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 Main coach: Octavian Belu
 
coach Mariana Bitang
 coach Nicolae Forminte
 
coach Lucian Sandu


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 Main coach: Dan Grecu



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[Dec 30] (WROC-TV) Gymnastics instructor charged
The owner of an East Rochester gymnastics center faces charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. 39-year-old Marian Penev of Fairport was arrested Friday, charged with rape and sexual assault. Police say a 13-year old female claims she was assaulted on several occasions at "Penev's Gymnastics." Penev is in the Monroe County jail Friday night and is due back in court January sixth.

[Dec 30] Conner bidding for US slot 30 years on
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bruce Conner failed to qualify for the U.S. speed skating team in 1976. He promptly put his skates away, went to college, got married and became an airline pilot.Conner is the brother of gold medal gymnast Bart Conner, winner of the parallel bars in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games, and brother-in-law of Olympic great Romanian Nadia Comaneci. "We were all just shocked because at 49 years of age he has grown kids and he's a full time pilot," Bart Conner said.

[Dec 28]USA : Gymnast's family considers cell therapy
...The paralyzed teen might benefit from stem cell therapy that is available overseas, her family says. Samantha has been a gymnast ever since. But five months ago, the 16-year-old was injured during what witnesses described as a routine front flip. The accident bruised her spinal cord and left her paralyzed below the shoulders. Now, the Slusaks hope that stem cell therapy not available in the United States could be the key to Samantha's recovery. Insertion of stem cells could repair damaged spinal cords.
Related story:"Parents of gymnast who broke neck sue academy"
Related story: "Hurt acrobat glad club will survive"
[r-g.com note: despite the greedy of US doctors -which may not like the fact that this therapy is being done overseas- stem cell therapy has already proved to be successful in many cases, including in Romania; it has been considered as a solution for Andreea Chelaru, too. We have forwarded to Samantha's family our database on the subject].

[Dec 27] Mary Lou Retton owes most of her success to Karoly's Gym
Because her West Virginia workouts were private, Retton missed the day-to-day interaction and competition with other girls. That changed the minute she walked into Karolyi's gym. "I think that was the big part of my success," she said. "With Bela's coaching and philosophy and with that day-to-day competition, I improved immediately." (read:"Where the hope is")

[Dec 27] Andreea Raducan and Silvia Stroescu will open a skating ring

[Dec 27] Marian Dragulescu, top Balkan athlete
WORLD sport gymnastics champion Marian Dragulescu of Romania was named top Balkan athlete for 2005 in the 33rd annual poll by Bulgarian news agency BTA. The poll covered six news agencies from Balkan countries... 

[Dec 26] Monica Rosu has retired
Monica Rosu has retired from gymnastics; she will make the official announcement later this week. Her decision is final.
Read more
about:  Christmas in Romania

[Dec 24] Romanian gymnasts, carol singers for B&B on Christmas
Corina Ungureanu , Andreea Isarescu , Loredana Boboc and Silvia Stroescu visited, as...carol singers, former coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang. Gymnasts were accompanied by a famous Romanian carol singer,  Stefan Hrusca . He did most of the job, the gymnasts mostly laughing and tring hard to sing.

Gymnastics scores
“It is always frustrating when you score lower and do better routines, but that is part of the inconsistency of judging in a subjective sport like gymnastics,” coach Nancy Ellias ("Gymnastics takes 3rd at FL Invite")

[Dec 21] Nibbs: Cort playing financial gymnastics
“Madame President, what surplus? Dr. Cort has been caught carrying out what you call financial gymnastics, cooking up of figures, hiding something here, hiding something there and if we did not apply the plunger we would not have flushed him out to show us that he has changed his financial reporting.” (Nibbs: Cort playing financial gymnastics )

Kids and gymnastics
"Most of the benefits are not athletic," said Jim Meineke. "You see kids gain confidence when they think something is impossible and then are able to do it."From humble beginnings, the Williams Center grown to train over 22,000 girls and boys [!] who have interest in gymnastics, both competitively and recreationally. ("Head Over Heels For Gymnastics")

[Dec 20] Funny "news": Octavian Belu, named "Mr. Bitang" at Gala
TVR 1 aired tonight a funny news: receiving an Award from a weekly sport tabloid (during last night), Octavian Belu was introduced by the Gala anchor as "Mr. Bitang" ...; the people around were freezing but Belu is known for his humor and his large smile and a good laugh made things cold down. Belu lives in a Bucharest villa, shared with his "colleague", Mrs. Mariana Bitang.

