Friday 22 June 2012

Friday Favourites

Fabulous Fabrichnova

Not wanting to jinx the Olympic hopes of any current gymnasts, I have looked to the past for today's Friday Favourite. Although I have many, one gymnast that I really loved to watch is Oxana Fabrichnova.

The 1993 World Championships was a delight to me from start to finish as it was the first full gymnastics competition I watched. And in the middle of all this excitement, one gymnast caught my eye and really made me smile, That gymnast was Russia's Oxana Fabrichnova.

The first glimpse I got of Oxana was on beam in the all around competition. I often find that although there are many very artistic and beautiful routines on this apparatus as well as the strong acrobatic ones, it often seems difficult to see any real personality shine through. But there was no doubt the Oxana Fabrichnova had spark and personality throughout this routine. Her embellishments between moves, the little flicks of the head all seemed to give her routine that little bit extra. Here was a gymnast that gave a good performance.

It was then with great anticipation that I awaited her floor exercise. If we had been treated to that much life on the beam then surely her floor exercise would be something special. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. She sold the routine with great expression and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

Her strong performances on all 4 events meant that Oxana Fabrichnova achieved 5th place in the All Around competition in the 1993 World Championships. I was looking forward to seeing more of her in the future.

When the 1994 World Championships came around I was surprised and most upset to realise that Oxana Fabrichnova was not one of the two all around Russian gymnasts. Who on earth were these replacements Dina Kochetkova and Svetlana Khorkina?! I was slightly mollified to find that I would still be getting a chance to see Oxana Fabrichnova as she had been brought as a beam specialist and qualified to the beam final. Although I was delighted that her one performance at these championships led to a 3rd place and a bronze medal, I was somewhat disappointed to see that her routine seemed to have lost it's spark. Although I was just as impressed by her elegance and skill, there seemed to be none of the expression and sparkle that I had seen in the previous year's routines.

Her style and elegance combined with her artistry and expression are what make Oxana Fabrichnova one of my favourite gymnasts.

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