Cătălina Ponor

Cătălina Ponor (Romanian pronunciation: [kətəˈlina poˈnor]; born 20 August 1987) is a Romanian former artistic gymnast who competed at three Olympiads: 2004, 2012, and 2016. She won three gold medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens on balance beam, floor and as part of the Romanian team. She also earned a silver medal on floor and bronze medal as part of the Romanian team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, as well as multiple World Championship and European Championship medals. She announced her plans to retire from gymnastics after the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, in Montreal. During her career, she won 23 Olympic, World and European medals. More than half of them (12) were gold medals.

Cătălina Ponor
Cătălina Ponor Rio 2016.jpg
Personal information
Full nameCătălina Ponor
Nickname(s)Cătă, Black Tulip
Country represented Romania
Born (1987-08-20) 20 August 1987 (age 34)
Constanța, Romania
ResidenceBucharest, Romania
Height1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior international elite
Years on national team2002–07, 2011–12, 2015–17 (ROU)
ClubCS Dinamo București
Head coach(es)Octavian Bellu
Assistant coach(es)Sandu Lucian
Former coach(es)Matei Stanei, Gabriela Dosoftei
ChoreographerAdriana Pop
Music2004: Gia

2005: Harem
2006: Underground
2007: Dark Angel
2011: Rise
2011–2012: Requiem for a Dream
2012: Fever

2016: Powerful
Retired30 April 2006
12 December 2007[1]
8 August 2012[2]
25 November 2017
Medal record
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 3 1 1
World Championships 0 3 2
European Championships 8 2 3
World Cup Final 1 1 0
FIG World Cup 7 2 0
Total 19 9 6
Representing  Romania
Olympic Games
Olympic rings.svg
Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens Team
Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens Balance Beam
Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens Floor Exercise
Silver medal – second place 2012 London Floor Exercise
Bronze medal – third place 2012 London Team
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2003 Anaheim Team
Silver medal – second place 2003 Anaheim Balance Beam
Silver medal – second place 2003 Anaheim Floor Exercise
Bronze medal – third place 2005 Melbourne Balance Beam
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Stuttgart Team
World Cup Final
Gold medal – first place 2004 Birmingham Balance Beam
Silver medal – second place 2004 Birmingham Floor Exercise
European Championships
UEG-logo.svg
Gold medal – first place 2004 Amsterdam Team
Gold medal – first place 2004 Amsterdam Balance Beam
Gold medal – first place 2004 Amsterdam Floor Exercise
Gold medal – first place 2005 Debrecen Balance Beam
Gold medal – first place 2006 Volos Balance Beam
Gold medal – first place 2012 Brussels Team
Gold medal – first place 2012 Brussels Balance Beam
Gold medal – first place 2017 Cluj-Napoca Balance Beam
Silver medal – second place 2006 Volos Team
Silver medal – second place 2012 Brussels Floor Exercise
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Volos Floor Exercise
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Bern Balance Beam
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Bern Floor Exercise

Early lifeEdit

Ponor was born in Constanța and started gymnastics when she was four years old.[3] In 2002, she was discovered training in Constanța by the Romanian national team coaches, Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang, who invited her to join the national team.[4]

Senior gymnastics careerEdit

2003–2004Edit

Ponor made her international debut at the 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, California, where the Romanian team finished in second place. Individually, she won silver medals on balance beam, scoring 9.587, and floor, scoring 9.700.[5] In November, she competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Stuttgart, Germany, where she placed first on balance beam (9.587) and third on floor (9.237).[6]

In March 2004, Ponor competed at the World Cup event in Cottbus, Germany. She placed first on balance beam, scoring 9.700, and second on floor, scoring 9.575.[7] Later in March, she competed at the World Cup event in Lyon, France, and won silver medals on balance beam and floor, scoring 9.175 and 9.625 respectively.[8]

At the beginning of May, she helped Romania win the team competition at the European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Amsterdam. In event finals, she once again placed first on balance beam (9.725) and floor (9.637).[9]

Athens OlympicsEdit

In August, Ponor competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She contributed scores of 9.412 on vault, 9.762 on balance beam, and 9.750 on floor toward the Romanian team's first-place finish.[10] In event finals, she won gold medals on balance beam (9.787) and floor (9.750).[11] She called the results "a dream that came true. ... When I won the gold medal on balance beam, I was very emotional. I had wished to win that medal forever."[12]

Ponor was the first female gymnast since Daniela Silivaș in 1988 to win three gold medals at a single Olympics.[4]

2005–2007Edit

 
Ponor at the 2007 World Championships

Ponor competed at the European Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, in June 2005. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 9.737 and fourth on floor with a score of 9.200.[13] That fall, she won a bronze medal on beam (9.500) at the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne.[14]

In March 2006, she competed at the Cottbus World Cup and placed sixth in the floor final with a score of 13.250.[15] The following month, at the European Championships in Volos, Greece, she placed first on balance beam (15.800) and third on floor (14.600).[16]

