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   Octavian Belu interview at TVRM

Monday evening, Octavian Belu was the special guest in a live program at TVRM, a Romanian TV station owned by the largest private University in Romania (Spiru Haret).




     The TVRM program was called "The Performance Fascination"- "Fascinatia Performantei", the producers were Mugur Popovici and Bianca Vacariu.

    Just few points from Octavian Belu's interview:
- in Romania, doing exercise or fitness is more about social life than about sport. People like to say "I was at gym" or "we met at the gym hall".
-about Nadia: she will remain a reference name in the history of gymnastics.
-we have very few girls to do top gymnastics, we can't afford to loose any of them

During the live interview, people could ask their questions through a special phone number (the one you may see listed on screen in our screen captions).

    Mr. Valentin Zarnescu (from Galati city) asked by phone when our girls will have huge earnings, like in soccer, as Mutu have (famous Romanian soccer player, now having his final days at London Chelsea).

Octavian Belu: Girls in gymnastics will make good earnings only when they will have the possibility to sign and have professional contracts (is not allowed now). Gymnastics is not enough interesting for many people, we still can't make people came and attend smaller contests or shows. There are only few countries, like Japan, where people love to come at any gymnastics event. Soccer is a social event, big money involved. They are not interested to be part of Olympics, because of low earning they can get from.

Octavian Belu: we are special guests in West gymnastics demonstrations, because they use our girls as top stars on their shows advertisements, this is how you can attract people come to any gymnastics event.

Octavian Belu: in soccer, they have longer careers, a player doing this sport for many years, in gymnastics their careers are short.

Reporter(the blonde lady) : ...and Silvia Stroescu, for example, told me that girls from gymnastics, like she, would not like very much to have their life exposed in media all time, like soccer players have.

   A big surprise come during the program. A famous Romanian coach, Mr.Benone Pereteanu, former coach of Alexandra Marinescu, make a live phone call. He asked for help, because since next day, girls from Bucharest "Triumf" Gymnastics Club does not have nay more a place to train.
   Despite that hall (and the whole complex, including hotel, restaurant, pool) was build for sport and owned by the Sport Authority, somebody have succeeded to transfer the ownership or having a strange contract for management to a private company. They have asked the "Triumf" Gym club to pay like 300 000 Lei / hour and taxes (like $10) to keep training there and they don't have such kind of money.

( Few years ago, the former athletes restaurants , near the gym hall, was transferred in same way, maybe because of corrupted high sport officials and their idiot's bosses, to a company which have transformed into one of the most expensive Bucharest restaurants. Problem is, that whole building was made from people taxes to help sport development, but the corruption is widely spread into Romania).

Octavian Belu said that the National Agency for Sport and Federation should be asked about this and to help. He said that there are only few quality gymnastics halls, large capacity, Olympic-alike, to remain in Romania, like those from Deva city, Onesti, Baia Mare (but where half of it is used for other sports, not for gym exclusively any more).

   One of the girls parents from Triumf Club, Mr. Dan Zidaru from Bucharest, make his own phone call to the TVRM and said the girls were asked to come next days with their training suits instead of gym costumes, because they will make outdoor exercises and jogging-since they don't have an indoor facility any more for the moment.

Octavian Belu: despite some heavy critics, especially from media side, the old centralized training system have proved to be the most successful. They try to use it worldwide. They have full time training camp in Spain, they have regional centers in France, they do regular, monthly, one week training sessions in USA at the national training center in Texas.

Octavian Belu: gymnastics is a good business in Romania. Girls get paid top money, they went out with 200 000 Euro (like $250,000) , with cars and apartements.There are some benefits which the State give you as gifts.The little gymnast have become, after a successful career, a very important person in society.She end up having a status.

Another guest made a phone call, Mr.Mihai Neagu from Bucharest. He said he was angry reading those stories about flees at Deva those children were not from the Olympic team but from the local gymnastics Club and the journalists have crossed the line writing about this like it was connected with the team.
[Our note: it was a little bit "overscored", but the basic idea was true somehow, because the girls use to eat in same club restaurant, they may do come close to each others at outside playground for outdoor running or any other outdoor sessions]

   About gymnastics being hard to reach the top level, Octavian Belu said that "is a voluntary sport, nobody force anybody to do it. You could saw back at Athens Olympics that Oana Ban did not compete in finals at her own decision."

"Keep in mind there are no top results or Olympic medals without sacrifices. You have to give up your social life, almost to everything else, if you want to succeed."

"Romanian Gymnastics top results were a mix of events and hard work of mostly forgotten coaches like Bela Karolyi, Cosma, Goreac and many others..."


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