A Black (and Somewhat White) Memory from 15 Years Ago

This picture of the 1996 Olympics medalists, Ekaterina Serebryanskaya, Yanina Batyrchina and Elena Vitrichenko fell on my hands this morning. It comes from an English-language book that the former FIG boss Yuri Titov co-authored in 1999, called simply "Rhythmic Gymnastics."

The look on Elena Vitrichenko's face is not as bitter as some of her interviews lately have become. But the
feeling of hurt is there. Ekaterina and Yana dropped their ribbons, and guess who comes away with the bronze: Elena, the girl, who had no errors whatsoever. And there is Serebryanskaya,if she could, she would elbow her compatriot of the podium altogether. But nobody ever remembers this because, of course, we like to talk about how the Russian girls are overscored, and the Ukraine is always right.

But the thing is, when you get as good at something, as Vitrichenko, and her mom, the late Nina Vitrichenko were, a bronze is not enough. It's especially not enough, when others are making ribbon and when you have, in the past, fairly beaten the likes of Petrova (Bulgaria), Lipkovskaya (Russia), Zaripova (Russia) and Lukyanenko (Belarus). But somehow they never complained. Because I am sure it is more easy to swallow when someone from your own country has stabbed you in the back. Right?

Well, here you have it, let me remind you. It was a very unfair Olympics. Hopefully, London 2012 would be fairer.


Sasha Nakrevich Keeps Captivating

I was looking at the provisional list of participants for the World Championships in Montpelier next month and I felt pleased to see that team Belarus is planning to send 4 girls: Staniouta, Charkashyna, Rabtsava, and Narkevich. I wish the Bulgarian team had chosen to send 4 girls, not three, but that is another story, which I will discuss later..

I really hope that Sasha Narkevich, who was the reserve at the Europeans this year, will perform one of her routines. I enjoy all of them, but I have to say that she has some amazing catches with ball and clubs. Also, she has the prettiest ribbon and leotard for her ribbon routine, although Hanna Rabtsava proved herself as a promising ribbon performer by making the top 8 with ribbon at the Europeans. As a Sunday treat to the fans, here are some pictures: