Special Sub-Topic: Women's Artistic Gymnastics
|In 1997, this gymnast surprisingly beat the USA's Vanessa Atler in the American Cup. Who is she?|
Elvire Teza. France is a country not usually noted for its gymnasts. Elvire Teza is originally from the Reunion Islands. Skater Surya Bonaly (who started out as a gymnast) is also from La Reunion. Maybe there's something in the air?
|This gymnast surprised everyone when she finished right behind Alexandra Marinescu in the 1996 Junior European Championships, although she hasn't made a really big international showing since then. From a country not usually noted for its women's gymnastics (although they produced a male gymnast noted for his rings work), who is this gymnast?|
Adriana Crisci. Italy also not a big country for women's gymnastics, although its program was steadily improving through the late 1990s and early 2000s. Italy does, however, have a fine men's program which produced Juri Checchi.
|One of Romania's most successful gymnasts in the 1990s, she had a world or Olympic gold medal in every individual event. Who is she?|
Lavinia Milosovici. Milosovici's accomplishments speak for themselves. Olympics: 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze - World Championships: 5 Gold, 3 Silver, 4 Bronze - European Championships: 4 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze.
|Nadia Comaneci made a huge showing internationally when she won the 1975 European Championships, but Bela Karolyi had said that she was not his first choice to go. What sick gymnast did she replace?|
Teodora Ungereanu. Karolyi really thought Ungereanu would go, but she came down with the flu at the qualifying competition he conducted to determine who would get the European Championships spot.
|This gymnast may have peaked too early in her career. International Gymnast named her the 1996 Atlanta Olympics' 'Most Denied Gymnast' after she finished just out of the medals in three event finals and the all-around. She did, however, have a spectacular showing in the 1994 Goodwill Games, when she beat the U.S.'s Shannon Miller for the all-around gold there. Who is she?|
Dina Kochetkova. She was also the 1996 World Champion on balance beam and the 1994 World Champion on floor.
|Romanian head coach Octavian Belu has said that this gymnast, a member of two Olympic teams and a gold medalist several times over, has no talent, and that she got where she was by hard work only. Her teammates nicknamed her 'Zanakila,' which means, 'Airhead.' Who is this Olympian?|
Simona Amanar. Amanar won four medals in Atlanta: a team bronze, an all-around bronze, a vault gold, and a floor silver. She came back in 2000 to win a team gold, an all-around silver (or a gold, after the IOC 'ripped off' teammate Andreea Raducan), and a bronze on floor. How's that for a no-talent?
|The last 'perfect 10s' of the 1990s were awarded at the same Olympic Games, in the women's event finals. The two gymnasts who received them?|
Lu Li and Lavinia Milosovici. 1992 Barcelona Olympics: Lu Li did it first, on the uneven bars, and then later in the finals Lavinia Milosovici beat out Henrietta Onodi's 9.950 in floor exercise with the last 10 given to a gymnast in an Olympic Games, men or women.
|This Romanian won the 1995 Pre-Olympic test meet (that year called International Invitational), and finished first in the Junior European Championships in 1996, but she had to retire shortly after the 1996 Olympics due to scoliosis. Who is she?|
Alexandra Marinescu. Yes, that was Marinescu, but the others had troubles, too. Dobrescu was the victim of a flawed appendix operation: it went wrong when a nurse accidentally poured boiling water into her open wound. This eventually forced her into retirement. Bican broke her ankle in the podium training right before the Atlanta Games. Claudia Presecan also went down with an injury, and Mirela Tugerlan was subsituted in for her ailing teammates.
|She was pulled out of the 1996 Olympic all-around for the Romanian team and replaced by Simona Amanar. The coach believed Amanar had a better shot at a medal. Who did Amanar replace?|
Alexandra Marinescu & Marinescu. Marinescu again. Belu was probably right, because Amanar tied for bronze with her teammate Lavinia Milosovici, putting all three Romanian all-arounders on the medal podium (Gina Gogean, another Romanian, won silver). Marinescu was not up to par throughout those Games, and fell off the beam in her only event final.
|In the 1992 Olympics, she was pulled out of the all-around because it was felt that her teammate had a better chance of winning a medal for the then-Unified Team. She later came back in 1996 for the Atlanta Games, but was disappointed once again when the loud cheering of the Americans drowned out her floor music both in the team competition and in the all-around, thereby ruining her chances of medaling. Who is this gymnast?|
Rozalia Galieva. The Galieva family were actually Russian nationals who were relocated to Uzbekistan during the Stalin years in one of the dictator's attempts to weaken regional affiliations, so Roza was ethnically Russian. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Roza competed for Uzbekistan for a while, and then got Russian citizenship and competed for Russia in the 1996 Olympic Games.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction