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EXCLUSIVE!-EXCLUSIVE!-EXCLUSIVE!

Silvia Stroescu, first interview-at-large

Q: Ready for going to University?...
Silvia Stroescu: yes, tomorrow (sept 29) will go at both Universities to check my schedule.
Q: both?..
Silvia Stroescu: yes, I am a student at National Sport Academy and also at "Spiru Haret" University (the largest Romanian private university), where I will study psychology.
Q: And, you want to become a...?
Silvia Stroescu: haven't decided yet, will see after I will graduate. maybe a coach or a specialist in sport psychology.
Q: last one is cool, definitely we may use such a trained person, the "good old times" with crying and yelling are (hope) now passed.A specialist which may help coaches to motivate girls and to help them surpass their problems will be really useful.
Q: Do you still speak with girls from the team?
Silvia Stroescu
: especially with Oana Ban, now that she is retired, too.
Q: you have some nice evening chats like the ones in a retired house, between "girls?"
Silvia Stroescu: no, we are not so old (yet), ha-ha!
Q: tell us about your hobbies.
Silvia Stroescu: music, travel-I would like to be , for a second time, in Hawaii.
Q: Have you been before?
Silvia Stroescu: Yes, two years ago, with the team, and liked a lot.Now I want to go again one day and explore those places in my own peace.
Q: aren't you afraid of volcanoes? Each time I go there, want to keep a packed bag near door, just in case the volcanoes will change his minds...
Silvia Stroescu:didn't know about volcanoes thing.
Q: well, can't say more about geography at some sport schools...Surprising that you didn't get many info on spot, they have plenty of good guides there.
Q: what food you like? Now that you try to keep up with the lost kitchen times...
Silvia Stroescu: Yes (ha-ha), those days I liked to eat a little bit more, but not so much you may think. I like Romanian traditional food, like "ciorba de burta" (beef soup) and "sarmale" (traditional Romanian meat balls rolled inside a leaf of cabbage or sauerkraut), cakes... Q: house-made?
Silvia Stroescu: no, I just buy them we have a nice place with good stuff close to us.
Q: well, if you go there few times a day, this may be a good exercise, too?...
Silvia Stroescu: no (laughing), I don't go so often, ha-ha!
Q: you like music?
Silvia Stroescu: dance, R &B, Britney Spears, Andra
Q: What about actors?
Silvia Stroescu: Antonio Banderas, Bruce Willis
Q: You like movies, which ones?
Silvia Stroescu: don't ask me more about this, at Deva we have had to go to bed at 10,30 in the evening, we don't see many movies back there. But I just saw now "The 5th element" and liked a lot.
Q: Favorite apparatus?
Silvia Stroescu: balance beam
Q: Your best friend when you was in the team, at Deva?
Silvia Stroescu: Catalina Ponor
Q: what pets you have?
Silvia: three dogs, Bella (a common name for a beauty female Italian-origin), Lisy, Brindusa (a little flower in Romanian)...
Q: three?!...
Silvia Stroescu: yes, each one have his one story: the little one I have found it during the winter, it was so cold outside and I bring him home; another one was injured by a car and I found him in the middle of the street-I had to take him, could not leave it there; the third one was living near our block we used to live. When we moved into this new house, two years ago, I have had to take him with me, otherwise he was a sure target for flayers and could be put into sleep easy.

Q: and the little kitten?
Silvia Stroescu: is just a nice kitten I have found on the street, she is so nice and looks like the one from our TV commercial with Whiskas...
Q: it sounds like a good reason to be a star herself in future....Now that you have more time, any special plans?
Silvia Stroescu: I wanted to have a holiday and go somewhere like Italy or France but with all those receptions and ceremonies time passed and now have to go to school.
Q: will you buy your own apartment from the cash prizes you have received? (note: because she has retired early, she was the first one to take her money from the State Reserve Bank in Bucharest, followed by Oana Ban, earlier this week).

Silvia Stroescu: No, I don't need an apartment, I have my own (first) floor-see photo, on our family villa (we moved two years ago here), including my own separate entrance, too.But I have ordered the new Logan car for me. (Logan is a French Renault car, build in Romania, which made sensation at her launching earlier this month; considered as a national car due to her previous version which have lasted as national car since 70's.)

