Date of birth: Sept 19, 1969
Place of birth: Azuga
First int. event
Nat. team since
Favourite tricks: beam
Music #1 Author
Simona started gymnastics in 1974 at Sport School Club No
2 in Bucharest with coaches Iulia Dragomirescu and lately
at Dinamo Club Bucharest with Emilia Lita and Florea Stefanescu.
She had an exquisite talent for balance beam, which she showed
in Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
1981 Junior Tournament: 6th All-Around
1983 Balkan Championships: 1st All-Around, 1st Bars, 1st Floor
1983 Hungarian International: 3rd Vault, 3rd Beam
1983 Junior Friendship Tournment: 4th All-Around
1984 Arthur Gander: 1st All-Around
1984 Cottbus International: 1st Beam, 1st Vault, 1st Floor,
1984 DTB: 3rd All-Around 1984 Olympics: 1st Team, 1st Beam,
Despite having her parents' full support, and being dubbed
the next Nadia - "The future is hers to take" proclaimed an
article in Pro Patria after the Olympics - Simona disappeared
from the world of competitive gymnastics.
Just one year after the Olympics, Simona was forced to return
to her home club of Dinamo Bucharest. "My father got into
a fight with the coaches at Deva. I have no idea what he was
thinking, but I do know they didn't pay as much attention
to me as before, so I was forced to leave. I kept training
until the summer of 1986 and then I had to give up gymnastics
for good. It was a sad moment, but I was already 17, and time
seems to go by even faster for gymnasts," adds Simona.
She finished high school in Bucharest and later on got her
coaching degree. Simona worked at CSS 7 Bucharest between
1990-1992, and Satu Mare from 1997-1889.
In 1993, Simona married Gheorghe Rus, chairman of the board
for Castrum Corporation, one of Romania's most successful
business firms. Even though there is a 20 year age difference
between the two, Simona says that "I couldn't have found a
better man, who could understand me and make me feel like
I have a real family. " A year later her daughter Ana was
born, and she has already started gymnastics. "She really
likes it, but I thinks she's still afraid to do certain skills.
I hope to bring in other girls alongside hers and start the
actual training," said Simona, who has been visiting local
schools and kindergartens looking for prospective future gymnasts.
"They have to be small, tiny and flexible. The rest is my
job, and I can hardly wait to prove I can be a good coach,"
At the end of 2000, Simona and her family moved from Satu
Mare to Cluj, where they re-established the gymnastics program
of CSM Cluj with help from the local Youth And Sports Program.
Simona smiles as she thinks about her future plans. "My dream
would be to build a national training center here in a few
years, one that would rival the ones at Deva and Onesti, and
to have one of the gymnasts I coach make the senior national
team," she adds emotionally.
At 31 years old, Simona says that if she had a choice she'd
do everything all over again. "The joy you feel when you win
an Olympic gold medal, or the sadness that comes when you're
not chosen to represent your country in a major event cannot
be replaced by anything else. Gymnastics is my life," she
Petite and almost unchanged since she won her Olympics gold,
Simona looks like one of her students. Her 6 year old daughter
does whatever it take to get back up on the beam. She's just
working on walking on beam, but she smiles towards her coach.
"I'm gonna win too, right mommy?" (by Ioana Jadic)
Romanian Gymnastics News Archive.