Perfectionisation of women’s artistic gymnastics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen's Artistic Gymnastics: Socio-cultural Perspectives
EditorsRoslyn Kerr, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Carly Stewart, Gretchen Kerr
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781003007005
ISBN (Print)9780367440015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2020


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