To be honest, I couldn’t come up with any gymnasts who won World or Olympic medals that might have been forgotten with the exception of one. So I did what most everyone would do. I checked out, gymn-forum.net for results. I got some good ones:)
1992 Worlds Results : Qualification: [UB] [BB] Semi-Finals: [UB] [BB] [Finals]
In 1992 for some reason they had an individual Worlds the year of the Olympics. (They did this in 1996 also, but not before or after. Hmmm) In 1992 it was Romania that took advantage of the Olympic year, Worlds, and came out with some surprise medals. The most overscored gymnast of all time ended up winning a World title on the Uneven Bars, Lavinia Miloșovici by default (Okino had a better routine and everyone else made mistakes, fell, or had to stay home because of injury) but it was Romania’s second squad that ended up sneaking into the medals. Mirela Pasca won a Bronze medal on the Uneven Bars and Maria Neculita won 2 medals, tying for Silver on beam and winning bronze on Floor. I had no clue Neculita won 2 medals at worlds in 1992. Below are Mirela on bars and Maria on floor. Beam is linked.
Maria Neculita on Floor
Elena Produnova is most known for her double front vault but I never realized just how much more she was than just the owner of the insane vault. She was 4th in the 1999 All-Around at Worlds and if she had a better landing, she would have been the gold medalist. ( I can’t even find her AA vault to see what she did wrong but it only scored a 9.349. Less than 2 tenths from gold) She also finished 4th on Vault, Floor and UB at those same Worlds. In 1997 she beat Gina Gogean for bronze in the AA and finished 8th on beam and 3rd on Floor. I also never realized she was part of the 95 world team that finished 4th. For the sake of this blog’s premise, I guess I will be adding her Floor medal at the 1997 Worlds medal, which I do not remember. (She also won a bronze medal on beam in 2000 at the Olympics and that pouting I do remember) Hindsight has me remembering her taking off her team medal in 2000 too but I pretty much blame that on Khorkina who’s loving personality shines through to all that know her :).
My favorite Romanian to watch is Christina Bontas. I remember her finishing 3rd in the All Around and the 1991 Worlds and winning the Floor gold medal but do you? (She also made all 4 event finals in 1991 ) Her career before 1991 also seems to be forgotten. She finished 4th in the AA at the 89 Worlds. 2nd on Vault and 3rd on Floor.
The 2006 Worlds was one of those, In-between, Worlds no one really remembers. You know it took place but if you had to take a Gymnastics quiz this is the competition you might have trouble remembering off-hand, who won all the medals. (Or any of the medals) That leads me to the Balance beam finals. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs won Canada’s first medal by finishing 3rd on Beam during the Event Finals and what has to be the most surprising Gold medalist of all time, Irina Krasnyanskaya from Ukraine won the Gold medal on beam. (Both routines are below) Irina doesn’t even have a Wiki page I can link (or find)
Irina Krasnyanskaya, 2006 World Champion on beam (Beating both Romania’s Sandra Izbaza and Russia’s, Anna Pavlova.
So who has a favorite food cooked by mom? The 3 of you that read the blog and named your favorite flower, thank you for actually reading 🙂
Who remembers Australia winning a team bronze medal in 2003? I actually do because I was there. China kept practicing on the podium, were warned to stop, and did it again and again anyway. Kind of a ridiculous way to win a medal but stupid rules are stupid rules.
Another forgotten Worlds, 2009. I was really happy for Koko Tsurumi winning an UB medal. As annoying as it is for me to see gymnasts overrated due to being from a Country not known for winning I enjoyed Koko. Her AA medal from that same Worlds is also something people have forgotten. Including me 🙂 Lauren Mitchelle finished 4th in that AA. Add that too.
Anyone remember Beth Tweddle falling on bars in prelims and going on to winning the Gold medal on Floor instead?
This idea could actually go on forever. There could even be a part 2 and 3 so I am going to end it with, Cassy Vericel from France, winning a bronze medal on Floor at the 2007 Worlds. I remember this one NOT AT ALL. A good way to end this 🙂
P.S.- I didn’t even look at the Olympics. Maybe, Alexandra Eremia winning a medal in 2004 on beam? She’s pretty much a completely ignored Romanian gymnast.