Olympic gymnasts: Starving for success?

In 1995, Lesley Stahl reported on the dark underside to one of the most popular Olympic sports: women's gymnastics

They are the darlings of any Summer Olympic games: the female gymnasts. Of the dozens of athletes and dozens of competitions, more often than not, these are the ones more people watch and the names more people remember, sometimes for a lifetime.

There is Romania's Nadia Comeneci, America's Mary Lou Retton, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. There's more to these women than just their gold medals.

As popular as the sport is and as fantastic as these athletes are, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was something amiss in the sport. Today, a gymnast must be at least 16 to make the U.S. Olympic team. Back then, gymnasts were as young as 15. As the girls became younger and smaller, the problems began.

Take a look at Lesley Stahl's 1995 report, which features the story of Kristie Phillips, who was driven to bulimia and near suicide after she failed to make the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Tell us what you think about the sport as it existed back then.

(By the way, today Kristie Phillips is married, has three children and continues to be active in the sport. She owns a gymnastics facility in North Carolina. You can find it on Facebook!)

  • Reid Collins Jr.

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