This chapter examines the commercialisation of women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG). The historical starting point is Juan Antonio Samaranch’s commercialisation of the Olympic Games. Although the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) opposed this commercialisation, the changes of global sporting economics significantly affected WAG. The success of Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles showcases the beginning of these changes. The chapter will contrast how on the one hand (a) Retton (as other American gymnasts after her) was able to capitalise on sponsorship, advertising, and media opportunities; and how on the other hand (b) the economic decline of the Eastern bloc countries during the 1980s, and increasingly more lucrative opportunities for financial rewards, attracted gymnasts and coaches into the West, and, by the 1990s, had created a mass exodus and a diaspora of WAG experts.
|Title of host publication||Women's Artistic Gymnastics|
|Subtitle of host publication||Socio-cultural Perspectives|
|Editors||Roslyn Kerr, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Carly Stewart, Gretchen Kerr|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2020|