[Dec 20] Nicolae Forminte, the new coach of Romanian gymnastics team
[GMT 20,00] Nicolae Forminte will be the new coach of the Romanian gymnastics Olympic team, RealitateaTV (the Romanian all news channel) has announced (scroll news) minutes ago.

Coaches and their teachings
“Coach (Gibson) really taught us things about being a good sport, about building your confidence. In gymnastics, you are out there by yourself,” DuPont said. “When I look at my job, I am out there by myself. It is funny, some of the things you learn to deal with because you’ve dealt with worse.” If you fall off the beam in gymnastics, you get right back on it. There is no one there to help you. If DuPont misses deadline on a story, or misses a cue on air, or misreads a story, there are no “do overs” in TV. Maybe that’s why West Salem/Aquinas is a team to watch this season. Under DuPont’s easy-going and friendly personality lies the fire of a competitor. “There is no crying,” DuPont said of her team. “Unless you are bleeding or there are bones sticking out, you don’t cry. These are tough girls and gymnastics is a tough sport. There is nothing worse watching a girl who is on the balance beam crying. Whenever I see women in authority crying, it bothers me.”
("DuPont energizes West Salem/Aquinas gymnastics")

[Dec 19] Why US "centralized"system won over the (old) Romanian one
"You go train with all of the national team coaches and staff," said Chelsea, who has been a gymnast for seven years. "You get to stay at Bela Karolyi's camp. It is really a lot of fun and I have really enjoyed it."
"During the training camp, the 9- to 11-year-old members of the T.J. Maxx National Team and their coaches train under the eye of USA Gymnastics' national training staff, who provide feedback and suggestions for future training," King said. (read "Springs gymnast gets TOPs rating ")
  The main difference between the US "centralized-alike" system and the Romanian gymnastics one is that the US one put toghether the Club coaches and the national coaches, to work together, as you may see from this article.
Until now, the club coaches were seen in Romania only as "suppliers"for the B&B's "terror camp". Once there, the girls usually didn't benefit any more from the support (moral & technical) of their club coaches, who were kept at distance by the former "dictators". They use to say to the local media "look, the US and other countries have copied our centralized system". No, they didn't , they made a new, better system and the next Romanian coaches should look at these improvements and learn the lessons. Fast.

[Dec 19] Nadia Comaneci, one of the few known Romanians
"The historical Romanians I know could be counted on the foot of a three-toed sloth: deposed and deceased dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Vlad the Impaler (a.k.a. Dracula) and Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci." (read Carol Perehuddoff story about his trip to Romania: "The good and the gruesome")

[Dec 19] Retreats season in Romanian gymnastics has begun
After Marius Urzica retreat (for an uninspired decision to run for RGF Presidency-he lost), the next on row is Ioan Suciu, which has announced today his retreat in an interview published by the Romanian daily Adevarul.
Suciu said he will file the forms needed to get his 

[Dec 18] Romanian Juniors Win at Torneig Internacional Ciutat de Vic
Vic, SPAIN: Romania arrived to Vic with a group of young prospects for 2006. Sandra Izbasa (1990) leads the team, with Alina Stanculescu (1990), Elena Chiric, Dana Druncea (1990) and the young Cerasela Patrascu (1992) who defeated the host team 104.145 to 101.570.
Romanian hopes in the coming year are in Steliana Nistor (2004 Junior European al around champion) and Andreea Munteanu (2003 Worlds Team member and floor finalist), who have recentley received clearence from doctors to train again. Along with them, Sandra Izbasa who won 2005 Romanian Nationals, is one to watch. 

[Dec 18] Nadia Comaneci has inspired Monica Seles
Monica Seles, just named the newest Academy member  at Laureus Academy (a charity) speaks about Nadia: "I met Nadia Comaneci (the Olympic gold-medal gymnast) — she was my hero when I was growing up, and now we’re both on this thing together.”
Seles says she really believes in sport. The way it pulls communities together, helps people have a common goal, gives them pride in themselves, self-esteem and physical skills. “It’s given me the sort of life I could never have expected to have when I was a little girl. I do think sometimes about how different my life would be without sport.”(The Big Interview: Monica Seles)

[Dec 17] Romania' s"Top 10 Most Popular Athletes"
Among the Romania "Top 10 Most Popular Athletes" (selected by pools conducted by the all news channel Realitatea TV) are: Marian Dragulescu, Catalina Ponor and Marius Urzica.
Andreea Raducan said for "Evenimentul Zilei": "First of all, discipline is needed. At least in gymnastics- the sport which I used to practice- without discipline you can't have performances!"

