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Degrees of Difficulty – How Women's Gymnastics Rose to Prominence and Fell from Grace - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Degrees of Difficulty: How Women's Gymnastics Rose to Prominence and Fell from Grace

Georgia Cervin


This book chronicles the history of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics against the backdrop of the Cold War. Accepted into the Olympic program in 1952 because it was considered uniquely appropriate for women, the sport has always been defined by the performance of femininity. Eastern bloc governments harnessed the nonthreatening nature of gymnasts to advance their political ambitions through citizen diplomacy. Yet at the same time, they were accused of flouting the amateur rule. But this was not the only rule being broken. Some also cheated by score fixing and later, age falsification. The sport beca ... More

Keywords: Abuse, Age, Amateurism, Cheating, Coaching, Diplomacy, Femininity, Feminism, Gender, governance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780252043772
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043772.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Georgia Cervin, author
University of Western Australia