Q: [Silvia, we have some questions for you, from our site visitors, posted in our forum.]
Q/ Kilroy, USA: You are one of the few girls who doesn’t want to stay involved in gymnastics (i.e. coach) after your career. Why is that?
Silvia Stroescu: I may be involved in gymnastics, as a coach, after I compete my studies. It was hard for me in gymnastics, especially past two years, and I don't want to do this sooner anyway.
Kilroy, USA: Would you allow your children to do gymnastics? Silvia: Only for their own pleasure, not as high performers; if you want to be on top, there are too many sacrifices.
Kilroy, USA: What would you say is the best thing you’ve gotten out of your gymnastics career besides winning competitions or being famous for being on the national team?
Silvia Stroescu: I went up to maturity very early, to be a top gymnast is very hard, but is a lesson for life: you need to make sacrifices to obtain performance and what you may dream about.And definitely, you need luck, too.
Kilroy, USA: what kept you going when you went through that horrible back injury that almost jeopardized your career?
Silvia Stroescu: I wanted so much a medal from Athens Olympics....
Q: and the money involved?...
Silvia Stroescu: no, for me it was more important to prove that I can get a medal. Nine months after I get my injury, doctors said I have to quit, I said no, I sign for this-will do on my own risk, I want to have a chance to compete in Olympics! I was sure I can get a medal and was ready to do anything for it.
Kilroy, USA: many of the girls said that Sunday is the day when they had the most free time. Could you tell us what a regular Sunday was like?
Silvia Stroescu:Free time?... On Sunday, we do have had a training session, from 10,00 to 12,30 or even 13,00. We use to go in town for a ride in the afternoon, but one year before Olympics no more walks out of campus on Sundays.
Kilroy, USA: how do you see the future of Romanian gymnastics with talents, like Steliana Nistor coming through?
Silvia Stroescu: We have to wait to see what coaches may be at Deva, if our former coaches will decide to leave. How many actual juniors will remain long enough to become seniors is another story, a lot of girl quite early these days.
Kilroy, USA:what would you say makes the Romanian team so consistent in competitions?
Silvia Stroescu: We don't have much emotions in the contests...
Q: ... here we go, again, this will "feed up" again those idiots who refer to our team as "rombots"...
Silvia Stroescu:...I mean, they teach us how to focus to our evolutions only, nothing around us can distract (much) our attention and concentration. We have manages not to think anything else, but at our exercises only.
Kilroy: will you study psychology at university or do you want to become a veterinarian?
Silvia Stroescu: I wanted to become a veterinary but finally decided it may be a little too hard for me and choused sports and psychology. Kilroy:when looking back ,would you say you have any regrets about anything?
Silvia: I regret I have had to suffer that one year pause outside gym hall, otherwise, I definitely could do much more, compete with better chances for more medals in Athens.

Floorking: How did it feel when you were on the podium and had the gold medal around your neck?
Silvia Stroescu: I was happy to see that I have ended well, I was grateful to God for this.
Floorking: Where you nervous when you did your bars routine in the prelims?
Silvia Stroescu: I was not so sure about the bar, didn't have enough time to check it because the referees put the green light so fast, earlier than I have expected.
Floorking: I have heard that the girls at Deva are into Fashion if so who is your favorite designer?
Silvia Stroescu (laughing):no, this is not true. We weren't into fashion . When I buy clothes, I don't pay much attention on who made it, just check to see how it looks on me, if I like that piece.
Floorking: How did it feel when you found out you were going to Athens after you had left Deva? (webmaster note: the team was in Bucharest during past four months before Athens, and Silvia also live in Bucharest with her family).
Silvia Stroescu: I was happy, it was one of my happiest day in may life, maybe even the happiest one.I didn't expect to come back. I am happy that I could compete, to prove myself I can do it (get a medal) and I was useful for the team, too.

Beamcoach: When you thought you would not go to Athens and you quit gymnastics for that short time (a few days?), what did you do? Did you go home to your family? What did you do with your newly found free time? (although it didn't last long!)
Silvia Stroescu: I went back home, I live in Bucharest, the team was in Bucharest, too.I was very nervous, cleaning the house, eating, trying to think about anything else but not to gymnastics.
Q: when you start thinking (seriously, because girls at Deva usually speak about this every few weeks during hard times)about retire, by the way?
Silvia Stroescu: Back in 2002 I was sure I have to retire after Athens Olympics, anyway. (webmaster-due to her back problems).
R.G: Because you was afraid of your back problems and another situation Marinescu-alike?
Silvia Stroescu: yes, I was afraid of that.
Q: at least, you was enough lucky to have in time all the RMN and x-ray scans made in time and have the time-off (doctors required) respected, unlike Marinescu (unfortunately).I have that new book and moved on my desk from one place to another, than to the "need-to-read" corner of my library. I know the (real) whole story, just read some paragraphs from the book and made me feel (again) bad about gym. Did you know that book?
Silvia Stroescu: Yes, I know it.
Q: What do you recommend to me, to read it, will it make me feel bad again about that sad story?
Silvia Stroescu: Yes, it will; better don't read, it now if you already have had those bad feelings, if you still want to enjoy gymnastics...
Q: Well, that book review have to be done one day and believe me, I am not to anxious to do it.

Victorsasleep: has your relationship with the girls on the team changed because you left Deva? were they accepting of you when you went to Athens with them?
Silvia Stroescu: With the girls, no.
Q: ...this mean, with the coaches it has changed, maybe?...
Silvia Stroescu: Maybe was just my impression that they were upset.I have left the team-but come back anyway when they asked me to do, anyway.I still speak with girls from time to time.
Q: You said before that your best friend back at team was Catalina Ponor? What about the other girls?
Silvia Stroescu: Catalina was my best friend back then, also Dana (Sofronie) was a good friend for me.Not so close with other girls.

Deirdre, Galway, Ireland: The leotard you wore during the team event was one of the nicest I have seen in a long time, do you all have input or a choice of what design or leotard you will wear in competitions?
Silvia Stroescu: They bring us few models and Mrs. Maria Bitang (the secondary coach) choose between different models. The designer is Christian Moureau.
Sarmis, Bucharest: Which period do you think it is the most important for the performance of a gymnast (the first years? the years in Deva? the period before a major competition?
Silvia Stroescu: The years in Deva, definitely; first years in your local Club you don't really think about high performances, just hope one day will be selected. When you came to Deva at National team, you start thinking that it really became serious and work harder.

Sarmis
, Bucharest:The sports psychology is sometimes considered a key issue for consistency; do you agree with that?; would you like to specialize in the future in this field?
Silvia Stroescu: Yes, this is what I'm doing now.
Sarmis, Bucharest:Why are the uneven bars so weak for the Romanians compared with the beam, vault or floor?
Silvia Stroescu: we can't say that any more, there are some major steps into improving this point. Back at last W.C., our scores were very low at this apparatus, comparing with the ones we have had in Athens.There is still room for future improvement, of course.


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