Monday, March 01, 1993

Dominique Moceanu (left) and Jennie Thompson at Karolyi's in 1993
photo by Nancy Raymond © IG '93

While we were talking with Jennie and Dominique, Hilary Grivich stopped by to help, and added a few comments of her own ...

IG: Do you get nervous in competitions?

Dominique Moceanu: Not anymore, not really.

Jennie Thompson: I used to. I used to be really bad.

IG: Tell us about Brazil.

JT: It was pretty cool.

DM: It was cool, except I didn't know how to speak it (Portuguese). The food was really good. They had rice and this meAt stuff ...

JT: They had the same thing every day.

DM: Not every day, but pretty much every day. They had a weird pizza ... it was sick. Me and Jen were about to barf.

(Jennie recalls people milling about on the competition floor, walking on the runway as she ran for her first vault.)

IG: Have you had any serious injuries?

DM: I've had tendinitis in my knee, not bad, something in my wrists ... growth plate.

JT: I dislocated my elbow (Sept. '91). I cracked my ankle, that's about it.

DM: My hamstring's kinda tight ... I haven't broken a bone.

IG: What's the most fun and least fun about gymnastics?

JT: Getting yelled at?

IG: That's the best part?

(all giggle)

JT: When I'm doing good. (Dominique agrees.)

IG: What's the hardest for you?

DM: Flexibility -- I'm so tight. She sits right next to me and like -- boom. "I don't want to look at you anymore."

IG: Are you afraid of your coach?

Both: (Softly) No.

IG: What about Bela?

(They hesitate.)

Hilary Grivich: Yeah, you were. When you came to our group (spring '92) you were like (makes big eyes). He would yell at me, and you guys'd be like, "oooooh."

(This leads to joking about getting kicked out, yelled at and the funny things coaches say ...)

DM: (to Jennie) You just walked into the gym. "Get out."

HG: I was like, "That was a short workout."

DM: That was the best workout I've ever had.

JT: I was walking to the beam, [Bela] kicked me out. I didn't do anything. Walking to beam.

HG: 'Cause you were last out of the locker room. We couldn't be last out of the locker room.

JT: I had to find my tape. I wasn't that far behind.

HG: I remember when you first came in, he was yelling at you guys, and me and Betty were like, "Yell at us! They're just little kids. Yell at me."

DM: I was like, "What am I do doing? What am I doing wrong? I don't know why you're yelling at me." (Giggles)

JT: You tell me. You're the coach.

HG: He used to yell some funny stuff, man, and it'd be really hard not to laugh (Makes trying-not-to-laugh faces.) ... Martha wanted me to like loosen up (on compulsory beam), and she's like, "You look like a ro-BAHT. RO-boat. RO-bot?" ... We had this beam coach ... (she'd say) "Why don't you take up underwater basket weaving?!"

JT: Dominique is so funny. She's like, "He is so mean to me!" and then he kicks her out. She's like "I wanna do bars!" ...

DM: (interrupting) I know.

JT: "I'll give you a second chance then." No fair!

HG: (to Dominique) You're just like Kim, whenever he would kick her out. She would just stand there and be like, "No. No -- I wanna stay." I'd be like, "Bye."

IG: What are your goals for the Olympics? You want to win?

JT: Yeah.

DM: We can tie for first.

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