Romanian Gymnastics News
Seasons comes and
seasons goes, gymnastics world changes everyday. I try to keep this news page as updated as
possible but like everyone else, I do get busy sometimes. Therefore, be patient and have
- Retired Raducan Eyes Career in TV // January 8, 2003 Source: IG
Andreea Raducan is adjusting to life after gymnastics, and considering a career in television. "I miss the gymnasts and coaches," the Romanian star told IG Wednesday. "But now, I will have more time for other things in my life, like going to the University, and pursuing a TV career."
Raducan became a household name after winning the all-around title at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, only to be stripped of the gold medal a few days later because of a banned substance she ingested by taking a cold tablet. In Sydney she also won a gold medal with the Romanian team and a silver medal on vault, which she was allowed to keep.
After finishing third all-around at the 2001 Worlds in Ghent, Raducan debated retirement for much of 2002. After gaining weight, she skipped the European Championships held in the spring. This fall she returned to competition, winning the gold medal on balance beam at both the French International and Glasgow Grand Prix.
However, at the 2002 World Championships and 2002 World Cup Final in November she failed to win any medals. She fell off balance beam in the semi-finals at the Worlds and finished seventh on floor at the World Cup. Raducan had been the defending World and World Cup champion on both beam and floor exercise.
Now a freshman at the University of Timisoara, the 19-year-old is considering her career options.
"I will soon meet with some representatives of TVR [Romanian TV network] to see if I can work in television," she said. "Next week, [Sydney teammate] Maria Olaru and I will travel to Malaysia to do a few days of promotional activities and gymnastics clinics."
Raducan said after she returns from Malaysia, she plans to find an apartment in Bucharest. There she will continue to keep up with her studies at the University via correspondence courses while she pursues a career in television.
In related news, Romania's Sabina Cojocar is considering retirement herself because of a chronic health problem. Cojocar, the 2000 Junior European champion and 2001 Goodwill Games champion, left Deva on December 30 and is currently resting at home.
- Five-Year Suspensions For Retired Romanians // December 18, 2002 Source: IG
Three former Romanian team members who posed nude have all received professional suspensions from the Romanian Gymnastics Federation. The Federation issued the sanctions after Lavinia Milosovici, Claudia Presecan, and Corina Ungureanu posed nude in a Japanese magazine and DVD. The trio will be unable to represent Romania in any official capacity—as athletes, coaches, or judges—for five years.
Federation officials say the former gymnasts embarrassed the country because they appeared in photos wearing their Romanian team leotards alongside the nude photos.
All three gymnasts earned world titles with the Romanian team. Milosovici won two golds, one silver, and three bronze medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. Presecan won an Olympic team gold medal in 2000.
Ungureanu had previously posed nude in Romanian Playboy without any official sanction from the Federation. The trio will be allowed to work at private gymnastics clubs, though Presecan was recently dismissed from her job as a coach in response to the photo spread.
- Amanar Awaiting Motherhood // June 12, 2002 Source: IG
Retired Romanian Olympic gold medalist Simona Amanar is expecting her first child this summer. Amanar, 22, updated IG this week about her current life as a student and wife in Timisoara, Romania.
The 1996 and 2000 Olympic gold medalist, retired since the 2000 World Cup, was married this spring to lawyer Cosmin Tabara. The pair honeymooned in New York City, where Tabara has relatives, and are currently building a new house in Tabara's hometown of Timisoara.
Amanar said she due with her first child in late August. "It's a boy, but we have not chosen a name for him yet," she said. "I am trying to persuade my family to move from Constanta to Timisoara to help with the baby, but I am happy Cosmin's family lives nearby and can help."
Amanar also teaches physical education part-time to children ages 10-12 years old at the General School #18 in Timisoara, and once a week she teaches children who are four to six years old.
She will take her final exams next Monday, June 17, to complete her degree in Physical Education from the Institute of Physical Education in Timisoara. She attends the University with former teammates Maria Olaru and Gina Gogean. In addition to Olaru and Gogean, Amanar says she still talks often with Claudia Presacan and Lavinia Milosovici.
- The ROM Olympic Committee and Assn. of Sportive Press held a gala in Bucharest yesterday and gave out awards for the country's best athletes, as voted by the press. Marius Urzica received 182 votes for sportsman of the year, placing him 2nd. The ROM women's gymnastics team won the team of the year award for the 5th consecutive time. Attending were Isarescu, Boboc, Olaru and Presacan. (December 17, 2000; Source: Debbie)
- Raducan Loses Appeal, the Court of Arbitration of Sport ruled against our wishes - September, 2000
- History takes a sharp turn, Raducan stripped of All-Around Gold! - September, 2000
- 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. (March/April, 2002 Source: IG)
- PRESECAN CALLS IT QUITS
The pre-Olympic stress seems to be building. A few weeks ago world medalist Isabelle Severino unexpectedly decamped from the French squad and now it seems that Romanian star Claudia Presecan has followed suit.
