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Beijing 2008
Steliana Nistor
Sandra Izbasa
Alina Stanculescu
Roxana Stan
Daniela Druncea

Elena Chiric
Floarea Leonida

2007 Seniors:
Aluissa Lacusteanu
Andreea Grigore
Andra Stanescu
Madalina Gutu
Ana Maria Tamarjan
Adriana Tamarjan

2008 Seniors:
Cerasela Patrascu
Alexandra Ghita
Andreea Acatrinei
Gabriela Dragoi

Nicolae Forminte(main)
Liliana Cosma
Daniel Meran
Marius Vintila
Lucian Sandu
Raluca Bugner

Marius Berbecar
Adrian Bucur
Ovidiu Buidoso

Cosmin Iancu
Alin Jivan
Flavius Koczi
Florin Nebunu
Bogdan Orzata
Cosmin Popescu
Daniel Popescu
Dan Potra
Robert Stanescu
Andrei Suciu
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
Razvan Selariu
Daniel Popescu

Main coach: Dan Grecu

Romanian Gymnastics Bios
Romanian gymnastics coaches

[August 2] Atlanta Games resonate: Women ruled sports in '96
Cincinnati Post - OH,USA
It was the Kerri Strug vault, landed with her left ankle sprained, so far beyond pain that she told coach Bela Karolyi, "I can't feel my leg." And he told her, "You can do it."
So she did. Under the bright spotlight of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics...

[ August 1] August Birthdays
3:Dana Dumitru, coach Mariana Bitang
8: Mariana Oboroceanu, Madalina Daniela GUTU
11:Augustina Badea
12:Iuliana Chindea
13:Nadia Hatagan
14:Marilena Neascu
16:Oana Zbenghea
18:Madalina Tanase
20: Catalina Ponor
23:Roxana Becheanu
24 Ana Maria Zaharia
26: Flavius Koczi
28:Corina Ungureanu, Gabriela DRAGOI

[July 30] EXCLUSIVE! Post card from Deva: Romanian Gymnastics Team
Earlier today, few different generations of Great Romanian Gymnastics Team have met at Deva Gymnastics School: Daniela Silivas, Lavinia Agache, Ecaterina Szabo, Gina Gogean Maria Olaru have met Sandra Izbasa, Steliana Nistor and all the members of the 2008 Olympics Romanian Gymnastics Team. Thanks to all for sending us this picture and make it available to their worldwide fans.

[July 30] For Moceanu, life comes full circle
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
That woman right there, Sacramone said of Dominique Moceanu. I remember watching her and the U.S. Olympic team (in 1996) and thinking, Oh, that looks like so much fun! Thats what I want to do. And now, Im competing alongside her.
Yes, Moceanu, the tiniest member of the Magnificent Seven, is still a gymnast, now at age 24. On video, though, shell always be the dark-eyed, 14-year-old sprite who helped the Americans win the team gold at the Atlanta Games. Next month, those seven gymnasts Moceanu, Shannon Miller, Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps will have a reunion at the Visa Championships in St. Paul, Minn.
Moceanu took part in just two events in the U.S. Classic on Saturday, placing 14th in the vault (14.250) and tying for 15th in the floor exercise (12.850). But just competing at all is a big deal, considering she originally retired from gymnastics in 2001.

[July 30] N Korea cancels gymnastics gala
BBC News - UK
The festival aims to boost the Pyongyang government's image North Korea has cancelled a massive festival featuring thousands of gymnasts, soldiers and performers because of flooding earlier this month.

[July 29] Romanian National Anthem Day
Congratulations and our deep gratitude to all the gymnasts, coaches and staff of the Romanian gymnastics community, the ones who made us to listen so many times the Romanian Anthem!:
"The American women's gymnastics team knows all the words by now"
-the funniest comment about the Romanian Anthem, coming from "King Pigeon".

TV Alert: Mariana Bitang and Octavian Belu on TVRi
Monday, August 1st, (21.30) on TVR International: "Parfum de Glorie cu Mariana Bitang and Octavian Belu", a 45 minutes program about the two former coaches of the Romanian gymnastics team. TV International (TVi) is available for free through sattelite in Europe and live over Net (click here).

"Great Romanians" ("Mari Romani")
The recorded "Great Romanians" ("Mari Romani"), a TVR1 debate about great Romanians and their places in the Romanians hearts & minds-this episode is about top athletes, including Nadia- is available. (See below on this page details about the show).

