The 2011 Romanian Nationals @ The Medal Factory Ep.16

[The Medal Factory – episode 16 (c) DigiSport]


Dana Andrei: “I will never regret doing gymnastics”

Raluca Haidu was born in Petrosani on the 20th of November, 1994. Her dad took her to do gymnastics at the “Cetate Deva” Sports Club. She is now one of the members of the Romanian National team.

Raluca Haidu: I started gymnastics when I was 5, at Cetate Deva. My dad took me there and I liked it a lot.

Andreea Raducan: What sacrifices did you have to make on your road to the National team?

Raluca Haidu: The only sacrifice was not being with my family, but I got used to it…

Andreea Raducan: Do they come to see you from time to time?

Raluca Haidu: Yes, they do.

Andreea Raducan: Who is your closest friend in the team? I know you are all a team, but I’m sure you must have someone closer to talk to…

Raluca Haidu: I have more than one.

Andreea Raducan: You can name them all.

Raluca Haidu: Alright. Larisa, Dana, Ana, Amelia…but I am closer to the first 3.

Andreea Raducan: You like to have your family with you when you compete or you’d rather have them at home watching you on TV?

Raluca Haidu: I don’t like when they are here, I don’t mind if they watch me on TV….

Andreea Raducan: Why is that? Does it make you more nervous?

Raluca Haidu: No, it doesn’t but I think they get more nervous…

Andreea Raducan: And they send the nerves to you as well…

Raluca really wants to medal at the World Championships. She is nervous about that, but she also hopes to leave nerves behind. Raluca is now training next to Catalina Ponor, a very experienced gymnast, from whom she is learning a lot.

Andreea Raducan: What does training with Catalina Ponor mean to you, do you ever go to her for advice?

Raluca Haidu: It means a lot, she is more experienced and can help a lot.

Andreea Raducan: What is your favorite apparatus?

Raluca Haidu: Bars.

Andreea Raducan: Are you nervous the World Championships are getting closer?

Raluca Haidu: Yes, but you have to get over it.

Andreea Raducan: Are you superstitious?

Raluca Haidu: No.

Andreea Raducan: What is you favorite memory from the gym or from competition?

Raluca Haidu: My Rotterdam vault.

Andreea Raducan: We know that training and competing is different. How do you manage to control your emotions?

Raluca Haidu: I try to think about what I have to do and I breathe deeply.

Andreea Raducan: Did you ever have a role model, any favorite gymnast?

Raluca Haidu: Yes, I did. Nadia, Simona, even Andreea Raducan, many gymnasts…I liked watching gymnastics, I really liked what they were doing and I thought I would never get to do that….

Andreea Raducan: But you did.

Raluca Haidu: Sort of…

Andreea Raducan: What do you like to do when you are not training? I know there’s not much free time, but do you have any hobbies?

Raluca Haidu: I listen to music, surf the net or watch movies with my team mates. I like hanging out with them and do things together.

Andreea Raducan: How do you motivate yourself when you have a problem?

Raluca Haidu: The coaches and my colleagues support me with that.

Andreea Raducan: What does it mean to you training with Bellu and Bitang?

Raluca Haidu: It means a lot. I never thought I would get to train with them. They have all my respect and I hope not to let them down.

Dana Andrei, from Buzau, is currently training at Izvorani with the National team. Her dad showed her the way to gymnastics and she developed a passion for the sport. The coach who discovered her, Constantin Clinciu, mentioned a number of times that Dana is a very talented gymnast and that she can have a bright future if she keeps working hard.

Andreea Raducan: Let’s get back to childhood. Who took you to the gym?

Dana Andrei: My dad came up with the idea, I thought I was playing. I then realized I liked what I was doing and that I would do well in the future.

Andreea Raducan: When did you start?

Dana Andrei: I was 5 and an half. I went to CSS Buzau.

Andreea Raducan: Did you ever imagine back then you’d get to represent Romania in great competitions?

Dana Andrei: No, I never did…I didn’t even realize I had so much work to do.

Andreea Raducan: It does take a lot of work, it’s true. Did you ever think about giving up when faced with a difficult moment?

Dana Andrei: Yes, I had moments like this but everyone around me supported me. I will never regret doing gymnastics.

Andreea Raducan: You favorite memory?

Dana Andrei: Today. I don’t have any special memory, I’m trying to make one.

Andreea Raducan: A special friend in the team?

Dana Andrei: Raluca Haidu.

Andreea Raducan: What do you talk about when you are not in the gym?

