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USGF CONGRESS - 1972 Renee P. Hendershott Yes, thi s yea r had to be my year at th e USGF Congress. It is so ironic, becau se I thou ght I'd never be abl e to get away to com e. In yea rs past , my friend s Helen Sjurse n and Ink y Ledfo rd would go and I wou ld get " th e word " from th em. This wou ld have been a perfect pla ce for th e " Big Three " to meet. W e used to call ourselv es that , because we all wrot e Newsl ett ers and reall y stu ck togeth er ... each se ndin g th e o th ers any " hot" n ews as fast as sh e co uld . I' ve n eve r met eith er H elen or Inky, bu t th ro ugh t he years ha ve grown to love t hem both. Thi s yea r co ul d have b een th e yea r th at we met, bu t Inky retired last yea r, and Helen co uldn ' t ge t away. So, I found m yse lf th ere as news amba ssa d or ! What a sw itch! So med ay w e' ll meet ga ls,... .som eda y. Fortunat e路ly, I ha ve no news o r so uve nirs fro m Cuba for you .... and thi s w as du e o nly to luck b eca use, to my dismay, security checks were done at on ly one out of th e four airpo rts from whi ch I fl ew. In fact in Chica go, after w e had all herd ed i nto the plane with no checkin g, th e police and customs office rs mad e a grand entran ce to the tune of giggling stewarde sses, and ext racted a dubious looking youn g fell o w from our midst. He never did get back on . Not a word wa s said until we landed at Cleveland Hopkins Inte rnational Airport when th e stewardess apologized for our del ay, ca lml y announ ced that there had b een a hijacking attempt, and proceeded to tell us if"we didn 't like it to write the company! Well. .. . 1 never! I don't think I' ll be taking a plane anywhere for a whil e ! Finally, arriving all in one piece at th e Denver airport, we took a limousine on th e 10 mil e trip to the Denver Hilton Hotel. Joan Pasqu ael , a judge from Cali fornia was sitting n ex t to me. I've never met her or even written to her, but in seconds, we were engaged in conversation (about judging .. ..what else?) as if we had known each oth er for years .. .. and this is what I like so muc h about gymnastic people. W e all have something so much in common that we can be immediate and the most intense of friends . We are engaged in something greater than anyone of us. We are all interested in the same thing in one way or another, and that is to build the best possible gymnastics program for our youngsters to be exemplified by a world class gymnastics team representing the United States of America . Some work at it by trying to improve judging methods, others by wr iti ng books, others through keeping communications flowing, others by working on committees, others by dedicating their li ves to coaching, many doing the same as gymnasts. It is a tremendous driving force with in all of us which gives us purpose and direction . It is hard to give you the real feeling one gets when attending a function so significant as the USGF Congress. You see people you have read about or seen in pictures . You se e people you have actually seen or worked with before .... but never before in this light! The women were suddenly transformed into lovely princesses, beautifully made up and coiffu red, many in unbelievably exotic attire. The men all looked like ambassadors ... and ... all in all. .. .they proved that the hardest workers in the field do not always live in jeans or workout su its. Colorado is mountain country and popu lar for its many ski spots, but do you think we saw a mountain? No! Well. .. . maybe a couple of