[July 27] Oval Office
President Bush Welcomes President Basescu of Romania to the White House
(photos and video, click here)

President Bush to Welcome President of Romania to the White House

The White House, Washington
President Bush will host Romanian President Traian Basescu at the White House on Thursday, July 27, 2006.
Romania is a close NATO ally and a leading partner in the cause of freedom. Under President Basescu's leadership, Romania is promoting cooperation in the Black Sea region and making valuable contributions to assist the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. President Basescu is also pursuing economic and judicial reforms and fighting corruption as Romania prepares to join the European Union.
President Bush looks forward to reviewing bilateral relations with President Basescu, as well as discussing our work together to support reform and democracy in the Balkans and Black Sea region, advance energy security, win the War on Terror, and strengthen our economic and commercial ties.
Related: About Romania ; Romanian Anthem

[July 26] TVR1 documentaries about great Romanians
Bucharest Daily News - Bucharest
The show launched by Romanian Public Television that aimed to determine the greatest Romanians in the opinion of the inhabitants of the country will result in documentaries that will present to audiences the personalities that were selected during the campaign. Among the greatest Romanians of all time are King Carol I, Marshall Ion Antonescu, gymnast Nadia Comaneci, writer and philosopher Mircea Eliade and ruler Mihai the Brave.
Director, producer and musician Hanno Hofer will craft the documentary about Nadia Comaneci . According to the public television, the films will attempt to present the ten greatest Romanians free of the myths that surround them, in documentaries that show both their good and bad sides. The documentaries will be completed by the beginning of September and broadcasted in September and October.

[July 25] Andreea Raducan father has died
Andreea Raducan father has died yesterday by cyrosis hepatitis (ciroza hepatica). Many Romanian gymnasts, former coleguess of Andreea Raducan, will attend the funerals, on July 27, in hometown Vaslui (Moldavia). Dumnezeu Sa-l Odihneasca!

[July 25] LSU to Hold National Anthem Auditions on Aug. 7-8
LSUSports.net - Baton Rouge,LA,USA
BATON ROUGE -- The LSU athletics department will be holding auditions for those interested in singing the national anthem before home volleyball, soccer, men's and women's basketball, gymnastics, softball and baseball games on Aug. 7 and 8, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
All ages and groups are welcome. A wireless microphone will be provided and performances must be a cappella unless the singer is accompanied by an instrument. All singers for the 2006-07 year will be selected from these auditions.

TV: Great Romanians (Athletes episodes) on TVRi
Romanian TV International will broadcast, on July 19, at 03.30, the replay of "Great Romanians" ("Mari Romani") show; this episode is about Romanian Top Athletes- Nadia Comaneci included. (Recorded "Mari Romani" here)
A nice video documentary about Nadia Comaneci as child can be found on the "Mari Romani" show page, (the link is under Nadia's photo).

[July 24] Bela Karoly, going for a World Gymnastics Record
Bela Karoly and USA Gymnastics will attempt a new WORLD RECORD for the most CARTWHEELS performed at one time, on August 3, 2006 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Capital Grounds in St. Paul.
People of all ages and skill levels are invited to register for this event; In addition to setting a Guinness Book of World Record, participants will also enjoy: Autograph signings with Bela Karolyi and the University of Minnesota gymnasts; A free Mall of America ride pass Interactive Fitness Zones; Speeches by prominent local officials; Free time with sports Mascots.
Related :
Romanian Gymnastics World Records:
Youngest Female World Gymnastics Champion: Aurelia Dobre
Youngest Female Gymnastics Champ In One Event : Daniela Silivas
The youngest female World Gymnastics champion on a single piece of apparatus is Romania's Daniela Silivas (b. May 9, 1971) who was 14-years 185-days old when she won the gold medal on the balance beam on November 10, 1985 in Montreal, Canada.

[July 23] People in business
Norman Transcript - Norman,OK,USA
Bart Conner, of Norman was recently re-elected to Muscular Dystrophy Association's Board of Directors. The Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics is a sports broadcaster and public speaker.
His wife, Nadia Comaneci, was re-elected as a MDA national vice president. She also is an Olympic gold medalist. The couple frequently host the Chicago broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon on Labor Day weekend.

[July 22] GR girl given award for selfless act for US soldier
WOOD-TV - Grand Rapids,MI,USA
GRAND RAPIDS -- A special award was given to an eight-year-old girl Friday night for her generosity to a US soldier. Alison has been writing to troops in Iraq for a while.
She recently won her first medal in gymnastics and decided to send it to one of the men serving overseas.
It was such a selfless act that the American Red Cross decided to give her another medal, the "My personal hero award." It was presented at halftime of Friday night's Detroit Shock game at Van Andel Arena.

[July 22] GYMNASTICS: Pezzino set for Empire State Games
Niagara Gazette - Niagara Falls,NY,USA
WILLIAMSVILLE Jimmy Pezzino isnt very easy to please. The Grand Island gymnast is ready for his fourth Empire State Games and hell surely be disappointed if he and his Western teammates dont come home with a gold medal. I expect to do really well, he said. I really want to win the floor exercise and at least finish in the top three in the vault. You have to score good for your team.
Dan Molnar, Pezzinos coach at Stumpfs Gymnastics and a coach with the Western Region team, agreed that Pezzino and the team should be very successful this coming week in Rochester.