In 2007, Ponor began training with Mariana Bitang again. She said: "She's the only person who can bring me back to the form I was in. She's the only coach who can guide me to a world title and another Olympic title." Bitang added, "We saw her very determined, and we were very surprised to see her appetite for competition."[17]

In July, Ponor competed at the Romanian National Championships in Ploiesti, Romania. She placed first on vault with a score of 15.062 and first on balance beam with a score of 16.500.[18]

In September, Ponor competed at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart. She helped the Romanian team place third and individually she placed fourth in the balance beam final with a score of 15.700.[19]

In December, Ponor retired due to ongoing injuries.[20]

2011Edit

In March, Ponor began training again with the Romanian national team under the newly returned coaches Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang.[20]

At the beginning of August, Ponor had a minor medical procedure to correct a congenital heart defect that was causing an arrhythmia and was able to resume training the same week. She said, "I had a congenital problem I was born with, but I went to the doctor and all is well."[21]

At the end of August, Ponor competed at the Romanian National Championships in Onesti, Romania. She placed second on balance beam scoring 15.775 and third on floor scoring 14.625.[22]

In October, Ponor competed at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. She contributed scores of 14.933 on vault, 15.166 on balance beam, and 14.633 on floor towards the Romanian team's fourth-place finish and individually she placed seventh in the balance beam final with a score of 14.241.[23]

2012Edit

In March, Ponor competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Doha, Qatar. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 15.300 and first on floor with a score of 15.275.[24] Ponor said, "I want to do the same thing that I did in 2004. It was hard to make a comeback, but all the time I was thinking that I could do it. I will not relax till I reach my goal."[25]

In April, Ponor competed at an international meet against France in Cholet, France. She contributed scores of 14.900 on vault and 15.550 on balance beam towards the Romanian team's first-place finish.[26]

Later in April, Ponor competed at an international meet against Germany and the United Kingdom in Ulm, Germany. She contributed scores of 14.750 on vault, 15.100 on balance beam, and 14.900 on floor toward the Romanian team's first-place finish.[27]

In May, Ponor competed at the 2012 European Championships in Brussels. She contributed scores of 15.033 on vault, 15.433 on balance beam, and 14.733 on floor towards the Romanian team's first-place finish. In event finals, she placed first on beam scoring 15.300 and second on floor scoring 14.633.[28] Bellu said, "You saw the reaction of the fans. A triple Olympic champion gets respect, especially if she performs like this."[29] She is the gymnast who has won the most balance beam titles at the European Championships: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2017.[citation needed]

In June, Ponor competed at the World Cup event in Ghent, Belgium. She won the balance beam event final with a score of 15.025.[30]

At the beginning of July, Ponor competed at an international meet against France, Germany, and Italy in Bucharest, Romania. She contributed scores of 15.000 on vault, 15.700 on balance beam, and 15.000 on floor toward the Romanian team's first-place finish.[31]

London OlympicsEdit

 
Ponor with the 2012 Romanian Olympic team

At the end of July, Ponor competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She helped the Romanian team qualify to the team final in fourth place,[32] and individually, she qualified eighth to the balance beam final with a score of 15.033, and seventh to the floor final, despite botching her third tumbling pass, with a score of 14.600.[33] In the team final, she contributed scores of 15.100 on vault, 15.416 on balance beam, and 14.800 on floor toward the Romanian team's third-place finish.[34] She earned the highest score on balance beam during the team competition.

In event finals, Ponor placed fourth on beam (15.066)[35] and second on floor (15.200).[36] On beam, she originally was placed in third, but after American Aly Raisman had an inquiry accepted about her difficulty score, they finished in a tie. Ultimately however, after a tie-breaking procedure which prioritized execution score, Raisman was awarded the bronze medal. Ponor said, "I will say it again, and I want everyone to know, I will quit without regrets. I have worked every second for my team, I have worked every second for myself, I have worked every second for everybody. I have already been an Olympic champion. I will quit gymnastics with my chin up."[37]

2015Edit

In February 2015, Ponor registered for the anti-doping control within the International Federation of Gymnastics, which suggested that she might be returning to competition.[38] She officially announced her comeback in early March.[39] She told WOGymnastika that by coming back for a third time, she will be risking her biggest failure.[40] She could not compete in the 2015 European Games in Baku as she was not eligible yet.

In September, Ponor made her return in competition by competing in a friendly meet between Romania and France where she helped the Romanian team place first.

2016Edit

In June 2016, Ponor won two bronze medals at the European Championships. On 6 July, she was selected to represent Romania at the 2016 Summer Olympics, despite Larisa Iordache's achievement of her fourth consecutive national all around title and citing injury concerns on Iordache. This announcement was made shortly after Ponor was named as Romania's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies, the first time this honor was given to a gymnast. She qualified for the balance beam final and placed seventh.

2017Edit

Ponor continued to compete in 2017 in the hopes of participating in the European Championships, since Romania was the host this year. She began the year by winning titles on the balance beam and floor exercise at the Baku World Cup. One week later, on 23 March, she won a silver medal on beam at the Doha World Cup.

