Tuesday, November 07, 2006


If you wish to leave a comment or story, but you do not have a Google or AOL Password or User Name, you may go to any page on any link, scroll to the bottom, click on "Contact" and we will receive your comment. When approved, it will be placed on the "Gymtalk" blog. Note that at least one of the entries is from a person who tells a funny story about his granddad. We'd love to hear stories of your gymnastic experiences or those of gymnastics people you have known such as family and friends. Please keep to the subject as a matter of courtesy.
Thank you,
L. Banner, Manager


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Michael Ramaley said...

I really like what you are doing, keep up the good work!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Dr. Larry Banner, Site Manager said...

1960 STUDY-U. of MN: Gymnasts have the strongest legs of all Olympic sports teams except the weightlifters. Gymnasts have the weakest hand strength (making a fist) than any other Olympic sport, but they have the strongest static contraction hands (holding hands in a curl) of any Olympic sport. This means that if you're holding on to a person who is holding on to the skid of an airborne helicoptor, make sure you're holding on to a gymnast.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Dr. Larry Banner, Site Manager said...

If you have comments about this site, we would like to read them. Also, if you know the whereabouts of some inductees whose bios. have not yet bee placed on the site, please let us know by clicking on the "Contact Us" button on any page. Such information is very useful, and many inductees have been very complimentary about this site and its mission; i.e., we wish to give you information about inductees that goes beyond medals, trophys, and ribbons. These are the people that have brought U.S. gymnastics to the forefront it enjoys today.
Larry Banner, Web Manager

At 11:42 AM, Blogger JHoltgym said...

fabulous site, thank you for the extensive, wonderful documentation...would love to see this material published as a hard cover book!
Jim Holt

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Dr. Larry Banner, Site Manager said...

that he apologizes for the delay in putting up this an some other comments. I'm not that expert with bolgs. What follows is a memory of Max Younger by one of his grandsons, Terry Campbell of Yakima, WA.
Recently, my uncle in FL, Wayne Younger, wrote an eMail to me about information being collected for my grandfather, Maximilliam Younger. I was the oldest of the kids and remember him a lot more. I remember playing at his farm in Doylestown, PA. He had some gymnastic things at home afer he retired. We were allowed to play with or on them. We would spend time with him several weeks in the summer at the house in Cape May before my grandparents went to Florida. I have fond memories of him. One of the funniest I remember was the Christmas they gave my younger brother a toy drum and grandpop was laughing so hard 'cause my brother was just beating and beating on that drum. I'm sure grandpa thought it was so funny 'cause my parents were going to be stuck with the racket. I appreciate the biography that was written and have had it copied and framed on my wall. Thanks so much!
Terry Campbell of Yakima, Wa

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Larry Banner said...

that this blog was approved and appreciated.
Larry, you're doing a wonderful job, and I hope it's appreciated. Your site may become the only true resource concerning the records and biographies of our U.S. Hall of Fame Inductees. I also like that you keep everything positive. A number of Inductees weren't all that popular, but no need to tell horror stories. I hope people are making as generous a contribution as have I. I know you ask no pay, but I also know the expenses can add up quickly. Thanks again for this site and the way the stories are being told.
K. Phillips

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Dr. Larry Banner, Site Manager said...

said that this message is approved and appreciated.
Bruce Frederick gave me your email address....I just wanted to write and tell you how impressive your USHoF website is...the amount of material you've compiled and published (and those amazing photos like Pearl Perkins!) are simply astounding....I thought I knew something about the history of the sport (I was on the HoF selection committee when Bruce was it's chair), but the stories of folk like Bruno Johnke and Ed Hennig are simply jaw dropping...
I've been privileged (and honored) to meet the likes of Ralph Piper, Clara Shroth, Ben Bass and am sorry that I wasn't able to be alive or meet all the inductees....of all the intros, the one I liked the best is the one you wrote about Chuck Keeney....succinct and accurate, "a great man".
Thank you for this wonderful resource....too bad USA Gymnastics doesn't seem to appreciate the significance....
warm regards,
Jim Holt

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Dr. Larry Banner, Site Manager said...

Mike, it would be difficult to have a party with all inductees. Remember, 1904 to 2007. Tough to get together. . .

Well done, Larry... first time I have seen the site but will certainly pass this on to all I know will be interested. Perhaps it is time to get all 237+ of the members of the Hall together... I would be interested in assisting to help that take place!

With very best wishes,

Mike Jacki

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Dr. Larry Banner, Site Manager said...

International competition yields unexpected unexpected experiences, so I'll relate my "Escape From Berlin" story. After the Prague WC, the U.S. team went on tour and finished with a meet against the West Berlin National Team in West Berlin. Banner won the AA that night and chose to go with his German and other friends after the meet. All had a good time. He returned to the hotel well before the team was to meet and leave for the airport and home; however, during the night, the leadership decided to leave for the airport earlier than originally planned, so Banner missed the bus to the airport. Armando Vega, Banner’s teammate/roommate, graciously had packed his bags including his passport. Banner got to the airport in plenty of time; alas, the bags with his passport went out on the first of three flights. It was gone. Then George Gulack (1959 GHOF Inductee) and considered close behind Rush Limbaugh in conservative thinking, got a truly scary idea. It was as scary as Bob Lynn doing a handstand on the Berlin Wall with three sentries aiming at him if he fell. George’s ideas was if the entire team, wearing our national traveling suits with USA patches, overwhelmed the passport inspection kiosk at the last boarding call, we just might get by without all passports being checked thus also getting by the guards with their automatic weapons. After all, he reasoned, who wants to check 22 passports from a traveling national team? Banner and his fellow teammates/conspirators pulled off the rouse, made it onto the aircraft and flew to Frankfort where passports were to be checked again. From the airport’s Tarmak, the team disembarked and was asked to follow a red carpet into the passport control office located in the middle of the airport about 75 feet from where the plane had shut down. As the team marched into Passport Control, Banner slipped into the cab of a ground support tractor and waited on hands and knees while the team had their passports checked. As the team filed out, Fred Orlofsky slapped the fender of the tractor and Banner rejoined the group, and it was on to Helsinki. A Good Ending: In Helsinki, when Banner was asked for his passport and didn’t have one, the young man at the counter turned bright red and asked, “Do you know where you’ve come from? It was, you’ll remember, the middle of the Cold War. The passport was retrieved quickly, but not before the Finnish media had the story, and it became hectic for a while. Now Banner was the only member of the entire group with both his luggage and a passport. Imagine that! After first getting permission from the team leaders to leave the group if possible, Banner spotted the young man who had first asked for his passport. He was having lunch. Banner sat down and talked with the fellow who happened to be a student at Sweden’s Uppsala University, and his SAS airlines summer job would finish on August 22nd. Since Banner had a charter ticket, it could not be officially altered to a later return date. However, when the young man found that Banner wanted to go to Stockholm for the summer, he quickly changed and appropriately stamped the return date to “Open” with the proviso that Banner not leave before September. As a student, he would be long gone from SAS Airlines by then and back for his senior year at college. The friendly young man provided special directions about how to travel to Stockholm, and Banner, with just $7.26 in his pocket, set out. After a series of interesting events on the road, Banner was welcomed by friends in the gymnastic center in Stockholm and put to work for the summer in a vacation gymnastic training camp. Through friends, he also was accepted and trained in mountain rally racing by the Saab Company and received a racing certification to drive in competition if he wished. Banner had already been a half owner/driver of a fuel-rail dragster at an earlier date in the U.S. He stopped racing when his partner was killed and the “car” demolished. He did not race in Sweden.


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