I had in the past promised to do an entry about Aussie gym from the archives, well here it is!
It's basically just a cluster of interesting routines from Australia's early steps onto the world stage, and some footage of well-known seniors when they were younger. Feel free to entertain yourself with wibbly picture quality and 'interesting' fashions of decades past.
Many thanks to a GGMB user who uploaded vids from the 1988 Pacific Alliance Championships, a comp that featured budding stars like Yang Bo, she of the famous leap, and Kristie Phillips, who around that time was being touted as 'The New Mary Lou' on magazine covers, only to have a slight personal meltdown when her career fizzled.
Look out for Monique Allen (or 'Alien' as the commentator says at around 9:11) in this video of the bars final, her bar routine is at 8:37. She gets the silver medal, so good-on her.
Yeah... you thought our pink and purple leotards were bad? Try lurid green.
And way before McIntosh, there was another "Trudz" flying our flag on vault - Trudi Nurse, seen in action at 1:59.
Here's Kirsty-Leigh Brown, who looks like Sarah Lauren and Steph Moorhouse's DNA squished together, doing a tidy Compulsories bar routine at the '96 Olympics.
Oh look, it's that lovely yellow aboriginal-print leotard. Classy. Now, I'm *pretty* sure Julie-anne Monico was the first Aussie to make a World Championships apparatus final. Here she is at the 1992 Worlds, having made the uneven bars final. A bit messy (particularly on the double layout dismount) but still a remarkable achievement for a member of a beginning-to-bloom national team. She placed 8th with a score of 9.800.
Joanna Hughes, who really carried the torch for Team Australia in the early to mid-90's, is shown here on vault. Clearly, Nationals in the mid-90's weren't a big deal, it sounds as though there are three men and a dog in the audience.
Check out our Beijing contenders in their freckly youth here. BabyShona, BabyLivvy, BabyGeorgia... it's like TinyToons!
For real 'old school' Aussie gym action, check out this website GA set up to commemorate our gymnastics efforts at the 1956 Olympics.
And after nearly a decade, it's interesting to note that not a lot of the philosophy or method arond team selection has changed.