1997-1998 Ribbon Routine

Elena Vitrichenko Collection


Lots of RSG fans believe that Vitrichenko’s strongest apparatus is the ribbon. Her ribbon exercises are diverse, exciting, phenomenal and definitely elegant. In 1997, Vitrichenko composed an especially graceful routine that win her the third consecutive ribbon world title. The choice of music was Yanni’s softly lilting “One Man’s Dream”. While viewing the performance (esp. her 1997 Worlds Ribbon Finals), take time to appreciate her balletic artistry and fine techniques.

With the ribbon flowing down her shoulders, Elena starts her routine in a grand eccart pose. As the music slowly rises, Vitrichenko collects her ribbon, creates a series of large concentric circles with the ribbon in a pénche balance into a toe balance. Next, she tosses the ribbon and catches it in a double stag ring leap. Crouching down Vitrichenko swirls the ribbon into a beautiful large circle that encircles her body points diagonally into mid air and the body bends into a back arch. While performing these movements, Elena is simultaneously drawing “snakes” with her ribbon. This entire set of motion tests the gymnast’s strength and flexibility. More commendably, Vitrichenko coalesces elegance and artistry into it with her selection of body language and ribbon patterns.

The mood of the music slowly brightens. Its pace consequently quickens. Rising up, Vitrichenko collects the two ends of the ribbon together, performs a turn, before hurling the stick into the ceiling. Catching it, she performs a body wave and displays her signature flexibility move: her left leg raised into an arching, touching her head, forming a closed “P” shape with her body. Her famous multiple throws trail behind. Holding on to the ribbon end, she executes a huge toss and on receiving back the stick, Elena launches he stick into the air a second time to showcase another boomerang toss. Frolicking into a split leap with a deep arch, Elena pulls the ribbon end of her apparatus. Then, in a deep back arch, she gets the stick back. A variation knee cartwheel followed close at heel, as Vitrichenko creates some zigzags with her ribbon.

A double stag ring leap into a “Timochenko” is then enacted, while Elena designs spirals with the ribbon in the balance position. Vitrichenko certainly scores in terms of difficulty with such a combination. Subsequently, she kicks into a split leg with deep arch, switches the apparatus into her other hand, does some vertical leg up pivots, before jumping into a turning split leap (leaping through the ribbon). Following the amazing sequence of leaps and rotations, Vitrichenko elapses into a range of pivots to accompany the music’s clam tone: firstly, an excellent and well-controlled triple passé collapsing into an absolutely gorgeous back scale waterfall, then whirlwinds into a combination of attitude spin and passé variation. Keep an eye on the ribbon throughout all these exchanges and moves. See how Vitrichenko keeps the apparatus in perpetual fluid movement with her seasoned and nimble hands, the awe-inspiring patterns she created, and the interaction between the apparatus and her wonderful choice of body movements to present a resplendent composition.

As for the finale, Vitrichenko throws her apparatus against the dreamily cascading background music and catches it in a cartwheel position. Spreading the ribbon along her shoulder length, she strikes an graceful pose to conclude a stunning routine.

Great choice of music, body motion and execution. Vitrichenko charms fansand judges alike with this exercise. She works with increadible grace, aptitude, confidence and technical perfection. As some say, she epitomizes the sport. Critics always earmark her elegance and subtly sweet interpretations of mesmerizing pieces illustrated here as the so-called “Vitrichenko Style”

Watch this routine. Experience the magic of Vitrichenko. It’s inspiring.


One Man's Dream

Major scores:

1997 Worlds: 10.000 - 1st
1998 DTB-Pokal: 9.791
San Francisco: 9.950 - 1st
Goodwill AA: 9.925 - 2nd
Deventer Cup: 9.958 - 2nd
Grand Prix Finale: 9.975 - 1st 

Vid Cap

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 Copyright 2001 Derri & Angela See