Sunday, 30 November 2008

Olga Mostepanova and the 1984 Alternate Olympics.

In 1984, there was a Soviet led boycott of the Olympics in LA. Other notable gymnastic countries that boycotted were Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany.
At the world championships in 1983, the Soviets finished first, East Germany third, Bulgaria 4th Czechoslovakia 6th and Hungary 9th. The Olympics went ahead with half of the top ten countries boycotting!
Instead of the Olympics, the Soviets held games in a number of different locations. The gymnastics branch of the friendship games was held in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. The women competed in the usual format.
The team results were: 1st-Soviet Union, 2nd East Germany, 3rd Czechoslovakia. If all the countries had competed together at the Olympics and been given the same scores, the results would have been as follows: 1-Soviet Union, 2nd East Germany, 3rd Romania. I'm sure you'll agree that a lot of the talent was obviously missing from the 1984 Olympics. Probably the most talented gymnast missing from the games was Olga Mostepanova, although the 1983 world champion, Natalia Yurchenko was also absent.At Olomouc, Olga has an outstanding competition, finishing first in the all around with a perfect score of 40.00.Undoubtly, Olga would have finished ahead of Mary Lou Retton had she been present. In fact, given the scores from the friendship games, if all countries were present in LA, Mary Lou would have finished third, also behind the Czech gymnast Hana Ricna.

Olga also won gold on vault beam and floor. She finished with a perfect beam score of 20.00 after having scored 10 for every beam performance of the games. Here she is on the beam:

Olga competed at the 1985 world championships and won gold with the soviet team, however shortly afterwards she disappeared from the gymnastics scene.

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