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     Beijing 2008  
Steliana Nistor
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  Alina Stanculescu
  Loredana Sucar
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  Elena   Chiric
  Floarea Leonida
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  2008 Seniors:
Cerasela   Patrascu
  Alexandra Ghita
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Nicolae Forminte (main)
Liliana Cosma
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Marius  Berbecar
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 main coach Dan Grecu

  Athens 2004   
Catalina Ponor
  Daniela Sofronie
  Monica Rosu
  Alexandra Eremia
  Oana Ban   
  Silvia Stroescu
  Andreea Munteanu
 Main coach: Octavian Belu
coach Mariana Bitang
 coach Nicolae Forminte
coach Lucian Sandu

  Marius Urzica
   Maria Dragulescu
  Ioann Suciu
  Dan Potra
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 Main coach: Dan Grecu

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[April 25] Romanian International Championships: surprising edition
PLOIESTI, Romania- Despite the bad timing, poor participation, (too) many failures-including a pathetic BB evolution of former star Catalina Ponor, and the injury of Romanian Gymnastics Star Sandra Izbasa, latest edition of Romanian Gymnastics Internationals showed first signs of rebirth for Romanian Gymnastics. The new main coach Nicolae Forminte seems to do a great job at Deva and girls can now compete at Uneven Bars, something unheard during Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang domination at team!
Romanian Gymnastics team main coach Nicolae Forminte giving instructions to Aluissa Lacusteanu

  The spectacular return of Steliana Nistor, some really good UB exercises of Romanian gymnasts (could you ever think this can be our lifetime?) and the quality, '80's alike gymnastics showed again on Ploiesti floor made us though that yes, main coach Nicolae Forminte has rebirth somehow the Romanian Gymnastics...Phoenix bird, which he may found in Deva's ashes left by former coaches.

   Steliana Nistor, a Romanian gymnast which not long ago was seen by everybody as "finished", has a spectacular return and proved she is on the good way to the Beijing. To the Beijing Gold medals, I mean. This was the real, proved and unconditioned "return of the Day" at Ploiesti and not the much-publicized and over-commented *return* of Catalina Ponor which is a dead end story (unfortunately but for sure).
    During the Dark Age of Romanian gymnastics, I mean Belu-Bitang, Steliana Nistorcould have been:
1) a new Marinescu case, because those abusive coaches would have pushed her far beyond limits or
2) she could have been history, a lost talent like Sabina Cojocar.
The new team management has proved to be better, with care and consideration to each team member; maybe also due to the "shortage" of gymnasts, but still good and unheard before.

    Sandra Izbasa has felt, for the very first time, the bitter taste of failure; well, for a Romanian gymnastics Star and team leader, coming second is a failure. Have you seen her cold, ice-looking during the Finals ceremony, when Steliana Nistor got the Gold? Sandra's face was frozen, too, (TV reporter couldn't stop notice, too), but the key was her eyes, my dear Romanian gymnastics fans: in less than 5 seconds you could have read there: "will see about that...I will get the Gold next time, every time!" This cold shower (because of an injury, mostly due to the poor warm up in a very un-appropiate place to hold a major event) was a good lesson for her and that bitter taste will be useful for her, something to be reminded during the next 12 months of hard training for Beijing.
    By the way, if you fake a smile (like the US team do) and applause when your teammates got medals, it doesn't hurt, Sandra!...US's Carly Patterson did this for Romanian Gymnastics team in Athens, second after she hardly kept her tears into her eyes and we believes such gestures proves you are a Great Champion, not the medals only!..But the long minutes you have dedicated to the fans, all those girls asking for autographs, was another nice gesture to make, keep doing this and fans will respect you more than previous stars who didn't pay much attention to them!
    The new Code of Points, a joint Bruno-Kim late night Fantasy, is both stupid and dangerous! So much needed acrobatic at FX is a call for failures and accidents; regular fans don't "see" much from all those risky 1080+whatever Bruno's team of morons though is necessary to raise the scores to the sky and give doctors more to do?