[July 22] Dominique Moceanu : This gold never tarnishes
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland,OH,USA
Q:How much fan mail did you receive in the summer of '96?
Dominique Moceanu: More than 1,000 pieces per week. It came in U.S. Postal Service boxes. We had to crawl through the boxes in the living room to get to the couch.
Q:What were some of the more notable gifts you received?
Dominique Moceanu : Lots of stuffed animals, earrings, necklaces, photos of me and my sister, drawings of me off the TV, plastic engagement rings . . .
Q:Whoa . . . engagement rings?
Dominique Moceanu : Engagement rings. You know, the ones you get out of the quarter machines.
Q:Estimated number of plastic engagement rings and other proposals you received?
Dominique Moceanu: It was in the hundreds at least.
Q:That's incredible. You were 14 years old, for crying out loud.
What advice would you give to young gymnasts?
Dominique Moceanu: A very wise friend of mine passed this on to me: Remember, gymnastics is what you do, not who you are. Gymnastics can be very rewarding but also very challenging. It's a tough road, but if you can see the big picture and use the sport to refine life skills such as time management, discipline, constructively dealing with disappointment and humbly accepting success, you'll be fine.

[July 20] Melbourne: IOC official criticises Olympic changes
NDTV.com - New Delhi,India
Senior Australian Olympic official Kevan Gosper says he has written IOC president Jacques Rogge criticizing possible changes to the 2008 Beijing schedule that could see swimming finals and the basketball gold medal game held in the morning. American television network NBC has asked the IOC to consider switching the swim finals from the evening to the morning so they could be shown live in prime time in North America.
NBC is also thought to be pressuring the IOC to move the basketball finals and gymnastics to the morning.

[July 20] Toronto Sun - Canada: Another 'pedo-coach' charge
A longtime children's gymnastics coach was charged with possession of child pornography on the same day he was freed on bail after being accused of asking an undercover cop in a chat room to perform sex acts on a child.
Chad Meikle, 33, of Toronto, was initially charged with counselling to commit an indictable offence, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime after a little girl's underwear was stolen from the gym where Meikle worked.
On Tuesday, he was hit with the additional charge. Police say he had child-abuse images on his computer. He was freed on bail with strict conditions and returned to the Scarborough apartment he shares with his mother.

[July 19] Olympic memories not all bad
Montreal Gazette - Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Monday was a day for memories in Montreal. Olympic officials, athletes and assorted others gathered at city hall to cast their minds back 30 years to the 1976 Games. A photo exhibit at city hall captures the excitement of those two weeks: Queen Elizabeth opened the ceremonies, Nadia Comaneci became the first gymnast to score a perfect 10...

MSNBC TV/ Thirty years after Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci wowed Olympic judges at the Montreal Olympics, a tribute to that "Perfect 10" performance has been beamed toward the stars via the Deep Space Communications Network.
The transmission was arranged by www.Romanian-Gymnastics.com as a publicity exercise to mark the anniversary. Deep Space, which is based in Cape Canaveral, Fla., uses TV transmission equipment usually devoted to space coverage to beam signals up into clear space instead - in hopes that the telecast will someday come within range of an extraterrestrial civilization. So will Comaneci's performance ever thrill an alien audience?

Romanian Gymnast Nadia Comanecis Perfect Ten Broadcasted Into Space
Mediafax - Bucuresti, Romania
A video montage celebrating Nadia Comanecis Perfect Ten made by Shan Fan (Heather Gibson), a Romanian gymnastics fan from Memphis, TN, US, has been broadcast into deep, open space, by the 16-foot-wide (5 meter wide) TV transmission antenna of Deep Space Communications Network, (DCN) a private organization located near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, www.romanian-gymnastics.com reported.
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Historic Transmission: Perfect Ten Broadcast into Space

Nadia Comaneci and her amazing Montreal 1976 performance (she got 10 score, 7 times!) in well known on Earth. Celebrating The Perfect Ten, www.romanian-gymnastics.com,the most popular web site (Ranked 1st on goggle), with its more than 500,000 unique visitors and over 15,000,000 hits) about Romanian gymnastics, has made this event known and available to the (possible) celestial civilizations, also.

A video montage celebrating Perfect Ten, made by Shan Fan (Heather Gibson), a Romanian gymnastics fan from Memphis, TN, US, has been broadcast last night into deep, open space, by the 16-foot-wide (5 meter wide) TV transmission antenna of Deep Space Communications Network, (DCN) a private organization located near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (click for broadcasted video)

Photo credit:DSCN for www.romanian-gymnastics.com

The broadcast for www.romanian-gymnastics.com has been scheduled 6 months in advance, with an undisclosed fee paid for the exclusivity of any (sport related) transmissions for the July 18.

