You have to realize many of those girls came from broken homes or from Siberia without much future. If they had a physical gift, it was their only chance and a way out.
My own high school coach here in America came from Siberia to Belarus when he was 16. He became a Belorussian national champ, visited half of the world through wrestling when nobody was allowed to leave Soviet Union and now he coaches in NY at one of the best Private schools in the country. He would not be able to do any of this without such boarding schools. Probably would still be living in Siberia and drinking vodka.