Monica Rosu is a former Romanian gymnast whom won two Olympic gold medal at Athens Olympics in 2004. Rosu has been dubbed as one of the best Amanar vaulters by gymnastics fans.

In her interview with WOGymnastika, she talks about her life after retirement, the Amanar vault and issue of the coach-changing after the Olympics.

Gigi Khazback Farid: Since your retirement, what have you been doing?

Monica Rosu: Since my retirement, my life has changed a lot. I graduated from the University of sport in Romania and did masters in Sport Management. I have been involved in projects to promote sports, I have hosted TV shows and worked with sports national channels.

Gigi Khazback Farid: The Amanar vault is a Romanian invention and you were the last Romanian gymnast to do that vault and also one of the best gymnasts, why haven’t we seen any Amanars from Romanians the past nine years and are there any upcoming Romanian gymnasts who you believe are capable of competing this vault?

Monica Rosu: Indeed, Simona vaulted it for the first time and me on the other part, I had some sort of affinity and the skills required to do that job, it was very easy to execute and I was happy that I managed to do it at a very high standard and win the gold medal on vault at Athens. Yes, 9 years have past since then, and I hope that the near future will show a new gymnast or more, that will love vault and have what it takes to do Amanar vault.

Gigi Khazback Farid: How was your Olympic experience?

Monica Rosu: It was a unique experience and hard to explain in words. Participating at the Olympic Games is the dream of any athlete. I am happy that I fulfilled this dream and most of all I manged to win the gold medal, on vault (my favorite) and with the team.

Gigi Khazback Farid: You left the Olympics with two gold medals, did you expect to achieve such success?

Monica Rosu: I worked and trained my entire life for this competition. The determination was big and I knew that if i will do my job like i did at the national gym, no one could beat me.

Gigi Khazback Farid: What was your favorite moment in Athens?

Monica Rosu: In everything that happened, there was something new and unique at the same time, and for sure I will never forget it. The most wonderful moments were those from winning the gold medal with the team, it was a tight competition and a great amount of pressure on our shoulders, and of course the vault final. There, it was a more intense feeling, because it was an individual medal which i trained for and wanted a lot.

Gigi Khazback Farid: In one word, describe each member of the 2004 Olympic gymnastics team

Monica Rosu: Ponor-talent ,Stroescu- balanced ,Rosu- power, Eremia-graceful, Sofronie-ambitious, Ban-brave .Bitang -tenacity ,Bellu-perseverance.

Gigi Khazback Farid: As a gymnast, who was your idol?

Monica Rosu: Being a child it was normal to like and admire our gymnasts, who already had their reputation. An idol I don’t know if I can say that I had one. I wanted, and I pushed myself to become like them (Nadia, Silivas, Milosovici) and I’m blessed that God helped me to accomplish my dream.

Gigi Khazback Farid: Following your retirement, your mother said in an interview that had Belu and Bitang continued coaching the team, all of the Olympic team members would have made the World team and medalled, what was that about?

Monica Rosu: It is a subject I wouldn’t like to talk about. I can say only that I wanted to make the world team with my teammates and our coaches. For us it should have been the last competition and We should have ended our careers normally, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to do so…

Gigi Khazback Farid: Was changing coaches the reason that made you quit the sport?

Monica Rosu: No, in 2005 I retired because of my health problems and the fact that I wasn’t selected for the WC made me do so. If I hadn’t had health problems with my backbone for sure I would have continued.

Gigi Khazback Farid: Have you ever though of making a comeback?

Monica Rosu: I wanted many times to come back but my health problems stopped me.

Gigi Khazback Farid: The harsh life of the gymnasts post retirement led your friend and former teammate Florica Leonida to work as a prostitute in Germany. This story drew our attention to this ignored part of the gymnasts’ lives. Tell us about the struggles gymnasts face after retirement. And speaking of Florica, what happened to her after the scandal broke out? How is she doing now?

Monica Rosu: Related to Floarea Leonida I don’ t know what i could say. Everybody is free to do whatever they want with their life. Why she did that is only her decision and we don’t have the right to talk too much about it. Of course it is sad that after being a competitive athlete, you reach the point where you sell your body….. This is all I can say about this subject

Gigi Khazback Farid: Did you struggle in finding your place in life after your retirement?

Monica Rosu: We retire, but in life success comes to only those with intuition and perseverance. Practically, the Romanian system forces you to become a coach. It is the only job where you gain experience in a short period of time. If you are going to work something else, it is like starting from zero. For me along with my study, I have worked at some media productions, promoting sport and Romanian sport legends. I wish to involve myself in as many projects as I could and to know what I would like to do in the future. I am still choosing and I get only involved in projects, i believe in.

Gigi Khazback Farid: Is it harsher for a retired gymnast to find her way through life in Romania than any other country?

Monica Rosu: I don’t think so. I haven’t left Romania, but from the experience of others, It is better in your own country. Every country promotes and helps their own athletes.

Gigi Khazback Farid: What are you looking forward to achieve in your life ?

Monica Rosu: I want a professional career, peaceful life, a beautiful family and the strength and wisdom needed to make the best decisions and to overcome any difficulties.

Gigi Khazback Farid: How would you describe yourself?

Monica Rosu: Hmmm, tough question, because I do not like to describe myself, but let’s try … stubborn, vain, ambitious, perfectionist, sensitive and, I think that’s enough.

Interview by Gigi Khazback Farid


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