Posts Tagged ‘Kristie Phillips’

Jennifer Sey: Speaking up

May 1, 2008

Jennifer SeyWith her new book Chalked Up, 1986 U.S. Champion Jennifer Sey expounds on what is by all appearances a long and painful struggle with depression caused by thr rigors of elite gymnastics training.

The book’s title says it all: Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics’ Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders and Elusive Olympic Dreams.

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The Olympic Effect

January 19, 2008

Vanessa AtlerThe wonderful new blog The Olympic Effect posts detailed analysis on who’s who in the runup to the USA’s selection of its athletes for the 2008 Olympic team.

It also goes way in depth about the potentially harmful media effects on young athletes, spotlighting the stories of Vanessa Atler and Kristie Phillips.

Atler went as far as to refer to uneven bars as ‘the devil’ in her online diary. Atler’s coach, Steve Ryabcki, remained determined to prove that she could complete the skill. His insistence lasted three years and resulted in a nationally-televised explosion at the 1999 Nationals. Even though NBC muted most of Rybaki’s comments, the damage was done.

“Steve cursed me out at the meet and then refused to talk to me for days,” says Atler. “To his credit, it was the only time he ever did anything like that. Unfortunately, I was devastated. I was the perfect student and worked so hard for them for so long, but still got screamed at.”

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