m [25.09] Exclusive!
Oana Ban, first interview-at-large
...Just few days ago, parents went to Deva to bring Oana
Ban some clothes for the cold season. Some
rainy, cold days make them think the cold season may come
sooner than expected and Deva city is nearby a mountain region,
which make the medium temperatures being lower than most of
To their surprise, Oana
Ban has said to her coaches and parents that
she want to quit gymnastics! This is her version and the
"official" version, too, but... for anybody close
to Romanian gymnastics as our contacts are there, we are pretty
sure that Oana didn't want tell Belu such about such a decision
without having her parents nearby to support her.
Our Deva contacts have advised us about her quitting Deva,
three days ago. We thought that she may change her mind and
we have resisted to temptation of using this "news", because
we want her to have a chance to think more and maybe change
her minds in the peace of her home, maybe after few more discussions
with her parents.Only Friday evening, after we were sure her
decision is final (as final it can be these days, with Silvia
Stroescu having a Gold Medal after...her "retire",
just few days before the team left Bucharest for Athens, see
our site stories back in July-August)
and she already started to speak with the press about it,
we used the info.
Ban's (parents) home is located in Cluj-Napoca
city, one of the most beautiful and civilized cities in Romania
(opposite with Bucharest and his tons of garbage's and street
with smog, dust...).
Ban was already posing for a Romanian newspaper
and her sister, asked us to wait few moments.We spoke about
Oana and heard some interesting facts about her life, which
we will share with you in second part of this story.Girls
knows our site and appreciate our work and like to help us
help their fans to know more about Oana.
Q: Oana, can you tell us why did you do this?
Ban: I am too tired, I am sure I can't get
any more same results and I was disappointed couldn't compete
in AA at Athens. I would rather prefer to put a stop now on
gymnastics, than ending my career with some lousy results.
(She seems to be very firmly and little bit frowned saying
this, her decision seems to be final but she still seems to
have regrets on ending her carrier).
Q: But don't you want to compete next WC?
Ban : I don't now if I could be able to compete
very soon at same level, my legs can make me not even to make
the team for any major contest, for another year. It was difficult
for me to compete any more, I have had problems going back
Q: wow, this is hard to hear; didn't thought about
this.Just wonder, did Mr.Belu and Mrs. Bitang asked you, have
even insisted to stay longer?
Ban: They told me is my decision, but didn't
pushed me to stay if I feel I don't want.
well, this is a change and a new thing for me to hear, whatever...
Q: Did you compete in Athens with pains?
Ban: No, in Athens I don't have had any pains
before the third line at floor exercise.After that, the pain
"killed me", but I know I have to finish the exercise.
Q.: Did you have a serious medical check on your leg
Ban: I have had a RMN (magnetic resonance radiography,
a full and effective scan, deep into bones structures) on
my leg, back in February I think, since then I didn't have
any more pains.
Q.: Did you get the money prizes for Athens?
Ban: Not yet, but I spoke with Dana Sofronie
and she get them, probably I will take mines, soon.
But they give you a check or what, because there is no press
report about money, nobody said how you may get them?
Ban: Dana told me we have to pick up the money
from "Trezorerie" ( The State official bank, where taxes goes),
they gave us a document and we just have to go there, show
it and get our money.
Q: What plans you have for future?
Ban: First, will start my classes, on October
1st, at local Sport University. This is my top priority now,
I want to become a coach. Q: But you don;t have to
wait four years to become a coach, didn't they told you in
Ban: No, how that comes ? (being surprised)
very simple, there are two different things: If you go at
University (four years), you will have the " sport teacher"
title and a (little) better salary; also you can have sport
classes, teaching students on sport at any school. Being a
coach (training athletes) is different, you can do this simply
by going to National Coach School, which is right next to
yours Bucharest hotel where you have stayed before Olympics.These
courses are only two years long, have a more flexible and
very affordable classes and easy to follow lessons. This year
they have six places for gymnastics only and ten days ago
they even don't have candidates!
Ban: never heard about us, they don't tell
us much about such things.
Q: at least about gymnastics they should teach you more,
advise you about your careers in gym, but maybe they (Federation)
were caught by surprise about your leaving. Let's say that,
rather than they don't care much about yours future in general
or in gymnastics...
Q.: Oana, we have another urgent problem. We are flooded
with messages and requests (most sound like bagging us) from
world wide fans, about contact team girls, sending them letters
and so on. We have asked coach "X" to advise girls and their
parents (or asking Federation to do) to make available a special
address for fans. Did coach "X" told you anything like this?
Ban: no, nobody told us.
Q. Also we have used the email which Mrs. Bitang gave
us (but she told us it wasn't used by her since left Deva,
back in April), but we didn't get answers since they return
Ban: We have two computers in Deva, one is
broken and second is full of viruses or something, it stops
all the time.
Q.: But they have now an Internet connection in Deva?
Ban: No, they don't.
Q. Do you have one?
Ban: No, at this moment not any more at my
home, hope to have one soon.
Q.: can we both work on this, to have available a public
address where your world wide fans can write directly to you,
sending post cards or even some small (un-taxable by custom...)
gifts? Many have asked us where to send a small puppet or
something like this, I don't like to give them un unsafe address,
they have to know you get the letters.I suggest you to use
a special address for this, like... [edited by site admin].
Ban: Yes, you can give that to them.
Q. will check about details and next week will publish
(end of part one; second
part click here )
Photos: Oana Ban private colection, reprinted
Romanian Gymnastics News Archive.