Presecan, who has been struggling recently with a shoulder injury, left Deva last week due to frustration with her injury and the current coaching situation. Romanian officials confirmed her departure and the fact that she has said she is done with gymnastics. Her spot on the world team will most likely be assumed by junior star Silvia Stroescu or Carmen Ionescu, both of the Steaua club in Bucharest, ironically, the same facility Presecan hails from.
- Results from the Ned-Rom meet and for comments go HERE.- September
- Find more results from the Romanian National HERE. - September
- According to the an interview on the official Goodwill Games, Simona has no intention of retiring right now.
- European Youth Olympic Days 1999 Womens Gymnastics -July
- French International Pictures - July
- Romanian coach drops money for ideals.
As I may quote, "I cannot leave Romania now," Belu told Reuters in an interview. "Romanian gymnastics has given me all I have, status and happiness. It's on the brink of collapse. This is my life's greatest chanllege --- to do what I can to limit that demage." That a Belu! Even though people had negative comments about Belu, I must say, he is still a great coach who loves his homeland.
Belu's annual salary in Romania will be no more than the equivalent of $12,000.
In United States, with bonuses for medal performances, he stood to earn $100,000 per year. In Britain, he said, he would have secured a bonus of 125,000 punds had the country collected its firs Olympics medal in Sydney 2000.
- Alexandra Marinescu has signed a five-year modeling contract.
- Lavinia Milosovici has started her second year in Timisoara, and hopes to become an international judge.
- So she never won a world or Olympic all-around, Lavinia Milosovici has plenty of hardware. She can claim world or Olympic titles on every event and she finished her impressive career at the 1996 Olympic Games with an all-around bronze.
Today, Milosovici is retired and living in her native Romania where she coaches and recently got engaged.
- AURELIA DOBRE
In 1987, at just 14, Aurelia Dobre became the youngest-ever world all-around champion. Few would have guessed that first world championships would be the pinnacle of this elegant gymnast's career. Knee surgery followed quickly on the heels of her world title and Dobre would never again be able to attain top form, though she continued competing until early 1990.
After her retirement, Dobre became a controversial figure in the sport, speaking out against the Romanian gymnastics system and posing for Dutch Playboy. (The spread, unlike Svetlana Khorkina's topless but tame photos, included some of Dobre's signature gymnastics poses done in the buff.)
In 1991, she came to the U.S. to compete in the World Professional Championships. Soon after, she met and fell in love with gym owner Boz Mofid. The couple married and have two boys, with two more on the way. (Dobre is currently expecting twins.) Together they run Fit 'n' Fun gymnastics.
- A frequent member of the Romanian squad through the 1996 Olympics, Ionela Loies' consistency and presentation helped earn her team a bronze medal in Atlanta.
Now 19 and retired and from competition, Loies is living in Glennwood, Ill. where she coaches at the Romanian-owned club ARGO.
- Cristina Bontas was the backbone of Romanian gymnastics long before anyone had even heard of Lavinia Milosovici and Gina Gogean. Debuting amidst the crumbling communist regime in Romania (her first world championships was in 1989), Bontas anchored her nation through the 1992 Olympic Games.
After her retirement Bontas coached briefly in Romania before moving to Canada with teammate Vanda Hadarean to work at Mountain Star Gymnastics in Hamilton, Ontario.
- Gina Gogean News:
From "Ziua," Clubul Sportiv Focsani and the mayor of the city will organize a farewell party this weekend for Gina Gogean. A second farewell celebration (organized by the ROM Federation) will be held in conjunction with the upcoming ROM national champs. in Bacau. Here are excerpts from the short interview with Gogean that accompanied the article:
How do you feel with only a few days until your official retirement?
- I'm very emotional about those times when I competed in international competitions. But this moment comes in the life of a sportsperson.
Which of the 2 celebrations is more important to you?
- The Federation wished that there would be only one celebration...But the club I competed for decided this year to offer me another kind of party. This one will be more of a show, an "MTV Generation" party...with "Three Southeast," "Talisman," and other groups. Unfortunately, my favorite group, "Genius," won't be there.
What guests will be there?
- I wish with all my heart that all of my coaches with whom I worked for such a long time could attend...Octavian Belu, my friend Lavinia Milosovici and my family will be there.
In a short time you'll become a coach. Will you definitely take this road?
- To begin with, I'm a 2nd-year student at Timisoara University. But I love coaching. I have a group of juniors in Deva, but it's hard work...
And if you receive offers from abroad?
- I've considered this possibility. First I'll finish my education. I want to do something constructive for Romanian gymnastics. If I don't get a solid offer in this country, which is what I wish, then I'll do what other former champions have done.
"Do what other former champions have done..." in other words go where the money is...reality is cruel.