[Dec 16] Marian Dragulescu, "Best Athlete" of Dinamo Sport Club
Dragulescu Marian was named the "Best Athlete" in 2005 by his club, "Dinamo"Bucharest.Suciu Ioan is another gymnast from Dinamo Club, to recive an Annual Award. The National male team second coach Adrian Sandu
was named the club Best Coach in 2005. Monday, Dec 19, at National Theater in Bucharest, Dinamo Club will have their Annual Award ceremony.

American Cup in Philadelphia
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Dec. 15, 2005 – Tickets for the 2006 American Cup, one of the most prestigious international gymnastics events, go on sale on Friday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m., just in time for Christmas shopping. Showcasing the world’s top gymnasts, the American Cup is set for March 4 at the Global Spectrum's Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia.
For 2006, the American Cup returns to its traditional format featuring the all-around competition. The participating athletes will be announced closer to the event. The 2006 American Cup is also the first international event in the United States, and one of the first in the world, to use the new scoring system for gymnastics that allows gymnasts to earn scores above the traditional 10.0. Nadia Comaneci scored her first 10 at American Cup, even before Montreal.

Quotes of the week
“Gymnastics is a sport, if you want to be good at it, you have to work at it year-round. A number of these kids have done that.” -coach Amy DuPont
(Aquinas gymnastics team ready for a higher level)

"Practice was a bit rough at the beginning of the week as we were all mentally and physically drained from the six days of practice the week pior. But the coaches stepped in and reminded us that when things aren't as easy as we want them to be, pushing through and focusing on what needs to be done is what makes us great athletes."-Lisa Puccio's Gymnastics Journal

The secret behind Catalina's bad mood at Worlds: her medical problems
A Romanian sport tabloid (Prosport) has revealed the main cause of
...

Tv Alert: Gymnastics on " Star's revenge" at Antena1-on Dec 15
Former gymnasts like Corina Ungureanu, Oana Ban,
Maria  Olaru, Andreea Isarescu and Loredana Boboc will appear on Antena 1 show "Revansa Starurilor" (" Star's Revenge"), to be aired on Dec 15. You may see the recorded programme (for one week only) on the Antena 1 website.
Among other funny moments, you will see Maria Olaru being " punished" to dance with a corn-full basket on her head.


[Dec 15] Gymnastics hall opened at Izvorani
The new gymnastics training hall was opened today at Izvorani (20 miles North Bucharest). Former ROC President Ion Tiriac and tennis star Ilie Nastase were among the special guests. Gymnasts from the National Team (Floarea Leonida , Daniela Sofronie , Alexandra Eremia ) and also former gymnasts
Simona Amanar ,  Maria  Olaru and  Andreea Raducan attended the opening. The new gymnastics facility came at a 34 bill. Lei (like $1,200,000) for the building and $250,000 for equipment...and has a very little utility...
According to the printed edition (Dec14) of Gazeta Sporturilor, the Izvorani hall was build (like tens others schools sports halls) by a company owned by a "friend"of former neo communist Government. During the previous regime, 400 sport halls were build nearby schools, at high prices and low quality, most of them by former regime "friends" who filled their pockets, according to the Romanian media.

[Dec 15] US gymnasts still have social lifes
"There are more Level 10 [club gymnasts] out for high school than ever before," Bloomington Jefferson coach Paul Wright said. "I think a lot of girls realize that high school is passing them by. They can come out for the high school team and have a chance to compete in their sport and still have a social life." ("Gymnastics preview: 5 story lines to watch")

[Dec 15] Vote: Greatest Performances
ESPN Classic's ''Who's #1?: Greatest Performances'' will air on Monday, Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. "Who's #1?" gives you the Top 20 on topics such as people, games, moments and much more. They have their rankings but the show isn't complete without your input. On January 9, ''Who's #1?'' will be looking at the greatest performances of all time. Legendary names like Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Jack Nicklaus, Bob Beamon, Don Larsen, Wilt Chamberlain, Jesse Owens, Nadia Comaneci and Ted Williams are among those on the list, but which of these performances is #1 on your list? To see how they rank, you'll have to watch!  Cast your vote for the greatest performances.

