This is an exact copy of the biography section on Gina Gogean homepage, which no longer exist. However, I did add some additional information at the end; therefore, I hope none of you are too disappointed.
" I never thought I am sacrificing myself. When I was a little girl, I watched on TV the performance of our gymnasts and I dreamed that once I would be like them. Now that has come true and it seems natural to me. I don't think I earned major success, I think this came as a result of a very hard work. I have never thought about retiring, because gymnastics is my way of life. I know, in the meantime, I have grown up because of gymnastics. Of course, I have bad days sometimes, anyone does, but it is important that there is here, on the team, an atmosphere of friendship between us and coaches"
Date of Birth: September 9, 1977
Place of Birth: Campuri, Romania, a small village in Jud.Vrancea
Middle Name: Elena
Height: 150cm (4'11")
Weight: 40kg (88 pounds)
Family: Father, Emil, is a driving instructor, mother is Anica, has a sister named Maricica, a student at the University of Iasi
Began Gymnastics: 1983 at the Foscani Clubul Sportiv Scolar training center
First Coaches: Tatiana and Sergiu Popa
Coach: Octavian Belu
Favorite Apparatus: Floor and Vault
Biggest Gymnastics Influences: Nadia Comaneci, Teodora Ungureanu, Aurelia Dobre
Most Admired Gymnasts Now: Lavinia Milosovici, Yuri Chechi
Favorite Sports Heroes (Non-Gymnasts): Carl Lewis, Nancy Kerrigan
Favorite Stars (Non-Sports): Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Eddie Murphy
Favorite Musician: Michael Jackson
Favorite Place Visited: Rome, Italy
Favorite Subject in School: Biology
Gina Gogean is incredibly shy, and is also very modest. "Giving interviews is the most difficult thing about being a gymnast." She is know for seldom showing a variety of facial expressions, but is also known for her consistency in routines. Gina, along with Lavinia Milosovici, helped to lead the Romanian Gymnasts to a bronze medal in the team competition at the Atlanta Olympics, and both received silver medals in the team competition in Barcelona four years ago.
For her floor routine at the Olympics, Gina used part of a song called Hevenu Shalom Alehem (you are listening to it right now), a Jewish song. For her floor music, Gina usually selects traditional Romanian songs.
In 1994 Gina Gogean was named the Greatest Romanian Athlete of the year. Some other well-known Romanians who have won this award are Lavinia Milosovici, Nadia Comaneci, Gheorghe Popescu and Gheorghe Hagi (two popular Romanian football (soccer) players).
A few months before the Olympics Gina was traveling on a train in Romania when she suddenly required an appendectomy. She was travelling to Bucharest at the time and received the surgery at a hospital there. The exact surgery she had was called a Laparoscopic Appendectomy, which is a procedure that requires a minimal incision. It is also fairly recent and high-tech, which is why it was only available in Bucharest. She only missed 12 days of practice after the operation, but if she hadn't received this surgery and had a traditional appendectomy she would have missed at least six weeks of light exercise, and a great deal longer of Olympic-caliber training which would have caused her to miss the Olympics.
Though not many details are known about this, at European Junior Championships a few years ago, possibly in 1989, Gina was named "most beautiful gymnast" at the competition (which doesn't surprise me). If anyone knows more information about this I would love to hear it.
Gina enjoys shopping, ice skating, athletics, and stamp collecting. She also enjoys reading, and in her little spare time, does little things to expand her mind. When she retires from gymnastics she says she would like to become a coach. She also wants to learn English and Italian.
"Very introvertite, but with a hard life experience, Gina proved to be courageous and very self-believing. Shy, but also very interested of all around her, Gina is a secret weapon of the Romanian gymnastic school" -Sport Magazine
Yes, Gina, We'll Miss You!
Written by Brian Davisson
Gina Announcing her retirement at the World Championship
After the completion of the 1997 World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, Gina decided to end her illustrious gymnastics career. Over the course of eight years, stretching back to her first competition in 1989, and ending in a Europe-Asia meet directly following the World Championships, Gina has never ceased to amaze all fans of gymnastics with her remarkable skill and consistency. After the completion of the World Championships in Lausanne, Gina's three first-place finishes gave her a total of nine gold medals in World Championship competition, moving her into a tie with Larissa Latyinia for the most gold medals won at the World Championships. With well over fifteen first-place all-around finishes and over thirty first-place finishes on individual apparatus, she finishes her career as one of the most successful competitors in the history of gymnastics. Few gymnasts have managed to retain consistency in competitions over their careers like Gina has done, and with her retirement, the sport loses one of the greatest athletes ever. It is certain that few gymnasts will ever reach the level of greatness that Gina achieved in every competition in which she competed, but every fan over the entire world will always remember the eight wonderfully successful years she gave to gymnastics.
(Note: Brain Davisson is the web page designer of the one and only web page that's totally dedicated to Gina which no longer exist.)
