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'A challenge to perfection'

The U.S. is not gymnastics-minded. The loss is ours. Gymnasts are as graceful as divers and as disciplined as four-minute milers. It is furthermore a sport in which girls show off to advantage. One of the best is Muriel Davis of Indianapolis, shown clutching the two first-place medals she won in the recent Midwest Gymnastics Championships.

Since childhood Muriel has been interested in sports as a means of achieving a sense of physical freedom and well-being. She tried all sports open to a girl, discovered gymnastics when she took a course in tumbling as a ballet student. "It is a sport of infinite variety," says Muriel, "a challenge to perfection. The thrill comes in the beginning when you don't know whether you are going to make it. When you have mastered a difficult routine you want to jump up and down." Muriel can afford to jump: she will be a bright star in the 1960 Olympics and RKO has signed her (as an ingénue, not as a gymnast) to a seven-year movie-TV contract.