Pixie-style women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG) paved the way for the next major phase in WAG’s development: perfection. This chapter will analyse the factors leading to Nadia Comaneci’s achievement of WAG’s first perfect 10.0 at the Montreal Olympics, as well as its implications. It will explore how the rigor of perfection demanded new approaches to coaching, while the proxy-war status of sport in the Cold War prompted a win-at-all-costs mentality driving this, as well as score fixing. Discussion of media reportage will illuminate how Comaneci’s age added to the awe surrounding her achievements, and cemented the perception of WAG as spectacular and a child’s sport, idealising childish femininity. Comments from FIG Bulletins will highlight awareness of such problematic implications of perfectionisation, while contextualising the sport within the Olympic movement will provide insight into how these developments took place.
|Title of host publication||Women's Artistic Gymnastics: Socio-cultural Perspectives|
|Editors||Roslyn Kerr, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Carly Stewart, Gretchen Kerr|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2020|