Photo credit:DSCN

Last minute delays in the Space Shuttle Program made the broadcast uncertain until Monday, when the Perfect Landing of the Space Shuttle have left the TV broadcast antenna free to be repositioned and broadcast into Deep Space for us, just few hours later.

With drag chute deployed, the orbiter Discovery slows to a stop after landing on Runway 15 at NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility, completing mission STS-121 to the International Space Station. Discovery traveled 5.3 million miles, landing on orbit 202.
Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

(landing video here)

The Transmission Certificate confirms that the video montage "Perfect Ten" has been sent into deep space on July 18, at 12:01 AM, just few hours after same antenna has broadcasted another "Perfect Ten"... landing of the space shuttle.

DCN aims their antenna at coordinates where there are no known satellites, and they estimate that their transmissions will travel approximately 1-3 light years. "Perfect Ten" message will travel trillions of miles beyond the Solar System. "The biggest things is that we hit clear space, said Jim Lewis, Vice President of Deep Space Communications Network.
Photo credit:DSCN for www.romanian-gymnastics.com

According to CCI Vice President and Managing Director of DSCN, Jim Lewis, When we set up Deep Space Communications, we hoped to send examples of the best and the brightest into outer space. Nadias accomplishment obviously fits that bill.
We can only continue to send messages and hope someone or something sees them and understands we have something valuable to offer the universe, concluded Lewis.
The way we see it, if there is someone out there receiving radio waves from this planet, Earth is getting some bad press. Basically, theyre seeing what were seeing on the evening news: war, famine, strife and struggle. Perhaps now they will see there is also unmatched beauty and grace on our little green ball as well.

Deep Space Communications Network is a private organization located right next the Kennedy Space Center. DSCN was formed specifically to communicate with outer-space by a group of broadcast engineers and communications experts that regularly transmit from the space center.

The company is an offshoot of Communications Concepts, Inc., a company based in Cape Canaveral, Florida, that produces live television coverage of shuttle launches. That same equipment has being used to send the www.romanian-gymnastics.com scheduled broadcast into open space to any intergalactic neighbors that might be listening.

Photo credit:DSCN

Previous commercials broadcast into deep space include: Audi engine photos, Space Show (popular US program), classifieds postings from Craigslist.com, Music Album "Sentimental Junk" of Black Eyed Soul and broadcasting whale sounds for an environmental program.

[July 19] Nadia Comaneci ranked 1st on Top Ten Perfect Sport Performances
(ANSA) - Rome, July 19 - Italy's World Cup hero Fabio Grosso was named Wednesday on a list of ten perfect sports performances . The list, compiled by US TV channel Fox, marked the 30th anniversary of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci's first perfect 10 score at the Montreal Olympics.The heavily baseball-and-basketball-tilted ranking was led by Comaneci ahead of a Major League pitcher and Italo-American boxing champ Rocky Marciano.

[July 18] Daybook: What's ahead in the news today
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Sarasota,FL,USA
Thirty years ago today, Nadia Comaneci earned the first perfect ten at the Olympics. She went on to earn six more perfect scores and three gold medals.
In Washington, D.C. today, the Senate will complete discussion of three stem-cell bills.

[July 18] Coming soon: EXCLUSIVE! Celebrating The Perfect Ten
US / (very) early in this morning, the most important event celebrating The Perfect Ten took place in US...

[July 18] Montreal 1976: Those were the days...
Waterloo Record - Waterloo,Ontario,Canada
Corruption, debt, foul ups plagued the Montreal Olympics of 30 years ago. But, really, it wasn't all bad.When Montrealers think about the 1976 Olympics, mostly they recall an unfinished stadium, a massive debt and widespread corruption.But yesterday, on the 30th anniversary of the opening of Canada's first Olympic Games, they were being asked to remember the good things -- a well-run Games, brilliant athletic performances and a two-week party when they were at the centre of the sporting world.

[July 18] Three decades since the first 10 in gymnastics
Bucharest Daily News - Bucharest,Romania
World gymnastics celebrates today 30 years since the first perfect 10 in its history, a mark obtained by Romanian Nadia Comaneci at the Montreal Olympic Games, where she received a total of seven perfect 10s.

July 18, 1976: First Perfect 10
Searcy Daily Citizen - Searcy,AR,USA
Thirty years ago a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored the first perfect 10 ever given in the Olympics; in fact, she scored two of them. In the 1976 Olympics she won six medalsthree gold, two silver and one bronze. She won two gold and two silver in the 1980 Olympics. In 1989 she defected to the U.S. and, in 1996, she married American Bart Conner, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist.

[July 17] New York / The World (Fans) Gymnastics Day

[July 17] San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA/July 18 in History
July 18: On this day in history, Nelson Mandela was born (1918). Gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored a perfect 10 in the Olympics (1976).

