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     Beijing 2008  
Steliana Nistor
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Alina Stanculescu
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  Catalina Ponor
  Daniela Sofronie
  Monica Rosu
  Alexandra Eremia
  Oana Ban   
  Silvia Stroescu
  Andreea Munteanu

coach: Octavian Belu
coach Mariana Bitang
 coach Nicolae Forminte
coach Lucian Sandu

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[07.08/ updated 20,00 GMT]

   Depart in tears: Andreea Munteanu
stays, Silvia Stroescu goes to Athens

The team for Athens left the Romanian special Olympic camp with a bus, Silvia Stroescu was seen in the team. In two hours, the plane for Athens have left Bucharest with a happy Stroescu in the Olympic gymnastic team.

This morning, coach Mariana Bitang have had a very strong, long conversation with Andreea Munteanu (looking like it was nearby a nervous breakdown, very disappointed ) and her parents, poor and ordinary citizens facing a very bad situation for her girl: after so many hours of training, the dream for Olympics has gone...

Also second coach of Olympic team, Mr.Forminte, was left home to continue training in Bucharest with the other two girls left home.Until the last moment, the coaches Mariana Bitang and Octavian Belu haven't decided the place where they should continue training (Deva, Constanta or Athens), but finally they left them train in Bucharest, considering they have better conditions than in Athens.

At the depart of Olympic team from the "Sport" Hotel, scenes like the ones from a soap opera could be seen: the girl who left crying and being encouraged by the other team of crying girls-the one who remain. It was said by somebody which have a broke heart seeing this scene,like everybody who have assisted, that at least the other two girls could be taken (or promised to be asked to come later, even without contest involving) to Athens anyway to see the contest, as a reward for their hard work.

Coach Nicolae Forminte, himself being visibly impressed by girls solidarity, that "Well, at least maybe you start going there crying and will return happy, with a lot of medals!".

The girls who were left were promised a two weeks trip at Black Sea Coast by the coach Nicolae Forminte, in a last moment solution to keep their moral up (the Olympic team should have a psychologist anyway).

By contrary, the U.S. Olympic Committee will provide for each team member a
4-places (!) facility for the family members of each gymnast. For Romania it was very easy to provide at least a fraction of this support (one or two family member), since Greece is almost nearby Romania.

...In the meantime, even some key members of the most beloved sport in Romania, gymnastics, are left in tears at home. Not to speak about their parents, which never have had a chance to see their children at a major, world-wide, competition-which bring Romania a lot of (some time not deserved) publicity, for the hard work of those heroic children (10 years of hard work before having a chance to reach Olympics!).

...Last evening, all the Romanian Olympic delegation was invited at former Ceausescu's Palace, the 2nd largest building in the world (after U.S. Pentagon), at the Official ceremony of presenting Olympic delegation. Romanian President Iliescu and Prime Minister Nastase were at ceremony along with Mr.Tiriac-President of Romanian Olympic Committee. All of them-having speeches, signing on a giant poster with the names of all members of Romanian delegation and making pictures with the teams at each sport. Especially gymnastics is considered to be on of President Iliescu favorite sports, he personally being a supporter of coaches (Belu having a Presidential Order from Iliescu, along with Gymnastics Federation President Vieru and Mr.Bruno, President of European Gymnastics Federation).Photos:DAIS


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