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Gymnastics at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Women's Team All-Around

Gymnastics at the 1988 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Olympic Gymnastics Hall, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 19, 1988
Date Finished: September 21, 1988
Format: Six-person teams. Each gymnast to perform a compulsory and an optional exercise on all four apparatuses. Top five scores per team on each of the eight exercises count towards the team score.

Gold: URS Soviet Union
Silver: ROU Romania
Bronze: GDR East Germany

Summary

The Soviet women won this event at every Olympics from 1952-80, and returned in 1988 to continue their hegemony in women’s team gymnastics. They would win again in 1992 as the Unified Team. Romania had defeated the Soviet Union at the 1987 World Championships, but had to settle for silver in Seoul, after winning the 1984 Olympic gold medal.

The battle for bronze was quite close between the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), the United States, and Bulgaria. Unfortunately it came down to a decision with political overtones. During their uneven bars rotation, US alternate Rhonda Faehn was charged with removing the springboard used by the gymnasts to mount the bars. But instead of leaving the competition area, she stayed on the podium to watch Kelly Garrison-Steves perform her routine. For this the Americans were penalized 5/10ths of a point by the President of the Technical Committee of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), Ellen Berger. Berger was from East Germany, and the penalty margin gave the bronze medal to East Germany, with the US finishing fourth, 3/10ths of a point behind. US coach Bela Karolyi, a Romanian emigré, went ballistic, calling Berger “a cow” and the ruling “a Communist plot.”

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal PTS CP OP
1 Soviet Union URS Gold 395.475 197.325 198.150
2 Romania ROU Silver 394.125 196.425 197.700
3 East Germany GDR Bronze 390.875 195.425 195.450
4 United States USA 390.575 194.450 196.125
5 Bulgaria BUL 390.550 194.375 196.175
6 China CHN 388.400 193.150 195.250
7 Czechoslovakia TCH 386.150 193.075 193.075
8 Hungary HUN 385.625 192.900 192.725
9 Spain ESP 383.975 191.375 192.600
10 South Korea KOR 383.825 192.650 191.175
11 Canada CAN 383.750 190.975 192.775
12 Japan JPN 380.200 189.250 190.950