[Dec 15]Glitz, Glamour and the Sporting Spirit
HH the Emir Sheikh Hamed Bin Khalifa AL Thani inaugurated the Dome.
The opening was marked with the middle east’s biggest-ever celebration of sporting achievement, attended by legendary sports star, Olympic delegation from over 80 countries, representatives from other major sports federations such as the international association of athletics federations, and a number of local dignitaries. Legendary sports stars such as Pele and Digo Maradona attended the ceremony. Other top sports celebrities including athletes Ed Moses. Said Aouita and Hiham El Guerrouj, swimmer Mark Spitz, footballer Rabah Madjer and gymnast Nadia Comaneci were also present. It was for the first time in the Middle East that so many legends from the world of sports have assembled at one place at the same time. These new facilities, through attached to the Aspire academy for sports excellence, from a part of Khalifa sports city encompassing the newly renovated Khalifa international stadium and the Olympic- standard Hamad Aquatic Complex. (see story: "Glitz, Glamour and the Sporting Spirit")

[Dec 14] Alin Jivan, the "Athlete of the Year" at Steaua sport club
Alin Jivan was named "The Athlete of the Year" by his club, "Steaua" Bucharest.

[Dec 14] Ephedrine, the Sydney (in) famous drug, still being used by athletes

[Dec 13] Octavian Belu , in Ardaf commercial
Former coach of the Romanian National gymnastics team Octavian Belu play in the new Ardaf Christmas commercial, just launched this evening on Antena 1 station.
Last Christmas, same company have aired a commercial featuring the girls from the national team. Same Ardaf company is the one which helped financially a $ettlement between B&B and former gymnast Oana Petrovschi, back in March.

2005 in Romanian gymnastics
"We have passed through many bad moments. Unfortunately, these scandals came up from inside [the system], because people [meaning B&B's] are greedy of getting more power, but they don't come up to surface themselves."
Adrian Stoica, the RGF President, in "Cotidianul" (Dec 10)

„Am trecut prin multe etape zbuciumate. Din nefericire, aceste scandaluri au pornit din interior, pentru ca oamenii sint avizi de putere, dar nu se pun in postura de a iesi in fata”.

[Dec 13] RGF President Adrian Stoica goal for Romanian gymnastics
"My goal is to promote the values and bring back the Romanian gymnastics on top of the World gymnastics, not to bring back at team B&B"- Adrian Stoica, the RGF President, for Gardianul

Coaches qu
otes
"We did target the gold but did not want to exert undue pressure on the girls" -coach Rosniza Abu Bakar (KL Outclass Favourites In Team Rythmic Gymnastics)


[Dec 13] 5. 3 Richter (4 on Mercali) Earthquake hit Bucharest
A 5.3 Richter (4 on Mercali scale), 7-seconds long (total time 3 minutes) earthquake just hit Bucharest at GMT 12.16. Its origin was in Vrancea county, at 145 km (120 miles) deep. No victims or damages reported until now."Vrancea earthquake region become more and more active" -said the director of Earthquakes alert Center for the all news channel Realitatea channel -and this is bad. Phone lines inside Romania were shut up for 20 minutes to avoid any jams.

[Dec 11] US gymnastics: loosing ground in favor of cheerleading programs
The Wellesley High gymnastics team, which has vaulted to success during the last few years, took a painful fall this week. The Raiders disbanded for lack of enough participants. When we had our first gymnastics meeting at the end of October, we had as many as 14 girls. But that was before cheerleading [came back]. That combination, of the clubs and cheerleading, hurt us."- said coach Shelly Clark (Wellesley loses gymnastics team)

[Dec 11] Nadia Comaneci, launching the Qatar gymnastics

The gymnasts battle with the nervousness...
"I had been having trouble getting through the routine at recent meets and that was frustrating because I could do it in training. The problem was that I would get nervous and start to doubt myself. Today I gained the confidence I needed and learned I could battle through the nervousness." -Aisha Gerber of Cambridge, Ont (Gerber wins all around title)

From "The secrets of US gymnastics success"

[Dec 10] TV Alert: Mariana Bitang at Antena1 "Duminica in familie"

Quote of the Day
"Find your dream, and go after it; no matter if someone says you're too short or too small or too old."- Shannon Miller, America's most decorated gymnast (see story "Miller, Conner gave gymnastics a big lift")

[Dec 9] Adrian Stoica, the new RGF President; Amanar-vicepresident

[Dec 9] Catalina Ponor, the Best athlete in Constanta county
Catalina Ponor (coached by Matei Stanei and Gabriela Paun) was named the Best Athlete in 2005 by the Constanta county sport agency. Catalina will receive a special Award during a Sport Gala, on Dec 20.

