Today's tribute to the 80's!

Posted by:danafan on December 04, 1996
Today's tribute goes to:
Natalia Laschenova, Drum roll please...... Since my and Baitova's namesakes have both been covered, it seems only fair that today's tribute goes to.....Natalia Laschenova! This gymnast, dubbed "70 pounds of dynamite" at the 1987 USA/USSR meet was the youngest member of the 1988 USSR Olympic team. She did quite well there, making AA finals and placing fifth. She had some of the most difficult routines at the time, including a Yurchenko double twist on vault, a *high* two foot layout on BB that makes Mo's look wimpy, two ffs to full-in off BB that - well, I won't tell you how it makes Dawes' look -, and a double layout on floor.In 1989, she did an amazing back to back pass on FX: RO-ff-double layout-ff-straddle jump-punch front-hurdle to RO-ff-double tuck. Just amazing! She also got a 10.0 on vault for her unmatched Yurhcenko full. She would have won under new life rule, but probably deserved to win anyway (but I haven't actually seen all of her AA finals routines, so I can't really say).

Even though the Olympics were her first major (ie world or Olympic) event, she was established internationally before that with a win at the 1986 Belgian internatianal, as well as a strong showing in the Riga meet (her home town) in 1985. She kept competing until 1991, where she should have been able to sweep the FISU games, but she had proven to be a tad inconsistent in her old age. Oh, she is also the unofficial winner of *two* USA/USSR meets (the mini-ScAm Cup - Baitova, I love this title!) losing to Kristie Phillips in 1987 (yeah right! And I actually liked Kristie Phillips!), and third behind Zmeskal (not in this century!) and Chusovitina in 1990 (okay, I'll give you the latter). Laschenova, do you care to add anything I may have missed/gotten wrong?

Laschenova rocked. I loved her floor routine in Stuttgart. You forgot to add that she is married to the guy who robbed Scherbo's apartment. Also let's not forget that she was training triple backs as early as 1986!!!!! Before Liukin even debuted his.