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Ten Memories from My Year Coaching an Olympic Gymnast

May 3, 2015 | Curbside Consults

These are the top ten, though there are so many more.

1)The iron curtain hits you hard when you’re out of toilet paper.

2)Wondering which is worse: chatting with a fifteen year old girl during mealtime before the Internet, or being forced to listen continuously to her Rod Stewart cassette.

3)The brilliance of Gorbachev and his spot.

4)Yes, they carry leotards in The Kremlin, but not Danskins.

5)Confused as to whether President Reagan forgot to wish us luck or knew we would lose(was he acting or just forgetful?)

6)Trying very hard not to read Nabokov’s Lolita.

7)Sheila’s weak layout step-out.

8)My near castration from walking the balance beam after a dozen shots of Stoli.

9)Natalia Shaposhnikova’s triple twists on the floor reminded me of Twizzlers; so red, so sweet and they guaranteed nausea every time.

10)Thanks Boris and Natasha for getting me through those crazy weeks, for sneaking me into Lenin’s tomb, for my addiction to caviar. Who would have predicted a boycott? Sorry, Sheila, there was no miracle. And yes, I am proud to be an American. We’ll always have our Miracle on Ice.

(To hear a recording of one of my training sessions with Sheila, click below)

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© Richie Smith 

© Richie Smith