CBS Evening News for Friday, Sep 23, 1977
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(Studio) Rise in popularity of gymnastics in United States is partly due to Olympic stars like USSR 's Olga Korbut and Romania's Nadia Comaneci. New York City gymnastics instructor thinks United States could have such star someday.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(NYC) (ABC tape of Comaneci at 1976 summer Olympics shown.) New York City physical fitness instructor Suzy Prudden, who works with President's Council on Physical Fitness, says Americans are in terrible shape and if physical training is begun as early as 3 mos. of age, United States could do better in Olympic gymnastics. 4-mo.-old Christy McMahon is shown doing exercise with Prudden. [PRUDDEN - says it would be much better for babies to be able to release tension through fun in exercise, than through crying. Maintains if child is kept in such program from infancy, through pre-gymnastics at age 4 or 5, he can be ready for competition, if he wants, by age 8 or 9.] prudden writes books on own approach to physical education and teaches classes in NYC. [PRUDDEN - says parents call her and tell her daughters want to be another Comaneci; tells them to send girls to her classes. Says United States doesn't start children early enough or spend enough time in training.]
REPORTER: David Culhane