Perfection WAS Possible...
Romanian gymnasts which scored "Perfect Ten"
Nadia Comaneci : 1976 Olympic Games, 1980 Olympic Games
Emilia Eberle : 1980 Olympic Games, Moscow
Melita Ruhn : 1980 Olympic Games, Moscow
Lavinia Agache : 1983 World Championships, Budapest
Mirela Barbaata : 1983 World Championships, Budapest
Ecaterina Szabo : 1983 World Championships, Budapest
1984 Olympic Games-Los Angeles
Simona Pauca : 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles
Daniela Silivas : 1985 World Championships, Montreal
1987 World Championships, Rotterdam
1988 Olympic Games, Seoul
1989 World Championships
Aurelia Dobre : 1987 World Championships, Rotterdam
Eugenia Golea : 1987 World Championships, Rotterdam
Camelia Voinea : 1987 World Championships, Rotterdam
Cristina Bontas : 1989 World Championships, Stuttgart
Lavinia Milosovici : 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona

July 18, 1976: First Perfect 10
Searcy Daily Citizen - Searcy,AR,USA
Thirty years ago a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored the first perfect 10 ever given in the Olympics; in fact, she scored two of them. In the 1976 Olympics she won six medalsthree gold, two silver and one bronze. She won two gold and two silver in the 1980 Olympics. In 1989 she defected to the U.S. and, in 1996, she married American Bart Conner, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist.

[July 17] Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" in Timisoara show
Daily News, Bcharest/ Colombian sensation Shakira, whose appealing combination of Latino, rock influences and oriental rhythms propelled her in the top of the pop charts, will deliver her much-anticipated show today in Timisoara. Forty thousand are expected to attend. An increased demand from fans prompted organizers to appeal to the Romanian Railway Company for the introduction of supplementary "Shakira" trains that would cover the Bucharest-Timisoara rail route before and after the show.

[July 17] Coaches Accused Of Using Screws To Torture Gymnasts
Longwood, FL (AHN)-Two coaches at a local gym could face criminal charges for harming young athletes, after Seminole County investigators say the coaches used drywall screws to discipline gymnasts. Investigators say the bizarre incidents happened at Ace Gymnastics in Longwood, Florida, where one of the owners, Joan Moore Gnat is a former Olympian. Seminole County sheriff's investigators say Coach Mike Turner and another coach repeatedly stabbed one of the boys and a brother repeatedly with dry wall screws, breaking the skin on their buttocks, leaving permanent scarring.
Ace Gymnastics' Website touts the gym as a place "where all children excel," but Seminole County sheriff's investigators say the words "or else" were implied by coaches Mike Turner and Chris Bonn.

[July 16] Downeys gift of the gab: actors calling card is verbal gymnastics
ChronicleHerald.ca - Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada
NEW YORK In a scene in the new film A Scanner Darkly, Robert Downey Jr.s character enters the house he and his friends live in, wheeling a mountain bike on its hind wheel. He is stoked. "Total, total, total, totally, total, total . . . total providence," says Barris (Downey), a conspiracy theory-riddled man with no apparent job. Barris is excited because hes just purchased the new 18-speed from a neighbour for just $50. It devolves into a comic scene, where he and his friends (played by Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves) become paranoid that Barris has been ripped off. It concludes when he decides to "abort the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard bitches." Such verbal gymnastics are Downeys calling card an actorly trademark he has sharpened over the years, one thats become increasingly prevalent...

[July 16] Coaches Accused Of Using Screws On Gymnasts
Local6.com - Orlando,FL,USA
Two Central Florida gymnastics coaches are facing child cruelty charges after being accused of using screws to discipline young children who performed with poor technique, according to a Local 6 News report. Two mothers recently came forward claiming coaches Michael Turner, 34, and Christopher Bonn, 18, at Ace Gymnastics in Longwood jabbed their children with the screws. The first woman said she noticed wounds on the bodies of her two children and went to authorities, Local 6 News reported. After the first complaint, another woman came forward with similar accusations.

[July 16] China harvests 4 more golds at gymnastics World Cup
SHANGHAI, July 16 (Xinhua) As the FIG 2006 China World Cup Gymnastics concluded in Shanghai, China become the biggest winners, followed by Russia and Brazil. Of the day's five finals, China struck four more golds and three silvers for a combined total of eight gold medals, far better than the anticipation of Chinese Gymnastics Team.And Beijing will hold another FIG World Cup Gymnastics in two years.

Toronto Sun - Canada
/ Cops nab 'pedo-coach'
A 33-year-old Toronto man who has coached children in gymnastics for 10 years has been charged after it was alleged he asked an undercover police officer in a chat room to perform sex acts on a child. Police are asking parents of any children who were coached by the man to talk to their youngsters about their interactions with him. "We're concerned because of his job. He had more intimate access to kids than the average person," said Toronto Police Det. Paul Krawczyk. Krawczyk warned pedophiles using the Internet that they are being watched. "No matter where they go -- websites, chat rooms, wherever -- we are there," he said. "If they're trading (child porn) images, they never know, they may be trading with us."

