bars which have now become specific terms bearing her name “Korbut somersault”, “Korbut back flip”, etc. One of her horse vaults has remained unique because no other gymnast has ever done it. In Montreal she won a gold medal in womens team competition and silver medal at asymmetric bars.
Concerning the Belarusian school of gymnastics, one should note that it is constantly in advance. Some athletes quit the podium, others step into their shoes. There are too many of them to be named. But one just cannot imagine Belarusian gymnastics without Antonina Koshel who became a gold medallist at the 20th Olympics for team victory or Tamara Lazakovich who at the same games took four prizes, one of them being gold. These girls largely contributed to the enhancing of the glory of Soviet sport.
After that came Nelly Kim. Her superb skill was marked with five Olympic titles. Besides she became the all-round world champion.
When on the podium, she never looked down in the mouth. She knew how to smile even when she was sick at heart and felt like crying. It is not without reason that journalists nicknamed her a “girl of iron”.
A certain episode comes to mind. As Nelly was doing her optional programme (floor exercises) at the Moscow Olympics the music suddenly began to “wow”. And it happened shortly after starting. The sound gradually died away. The hall became unusually quiet.
With a charming smile (as if nothing were really happening) Nelly stopped and waited for the music to recommence. Starting her combination all over again, she did it with superb mastery and was deservedly given a high rating 9.95 points.
At the XXIV Olympic Games in Seoul the USSR national team included two trainees of Belarusian coaches Svetlana Boginskaya and Svetlana Bayitova.
The good traditions were kept up by a new generation of Belarusian female gymnasts. Despite their youth they had already managed to achieve quite a lot. Here are a few facts from their sporting biographies: Svetlana Boginskaya was born in 1973, Master of Sports International Class. Pupil of a sports boarding school. All-around junior champion (FRG, 1986), team event silver medallist at the World championship and bronze medallist in vault (Netherlands, 1987), many-time winner and title-holder at international contests, silver medallist in beam competition for the National Cup (1988).
Svetlana Bayitova was born in 1972. Master of Sports International Class, all-around national champion, 1986, silver medallist at the USSR National Championship, 1987, many-time winner and prize-holder at National Championships in separate team events, won silver in team events at the 1987 World championship.
Olga Bicherova, the 1981 all-around world champion describes Bayitova in this way: “She shows virtuosity and has a unique programme on the bars”.
A.Neverovich, director of the gymnastics school which S.Boginskaya attended:
“Boginskaya is very hardworking and diligent, she possesses great untapped reserves that can yet be used for further development. At the same time, the girl has an uneven temper, so one should handle her with care”.
Upon winning the gold medal in the team event Svetlana Boginskaya continued to contend for more prizes. In the all-round world championship contest she picked up bronze, being second only to her team mate Yelena Shushunova and Rumanian Daniel Silivash. On the closing day of the gymnastics performance, she added another gold medal to her collection. She gained it in the finals at the apparatus, superbly executing a vault. Her floor exercises brought her silver.
How was her success assessed by the experts? Here is the opinion of Leonid Arkayev, the gymnastics department chief of the USSR Sports Committee:
“Svetlana has lived up to our expectations, we never suspected she could challenge the leaders Shushunova and Silivash. I believe that this young woman from Minsk is our happy Olympic find”.
The Olympic champion Victor Klimenko:
“In this tough struggle Svetlana never lost her presence of mind, she displayed her best qualities will-power, plasticity and grace of movements. Her programme is no less complicated than that shown by the leaders. At the XXV Olympic Games Svetlana Boginskaya won a gold medal again. But a real hero of the Olympic Game was Vitali Shcherbo who won 6 gold medals”.
- Reread paragraph 1 and state its main theme. Which sentence gives very briefly the most important information and thus can be called the key sentence of the paragraph?
- Reread paragraph 24. What theme connects them?
- Find the sentence explaining why the journalists nicknamed Nelly Kim a “girl of iron”.
- Read the facts from Svetlana Boginskaya and Svetlana Bayitova's sporting biographies.
- Divide the text into fragments and entitle them.
- Write an annotation of the text. Make use of such expressions as “to deal with, to emphasise, to be devoted to”. The first sentence can reflect the general character of the text. Take into consideration the title. The other 3 or 4 sentences should reflect the main themes of the fragments.
Task XI. Read the text.
Rhythmic gymnastics is a separate type of gymnastics competition. In rhythmic gymnastics, gymnasts perform a dance routine while executing manoeuvres and stunts with a piece of hand-held equipment. The equipment may be a ball, club, hoop, ribbon, or rope. Rhythmic gymnasts perform on a mat similar to the one used in floor exercise competition. The routines are performed to music and last from 60 to 90 seconds. Contestants are judged on their grace and the difficulty of their manoeuvres, including the skill with which they release and catch the equipment. In 1984, rhythmic gymnastics became an event at the summer Olympic Games.
Rhythmic gymnastics is a combination of gymnastics and ballet.
It was in the USSR that rhythmic gymnastics as an independent form of sports was born. A higher school of plastic movements was opened in Leningrad in 1934, attached to the Lesgaft Physical Training Institute: although there had been many plastic movement studios earlier. One of the teachers was Zinaida Verbova, the pioneer of rhythmic gymnastics, formerly a well-known dancer.
The conditions for training being very simple rhythmic gymnastics soon attained great popularity. Girls began showing their skill at demonstration contests.
But sport in its very essence implying large-scale contests, in 1947 rhythmic gymnastics was included in the general sports programme. After having given sporting stimulus in addition to aesthetic hundred thousands of girls began seriously to go in for rhythmic gymnastics. All arguments about whether rhythmic gymnastics should be regarded as sport having been finished it became very popular in our country. Rhythmic gymnastics means the perfect mastery of various dance elements, the ability to perform complicated turns and leaps, maintain perfect balance and carry out a large variety of acrobatic movements.
Anything new and interesting is always quickly taken up. And this has been the case with rhythmic gymnastics. It was enough for the girls to show their art in other countries and this purely Russian type of gymnastics soon became international. The first World Championship in 1963 in Budapest gave Soviet gymnasts a double victory.
The first Belarusian Olympic Champion in rhythmic gymnastics became Marina Lobach in Seoul.
Marina was not a greenhorn when she went in Seoul. Her sporting biography was highly presentable: a many-time winner of the National Cup, the 1988 all-round champion of the country, the 1988 World and European champion in individual rhythmic gymnastics events and what she did on the mat in Seoul was nothing short of a miracle. Each of her performances was acclaimed with a storm of applause and the judges gave Marinas virtuosity the 10.0 point rating.
I. Divide the text into fragments in accordance with their contents. Entitle each fragment.
II. Using the material of the paragraphs and your own knowledge of rhythmic gymnastics answer the following questions:
- What is rhythmic gymnastics?
- What do gymnasts do in this sport?
- How are the routines performed in rhythmic gymnastics?
- How are contestants judged in rhythmic gymnastics?
- When did rhythmic gymnastics become an event in the Summer Olympic Games?
- When did the sport begin?
- Where was rhythmic gymnastics as an independent form of sports born?
- Who is considered the pioneer of rhythmic gymnastics?
- Why did rhythmic gymnastics attain great popularity?
- Who is the first Belarusian Olympic Champion in rhythmic gymnastics?
III. Give the main points of the history of rhythmic gymnastics.
Жулкевская, Г.В. Gymnastics=Гимнастика : учеб. пособие по англ. яз. для студентов II курса БГУФК / Г.В.Жулкевская; Бел. гос. ун-т физ. культуры. 2-е изд. Мн.: БГУФК, 2005. 31с.