[Dec 9] RGF elections for the new President
  Marius Urzica's dream: RGF Presidency; it's not going to happen
  Marius Urzica, "crying boy", think more about RGF elections
 
Romanian gymnastics: The Revolution is close

Comment of the week- why did Rice come to Bucharest?
"She needed torture tips - she thought BB would be there...." (Balabanov)

[Dec 8] ROC to open a new ( & useless) gymnastics hall

[Dec 8] Monica Rosu want to be trained again by B&B
Part of a silent (but useless) "let's bring B&B back"campaign, Antena 3 (an all news channel) aired a Monica Rosu statement: "I want to be coached by B&B".
After not being selected for Worlds, Monica was really pissed up, because she thought she deserved the place, no matter what. With her lack of form, not even a session at Marta's camp would bring her back in shape...then. She was also very rude to her Bacau club coach, who did his best to train her but couldn't cut her patronizing attitudes and bad moods. Maybe Monica would like to go with B&B in China for training, a rice-based diet may help her.

[Dec 8]   Belu: "There is a reassessment of values in gymnastics"
The former coach of the Romanian women's gymnastics Olympic team, Octavian Belu said that there have been certain important changes in world gymnastics lately, both in the change of scoring method and the values of teams from various countries. Although avoiding comments on the performance of the Romanian team in the recent world championships in Melbourne, Australia, Belu said the U.S team completely dominated the championships. "Now it is no longer surprising for me to see Australia or the Netherlands going for the medals. There is a reassessment of values which will continue in the future," the former coach said.

Coaches quotes
After years of seeing Belu bashing on girls before many competitions, nice to see (and show to the future Romanian coaches) some good sense statements from the US coaches.
“I think we have a lot of talent on our team and it’s just a matter of getting the girls to work to their potential and stay injury free.” -Forest Lake High School gymnastics coach Nancy Elias.
“I think we have a good amount of depth and because of that the varsity lineup may change often depending on who’s ready,” Elias said. “Even with a small team we have a lot of depth; You can only think about what you can do with your team, and my goal is to work with the kids and get them to work to their potential.” (Gymnastics team is set to make a championship run)

“More importantly, she is a good student and a well-rounded person – the kind of recruit who will add both talent and character to our team.” (Seawolves sign Arizona gymnastics standout)

[Dec 7]Convicted gymnastics coach maintains innocence from behind bars
One day after being sentenced to 20 years in prison Michael Cardamone is fighting to clear his name. In an exclusive interview with ABC7 the former gymnastics coach maintained his innocence.
He was convicted of sexually abusing seven girls during training at his mother's Aurora gymnastics school. Cardamone is being held at the DuPage County Jail until he is transferred to a prison facility. A day after former 28-year-old Michael Cardamone was sentenced to 20 years in prison, the former gymnastics coach appeared to be quite upbeat despite harsh words from the judge who called him a pedophile and serial sexual offender who is a danger to community.

That's the (real) spirit of gymnastics!
"Anything we can do to make it fun will make them remember our meet and want to come back." -Aberdeen gymnastics coach Jennifer Deutsch, see story: "Golden Eagles will host 12-team gymnastics meet Saturday"

"It was an interesting meet tonight; This meet helps us see what we need to work on before the big meets come. The girls had fun tonight. They just need to work hard on their skills and routines." -Watertown gymnastics coach Amy Daniels (Gymnastics season under way)

[Dec 7]Manila Sea Games/Gymnastics: Sport prancing to the wrong rhythm
SOMETIME during the Sea Games in Manila, the South East Asian Gymnastics Confederation proposed that gymnastics should be made a compulsory sport in the Games. But if what transpired in Manila is taken into account, the sport's image and reputation have been tarnished beyond repair.
How else can one explain the situation where the medals presentation ceremony was held even before the results were announced, official or otherwise. Or how else could one explain how the technical delegate can change the scores five hours after the results were announced...

[Dec 6] 10 Romanian gymnasts, to visit Nadia's gym club
10 Romanian gymnasts from different clubs will visit Nadia's & Bart gymnastics Academy  in US, part of the new launched VISA cards campaign in Romania.
The announcement was made by Nadia herself, during a live show at Antena 3 this evening. The new VISA cards (to be launched next days in Romania) carry the image of famous Romanian athletes: Nadia Comaneci, Ilie Nastase and Gheorghe Hagi.

[Dec 6] Marius Urzica's dream: RGF Presidency; it's not going to happen
Marius Urzica have announced today, during a press conference, his intention to run for RGF Presidency (Dec 9). The shy (& crying) " boy" wasn't neither well documented nor convincing in his intentions. His main goal at RGF Presidency would be (as he stated in press last week) to bring back the B&B's . Urzica was coached by Dan Grecu, a honest coach which didn't asked him to pay "a 30% gift tax"-as Belu asked his girls; the male team have both a (competent) doctor, a medical assistant and a physiologist. The women's team (under B&B) didn't have a doctor since 2000. All males gymnasts with medical problems were fairly treated, very often being send abroad (Germany). The girls were...send home by B&B. Urzica is encouraged (& pushed) in his dreams by B&B's and same clown which have encouraged Dragulescu to go for "cai verzi pe pereti" -to look for un-existing jobs/offers in US.With such "advisors", no wonder Urzica is wasting his time. Let's not waste ours any more and forget "his" unrealistic dreams.

