Ban retired from gymnastics
Ban, former member of Athens 2004 Romanian
Gymnastics Olympics Team, has retired from gymnastics.
At the end of her floor exercise during team competition in
Athens , she has accused strong pains from an older problem
at her right leg. She didn't compete any more in all around
and apparatus final contest at Olympics.
Back in Deva for training, Oana
Ban has decided, after few days of training,
that she can no longer continue with gymnastics.
Romanian Olympic champions have decided past few weeks to
retire, partly because of their long careers ( Elisabeta Lipa,
4 times Olympic champion at kayak), partly because of their
slim chances to be again (an successful) in the Beijing team.
One thing for sure, the "renta viagera" problem (the monthly
revenue Romanian Olympic champions get, during the rest of
their life, for their results), the subject which has pissed
off many times Mrs. Bitang (she has publicly expressed her
disagreement with this system, even after Athens, she says
that girls are no longer motivated if they get so much money,
so early), makes some girls retire early. Why? Because they
can get those money only after they retire, not
before (a stupid way of Romanian Olympic Committee, headed
by many old people in their '60's and with the closed minds
of '20's , of making savings, destroying motivation and chances
for having long careers; if they just pay on spot the montly
revenues, a lot of champions would continue their careers,
hoping to get more results).
You must have in mind that most romanian gymnasts have poor
families in their backgrounds to support, and the monthly
pensions they can get, up to $ 1000, is a life-dream for any
Romanian family. The monthly medium income is $150, with most
prices being higher than in U.S., like car gas-3 times higher
in Romania, food almost same prices, phone-2...4 times more
expensive, only the rent being lower.
No big surprise for gymnastics insiders that, having to choose
between taking high risks with her health (and, if will get
seriously injured, being at Federation mercy...which mean
almost being left alone, like in Marinescu case, Oana Petrovschi
case or Andreea Chelaru...or any other similar case in the
past), Oana Ban took the decision to preserve her chances
to take care on her health, rather than pushing too much on
her leg and risking being abandonee lately, if anything goes
(really) wrong. It happens before, it happens almost all
the time (unfortunately).
The "medical assistance"at Deva is formed by a retired doctor,
the only one who did agree to came back (is the same doctor
as Nadia have "used") and a medical assistant which
know almost nothing about modern medical techniques, using
latest technology to prevent bad situations ( modern technology
is still hard to find anyway, in poor equipped Romanian hospitals).The
RMN-magnetic resonance, the only way a case like Marinescu
could be prevented, (the press scandal have bring this procedure
into girls attention, otherwise many other Marinescu-like
would be) was introduced only two years ago at Deva, and only
when gymnasts like Mona Rosu have insisted to have it, they
get it (checking the status of health using RMN to discover
any hiding bone problems), otherwise local "doctor" does not
recommend it to girls as a standard procedure.
Ban have had received more medical assistance in Athens with
the aid of...German Olympic team, their doctor having back
in Olympic campus all equipment needed, including a mobile
equipment for radiology (and a lot of knowledge). First days
in Athens, the medical office was not even opened all the
day, it was only few hours and closed too early, before gymnasts
came back from training.
medical assistance was not the strongest point of Romanian
Gymnastics team anyway, since Nadia times, when they have
asked girls to compete with more-than-minor problems, and...back
to our days when they let them handle themselves the situation
after they are no use (any more) for the Federation.
Ion Tiriac, President of Romanian Olympic Committee, have
expressed repeatedly, past few months, before and after Athens
competition, his wishes that "maybe there is the time that
old people from Federations to retire and let the place clear
for younger and open-minded people". He was referring
to (and probably mostly) to Romanian Gymnastics Federation
also, where President
Vieru is the oldest federation president in Romania.
Mr. Tiriac statements were very unusual for Romania, which
is still in the hands of former communists and their teammates
who kept the country behind all former communists Eastern
Europe countries, Romanian being the poorest and hopeless
country in the region.
The "old guard" in gymnastics and their old methods (including
no respect for girls problems, including their health), must
come to an end.A good start would be putting at once both
Oana Petrovschi and Andreea Chelaru under good, deserved,
medical treatment, on the Federation expense. If they don't
have enough budget, you can start, Mr. Tiriac and Mr.Balanculesu
(head of National Conthrol Authority) by cheking some romanian
press reports about some Federation employees wealth's (expensive
cars, villas, high standard appearances ), very hard to get
from their State-waged employees, but easy to understand from
girls exploiting for years. That 30% cash tax, mafias-like,
imposed on all girls revenues from abroad contests prizes,
and for which Belu was blamed recently because he collected
it, I bet it was directed mostly to others, but nobody have
had the guts to dig more on subject.
Good luck, Oana! in your new life, and thanks from the botoom
of our hearts for what you have done for the Gold Team!
I wish you could be in the Beijing team also, but I prefer
to see you happy and healthy, maybe as a supporter in Beijing,
rather than in a wheel chair, no help from Romanian Gymnastics
Federation or Romanian Olympic Comitee to solve the medical
problems (difficult operation which may help her walk again),
like Andreea Chelaru now.When you arrive with medals, everybody
surround you (especially political leaders, but romanian,
State-controlled 99% media also), but when you have troubles,
they run away, as far as they can.
Romanian Gymnastics News Archive.