[July 16] China win four golds in World Cup Gymnastics
China grabbed four out of the five gold medals on the second day of Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) 2006 World Cup Gymnastics in Shanghai, China, one of the six FIG World Cup competitions, representing the A-class event of FIG.

[July 15] A real family -- at last
StarPhoenix - Saskatoon,Saskatchewan,Canada
EDMONTON -- "Dear Ms. Faulder," began the letter. "My name is Jennica Lise Ferdynus. You wrote two stories about me in the Edmonton Journal when I was a little girl "In two weeks I will be 18 and I wondered if you would be interested in doing another story to let readers know how I'm doing." Oh yes, I thought after reading the letter. The story of Jennica Lise is one of the most emotionally diffi cult stories I have witnessed in my career. Meeting her made me realize the spiritual and emotional price some people are willing to pay to have a child.Jennica will remain in many ways the girl I met so many years ago after she was adopted from Romania by her parents, Suzanne McFarlane and Roland Ferdynus.
...The other kids rolled about exuberantly on thick blue mats, clamouring for attention from the gymnastics instructor. But Jennica moved in her own world. An instructor noticed me watching the child. "That little girl?" she said. "She's a Romanian orphan."

[July 15] Accused coach called `great'
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
As police wait to lay further charges against a veteran Toronto gymnastics coach arrested in a child exploitation investigation, other coaches who spent years with him in and outside gyms say there were no hints to back up police accusations that he led a perverted life online.

[July 14] Gym teacher charged with advising sex acts on girl
Toronto police have laid charges against a 33-year-old former gymnastics teacher and say child pornography-related charges could follow. Sex Crimes Unit investigators were tipped by Edmonton police last month about a suspected online pedophile. Undercover officers contacted Chad Meikle, 33, of Toronto. Police allege he advised the undercover investigators to commit sexual acts with a young girl.
related: see CTV Toronto video, click here
related: MySpace luring charges a first in Canada
Charges against a Toronto man for allegedly luring a 13-year-old girl using the popular MySpace.com social networking website are believed to be the first of their kind in Canada.
related: Children are best weapon against online dangers

[July 14] Gymnastics Coaches Accused Of Jabbing Students With Nails
Winter Park,FL,USA/Seminole County investigators are recommending criminal charges against two coaches they said jabbed young gymnasts with nails and screws for improper technique. The owners of Ace Gymnastics said they did not approve of or know about the tactics, WESH 2 News reported.

[July 14] Gym coach charged after kid porn found
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada/ Members of the Toronto area's gymnastics community are shocked after learning that a veteran coach who trained athletes at several local clubs has been arrested in a child exploitation investigation. Police who report seizing child pornography say there's no indication that any of the young gymnasts were victims of exploitation.

[July 13] Children's Circus Instructor Faces Sex Charges
Burlington,VT,USA/ He's taught dozens of children gymnastics-- and now the circus instructor is charged with molesting a seven-year-old girl. Police say Vladimir Avgoustov went after the girl at the Vermont School of Circus Arts, located at the Essex Fair Grounds. He and his wife run the school.

[July 13] Coach faces sex-related charges
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
A gymnastics coach who taught at several Toronto-area clubs over the past 10 years faces sex-related charges after an undercover investigation by police. The child exploitation section of Toronto police got a tip from Edmonton police last month about a person advertising himself online as a pedophile and gymnastics coach in Toronto, police said Thursday.

[July 13] Mayor of Baltimore Proclaims August 5th National Gymnastics Day
Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) July 13, 2006 -- Martin O'Malley, Mayor of Baltimore City, officially proclaimed August 5th as National Gymnastics Day in Baltimore City.
I, Mayor Martin OMalley, Mayor of the City of Baltimore, do hereby proclaim August 5, 2006, as National Gymnastics Day in Baltimore, and do urge all citizens to join in the celebration.
Mayor O'Malley was petitioned by Niki Goins on behalf of her daughter Joy and the other members of the Sportsplex Gymnastics team, to recognize this special day. Niki Goins is the National Gymnastics Day Coordinator for the Sportsplex Booster Club. National Gymnastics Day honors the efforts of all gymnasts, male and female, and highlights the mental and physical benefits that gymnastics training provides. It also creates an opportunity for gymnastics clubs across the United States to raise money for the "Children's Miracle Network. The Sportsplex Gymnastics Booster Club has set a goal of $5,000 to be raised for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, MD, which is part of the Children's Miracle Network.

[July 12] Bush Rejects DeGette's Request To Talk Stem Cells
(AP) WASHINGTON President Bush has rejected an offer from Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., to talk about his plans to veto a bill she sponsored that would loosen restrictions on government-paid research on human embryonic stem cells. The stem cell measure passed the House last year and is expected to win Senate approval if it comes up for a vote. Many scientists say the research would help in the search for cures for diseases, including cancer and juvenile diabetes.

