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Bela Karolyi

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SPORTS
May 2, 1989
Bela Karolyi, the gymnastics coach from Romania who guided Nadia Comaneci to an Olympic gold medal before defecting to the United States in March of 1981 to coach such stars as Mary Lou Retton, became a U.S. citizen Monday, along with his wife, Marta, and 15-year-old daughter, Andrea, during a ceremony in downtown Houston.
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SPORTS
August 20, 2008 | STEVE SPRINGER
The gymnastics competition in women's uneven bars ended in confusion turning to consternation culminating in outrage. And that was among the broadcasters. When He Kexin of China was declared the winner over Nastia Liukin of the United States at the National Indoor Stadium by virtue of a tiebreaker, after both had finished with a score of 16.725, several members of the NBC broadcast crew reacted with an embarrassing display of jingoism, a degree of home-team bias that would have made Rex Hudler blush.
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SPORTS
July 28, 1989 | JULIE CART, Times Staff Writer
The future stars of American women's gymnastics sat at a long table in Myriad Arena Thursday, giggling and adjusting their pony tails. Six of them sat on three metal folding chairs. Their futures may be big, but these athletes are not. The smallest, and best, is Kim Zmeskal, who is 4 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 65 pounds. She is 13. The biggest, but not the worst, is Kelly Pitzen, who is 4-10 and 86 pounds. She is also 13.
SPORTS
August 16, 2008 | John Cherwa, Orlando Sentinel
The controversy of the Summer Games that just won't go away seems to have a life span longer than the age of the competitors. OK, exaggeration by at least a couple of years. But there is no doubt there are a lot of people who believe the Chinese aren't being straight on the ages of their competitors. If it were true, and there are enough documents to give it some credibility, it wouldn't be the first time. Gymnastics has a rich history of age fixing. Now might be a good time to balance, vault, flip and dance down memory lane.
SPORTS
July 23, 2008 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
Former U.S. Olympian Dominique Moceanu, who at 14 was part of the 1996 gold-medal team, said Tuesday night that USA Gymnastics team coordinator Martha Karolyi once grabbed her by the neck and slammed her face into a phone, and that former coach Bela Karolyi twice berated her about her weight in front of national teammates.
SPORTS
March 24, 1991 | JEFF MEYERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Henry Ramirez, the new girls' coach and athletic director at Monarchs National Gymnastic Training Center in Agoura Hills, is not afraid to go out on a limb--after all, balance is his business--by predicting that his gymnasts will be competing for Olympic berths and his club will be on a par with the major clubs in the country.
SPORTS
July 29, 1990 | From Associated Press
Former Romanian gymnastics star Nadia Comaneci said Saturday she was held captive for three months by the man who helped her defect to the West last December and later was portrayed as her lover. In her first extensive interview concerning her relationship with Constantin Panait, Comaneci also said the Romanian carpenter had "stolen" $150,000 she earned in appearances throughout the United States after her defection.
SPORTS
June 8, 1991 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Defending champion Kim Zmeskal used a strong performance in the vault to take the lead after the women's compulsory rounds of the U.S. Gymnastics championships at Cincinnati. But her coach, Bela Karolyi, was so irate with the 9.85 score given Zmeskal's vault that he threatened to withhold her and other members of his team from today's finals. "She hit the best vault in the whole competition," Karolyi said. "On an international scoring level, it would rate a 9.90 or 9.95.
SPORTS
June 28, 2008
At their absolute best, neither Mary Lou Retton nor Paul Hamm ever nailed a landing as accurately as T.J. Simers nailed the current state of women's gymnastics in the U.S. While saying current female, Olympic-hopeful, gymnasts "who are in many ways victims of child abuse," as well as "misguided and dreadful parenting," and a specific health issue, he might also have included veal calves. How does the current system, originally established by Bela Karolyi and his wife, which mandates physiques barely able to cast shadows, differ from those calves' "growth-stunting?"
SPORTS
May 2, 1989 | From Associated Press
Chelle Stack, the youngest Olympian to compete in the Seoul Summer Games last year, announced today that she is leaving her training program under Bela Karolyi and moving to Philadelphia. Chelle was 15 when she joined two other Karolyi gymnasts, Brandy Johnson and Phoebe Mills, on the U.S. Olympic team. Johnson left Karolyi earlier this year to return to Coach Kevin Brown in Florida. Karolyi, who was sworn in Monday as a U.S. citizen with his wife, Marta, and daughter, Andrea, said he was not surprised at Chelle's decision to return to her former coaches, Leo and Anna Belder of Philadelphia.
