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     Beijing 2008  
Steliana Nistor
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Alina Stanculescu
  Loredana Sucar
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  Athens 2004   
Catalina Ponor
  Daniela Sofronie
  Monica Rosu
  Alexandra Eremia
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  Silvia Stroescu
  Andreea Munteanu
 Main coach: Octavian Belu
coach Mariana Bitang
 coach Nicolae Forminte
coach Lucian Sandu

  Marius Urzica
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 Main coach: Dan Grecu

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[Dec 13] Catalina Ponor wants to return at Romanian gymnastics team

   Matei Stanei, former coach of Catalina Ponor, has announced that he got a phone call from Catalina (working in Japan for a TV Show), which told him she wants to go back to training, in March 2007.
   "She wants to work hard to get a Gold medal on BB, at Worlds in 2007 and another Gold at Beijing Games. I have had her confirmation that she is determined to returns", said Matei Stanei, which has trained Catalina Ponor for European Championships this year.
    "To have -again-a place in the team, Catalina Ponor must pass through the test of Romanian National Championships"-has said main coach Nicolae Forminte during a live TV sport program at OTV station, last Sunday. He didn't looks very enthusiastic or excited about that "news", maybe because he don't believe in it. Or maybe he don't care, also- since the goal of the new main coach is to have gymnasts able to compete at all apparatus, not single-stars which can't help the team.
   "We needed Catalina Ponor badly for this year Worlds, during the most difficult moment of Romanian gymnastics since 1981!; she didn't come to train or to compete-Floarea Leonida did!-to help the team and her country; if she wants to return now, it's for her own benefit, not for the Team" - was told to (under anonymity) a Romanian gymnastics specialist.
    The new policy at Romanian Gymnastics team is to have gymnasts able to compete at all apparatus; this is a huge step behind the Belu-Bitang era, when Romanian gymnasts were named by some "code-whores" because they just use or the backdoors of the older Code of Points to compete at minimum and
avoid the hard training at Balance Beam. Very few people (in Romania) did know that "small detail" about the real level of training and efforts back then.
   Another reason why Catalina Ponor may not get warms greetings on her (very doubtful) return is that she don't like to train at Deva, she wants to enjoy her new life at Constanta and still make it through the team. Her coach, Matei Stanei, does not have a good relationship with the new team coach, partly because he thought to be a favorite to take over Belu's position...and he wasn't, in the end.
   There was a big difference this year in the Romanian gymnastics team training: no more scandals, which have been started or (secretly) ignited in the past by former coaches (to help their personal interests of getting more money, to help them dump the "Old girls", hoping they will get their hands on the new team and so on).
   Catalina is considered to have a bad temper and a "big mouth" sometime and nobody wants any more scandals; also because she was the main one to get caught on high outings, such a bad example must not "contaminate" the new team of hard working girls.
    Conclusion: Catalina Ponor is a great gymnast; unfortunately her time as a gymnast seems to be over. Her Beijing dreams? ...And pigs will fly.

[Dec 30] Catalina's return: a Romanian gymnastics Fan opinion  
  Catalina's return:"Stick It /Again!/ Catalina's Revenge"

      I completely agree with your assessment; it sounds like it would be a bad idea for
Catalina Ponor to return--most of all because it sounds like it would hurt team unity.
   But in response to the "pigs will fly" conclusion, I recall another statement I read somewhere a few weeks before Worlds: "China? yeah, right :-)))" ;-)
   Just think about it: Maybe the return of
Catalina Ponor would be just like that of Haley in the movie "Stick It."
   Picture this: Catalina steps into the gym wearing her street clothes, the girls currently on the team make catty remarks, Catalina makes cattier remarks, Catalina disrespects the coach, coach and Catalina both agree that Catalina needs to train at a separate gymnasium until she's back in shape and ready to play nice. Catalina begins to focus, the other athletes show their more vulnerable sides, and tears are cried. Catalina takes the girls out for a night on the town (with the help of two cute guys), friendships are born, and the team unites as one to become gymnastics rebels who turn the sport upside down!    Actually, yes, pigs will fly.


  Catalina Ponor is a very ambitious gymnast, one of the most ambitious Romanian Gymnastics has vere had and if she really, really want this, she can do it!
   However, for the team unity and the new politics of Romanian gymnastics team (having 4-apparatus, longer careers gymnasts)... I'm afraid "Her" era is gone. For ever.
   If she was serious about return, she wouldn't have had filled the forms for the monthly pension at all.
   She has started the discussions about being injured-when the Team really needed her badly this year for Worlds...then suddenly she... was healthy again (?) enough to train for a $$how in Japan, then again..."injured" (our distance diagnosis: too bored to train hard again, even for a show) means for us she haven't made her minds, but still wanting the top of cream from both "worlds": being on top, as a successful gymnast and being also a tabloid-star one. She can't have both.

[August 8] The Countdown for Worlds Championships has begun


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