[July 12] Spectators offered free entry to Shanghai World Cup
SHANGHAI, July 12 (Reuters) - Entry will be free to the gymnastics World Cup in Shanghai this weekend to encourage spectator interest before the 2008 Olympics. "I think this will be a kind of test competition for the Beijing Olympics," said Adrian Stoica, the International Federation of Gymnastics president.
[note: Mr.Adrian Stoica is the President of the MAG Technical Committee]

[July 12] Flummoxed over the blend of art and architecture at Flux Factory
New York Press - New York,NY,USA
On the corner of Broadway and Jay Street a paranoid loner wanders an office complex at night; across town, on Rue de Poire, Julia Child is born and dies at the age of 92. Meanwhile, on Aggravation Alley, Nadia Comaneci and a group of costumed bunnies drift through heaven, hell and Eastern Europe. Welcome to the city of Opolis, the product of the third annual manifestation of Flux Factorys Comix Fluxture exhibit in which 15 separate artists put their creative spin on a city block for the fictional metropolis: a blending of sequential art and architecture that combines the spectacle of installation art, with the intimacy of the comic narrative.
Through Aug. 5. Flux Factory, 38-38 43rd St., Long Island City, Queens, 718-707-3362; Fri. 4-7, Sat. 12-5, Free.

[July 11] Madison Gymnastics Coach Charged with Sexual Assault
WMTV - Madison,WI,USA/ The Madison Police Department has arrested Jan Nomadic for multiple alleged sexual assaults of a 15-year-old girl from 1994 and into 1995. Madison police say they have been investigating the case since May of 1996. The female victim, who is now 27, says Nomadic sexually assaulted her when he was her personal coach. Nomadic would have been 21 at the time of the alleged sexual assault.

[July 11] Kids stretch their skills in class
Contra Costa Times - CA,USA
ANTIOCH - Don't expect the class to turn your little gymnast into the next Nadia Comaneci or Olga Korbut. But if what you want is to help your preschooler improve his or her balance, flexibility and coordination -- not to mention make new friends -- Gym-A-Nee Crickets is an option that could inspire a parent to do cartwheels. "I think she's getting a little bit more coordinated," said Antioch resident Harold Johnson as he watched 31/2-year-old Courtney practice somersaulting down a padded ramp along with several other small girls in leotards and ballet slippers. She's a live wire who does rolls around the house, he said, and bouncing on the bed translates nicely into jumping on trampolines.

[July 11] Shriver celebrates 85th at White House
Boston Globe - United States / Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver celebrated her 85th birthday in style last night, being toasted at the White House by President Bush and VIP guests, including son Tim Shriver, daughter Maria Shriver, son-in-law Arnold Schwarzenegger, figure skater Scott Hamilton, singer Vanessa Williams, and Olympians Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci.

[July 10] The White House:
President Bush Honors Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Celebrates Special Olympics

THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. Mrs. Shriver, and Special Olympics athletes; friends and family. Mr. President -- the President of Iceland has joined us -- proud you're here, President Grimsson. And First Lady of Panama, First Lady Torrijos is with us, as well. We've got members of the Congress and members of the Senate. Laura and I are glad you all are here. Welcome to this special occasion.

We're here to celebrate the Special Olympics, and to honor a woman who made them possible -- Eunice Kennedy Shriver. (Applause.) And we're here to celebrate her birthday. (Laughter.)

In a moment we'll hear from this woman who has made it her life's work to create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. She founded the Special Olympics in 1968, to get people with intellectual disabilities the chance to develop physical fitness, to create friendships, and experience the joy of sports competition and achievement. Today the Special Olympics includes more than 2.25 million athletes in 150 countries. The games have become a source -- (applause.) The games have become a source of unity and excitement for its participants. They've helped raise awareness of the challenges facing those with intellectual disabilities.

America upholds the values of every person and the possibilities of every life. And the Special Olympics are an example of America at its best. We share with the entire world the spirit of joy and kindness that the Special Olympics brings.

If you ever had any doubt about how much good one person can do, look no further than this kind and gracious lady. On this special occasion, I ask you to join me in a toast to the Special Olympics, and to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and to her contributions to our nation -- past, present, and future. God bless. (A toast is offered.) (Applause.)