Renee He nd ershott talks with Tom Heineike, the President of the newly formed United States Association Clubs and Grah am Bartlett, recently e lected Vice President. inches of mountain s behind the buildings on really signifi ca nt words were said th ere. So the horizon ....on e mo rning I got up at 6:00 much of it shou ld be known b y all of you . In a.m ., determin ed to get a bett er view and take future issu es, I will print as mu ch information some exquisite pi ctures of them . Up I went to from thi s very worthwhile event as there is the 22nd floor of th e hotel all .armed with spa ce for it in the Gymnast. Gosh ... 1 almo st camera, fil m and fi lters, and you know what I forgo t to tell you , I met my boss G lenn Sundb y saw ? .. . SOL ID WALL! So mu ch for the outsid e for the first time there and our very prolifi c scenery. m en ' s coordinating Editor, Dick Cril ey, and my The Denver Hilton was w ell suit ed to house ambitious Western reporter , Ch eryl Wagn er (wow .... is she a beauty!) OH .. . it was so much such an elegant gr o up of 217 people. It is a spacious; clean , and beautifu l building . The fun ... 1 hate for it to be over, but anyway ... . meeting room s were no less luxurious than a Right now you should know that the USGF palace with their sh ining chandeliers and plush will be 10 years old next January 7th and 路it has carpeting. been holding these Congresses for seven years . Th ere were on ly 34 participants at the first one The first evening w e spent getting registered and acquainted . I w ent around quickly and , when th ey did get together, they weren ' t glancing at everybod y"s name tags and 路found sure of what they were goin g to talk about. This year, seven路 years later, all that has that I knew almost all of them, at least a little . You get to feeling a little cross eyed and changed ....and it will change even more in stooped over after chasing elusive name tags years to come. Next year, t he Congress wi ll run for a whi le. I can remember wh en I saw Frank three full days (November 9-10-11) in St. Louis, Endo on one tag, how mu ch I appreciated M issouri . There will be more opportunity to being able to meet this man who has offer specialized discussion groups in coaching contributed so much to th e field ... maybe not as tec hniques for High School and College a gymnast. ...or a coa ch ...but by taking movies coa ches led by more experienced coaches in of so many marvelous meets and se llin g them 'he United States. for cost so that gymnasts, co aches and judges The first meeting was for the United States cou ld study the best in the world first hand. He Associat ion for Independent Gym Clu bs a told me he judged 55 meets last year! Then newly formed organ ization of private gym there was Beatrice Lowe ... .maybe you haven ' t clubs who are coming together to help each heard of her. ...but Tulsa , Ok lahoma has felt her other with ideas for survival and improvement presence very strongly in t he past 37 years as and w ith the purpose in m ind of gaining a she has fought di ligently to get gymnastics knowledgeable vote on the USGF Governing programs in all the schools in Tulsa . She was Coun cil. We wil l bring you more news of this such a proud lady, w ith the beady dark eyes of a group later, but, for now, if you are interested fighter. She told us that everyone of the in supporting the organization and receiving school libraries (and the re are 107 in Tulsa) their newsletter, write to President Tom had t h e Gymnast Maga zine on its shelves. Then Heineike, Wichita Gymnastics Club 3641 N. there was Bud Marquette who, in spite of Hillside, Wi chita, Kansas 67219 . having a double hernia operation three weeks Both the men and the women gave Olympic ago, managed to make it. He has announced his Reports, The Women's Comm ittee gave their retirement as coac h and will devote his time to report and we heard reports on the World fund raising from now on .. .. and .. .on ... there University Games, Canada, the annual report were so many more, the biggies .. .. the litt li es from the USGF by Mr. Frank Bare, saw Olympic and the middlies. films, went o ver the national compulsori e s with After getting my nose back in joint, out came Delene Darst and the new Olympic the camera (and I got some duzies) I don ' t compulsories with Muriel Grossfeld. d iscussed know what people thought I was doing, but the tuture of the Elite program and, on Saturday pretty soon they got used to it and before I night had a gourmet banquet fit for a king. I was knew it I had about 50 reall y nice shots so pleased when we all received a free USGF inc ludin g some very funny ones that I didn't cup at the end . I had read about them being even know about until I got home in my given out as prizes for the puzzle winners in the darkroom. USGF newsletter and kind of secretly wanted After going ov er 50 pages of notes and 10 one myself. They have them for sale now at the h ours of tape taken at the many meetings at the USGF Office for $2.00 a cup and they would Congress, I am just now realizing how many make nice gifts. Sundays' many meetings


Profile for USA Gymnastics

Gymnast Magazine - December 1972  

Gymnast Magazine - December 1972