Another school of thought holds, however, that Lichey's across-the-board 10's may have removed a psychological barrier for gymnasts and judges. (It should be noted that a 40.00 is easier to achieve under NCAA guidelines than under international rules—a collegiate 10 must include two maneuvers that demand D-level skills, on an ascending scale from A to E, while an international perfecto requires five.) "Roger Bannister broke four minutes in the mile, and within a couple of years there were a bunch of people," says Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan. "Before Karin's career is over, she will receive—will earn—another 40.00. She has all the tools."
For now, Lichey's performance remains singular and can be relived on videotape, as the 5'1" 112-pounder has already done. "Some people will say, 'Did she really deserve that?' " Lichey says. "But I watched the tape and said to myself, You know, I actually did."
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]