Articles by "Romanian Gymnastics"
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The Orthodox church has given a very generous donation to the national team training center in Deva.

The center has received a 16K worth of equipment, an acrotramp and a tumbling track, which are much needed. On August 9, Bishop of Deva and Hunedoara led the blessing rite for the gymnasts.

Nevertheless, a very popular Romanian gymnastics blogger on Tumblr called Aly raised concerns over the news:

The national team training center in Deva finally received an acrotramp and a tumbling track!

That’s the good news, but the completely baffling news is how they got it! It was a $16.000 worth donation from the Deva and Hunedoara Episcopate. Apparently, they visited the training center a few months ago and saw that the team needs this equipment, so they took it upon themselves to get it for them. Excuse me, what?!? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a lovely gesture, and at least it’s comforting to know the people’s money was being used for something worth while, because I assume the Church had that money from donations, too, but still…

How? Why? Do we really need the Church to identify the equipment the gymnasts on the national team need and make the effort to get it? We have a Federation for that! We have a Ministry for that! If the Church can get $16.000 for this purpose, why can’t the Federation or Ministry do something? Sure, maybe there are no money, but why can’t they draw sponsors? According to Forminte, they wanted and needed this for years, so I imagine he talked about it before and it got him nowhere.

It was possible for us to find enough money to spend over 600.000€ to organize Euros, but apparently, no one can do anything to get the equipment Deva needs. What a joke!

By Gigi Farid

Photo by

Photo by Jeni Hull

Catalina Ponor is more than determined to win a medal at the World championships, something she hasn't achieved in ten years.

The Romanian gymnast is working on upgrading her balance beam and floor exercise routines. She is training a round off to straight layout mount on beam which is worth an F. While on floor exercise, she is retraining a full twisting double back layout which is worth an H.

Ponor previously trained the difficult tumbling pass in 2012 and was aiming to compete it at the London event finals where she won a silver medal but her coaches decided that it was better for her to go for an easier routine.

The three time Olympic champion will be 30 years old at the upcoming World championships which will be held next October in Canada.

Her last World medal was a bronze in the team competition in 2007, while her last individual one was also a bronze on balance beam in 2005.

This year, Ponor won her fifth gold medal on balance beam at the European championships in Cluj.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Jeni Hull
Romanian gymnast Larisa Iordache is set to compete at the upcoming Universiade Games which will be held from 19 to 30 August in Taiwan. She will also be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the games.

Iordache will be the only Romanian gymnast to be competing in Taiwan.

There were reports that the US men will take part in the competition.

The Universiade Games is a multi sport event that takes place every two years.

Written by Gigi Farid

Stoica left - Raducan right
Adrian Stoica, who served as the President of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation for three consecutive terms, has announced that he will no longer seek a re-election.

Stoica explained to what caused him to have a change of heart. He said that he would like to give a chance to the younger generation to lead the federation.

"We all live in a society which, unfortunately, is starting to forget that there comes a time when every one of us has to encourage the next generations to grow." said Stoica.

"Despite receiving several proposals from members to continue on with another term, even though grateful, I decided it’s time for the younger generation to get involved."

During the last election, Stoica had no opponents. Former Olympic champion Andreea Raducan is expected to run for the upcoming presidential election of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation.

The election will be held on the fourth of August.

It is worth mentioning that Stoica has come under heavy attack in the past two years for the poor performance of the Romanian team. At the last World championships, they finished in 13th place in the qualification - the first time since 1974 they had finished worse than fourth. Laura Jurca and Larisa Iordache, managed to qualify to the all around final while Romania had no representation in the events final.

After the World championships, Stoica was sent an open later by the Romanian Olympic Committee where they urged him to find a solution to the downfall of the country's gymnastics recommending him to hire foreign coaches for uneven bars and sports psychologists to help the gymnasts.

He was offended by the letter accusing the committee of politicizing the situation adding that he is pleased with the results and that the downfall was only temporarily.

At last year's Rio Test Event, they failed to qualify a full team to the Olympics for the first time in 48 years. They were only able to send one gymnast to Rio, veteran Catalina Ponor, who failed to bring home a medal.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Jeni Hull
Last week, news broke out that Romanian gymnast Olivia Cimpian has left Romanian to train and compete for neighboring country Hungary.

The reason behind this, is that her parents believe that their training methods will benefit their daughter more than the current Romanian one. It is worth mentioning that Olivia's father, Marcel Cimpian used to play football in Hungary.