Perhaps she is one of the most underrated gymnasts, especially for being around for such a long time. Gina Gogean burst onto the scene all the way back in the 1992 Europeans and Olympic Games. Although not a contender for the titles back then, her talent and clean routines showed much promise for the future. Indeed, it only took until the 1993 World Champions to show the judges that she was a competitior for top spots and major titles. There she finished second in the all around, a mere .007 behind leader Shannon Miller.
Let's See the Great Smile One More Times
Gina rare smiles during competitions and was nicknamed "technician" by the western reporters for her lack of facial expression, but guess what? TECNICAIANS DOES SMILE!
REPORTER: Gina, how are you feeling now that you're AGAIN world champion with the team, the third time in your career?
GINA: I'm very tired after the competition, but you may guess how great, how happy, I feel!
REPORTER: We heard you intended to retire! Is this true?
GINA: Yes, it is. This is my last international competition and this third world team title really helps me retire still "in glory", so to speak. I really hope that my mission was well accomplished!
REPORTER: Were you nervous during the trials?
GINA: No, I wasn't nervous when I had to compete, but when my teammates were competitng.
REPORTER: Do you think you'll be nervouis in the aa or in the aparatus finals?
GINA: I think I'm pretty good at self-controlling my emotional status. I am experienced enough and I am optimistic in what concerns the aa and the event finals. The most important thing is to trust your own abilities.
REPORTER: What do you think of your opponents?
GINA: I am not really interested in this matter. I just want to do my job as well as possible. It's also a matter of luck.
GINA GOGEAN (after the World Championships)
REPORTER: Are you still going to retire, even after these three gold medals?
GINA: Absolutely. Though Belu's trying to convince me not to give up, I think this is the right moment to retire.
REPORTER: Are you going to become a coach?
GINA: I have a lot of time to think about it, right now I want to have some time off. I think next year I will focul exclusively on coaching. We'll see.
REPORTER: And until then?
GINA: I will take part in some gymnastics shows this fall. But first of all I want to go to the seaside on holidays, I've been dreaming about it for a long long time.
REPORTER: On Friday you will compete in the friendly meeting in Lyon. On what apparatus?
GINA: Anything but bars!
REPORTER: To whom do you want to dedicate these gold medals?
GINA: To Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang, to my family and to my mates whom I wish to get at least where Milo and I got!
GINA GOGEAN STUFF!
Gina Gogean has always been in contrast with the other great
stars of gymnastics. She's never "looking" for the camera, she seems inhibited
and sometimes often even sad. Let's read what she has to say about herself, and maybe this
way we'll get to know her a little better.
"I have never considered my work as a sacrafice. When I was little, I used to watch all the great routines of Romanian champions and I used to dream that I would once achieve the same performances. Now, that all these have happened, I just think it was normal to be that way. I don't think my results are extraordinary, but I know they are the consequence of hard work. Gymnastics are my way of life."
"I sometimes have bad days, but the most important thing that keeps me going is the unique atmosphere that we have. We have developed a real friendship among us and the coaches."
WHAT DO HER COACHES HAVE TO SAY?
OCTAVIAN BELU: "Many times she has complained and she did her job with the same determination. been experiencing health problems, she was in pain but she never said anything. She neverI think the fact that she is interiorized is her way of self defense. But you should also know that she can be very communicative and cheerful! That's her personality!"
MARIANA BITANG: "There's nothing that gives her more determination than the achievements of her younger teammates. Gina never disturbs you, you don't feel her presence, but YOU SEE HER. Many people say that her eyes don't communicate much while she's training, but those who know her could tell lyou that this is not true. Gina loves rhythm, it is her way to express herself."
Gina retired after the 98 World Cup. IG Online post her recent news on the March and April issue of WHERE ARE THEY NOW:
A gymnastics standout since her first competition in 1989, when she was a mere 11 years old, Gina Gogean is a Romanian legend.
Competing for almost a decade, Gogean earned five Olympic medals in two Games (1992 & '96), including the all-around silver in Atlanta. She stuck with her team through 1997, winning team gold and two more individual world titles (beam and floor) to bring her world and Olympic medal count to an astonishing 19 total, not to mention her seven European medals.
Now retired and happily single, despite rumors of engagements, Gogean giggles when reminded of her stoic competition demeanor. "I smiled all the time," she laughs, "just not when I was doing gymnastics!"
Previously working at the Romanian national training center in Deva, Gogean currently splits her time between two month coaching stints in Great Britain and her home in Timisoara, Romania, where she attends college.
"I don't need to get married," she said recently. "I'm too young and I have my own money." Then she added with a laugh, "but I did have a boyfriend and, with him, I was the boss!"
Still in great shape and sporting a chic, chin-length bob, Gogean says she loves the sport but doesn't miss the gym. She hopes to continue coaching after she graduates.
To learn more about Gina Gogean see the June/July 1997 profile "Last Stand" and our "Photo File" tribute: "Glorious Gogean."