[July 11] Study suggests treatment may help repair damaged spinal cords
WASHINGTON - Injections of human stem cells seem to directly repair some of the damage caused by spinal cord injury, according to research that helped partially paralyzed mice walk again. The experiment, reported Monday, isnt the first to show that stem cells offer tantalizing hope for spinal cord injury other scientists have helped mice recover, too. But the new work went an extra step, suggesting the connections that the stem cells form to help bridge the damaged spinal cord are key to recovery.
Surprisingly, they didnt just form new nerve cells. They also formed cells that create the biological insulation that nerve fibers need to communicate. A number of neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, involve loss of that insulation, called myelin.
The researchers injured the spinal cords of mice and nine days later injected some with the human neural stem cells. Four months later, the treated mice could again step normally with their hind paws. Mice given no treatment or an injection with an unrelated cell showed no improvement.

[July 10] Move forward on stem cells
Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA / Republican Sen. Bill Frist has wisely decided to schedule a vote on a package of bills that would ease restrictions on human embryonic stem-cell research. We hope to see them pass the Senate. President Bush opposes the measure, which would allow federal funding of research on left-over embryos at fertility clinics that would otherwise be discarded. He has promised to veto it, bowing to pro-life conservatives who persist in mistaking this scientific practice for abortion.
The House passed the measure in May 2005. It had been stalled in the Senate due to Bush's opposition until Frist reportedly revived the measure at the urging of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan believes research on stem cells could lead to cures for diseases that afflict millions of people, such as Alzheimer's, which former President Ronald Reagan died in 2004 after suffering from the illness for more than a decade.
Surveys show that most Americans support stem-cell research, which holds promise for treating illnesses from juvenile diabetes to Parkinson's disease. The Senate is believed to have enough votes to pass the measure, possibly setting up the first veto of the Bush presidency. The House is unlikely to have the votes to override a veto.

[July 6] TV alert: Maria Olaru in "Intercities" TV show
Maria Olaru is the top star during this week edition of "Games at Saint Tropez" (local name of a popular TV show, "Intercities", which has started back in 1962 in France), to be aired tonight by Antena1. 100 top athletes from each country compete in some funny games.Romania, Italy, Ukraine and Russia have their teams at Saint Tropez, a popular French (VIP) resort. In the end, one country will get the Trophy. Many top Romanian athletes, including gymnasts, will be seen in this show during next weeks. After Maria Olaru (who play the role of Captain for the Romanian team tonight), other former gymnasts will play as Captain: Daniela Sofronie and Marius Urzica.

[July 4] Cristina Bontas interview (the complete version) updated
Q: Do you have an advice for parents who may think about sending their children to gymnastics?
Cristina Bontas :
The gymnastics system is so different here in Canada than the Romanian one (I left). Since I am myself a parent now I can realize myself how much means to have an athletic child. Gymnastics is such a complete sport (coordination, flexibility, force and many more) that you can't regret doing it, even if you don't reach the top levels.

[July 4] Independence Day

Happy Birthday, America!

An Ode to America
by Cornel Nistorescu / Evenimentul Zilei, Bucharest, Sept 24, 2001
What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their galloping history? Their economic power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases which risk of sounding like commonplaces. I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion. Only freedom can work such miracles...

Quote of the Day:
"It is all about the American spirit and how freedom cannot be crushed"
Cornel Nistorescu, Evenimentul Zilei, Bucharest

see also: Independence Day checklist

[July 1st] Gina Gogean got married
Gina Gogean got married today in Deva; the Godfathers were former coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang. Among former colleagues, Andreea Raducan and Maria Olaru attended the ceremony.
Related story: [May 22] Gina Gogean, getting married on July 1st!

July Romanian Gymnastics Birthdays:
3:Andreea Isarescu
4: Ecaterina Ureche
5:Mihaela Stanulet
7:Larisa Apostol
12:Celestina Popa
13:Madalina Rapeanu, Ovidiu Buidoso
18:Elena Velicu
28: Dan Nicolae Potra

[July 1st] Youngsters shine against US opponents
Mid-Ocean News - Bermuda
BERMUDA gymnasts won second place in the team event at the nationals held in Fort Lauderdale at the weekend. And the four-strong squad also brought home a slew of medals in a tough competition against more than 300 of America's best athletes in the United States of America Independent Gymnastics Club Nationals.
Next year USAIGC nationals will be held in the same location and will move to Texas for 2008. The Bermuda team is also planning to take three girls to a Pan Am training camp run by famous Romanian coach Bela Karoly who coached Nadia Comaneci to Olympic glory.

[June 30] Cristina Bontas: The struggle to build a new life in Canada
Hamilton Spectator - Ontario, Canada
Coaches are the gypsies of the international sports stage. While competitors obviously perform under their country's colours, coaches move readily from nation to nation. Canada's national sports associations are studded with a United Nations of mentors.
For Cristina Bontas of World Class Gymnastics Centre in Hamilton, moving from Romania to coach in Canada was not difficult. She came for a summer on a contract and when she applied to return to Canada on a full-time basis was awarded significant scores under the immigration point system.
Related story: Cristina Bontas Tantaru- EXCLUSIVE interview
More photos with Cristina Bontas: see our Gymnastics Photos Gallery

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