[Dec 6] Nadia Comaneci, Eremia and Leonida -welcoming Condoleezza Rice
Daniela SofronieNadia Comaneci was the first person to welcome Condoleezza Rice on her Bucharest arrival, half an hour ago.


Near Nadia, three other gymnasts- Alexandra Eremia and Floarea Leonida , also some athletes participating in the Special Olympics program in Romania, have welcomed the US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
The special guest have asked for a group photo with this atheltes "team".
[Dec 6] Exclusive interview with Floarea Leonida
Minutes after the official delegation have left from the airport, we had a small talk with Floarea Leonida, over the mobile phones.
r-g: Floricico, ("little flower"), Congratulations, we have seen you on airport
arrival of Condoleezza Rice ; it was you, isn't it?
Floarea : Yes, we were there, along with Daniela and Alexandra, sitting nearby Nadia. It was something very special, everybody was so excited by this event.
r-g : What does Mrs. Condoleezza Rice told you?
Floarea : She told us it was nice from us to come, she didn't expected it and is a very nice gesture; she appreciate Romanian gymnastics.

[Dec 6] Catalina Ponor is taking RGF to Court for the Ardaf commercial
Catalina Ponor, the leader of the Romanian Gold team at Athens Olympics, has started a trial against RGF, which used her image in the Ardaf commercial. RGF status (which mention the image rights belongs exclusively to RGF and a contract signed by Catalina -where she gave up her image rights to RGF) were bring to Court yesterday, when the trial has started.

Catalina demands some moral compensation (no exact figure was mentioned yet) for her image being used. For the using of that commercial, B&B got from Ardaf some brand new Toyota cars, the RGF got a new WV small bus and girls showed in the commercials (and a Calendar distributed by Ardaf and RGF) got ...nothing (as usual...until now). As a second thought, girls did get something: some (lousy) $3000 insurance policies, which RGF shoul have done for girls anyway, long time ago (and with a better cash coverage).

[Dec 6] Former gymnastics coach sentenced in sex abuse case
Former Aurora gymnastics coach Michael Cardamone was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for molesting seven young gymnasts, but the sentence did little to put a contentious three-year court battle to rest.
A jury deliberated for three days in March before convicting Cardamone of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of seven girls who studied gymnastics at American Gymnastics Institute in Aurora, which is owned by his mother. The jury acquitted Cardamone of the same or more serious charges against seven other girls.
Burke said during sentencing, "We as a society say in no uncertain terms that if you are a teacher or coach and you abuse these children, you will be punished. To say he isn't a danger to the community is absurd."

[Dec 5] TV alert : Dragulescu on Prima TV Sport tonight news

[Dec 5] Marius Urzica, "crying boy", think more about RGF elections
Marius Urzica was shown on TVR1 tonight, filling his retry request at ROC.
RGF President Vieru said:"he is not trained, nor having experience for this position"(as RGF president- and yes, Vieru is right this time). Urzica replied like "they (RGF staff) were young people when they started, too"-of course, but nobody have started directly as the head of the organization. The TVR1 story conclusion was that Urzica need one more day to think about the Dec 9 elections, his decision to run for the RGF presidency remain to be announced tomorrow. Vieru said: "I'm sure he will change his minds and retreat by tomorrow."
Unfortunately, the "crying boy" (Urzica stayed locked in his room at Worlds after loosing the Gold medal, crying the whole day-not the best attitude for a not so young male athlete, nor for a possible leader of RGF) has proved, once more, he is not the right person to be in a leading position. Not only as President, but in any RGF top position-some may want him as general Secretary, but he may need to prove first his abilities by working at his own club (Dinamo) as a coach or whatever.
Romanian gymnastics (badly) need competent coaches for the National team and the best possible management team to back up those coaches, RGF is not a day nursery for crying boys, nor a charity to provide top jobs to (just) retired gymnasts -which already have a nice pension from the ROC, so they can work as coaches at clubs, for their own pleasure or to prove their abilities. If they have ones.