Romania's head coach Nicolae Forminte took to Facebook to confirm the news.

"I’m sad to confirm that Olivia Cimpian is no longer at the training camp in Deva. I informed the Federation and the Olympic Committee. The talks that were had with the gymnast’s parents are confidential and were amicable, Olivia and her parents not having complaints about the coaching staff. Personally, I was stunned. No one has nothing to hide, and there’s nothing wrong at the Deva training center. For now, my main goal is to try and diminish the emotional impact this had on the other members of the team, the focus being on training for the EYOF. From my point of view, there was no reason that justifies this decision. As painful as it might be, I will respect each family’s right to make decisions regarding their own children."

"Whatever happens from now on depends on the Sports Ministry, the Romanian Gymnastics Federation and the Olympic Committee. I hope Olivia will come back to Deva, where she is loved and respected unconditionally."

Cimpian turned senior this year and took part at the last European championships where she qualified to the all around final and finished in 23rd place.

She will be training alongside Hungarian gymnast Zsofia Kovacs who won a silver medal in the all around final at this year's European championships.

Written by Gigi Farid

Larisa Iordache at the European Championships last April. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Romania’s Larisa Iordache, 21, was on her way to Olympic glory in early 2016, when a series of unfortunate injuries prevented her from training and even, controversially, from gaining the only available spot to represent Romania at the Rio Olympics. She was eventually named as an alternate, while the Olympic spot was awarded to teammate Catalina Ponor.

Since Rio, Iordache has been working hard in the gym, but until a few months ago, she seemed unable to gain back her previous difficulty, as well as the confidence she had back in 2014 and 2015.

In a recent interview with Romania’s TVR Sport, however, Larisa Iordache has impressed, showing off old very difficult skills, as well as new possible significant upgrades.

The footage shows Iordache training on the uneven bars, the balance beam and floor. On bars, she is training a Maloney + Hindorff (D + E + 0.2 connection bonus), and a super difficult double-double dismount (Fabrichnova), worth an F.

On balance beam, Iordache is planning on taking back her hardest combination, a round-off + full-twisting layout, worth a G. She is also working on a new mount, a round-off into layout-step-out (E).

Finally, on floor she is training a rarely done three-and-a-half twist (F), a very difficult pass only a few gymnasts competed in the past, among which China’s Shang Chunsong (2015–6) and Mao Yi (2016), U.S. McKayla Maroney (2011–2) and Russia’s Aliya Mustafina (2011).

Larisa Iordache lastly competed at the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca last April, where she won a bronze medal on balance beam. She plans to get back to competition at the 2017 University Games in Taipei next August.

By Talitha Ilacqua

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

After a successful performance in Cluj Europeans, Romanaian Catalina Ponor spent sometime relaxing in her home in Constanta. In that period, Catalina gave an interview for Radio Constanta in which she spoke about her future plans and the upcoming elections for F.R.G. presidency.

Catalina revealed that six months ago she opened a fitness club in her home town where people can workout and do gymnastics. In the future, she wants to open a Gymnastics Academy in Constanta for men and women.

When asked about F.R.G. (Romanian Gymnastics Federation) elections, Ponor stated that it is time to make changes in the Romanian gymnastics, saying that former Romanian gymnast and sports announcer Andreea Raducan could be the next leader in F.R.G., the role which fits her very well. In her opinion, Romanian officials should not cast aside Bellu's and Bitang's experience in gymnastics as it can be very useful for athletes.

In the end of the interview, Catalina stated that she only thinks of gymnastics and that she doesn’t have any marriage plans for now.

"For the time being, I don’t have time for marriage. A husband outside gymnastics, it will be hard for him to understand our lives. When I am done with gymnastics I will have time for myself, my personal life and for a future family" said Ponor.

Translated by Alex Mladinescu.

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

As the 2017 European Championships came to an end last week, we are looking back at it through the statements made by home-crowd favourites and European beam medallists Larisa Iordache and Catalina Ponor after their winning performances.

Larisa Iordache, who won bronze on beam in Cluj, told TVR that finishing on the podium made her happy but that she still cannot forgive herself for the mistake she made on beam during the final. Iordache competed a flawless routine on beam, but overrotated her triple-twisting dismount and had to take several big steps back.

