has affected their lives. If Oprah hears from hundreds of us in the rhythmic community she may be willing to do a
program to help us get the word out about our sport and get us the needed exposure to help us grow and maybe
get TV coverage of the summer Olympics.
Points the rhythmic community may want to include in their messages are:
l The benefits of rhythmic gymnastics on young women.
l The uniqueness of the sport.
l Why young women choose this unique sport.
l The specialized training/conditioning that gymnasts undergo in order to achieve high levels of flexibility,
dexterity, coordination and creativity.
l Rhythmic gymnastics is the number one sport for women in other countries.
l Ask Ms. Winfrey to help get the word out to the public about our sport and get TV coverage during the
The email messages are to be sent through the Oprah Winfrey show web site at www.oprah.com, then click on
“e-mail us”, then again click on “send us your stories”. You will have to fill in the necessary fields and write your
story with up to 2000 characters. After you have completed this we ask that you also send a message to
Rhythmicmom at firstname.lastname@example.org confirming that you sent an e-mail so we can keep track of how
many emails were sent.
Remember to send these messages on May 19 for the greatest impact.
ACTION REQUESTED: Time is short, so please begin today contacting rhythmic clubs, gymnasts, coaches,
judges, family and friends.
Together let’s gain Oprah’s attention and support in helping us promote our sport.
Looking forward to a successful O.P.R.A.H!
Here is a link to a sample letter
If you have any questions or comments regarding the NRJP newsletter, including ideas for articles that you would
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like to see published, please email them to me at email@example.com
NRJP NEWSLETTER #38
So, I would like to publicly say that I am a complete idiot! Well,
hopefully it's really not that, but simply that I was completely jet
lagged when I scribbled my letter after arriving from Corbeil.
Anyway, I would like to publicly appologize to Brenann Stacker, who I
did not mention in my prior memo. Brenann attended the Pacific
Alliance in Hawaii as well, and while her scores were not included as
she was the "alternate," she provided a great base for the U.S. Team.
Its really nice to show that we have more than just three stars on
the U.S. National team. So once again, I appologize for not
mentioning you Brenann, please forgive me and please know that you
are a very important part of the U.S. program.