Dana Andrei: We honestly don’t have many hobbies outside gymnastics, we keep talking about what happened in the gym. We encourage each other to keep performing well.

Andreea Raducan: Are you nervous about Tokyo?

Dana Andrei: A bit, but I hope that by working hard and with God’s help I can get there.

Andreea Raducan: Are you taking advantage of having such an experienced gymnast like Catalina around? Do you ask her for advice?

Dana Andrei: She encourages us a lot, she is a really nice girl. I see her as if she were our age, it’s nice to have her around.

Andreea Raducan: Will you introduce any other skill into your routines or you’ve presented them exactly as you’d like to have them for Worlds?

Dana Andrei: No, this is not everything, I’m hoping to introduce new skills.

Andreea Raducan: Would you rather have your parents here with you or in front of the TV?

Dana Andrei: No, my dad was here and my mum was at home. I’m fine both ways, they are with me wherever they are.

Andreea Raducan: What is your favorite apparatus?

Dana Andrei: Bars.

Andreea Raducan: I declared myself a fan of the 80’s and 90’s gymnastics, when you had compulsories as well. How different was the sport then from what we see today?

Octavian Bellu: Essentially, it did not change very much. Those who try to find an explanation in the code of points are somehow right. The new one made some important changes, like eliminating the 10. Other codes also tried to balance acrobatics with artistic skills so this is not necessarily new. Basically, a Tsukahara is still a Tsukahara, it does not matter that the new code changed it value, a triple twist is as hard as ever to learn, so the way your learn skills has stayed the same. There have been administrative changes in gymnastics, but this code change has had more bad than good results. I’m glad that president Grandi realized it is a trap and it did not achieve the results in judging they expected. Despite the high number of judges, the scores are still not where they should be. Judges are human, so there will always be some subjectivity. Gymnastics is not measured in centimeters, kilos or seconds as other sports. We have lost contact with the public as it’s very difficult to explain what a score like 13.725 means. They knew that if a gymnast did well, she would score a 10. If she didn’t do that well, she would score a 9.80 and so on. There was this transfer from the educational system where if you earned a 10 that meant you had studied well. You are now in the hands of the judges, like Sofronie was at Europeans when they took away a spin and that cost her the medal. It generated a lot of discussions around whether she had finished the spin or not. Landings are also questionable right now, a foot in another direction may cause you to lose points and there goes your floor routine… The position of the judges on bars, your position in the air, but I don’t want to get into technical details. We do feel the need of a new code of points. Let’s only hope it will be better than this one.

Diana Bulimar started gymnastics in Timisoara, when she was 4. Her talent quickly took her to the National team.

Andreea Raducan: Could you tell me about you first steps in gymnastics?

Diana Bulimar: I started when I was 4 at my club in Timisoara. My coaches were Marcel Benea and Mariana Tomceanu. I liked it a lot so I kept doing it.

Andreea Raducan: What does gymnastics mean to you? Back then you were little, but now you understand it.

Diana Bulimar: I want to go as high as I can as I can have a future in elite with gymnastics.

Andreea Raducan: What did it mean to you to have been selected in the National team?

Diana Bulimar: The news came really fast, I came back from competition and the second day I was off. I was really happy and leaving my family behind did not cause a huge problem for me, it was ok.

Andreea Raducan: Your favorite memory from competition?

Diana Bulimar: I was impressed with the Singapore competition, the first Junior Olympic Games. Everything was really nice there.

Andreea Raducan: I saw you had a nice routines on floor, you were on the podium. What is your favorite apparatus?

Diana Bulimar: It’s floor but I’d like to do well on all 4. to improve.

Andreea Raducan: How do you get past difficult moments? You probably had injuries along the years…

Diana Bulimar: Everyone supported me, especially the girls and the coaches. They encouraged me not to give up.

Andreea Raducan: How do you feel training alongside Catalina, Sandra and Ana, experienced gymnasts who’ve had great results as seniors?

Diana Bulimar: It’s much better, having them is an advantage. They encourage us, they already know, they have been through many competitions and they have the experience.

Andreea Raducan: What do you do in your free time?

Diana Bulimar: I like to ride my bike or just read and watch TV in my room.

Andreea Raducan: Do you like to have your parents among the public at competitions? We know they normally get more nervous than we do…

Diana Bulimar: I like to have them here as I feel they are close and they cheer for me.


One Response to The 2011 Romanian Nationals @ The Medal Factory Ep.16

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.