“The beam final started well for me, as I was feeling very well, and the crowd helped us very much. After completing my routine, however, while I was waiting for my score, I kept reminding myself that it was my own fault that I was missing out on an important medal.
I am happy that I made the podium at these Europeans, considering all that happened in the past two months, and that I cound train only for one month. I am glad I ended up here, but I am also sorry that I lost because of my mistake. This is something that I cannot forgive myself for. I am disappointed with my performance, I could have performed a far better landing and then I would have won a more prestigious medal.”

Iordache has only one wish now, to stay healthy in order to properly train. She aims to compete at the 2017 Montreal World Championships in October, and hopes she will be 100 percent ready for it.

“I hope I will stay healthy. I will be thinking about the upcoming competitions now, and then I will take a short break. I really hope, from the bottom of my heart, that in Montreal I will be in a shape that I am comfortable with.”

On the other hand, Catalina Ponor continues to make history for Romania, as in Cluj she added her fifth continental gold medal on beam to her impressive career record. She told TVR that she was extremely happy about her victory, as she had been fighting for that  medal for a long time. This, she added, represents a new beginning for her, and her next goal is to compete in Montreal.

“I am so happy about winning this medal. My positive thoughts and emotions helped me raise once again the Romanian flag to the first place of the podium. It was a very emotional moment for me, because I have been fighting for this medal for a very long time.

For me this is a new beginning, because everybody knows that I am not going to retire. My first goal was to be here in Cluj, and my second one is to compete at the World Championships in Canada. Everybody looks forward to that competition.

Our moments of joy were brief and they are already gone. One minute, maybe two, the time we stood on the podium, when everybody was cheering for us, appreciating us and applauding us. Now we are heading back to the gym to resume our daily training and routines, as all athletes do. After a few days of recovery, we will head back to the gym.”
Right after the end of the European Championships, Catalina showed her gratitude to her fans through an Instragram post, saying that she hoped that Cluj was a good training for her for the real test to come, the World Championships.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your encouragements, congratulations and all the people that stood beside me all the way through this European Championships. I cannot describe how wonderful it feels to demonstrate that everything I do, I do it with pleasure, dedication and with full commitment.

I finally succeeded in winning the medal I have been wanting for so long, despite health problems, intrigues and maybe incertitude.

I had faith in me, I kept moving forward and I have finally succeeded, with what I had and when I could. I hope this will turn out to be good training for the World Championships in Canada.

Written by Alex Mladinescu

Photo via Facebook
Romania's Catalina Ponor is working so hard for the European championships which will be held in her country next month.

In a video interview, the 29 year old gymnast said that she is focusing on balance beam and floor exercise, her strongest events. However, she is still unsure whether she is going to debut her second vault at the upcoming competition. 

"If I am not going to be able to do it [second vault] in Cluj, I will try for Worlds" said Ponor.

We are yet to know what second vault is Ponor going to compete but judging from her Instagram training videos, it is most likely going to be a Tsukhara style vault.

The Romanian gymnast has never competed two vaults before. Competing two vaults will allow her to qualify to the event's final. 

At last European championships, Ponor won two bronze medals, on balance beam and floor exercise.

The competition will be held between 19th and 23rd of April.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
The International Gymnastics Federation informed us through their Twitter account, that Romania's Larisa Iordache has withdrawn from Stuttgart World Cup, which is set to be held between 18th and 20th of March.

Coach Cristian Moldovean told AgerPress that Iordache is suffering from heel pain hence needs to take a 14 days break.

“She is suffering from heel pain and doctors recommended a two weeks break. Last week we took a break after she felt pain." 

"Yesterday, on floor she felt more intense pain so we decided to visit a doctor and he recommended two weeks of break." 

"She also did an MRI. She’ll go back for a check-up after the break. She doesn’t need a surgery or anything of that sort, she should recover in two weeks”

Furthermore, coach Moldovan said that they took the decision to withdraw from Stuttgart because it wasn’t necessary to rush her recovery since there’s plenty of time until the Europeans.

“It’s better to take a break now, because there is plenty of time until the Europeans and that’s why we decided to withdraw from Stuttgart competition, since we do not wish to rush her recovery."

"Larisa training is in schedule, exactly as planned. There is another competition which is Saint-Etienne, held between 25th and 26th of March. She will definitely participate there. In Stuttgart there is an all around competition and we don’t want a risk a severe injury”.

Written by Alex Mladinescu