" 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