Chellsie Memmel's interview really didn't provide any "other side" - just fruit for dinner because you don't need energy and aren't hungry after gym and working out all those hours?!
Kim Zmeskal Burdette is a strong supporter of the Karolyi's and the system, quoted in the ESPN article:
But Kim Zmeskal Burdette, who trained with the Karolyis and is now a coach, defended the Karolyis and the current training system, saying she wouldn't be involved if it were unhealthy or unfair.
"I absolutely disagree," said Zmeskal Burdette, who was the first U.S. woman to win the world title and now coaches up-and-comer Chelsea Davis.
"Being part of this process -- especially just coming from the Olympic selection camp -- we trust in this system, and we feel like it's produced great gymnasts. These girls are tighter than they ever have been."
"I think we need more fairness in the sport and a more transparent set of rules," Moceanu said. "I think [the selection process] takes away part of being an Olympian and what becoming an Olympian is. Getting there is important, and I think that should be rewarded in front of all the people cheering for you.
"Why make them run through another set of tests?"
Moceanu said she has long felt this way but raised the issue now after being approached by "Real Sports." Other gymnasts feel the same way, she said, but she declined to name them because she doesn't want to put anyone in a predicament.
But Zmeskal Burdette said gymnasts see the current process as more fair, believing they will be rewarded for good performances. Davis, for example, just 15, was one of the 10 gymnasts invited to the final selection camp.
"I was very happy with coaching at the recreational level and junior Olympic level. But I was very excited about returning to the elite program, especially knowing Martha has such an integral role," Zmeskal Burdette said. "Their experience is unbelievable as is their insight, making sure all the bases are covered and being able to pick out from the pack who's on their way up.
"Moceanu, '96 golden girl, cites 'dark side' of gymnastics, report says"
Kim is working directly with the Karolyi's now..she has been chosen to be on the selection team by them, with them I think...you see her there right next to Martha and Bela on the tv airings. Not really impartial.
One thing about the whole secretive thing, reminds me of this:
Born in Africa to a Ugandan father and a Romanian mother, Okino was inspired to begin gymnastics by the success of Mary Lou Retton
and the 1984 Olympics.
A successful dancer prior to coming to the sport of gymnastics (Betty and her brother competed as a pair and won many tap-dancing competitions), Betty progressed quickly in gymnastics, beginning at age 9 and turning elite at age 13.
Once turning elite, Betty decided to take the next step toward her Olympic dream and moved to Houston to train with Bela Karolyi
. Fluent in Romanian, Betty would often tell the other girls what Bela and Marta
were saying about them behind their backs. When the Karolyi's eventually learned that Betty could speak Romanian, they switched and began speaking Hungarian to one another.
Kim probably doesn't know Romanian.
Okino selected to 1992 Olympics team even though missed the Olympic Trials:
In 1992, Betty suffered stress fractures to both the L3 and L4 vertebrae two months before the Olympic Trials. The doctors ordered her to stop working out, because one wrong move could break her back.
But two weeks later, Okino began working out again, against doctor's orders. She missed the Olympic Trials, but her strong international track record helped earn her a spot on the team, anyway. Despite the injuries, Betty had a strong showing at the Olympic Games, helping her team medal.
Funny, Bela Karolyi scarier than the Dracula:
Did being fluent in Romanian ever help you at International meets? Could you ever hear the Romanians' strategy?
(laughing) They don't have strategies, it's not like a football game.
Do you ever expect anything in your life to be able to match your Olympic experience?
No, No! It's absolutely wonderful, I'd never ever trade it for anything!
Scarier in person: Bela Karolyi or Bela Lugosi? OKINO:
(laughing) Bela Karolyi!
Sports Hollywood - 10 Questions with[COLOR=black] Betty Okino: http://www.sportshollywood.com/askokino.html