Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reaction to Dominique Moceanu on "HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel"

I watched "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on HBO Tuesday night to see what Dominique Moceanu had to say about Marta and Bela Karolyi.

Much of what she said was already published in various media sources prior to the interview's airing.

However, her statements spoke volumes about the Marta and Bela Karolyi. I have long thought they were and are a blight on USA Gymnastics. Sure, they put together the "Magnificent 7" for the Atlanta Olympics. They won the team gold and numerous other medals. Many at the time praised what they had done. My question was, "Where was all the competition?" The USA were at that time and still are the most powerful sports country in the world. There is no doubt about that. They should have won, with or without the Karolyis at the helm. However the Karolyis' took the credit and the rest is history.

If they had faced tougher competition, how would they have done? No one can tell, but I do not think they were as dominate at some of the Soviet and Romanian teams of the 1960s to the 1980s. I am not trying to take away from what they did. They did a tremendous job, but how much of it was due to the Karolyis.

I remember a video clip of the 1984 Olympics after Mary Lou Retton won the gold medal in the All Around. Bela was not part of the USA coaching staff, but was seen bullying his way to the floor to congratulate Retton. He sort of pushed the USA coach out of the way and took over.

That clip right there solidified my opinion of Bela Karolyi. He is a bully. He pushes way in front of the camera and takes over. Look what he did with Kerry Shrug in 1996. A camera hog if I ever saw one.

Marta Karolyi had a reply for the Moceanu's accusations in HBO, but it was not much.
I feel sad that a gymnast as accomplished as Dominique can (only) remember the harder days during preparation. I feel sad because the preparation to become an Olympic champion is a longer road and not every single moment is an easy moment.
Marta was real good at playing the victim. I thought she would can out and deny the accusations. perhaps she and Bela are going to leave that to others. I think much more will come out on this as time goes on. The Karolyi's time has pasted and the damage they have done is enough.

Click
here to view Dominique Moceanu's website and here for her blog. There are some interesting comments about all the accusations on both.

"People are hoping that there'll be change. If it was up to the athletes, it would have happened a long time ago." - Dominique Moceanu

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