SPORTS
July 23, 2008 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
Former U.S. Olympian Dominique Moceanu, who at 14 was part of the 1996 gold-medal team, said Tuesday night that USA Gymnastics team coordinator Martha Karolyi once grabbed her by the neck and slammed her face into a phone, and that former coach Bela Karolyi twice berated her about her weight in front of national teammates.
SPORTS
June 28, 2008
At their absolute best, neither Mary Lou Retton nor Paul Hamm ever nailed a landing as accurately as T.J. Simers nailed the current state of women's gymnastics in the U.S. While saying current female, Olympic-hopeful, gymnasts "who are in many ways victims of child abuse," as well as "misguided and dreadful parenting," and a specific health issue, he might also have included veal calves. How does the current system, originally established by Bela Karolyi and his wife, which mandates physiques barely able to cast shadows, differ from those calves' "growth-stunting?"
SPORTS
June 23, 2008 | Helene Elliott
PHILADELPHIA -- If USA Gymnastics had a sense of drama and fairness, if it had insisted that the women's Olympic selection process not end behind closed doors at Martha Karolyi's Texas ranch, at least three women would have been nominated to the team Sunday instead of the minimum two. Based on the national championships and the just-completed Olympic trials, five tickets to Beijing could have been issued without any dispute.
SPORTS
August 14, 2007 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
WAVERLY, Texas -- About 20 gymnasts arrive at a secluded ranch where they are enthusiastically greeted by three dogs as well as a bearhug from Bela Karolyi. The girls and their coaches are then guided toward a metal building filled with chalk dust and vaults, tumbling mats and the welcoming presence of Karolyi's wife, Martha. Everyone is smiling, exchanging cheek kisses and information until practice starts. Then Bela disappears. Martha speaks in a whisper, but she is clearly in charge.
SPORTS
August 8, 2004 | Helene Elliott, Times Staff Writer
The gym is quiet, dark. Mats are piled every which way on the floor and a book sits forgotten on a table, its owner finished with classes for the summer. Bela Karolyi sees none of this. He sees and hears what is not there. To him, this airless gym in the John Wooden Center at UCLA is a scene of happy chaos, of high-pitched laughter and bodies hurtling through the air.
SPORTS
June 23, 2004 | Helene Elliott, Times Staff Writer
Martha Karolyi does not bestow compliments lightly. That's why it was so telling when Karolyi, the U.S. women's gymnastics team's program coordinator, invoked the names of Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci in discussing Carly Patterson's knack for thriving under duress. Comaneci, with her skill and daring at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, raised the standards of technical brilliance in the sport. And Retton, with sure, powerful performances, helped the U.S.
SPORTS
July 30, 1988
NBC's coverage of the U.S. gymnastics championship should be nominated for an Emmy as the most biased presentation ever to be broadcast nationwide. What we saw, for the most part, was a Bela Karolyi gym workout with an occasional guest appearance from an outsider gymnast. The reason Don Peters, U.S. women's gymnastics coach, remained incognito could be found in the closing comments of the NBC commentator, who noted that Karolyi is coaching the top female gymnasts but that he is not going to Seoul.
SPORTS
February 25, 2001 | HELENE ELLIOTT
Bela Karolyi has always seemed larger than life, the bearlike man whose golden touch turned Romanian and American tumblers into Olympic champions. He molded Nadia Comaneci, cheered Mary Lou Retton and carried Kerri Strug after that last, painful vault at Atlanta, cementing his reputation as the guru of gymnastics. But although some gymnasts consider him a genius, others consider him overbearing and egotistical. Hired as coordinator of the U.S.
SPORTS
September 20, 2000 | From staff and wire reports
Updating the progress of regional athletes competing in the Olympics in Sydney: JAMIE DANTZSCHER / GYMNASTICS When the U.S. women struggled in international gymnastics competition the last few years, Bela Karolyi was called upon this winter to help restore the national team among the world's elite. Some would say it worked as the U.S. women finished fourth in the team competition Tuesday.
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