Modern gymnastics - growing pains
Is gymnastics a form of child abuse masquerading as sport? Does it destroy the health and stunt the growth of young girls? Former gymnast Rebecca Seal investigates the dangers as well as the addictive thrills of a sport she loved but which, she believes, left her shorter by four inches and struggling with permanent injuries.
Gymnastics is the most demanding and ruthless of all sports for young girls. Over the past decade several theories have been put forward suggesting that not only does the sport favour small, slight girls but that it can actually make them short. The consequence of being a female gymnast is, potentially, to be significantly shorter than average. All competitive sports contain an element of risk, but gymnastics is unusual, I think, in encouraging children to push themselves even when they are injured.

Romanian gymnastics: The Revolution is close
15 years after the communism went down in Romania (or at least we like to think so), a new era may start soon in Romanian gymnastics, finally.

[Dec 5] The new scoring system, causing problems to judges
"I am worried about the problems the judges had today with the new scoring system." -Miles Avery, Ohio State men's gymnastics head coach.(Ohio State Gymnastics Mixed Pairs Championship)

Abusing young athletes for achieving top results- a condemned practice
"Any form of abuse in sport is unacceptable. (...) Athletes should be protected from harassment or harm from adults" -Steve Boocock, director ofthe NSPCC's child protection in sport unit. .
"Corporal punishment is not an answer to discipline problems. Abusing young athletes isn't going to improve their performance any more than it's going to improve a child's exam results." -A spokesman for the Independent Schools Council in UK.(echoes on story about China's abuse of its athletes)

Learning from US gymnastics- how to treat your fans
"After the competition is done, fans are welcome to stick around and talk to everybody, get to know our athletes, including our eight freshmen."-a US coach about how their fans are treated by the US gymnasts (story here)


Dan Potra, to receive his apartment-prize
Potra Dan was told he will receive soon the promised apartment (after the Athens Olympics) from the Timisoara City Hall. He will let his parents live in this two rooms apartments (it's a studio according to US standards), since he has a Bucharest apartment.
After the Athens Games, many City Halls (in fact, all of them) from gymnasts hometowns have had promised to athletes to give apartments. Few of them keep their words, it's known the cases of 1992 Olympic athletes which...still hope to see their long-promised apartments.
Romanian politicians doesn't have a good reputation among citizens, regarding keeping their promises. They just had their five minutes of glory, announcing those promises...then the silence came.

Coaches statements -the (nice) US style
Not only Romanian gymnasts has to watch at the way the US gymnasts act and react with their fans, but Romanian coaches can have an inspiration, too.
"This season should be exciting because we have a young team,"
"I just want us to do our best and have fun."
"I feel like the girls look up to me, and I want to set a good example for them,"
"We won't be the powerhouse like we've been in the past,"
"It's a younger team, and we have a new coach so this season will be more challenging," he said. "It's different, but it's going well."

( Plenty of changes, same philosophy)

Quote of the Day

“The goal for the first meet is pretty basic; to have clean routines”
, Nanof said.
("Gymnastics program making a fresh start")




...This can be the goal of next Romanian national team coach, too.The routines of the former members of the team were far from clean.
Photo left: Catalina's (bad) form at Ploiesti (same as in any other contest-see her crossed legs) and, above right-US team Alicia Sacramone's (perfect) form.We can't improve our team as long as we hide past mistakes.

Young gymnasts, watch and learn: "For Seow Ting, country before self"
BY the time Foong Seow Ting celebrates her 18th birthday tomorrow, she could possibly be richer by RM21,250. However, that is not her birthday wish. All she wants is for Malaysia to win all six gold medals in rhythmic gymnastics.
"My birthday is on Sunday and my wish is to see Malaysia winning all the gold medals,"
said Seow Ting. (For Seow Ting, country before self)

[Dec 3] Belu and Bitang enjoy their Milano holiday

[Dec 3] FIG President Bruno Grandi still dream about "Perfect 10"
"[I would give] a 'perfect 10' for these World Championships," said International Gymnastics president Bruno Grandi, quoted by the Inside Gymnastics magazine. He should rather said like "What a perfect 12.6 World Championships"-according to his own imposed (stupid) scoring system.

[Dec 2] RGF President Nicolae Vieru (finnaly) leaving RGF
Reports from different sources says that RGF President Nicolae Vieru has told to RGF staff and other sport officials that he will no longer compete for December 9 RGF elections. Vieru is known for reversing his statements and decisions many times in the past, so anything is possible until the RGF Executive meeting on Monday.
Only three Romanian gymnastics clubs have supported Vieru for these elections, so he may want to avoid a shaming defeat in front of his own protégé, RGF Executive Secretary Stoica.

