Something positive about the Parkettes

No, seriously.

Former Parkette gymnast Annie Fogarty.From the Philadelphia Inquirer, which dubs the gym that produced Kristen Maloney, Kim Kelly, Geralen Stack-Eaton and others “a gymnastics paradise”:

Formed in the gymnastics dark ages of 1968 with the help of a Philadelphia club, the Parkettes started out in the Strausses’ backyard, then moved to an unheated barn, a church basement, and a room above a concert hall before settling in a state-of-the-art, warehouse-size facility here.

In those 40 years, the program has produced a flock of world-class gymnasts, sending at least one competitor to every Olympics trials since 1976.

And even though the center of the American gymnastics universe has shifted south and west, the Parkettes’ streak will continue this weekend in Philadelphia.

In an era where Bela Karolyi is relegated to crowd-booster and Al Fong has embraced a healthy attitude toward preparing young women to be Olympians, much of the negative press about gymnastics has centered on the relatively sloppy, oft-injured but always super-intense Parkettes.

In some ways it’s too bad. Despite a 2003 CNN documentary that exposed the coaches’ (and, in some cases, parents’) callousness, the gym is still thriving, even if it’s not producing Olympians. Shouldn’t those gymnasts be praised for their accomplishments, instead of it being all about condemning the coaches?

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Something positive about the Parkettes”

  1. TCO Says:

    There is a sort of gang banging glee in the way that people make montages of the CNN special, with Nicole Harris’s bawling face highlighted. With how bloggers rip into “the Mrs.”. With Jenn Sea or whatever her marketing ass name is writing books. It almost makes me want to be a contrarian.

    That said, I wonder when people like Rick at Gymnastics Coaching, say they have no direct evidence one way or another, but that they wonder, based on smoke/fire theory. It’s a shame in a way, especially as the Strausses seem to love gymnastics and want their girls to win (which is what the girls feel as well).

    I hope they are not being pilloried unfairly, but also wonder…

  2. iwasthere Says:

    here something positive. CNN was full of shizzle. They chopped up anything good and only showed the mistakes of a few gymnasts. And they picked Ashley Barry as the kid to focus on. Good Grief, that was the worst kid to pick. She was so pumped up with ADD medication she didn’t know which way was up. let alone she had two feet. oh ones broken, so i’ll just keep jumping around, oh not pay attention “again” and break my other foot.

    The Parkettes suffered from this cnn bullsh** oh and btw,… they are still producing olympians. But so is everybody else these days, and they only pick 7.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: