St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Letters to the Editors

Gymnasts shaming U.S.

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000

I am disgusted with the performance of the United States gymnastics teams in Sydney and embarrassed that these so-called athletes were chosen to represent a nation that stands for opportunity, excellence and commitment. The women's gymnastic team is the epitome of laziness, sloppiness and disrespect. The men's team certainly ranks a close second, with one or two exceptions.

Not only is the overall skill level of the women's team highly questionable, but more importantly, it certainly doesn't exhibit the focused energy, drive and consistency that one would expect in our Olympic athletes. From the preliminaries, the women have portrayed themselves as "abused prima donnas" who are not given the recognition they deserve when they do well, yet are harshly criticized when they do poorly. We expect them to do well. That is why they were chosen to represent our country.

The inconsistencies that team members have displayed throughout speak clearly to the fact that there may be some talent lurking within one or two of the athletes. However, they require discipline, structure and, most of all, the consistent focus on task and the inner drive to excel. Compared to the Romanian, Russian and Chinese, our women act as if they are at a high school prom rather than a focused competition.

The article that appeared in the Times (Time to bid Bela goodbye, Sept. 20) that criticized Bela Karolyi's actions was unfortunate. What our teams need is the strength, discipline, drive and work ethic of Bela Karolyi, now more than ever.

Perhaps if Bela could, once again, train the members of the women's gymnastics team (he wouldn't hurt the men's team, either), Olympic judges and the press would be less impressed by cutesy "flirting" and more impressed with skill.
-- Bonnie-Lou Binnig, via e-mail

Goolagong an oversight

Evonne Goolagong (an Aborigine) was a world-class tennis player, well respected and very popular with fans and peers.

She should have rated a mention in Gary Shelton's article on aboriginal athletes and personalities of the past, don't you think?
-- Tom Sturr, Homosassa

Cards' clinching win underplayed

The St. Petersburg Times has always had a top-notch sports department. However, to ignore the St. Louis Cardinals clinching the National League Central championship on the front page teases of both Section A and Section C is unforgivable.

St. Petersburg was long the spring training home for the Cardinals, the reason many people settled in the Tampa Bay area.

Sure, the Cards clinching was the featured story for the National League baseball page. But other teases could have been replaced with "Cards win Central."

Even a mention under "baseball races" would at least have not ignored this important sports item.
-- Dick McDaniel, Bradenton

Kudos to upgraded autos coverage

I have been a race fan for many years, and have wanted to thank you for the past two or so years of increased coverage, especially the work of Kevin Kelly. The folks prior have done a good job, but Kevin has educated more than others.

His article (Wednesday) on Formula One was very good for the novice. His stuff each day has been very well rounded.

Keep up the good work, Kevin, and please keep it coming.
-- Tom Johnson, St. Petersburg

How to contact us

Have a sports-related question or comment? Drop us a line and we'll publish selected comments. We'll also consider guest columns, not to exceed 250 words.


Sports Department/Letters

St. Petersburg Times

P.O. Box 1121

St. Petersburg, FL 33731

(Include name, address, phone number)

BY FAX: (727) 893-8782

(Include name, address, phone number)


(Text only. Include e-mail address, name, mailing address, phone number)

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk
  • Dashing, daring, driven
  • Key'd up!
  • Rays find stranger method for losing
  • Mizell's Mailbag
  • Sports briefs
  • Gymnasts shaming U.S.
  • Highs and lows
  • Vaughn goes home after family illness
  • McGriff matches HR feat
  • Baseball briefs
  • Games begin to count soon
  • Olympics roundup
  • Pole-sitters fret over slippery start on bricks
  • Auto racing briefs
  • Captain's corner
  • How, when, where to use artificial baits
  • Weekes unlikely in net Tuesday against Florida
  • Rams use knowledge to cruise to victories
  • Outsider routs field at Bishop
  • Shorecrest surprises opposition and itself
  • Tampa Bay top 10
  • Ewing is shocked, resigned
  • NHL briefs
  • Northeast, PHU win PCAC titles
  • Former Pasco star inspiring Cowboys
  • NFL games
  • King a bargain, but likely not for long
  • Game gives CBS a Super practice
  • Chalk up another for the frozen tundra
  • Learning that special something
  • Bucs chat
  • Best and worst: game 4
  • Season's cooking for Lynch
  • Bucs TV analysis
  • Martin: The Jets' propulsion
  • Palmer points the way
  • Look for Spurrier in center of storm
  • USF drops big chance
  • FSU rides a new style
  • College football around the nation
  • Big play for Gators? Must be Sheppard
  • Alex Brown remains ineffective
  • UF extra points
  • USF extra points
  • Baylor settles secret battle
  • College football around the state
  • PAC-10 briefs
  • Most of goal raised for upgrades
  • Blitzing D keeps Louisville flustered
  • FSU extra points

  • Marion can save the Games
  • Fast facts: swimming
  • Olympics highlights
  • Chilly dipper earns his salt Down Under
  • Japan's Takahashi stays the coolest
  • Greene makes fast work of gold in the 100
  • Fast facts: women's track and field
  • Victorine's kick puts U.S. men in semis
  • For 2002, NBC says less is more
  • Olympics notes

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts