Women’s gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympic events, but the way the sport evolved made it ripe for abuse and overtraining. Sports scholar and former international gymnast Georgia Cervin joins us to talk about her book, Degrees of Difficulty: How Women’s Gymnastics Rose to Prominence and Fell From Grace. We talk about the beginnings of the sport as a display of feminity and how Cold War rivalries led to younger competition and created an environment that led to multiple types of abuse. We also talk about how the sport itself has changed over the decades, the introduction of the Code of Points and how stars like Simone Biles are pushing the envelope and showing what women are achieving in this sport.
Learn more about Georgia’s work at her website.
Following up on our news about Tokyo 2020 golden mailboxes, Listener Don reminded us that London 2012 did the same thing (Paris 2024 and LA 2028, we hope you’re taking note and make it a trend).
What are our TKFLASTANIs up to this week? We’ve got news from:
- Karateka Tom Scott
- Boxer Ginny Fuchs (check out Texas Monthy’s film on her)
- Modern Pentathlete Samanta Schultz
- Bobsledder Josh Williamson (featured here)
- Bobsledder Lauren Gibbs (news on her NFT auction here)
We also have news from Tokyo 2020, including:
- The constantly changing policies on spectators at the Olympics
- The Athletes’ Village pre-opening
- How some nations’ athletes are getting to the Games
- Status updates on Caster Semenya and Sha’Carri Richardson
Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
Photo credit: University of Illinois Press