[Dec 2] RGF "suspensions" model, used by the Swiss Federation, too
Nicki Boeschenstein and Patrick Dominguez, the 2 Swiss top athletes have been excluded from their team, the first one because he had drunk too much and came back at 8am after the banquet in Melbourne and the 2nd one because he did not follow his coach's indication during the competition (and also because he didn't show enough dedication during the Worlds preparation).

[Dec 2] Nadia Comaneci VISA card, on RealitateaTV
The Romanian all-news channel realitatea Tv aired a news about the new VISA cards using Nadia Comaneci image & signature, inspired by our story
Nadia Comaneci VISA card, to be launched in Romania .

[Dec 2]Gymnastics stars loosing medals: good lesson for Romanians, too
IT was tears of disappointment for Malaysia’s artistic gymnastic queen Nurul Fatiha Abd Hamid. Despite bagging a gold and silver medal in the individual apparatus, she was in tears after losing the gold medal in the floor exercise by 0.012 point to Singapore’s Nicole Tay. Nicole scored 8.212 points.
“Maybe it wasn’t my day but I gave my best”, said the weeping 19-year-old.
(see story "Tears of disappointment for Malaysia’s artistic gymnastic queen Nurul Fatiha Abd Hamid")
...This can be a good lesson for future Romanian gymnastics stars about how to react when you loose a medal. Just don't mention the scoring.

[Dec 2] Rhythmic Balkanic Championship stars in Bucharest
The Junior Balkanic Rhythmic gymnastics Championships starts today in Bucharest. Takes part countries like FYR Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Turkey. The competition ends Sunday, details on Romanian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation website.

December 1st- Romanian National Day
[Dec 1st] Nadia Comaneci VISA card, to be launched in Romania

A VISA credit card wearing Nadia's "Perfect 10" UB exercise at Montreal and her signature will be launched in Romania next week.




[Dec 1] Corina Ungureanu in "Star's Revenge" show at Antena1
Former Romanian gymnastics champion and...Playmate Corina Ungureanu is among the top stars to have an appearance in the Antena1 special Romanian National Day (Dec 1st) show "Star's Revenge"(aired from 17,00). Another sport star, boxing World Champion Leonard Doroftei will take part in the show. Also on the Mihaela Radulescu show from same Antena1, some gymnastics reportages will be aired. Most TV channels will have stories about Romanian gymnastics, due to the large popularity of this sport in Romania.
See Corina Ungureanu in the Antena1 recorded program
Corina Ungurenu older interview for Evenimentul Zilei

[Dec 1st] US gymnastics scandals: "winning" over the romanian ones
November 30, 2005 - A suburban gymnastics coach convicted of sexually abusing some of his students made a plea for leniency. Michael Cardamone testified Wednesday at his sentencing hearing in suburban Wheaton.

[Dec 1st] US media get drunk with plain water...again
U.S. women's gymnastics early favorites (AP story)
While a lot can happen in the next three years, the U.S. showing at worlds establishes the Americans as the early favorites in Beijing.

[Dec 1st] Romanian Gymnastics Hall of Fame, to be build in Deva
Deva city, which hosted the Romanian gymnastics Olympic team for more than 25 years, will host a Romanian gymnastics Hall of Fame.

  "Top Model Romania" is a huge gymnastics fan

December events for Romanian gymnastics
Dec5:
Meeting of the RGF Executive Comitee-to validate candidates for Dec 9 elections
Dec 1-11,
Germany (10 cities) & France (Nancy): Catalina Ponor and Ioan Suciu take part in a demonstrations tour, "Gymmotion Gala"; this is considered as the farewell tour for Catalina by many
December 17
th, Spain, Vic (nearby Barcelona):dual meet between Romania and Catalunya (Open). Romanian team: Sandra Izbasa ; Alina Stanculescu; Roxana Stan; Oana Zbenghea.
December 19: The Romanian Sports Gala may be delayed for January or whaever date ANS may be able do it; never happened before.
December 20: "Top 10 Romanians" at Realitatea TV

December Birthdays
5:Andreea Taclit,Cristina Bontas;
13:Gabriela Agachi;
21:Camelia Renciu, Simona Renciu;
28:Claudia Presacan

   Nadia Comaneci and Andreea Raducan, among Romania's "Top 10"

   Nadia's 10, among the best athletic achievements
Forbes.com has a poll asking fans to vote for which athletic achievement they wish they had seen in person. Romanian gymnastics fans can can vote in the Forbes poll, by answering to their question: "What feat would you have liked to witness most?". For the moment, Nadia's achievement is leading the poll.

  Nadia Comaneci- the very first "Perfect 10" World Citizen

Romanian gymnastics during 80's


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