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August 2, 2012

At the Olympics the Retton hip type is in the ascendance


The five US women who won the team gold medal the other day are almost perfect exemplars of this.
It is striking to see them together, not a conventional feminine hip among them, although of course they are recognizably teenage girls. But they represent five variations on a single theme: breasts almost non-existent, with shoulders far wider than hips which in turn form nearly a straight line with their waists, above powerfully muscular legs. -- neo-neocon Gymnasts'€™ bodies: form follows function

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 2, 2012 1:06 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

What the hell sort of comment can I make on this?

Posted by: Mike James at August 2, 2012 1:35 PM

My 8 year old daughter, who takes a little gymnastics class, asked me if she could one day be an Olympian. She is already 4'8" tall, and will probably tap out at 5'11" or 6'. I explained to her that those girls are only a few inches taller than she is now, and they are full grown. I pointed her toward volleyball.

Posted by: Leslie at August 2, 2012 1:56 PM

How much for zee leetle girl?

Posted by: Casca at August 2, 2012 9:42 PM

"Women's gymnastics" is a misnomer. It should be "girls' gymnastics" or "teenagers' gymnastics". While elite athletes are generally on the young side anyway, that's especially true in this particular sport. Most female gymnasts are on the downslope by the time they reach 20, which is when the men are just starting to hit their stride.

I shouldn't wonder that they all have the same body shape. Taller, heavier, less compact, and they just wouldn't be able to do the required techniques with the same speed and precision. You wouldn't expect to see a sumo wrestler who's built like Yao Ming, so I don't expect to see a female gymnast who's built like Venus Williams.

Posted by: waltj at August 2, 2012 10:50 PM

Over 15 years ago there was a trend toward skinny, tiny girls who looked like underweight 11-year-olds. This type is better, healthier.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at August 3, 2012 10:19 AM

...skinny, tiny girls who looked like underweight 11-year-olds...

In some cases, I think that's what they were. Agree that the trend away from the waifs is probably healthier for the girls involved.

Posted by: waltj at August 3, 2012 11:10 AM

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