Catalina Ponor's Saga of returning-thinking-they-don't-let-me and so on has proved to the new generation of Romanian gymnastics team members that once you are gone from the are gone, for good and, most likely, forever! 8 months away from serious training is your ticket for pension, a one-way ticket, Baby! Maybe pigs will fly, maybe the Black Sea will turn pink, maybe I will get the million dollar Prize at Lottery (even if I never buy tickets...), but one thing is beyond any doubt: Catalina Ponor -the Athens's Queen- will remain just that: our beloved Star of Romanian gymnastics team in Athens.
    They named it Balance Beam, but if you keep coming at competitions and show to people how you...balance on the beam -twice! (I'm generous today and forget the 3rd, smaller one), then you just prove you are not really serious and nobody want this. If you wanted to almost double your monthly pension by getting that World Medal, you should have returned last year, when the team really needed you, the coaches were desperate to have enough girls for the team (and they were ready to accept you are) and everybody (including us) was begging you.
   This year we have at least four girls ready to compete at four apparatus at Worlds; you know what's mean four (4)? Yeah, it includes the UB, which you never saw closely since Athens...By the way, that "serious illness" which has prevented your return last year, which has made you drop down the Japanese (generous) TV program has suddenly cured? Just curious. Maybe it's the late evenings at Constanta's main disco and the healthy salty air from Black Sea coast. But we do respect you and if you don't stir any more troubles, you have a 1st class seat on our 747 charter for Romanian gymnastics fans going to Beijing, all-included!

    Nicolae Forminte, the main coach of Romanian gymnastics team: "Some friends told me that I'm having gray hair since working at Deva." Those friends were very nice, Sir. If we compare his look from Ploiesti 2007 with images from previous year, Nicolae Forminte looks like he returned from a Space flight, a 5-10 years trip, came years older but here on Earth we just passed one year.
He almost got a hernia at Deva, helping girls to improve their UB exercises; it's time to admit he may use some help and get a UB coach. Stupid ambitions didn't helped anybody before to get Gold medals and RGF & ROC must decide in what boat they go for Gold: B&B's one is like Titanic, use to be very famous but now it's on bottom of the Ocean and you can't bring it back!...Better pay the ticket (a 1st class one, morons!) for the Forminte's boat!

    Mariana Bitang has commented for TVR2 almost half of the WAG contest, Saturday. Apart from trying to kiss the ass of her new Boss (she is Presidential counselor for nobody-know-what because she didn't seems to do anything apart from TV shows appearances), by telling us how much *He* helped sport by attending some events (this was only to get more votes) or welcoming gymnasts at Presidential Palace (Ceausescu did this, too and any other previous President- simply because they get votes and a piece of cake from gymnast's Glory...and they are supposed to do that anyway, are paid to do that, it's not a favor!) , Bitang tried to explain how Steliana Nistor become European Junior Champion in 2004.
   The main idea was the girl was launched by B&B; yeas, it was, but this was (another) bad "launch", since the girl was over-pushed at training (like Marinescu, Petrovschi and tens others!) and B&B left her to stay at team only because they wanted to avoid another Petrovschi-alike scandal, not because they care about her. Her UB "dynamite" exercise and the (real, complete, not the Ploiesti one) FX exercise (except the crap, inappropriate music) it's a Gold recovered from the river water by Forminte only and B&B have no rights to suggest their *merit* on this. She did noticed (her "spies" still keep them in touch, apparently) that Romanian gymnastics team didn't take any risk (Forminte's strategy) and showed very "light" versions of their "real" exercises.
   Rather than risking the team image (and his Ass, too), coach Nicolae Forminte took a 110% risk-margin and cut everything which could cause problems. People, press, referees and spectators (and the few millions from TV and webcast) keep in mind mostly the landings (good or bad) and they DO over-comment failures. This time, no satisfactions for the hyenas which came, once more, to see (and comment) some much-desired (by them) failures... 'Up Yours, idiots!

    ...By the way, how come that nobody from Romanian Olympic Committee (ROC) didn't come "to see how the team performs" , as they did last year at Euros and Worlds (spending $20,000 with expensive abroad trips, and later cutting Chelaru the reimbursing of medicines)? Maybe Ploiesti was too far (40 Miles) from Bucharest? Last year they made efforts& big spending to go at European Championships and Worlds...just in case the Romanian gymnastics team fails and they have an excuse to attack Forminte (they did it anyway!) for "poor results".
    A pair of Canadian junior gymnasts sparkled at this 50th edition of Romanian Gymnastics International Championships. Dominique Pegg of Sarnia, Ont., earned the gold medal on vault and bronze on uneven bars while Charlotte Mackie of Coquitlam, B.C., added three bronze medals.
   "It feels good, I'm pretty proud of myself," said Pegg, a Canada Games champion last month. "One of my two vaults was new and I was pleased with the landing and positioning." "I'm happy with all my medals," said Mackie. "The beam was a new routine and I kept it clean. On floor, I was pleased with how I stuck my landings."

[This article was written during the afternoon of Monday 16, right before the Virginia Tech Tragedy; it should be almost twice longer but the tragic events from that day has changed everything; some of Ploiesti info will be included in next articles]


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