Ginger Ninjas

We are a beautiful people, but sadly under-represented in elite gymnastics. As such, and following on from other highly intellectual Stoi! posts on curly, bangs and mullets, here is a compendium of some luscious Titians.  I adore them all.

First up is that rarest of things, an Italian redhead. The divine Yuri Chechi, evaporating the competition in the 1996 Olympics. They didn’t call him Lord of the Rings for nothing.

Utterly effortless seeming display of dominance. He knew he’d won as soon as he landed!

In some ways, I prefer his 2004 Olympic bronze medal winning routine. Amazing comeback, from someone even older than Chusovitina, and like plenty of the rest of that final, he was a big shitload better than the eventual winner. I think he carried the Italian flag in one of the ceremonies too.

Worth watching right until the end, to see his reaction to bronze and him acclaiming Jordan Jovtchev to the crowd as the rightful winner. Yuri’s colour had faded a bit by then, and his locks weren’t as sumptuous as they were in his earlier years. So I don’t know if it’s cheating to include him on a ginger ninja list. But what the fuck, I’ve gone darker than auburn myself in my old age and I still self identify as a redhead, so it’s going in.

Representing the ladies, Allana Slater of Australia.

I actually prefer her later interpretations of this routine, but since I saw her greet Patterson’s win so happily in the Athens AA, her 2004 Olympics has been dead to me.

Leading the British MAG charge towards a medallicious 2012, Dan Purvis on his way to winning the first British MAG medal on floor since 1994, at last year’s worlds.

Only qualifying, but the point is that he’s ginger. Some bitch on a certain message board called him ugly, but she can suck my cock.

Lastly, Elena Produnova. Not entirely ginger, but she always looked like she had a tint in there. Also, I like having excuses to post footage of someone nailing a double front from beam WITH A BROKEN FOOT for their last chance at an Olympic medal.

Does anyone else have anyone to add to the list? I couldn’t actually think of many.

ETA- as aways, Stoi!’s readership step up to the plate. I drew the line at the Hamms though.

Emma Williams, part of GB’s then most successful WAG team ever:

I thought a little over Kotchetkova, since she looked pretty brunette in her earlier days, but she did have a reddish tint in Atlanta. Also, I’ve always thought she looks a bit like my little sister, who is also one of the ginger nation. So Dina makes the cut:

Nobody else liked that routine apart from me, apparently.

Our Australian readership have also pointed me in the direction of Shona Morgan. We all know that nobody rocks dark green quite like a redhead, and this just proves it. We should all be thankful that Peggy didn’t make them wear pink on this occasion. It’s not for us.

As for T Lo, I wish, but I think y’all might be seeing something I’m not!

-Posted by Clara.


10 responses to “Ginger Ninjas

  • Stoi!

    Scholarly as always Elizabeth.
    Gen, we’re probably long lost cousins or something. I’ve got a lot of cousins!

  • Queen Elizabeth

    I’m delighted that you have chosen to focus on the vital area of coiffeur, so often directly linked to gymnastics success, particularly within the Soviet and Russian teams. This was especially recognised by coach-hero Leonid Arkayev, under whose leadership such gymnasts as Elena Shevchenko, Dina Kochetkova and Elena Produnova came to the fore. Arkayev’s assistant coach Marina Bulashenko too was seen to adopt red hair at times of stress and Arkayev’s preference for red hair colour also proved figural in the career of World Vice Champion 1989, Valentin Mogilnyi. What is little known, though very obvious if one refers to videos and imagery, is the constant struggle Mogilnyi faced with his hair style and colour. This problem dogged him throughout most of his gymnastics career, resulting in a variety of outlandish hair arrangements, including the ‘bowl’ cut of 1985, and the ‘gorilla shock’ look of 1987. Furthermore, his naturally mousey hair colour proved a disadvantage to him on the world gymnastics scene during the early days of his career. Only after taking possession of the bottle of red hair colour did Valentin finally step forward and realise his full competitive potential.
    Red hair colour has been central to the representation of the fiery, adventurous spirit of the Russian innovator and artist-athlete. Red can be considered symbolic of the struggle of the proletariat, a cipher for the Soviet work ethic that is so eloquently expressed through the living physical form of gymnastics.

  • gem

    clara i actually think you are me from the future especially now with the ginger thing. i remember thinking kurbs looked ginger at euros but half the time shes got some blonde denial dye job going on so maybe she doesnt really deserve to be in this post.

  • KellyC

    oh…& how could i forget…Shona Morgan, Stanford & Aussie Elite!

  • KellyC

    Funny you wrote this post, as I was just mentioning to my boyfriend the other day that there are a rather large amount of lovely gingers in the NCAA & while they are not elite…its still impressive. Some to note are…

    -Christa Tanella – gorgeous gymnast – former elite & WOGA-ite, although she hasnt quite lived up to her potential, yet in NCAA

    Kelsey Joannides – ranked 11th on beam & from my hometown!
    Amber See – just won SEC freshman of the week!

    Ohio State
    Taylor Jones – 2009 Big 10 freshman of the year
    Collean Dean

    Hannah Touissant – GORGEOUS girl & lines/toepoint
    Ashley Priess – I would consider her a ginger, at the very least strawberry blonde & she is a world medalist!

    Thats all I can think of right now. Also, the Hamm brothers always gave off a slight ginger air..just sayin…

  • Blythe

    Lysenko was rather a redhead, wasn’t she? I can’t quite remember because lighting was kind of bad in a lot of those arenas back in the day. At the moment, Aussie Emma Collister totally qualifies.

  • j-lo

    Acro gymnast Amy McKenzie who was the youngest member of Spelbound

  • Stoi!

    “Some bitch on a certain message board called him ugly, but she can suck my cock.”

    Haha, Clara is always finding new and innovative ways to be trashy.


  • Dan

    Can’t believe you left out the pink panther, Elena Shevchenko!
    Emma Williams, 2000 Team GB member

    Umm, that’s all I can think of.

  • bluffingtongympost

    Dina Kochetkova! Among one of my favorites.

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