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      Olympics 2004
 Romanian Gymnastics Team

  
Ponor Catalina
  Sofronie Daniela
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coach: Belu Octavian


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                               Eugenia POPA

Nick name:
Date of birth: September 10, 1973
Gender: Female
Height:                        Weight:
Marital status:
Children: None
Place of birth:
Hometown:Bucharest
Profession:
Languages:
Start discipline: began in 1979
First int. event:
Nat. team since:
Club:
Head coach:
Assistant coach:
Choreographer:
Best apparatus/cat.

Favourite tricks:           
Personal tricks:
highest score:
Music #1                      Author #1

alternate for the '92 Olympics
retired in '92 is now coaching in Ireland

Results:

1988 Jr. Euros: 2nd BB, 4th AA, 6th UB
1988 Jr. Friendship Tournament: 2nd Team, 2nd BB
1989 Worlds: 2nd Team
1990 Romanian International: 1st Uneven Bars
1990 Arthur Gander Memorial: 5th AA
1991 World Sports Fair: 2nd All-Around
1991 Kosice International: 3rd AA
1991 USA vs Romania: 1st Team
1991 Worlds: 3rd Team
1991 Catania Cup: 1st AA
1992 Hungarian International: 2nd AA

Eugenia decided to try and make the 1992 Olympic team, and she laid to rest all the talk about her being past her prime and too old (at just 18!) by finishing second at the 1992 Hungarian international, behind Henrietta Onodi, and winning the all around at the Romania-Belgium dual meet, ahead of Gina Gogean. Eugenia was named the first alternate to the Romanian team, and she traveled to Barcelona with her teammates. She was very supportive of her teammates, and even the once critical Octavian Belu told Gazeta Sporturilor that "all our gymnasts contributed to this silver medal, including the alternates who worked very hard to help us get ready (for this competition)."

Eugenia's father, who worked as a jeweler in Bucharest, came to welcome her at the airport with two bronze medals he had made. He gave them to Eugenia and Izabela because "they deserved them just as much as the rest of the girls", he told Gazeta Sporturilor.

Eugenia quietly retired after the Olympics and she went on to study at the Ecological University in Bucharest, making her one of the first gymnasts from the Romanian team who didn't go to a Sports University.
A couple of years into her degree, she received an offer to work in Ireland. She gave up her studies and moved to Northern Ireland, where she worked as an assistant coach at Salto Gymnastics club coaching Holly Murdoch, arguably the best gymnast to come out of Northern Ireland. Popa accompanied Holly to the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, serving as the assistant coach for Northern Ireland's gymnastics team.

Most importantly though, Eugenia isn't just a coach who gets great results, she is well-liked by her students. I asked Holly about Eugenia and she described her as "a wonderful and very supportive coach."

(February 20, 2000). In December 1999, Popa moved to California to accept a new coaching position.
(March 9, 2000). Although only in California for a short time, Popa apparently knew it was not for her. She returned to the UK shortly after moving to the USA. She is now living in Birmingham, England. Update
(February3, 2001). In April 2000 Popa accepted a position with the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club. She works with a young development group. Popa commutes to Birmingham each working day, leaving approximately 30 minutes away on the Leicestershire border.
(March 27, 2001). Popa is engaged to be married! Her fiance is from Northern Ireland. The wedding will take place this summer, in Romania.
(tribute by Ioana Jadic)

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    Romanian Gymnastics at
         Athens Olympics 2004
NOC        Total
  Total

ROM
  4   3   3  10

USA
  2   6   1    9

JPN
  1   1   2    4
         Detailed medal count

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