At the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Ponor competed on beam and floor. She missed the floor final because her routine lacked a front tumbling connection, a requirement. However, she qualified to the beam final and won the gold medal emotionally in front of a noisy and appreciative home crowd.[41]

In October 2017, Ponor competed at the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal. Competing only in qualifications on beam, placing 26th, and floor, placing 14th. Ponor did not qualify to either event finals after a fall on beam, earning her a 12.233, and a step out of bounds on floor, earning her a 13.266.

Following her competition at the 2017 Mexico Open in Mexico City, Mexico, where she won a silver medal in the 3-event all-around, Ponor announced her official retirement from competitive gymnastics for the third time.[42]

Personal lifeEdit

Ponor was in a relationship with Puerto Rican gymnast Tommy Ramos from 2012 until 2016.[43] She is now engaged to Romanian actor and director Bogdan Jianu.[44] She announced the Romanian jury points in the final of Eurovision Song Contest 2021.

Competitive historyEdit

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2003
World Championships      
2004
European Championships      
Olympic Games      
2005
European Championships   4
World Championships  
2006
European Championships      
2007
World Championships   4
National Championships    
2011
World Championships 4 7
National Championships    
2012 Doha World Cup    
FRA-ROU Friendly  
GER-GBR-ROU Friendly  
European Championships      
Ghent World Cup  
ROU-FRA-GER-ITA Friendly  
Olympic Games   4  
2015 FRA-ROU Friendly  
2016 Doha World Cup  
BEL-ROU-GER Friendly  
European Championships 6    
National Championships      
Chemnitz Friendly  
Olympic Games 7
Mexican Open    
2017 Baku World Cup    
Doha World Cup  
European Championships  
National Championships      
Szombathely World Cup    
Arthur Gander Memorial 4 7   4
Mexican Open        

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Triple Olympic champion Ponor retires". Reuters. 12 December 2007.
  2. ^ "Catalina Ponor Says Farewell One Final Time". FloGymnastics. 8 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Catalina Ponor" Archived 1 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. london2012.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b Ponor returns to Games eight years later – Gymnastics News Archived 12 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine. NBC Olympics (13 May 2012). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  5. ^ Events :: Show Archived 7 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Events :: Show Archived 6 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Events :: Show Archived 28 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Events :: Show Archived 28 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Events :: Show Archived 6 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Women’s Team Final Archived 16 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. gymnasticsresults.com (17 August 2004)
  11. ^ Events :: Show Archived 3 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Athletes :: Show Archived 11 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ 1st Individual European Championships in Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics – Debrecen 2005 Archived 18 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Gymnasticsresults.com. Retrieved on 15 August 2016.
  14. ^ 38th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Melbourne (AUS) Archived 17 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Gymnasticsresults.com. Retrieved on 15 August 2016.
  15. ^ Events :: Show Archived 13 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Events :: Show Archived 14 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Ponor Enlists Bitang in Comeback. Intlgymnast.com (4 May 2007). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  18. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Nistor, Popescu Win Romanian Nationals. Intlgymnast.com (31 July 2007). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  19. ^ Events :: Show Archived 28 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ a b International Gymnast Magazine Online – Ponor Poised to Rejoin Romanian Squad. Intlgymnast.com (28 March 2011). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  21. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Ponor: 'All Well' After Minor Heart Procedure. Intlgymnast.com (5 August 2011). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  22. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Porgras Takes Third Straight Romanian Title Archived 30 October 2012 at WebCite. Intlgymnast.com (26 August 2011). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ http://fig.lx2.sportcentric.com/system/files/5397/original/WAG_complet.pdf?1333352451[dead link]
  25. ^ Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique : Full Story Archived 27 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Iordache Powers Romania to First in France Archived 30 October 2012 at WebCite. Intlgymnast.com (21 April 2012). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  27. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Iordache, Romania Unbeatable in Ulm Archived 30 October 2012 at WebCite. Intlgymnast.com (28 April 2012). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  28. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ Casert, Raf. (30 May 2012) Belu leads Romania back into Olympic limelight – Gymnastics News. NBC Olympics. Retrieved on 2012-07-20. Archived 12 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ http://fig.lx2.sportcentric.com/system/files/5542/original/Results_Finals.pdf?1339501751[dead link]
  31. ^ International Gymnast Magazine Online – Romanians Rule in Bucharest Quad Meet Archived 30 October 2012 at WebCite. Intlgymnast.com (7 July 2012). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique – View FigNews Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Fig-gymnastics.com. Retrieved on 15 August 2016.
  39. ^ Catalina Ponor Is Back – WOGymnastika. Wogymnast.com (11 March 2015). Retrieved on 2016-08-15.
  40. ^ Catalina Ponor "I Will Be Risking The Biggest Failure In My Career" – WOGymnastika. Wogymnast.com (20 March 2015). Retrieved on 2016-08-15.
  41. ^ Crumlish, John. "Ponor on Europeans Gold: 'I Wanted It Wholeheartedly'". International Gymnast Magazine Online. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  42. ^ "Thanksgiving Poll: What Are YOU Thankful for Today? - FloGymnastics".
  43. ^ "Who is Tommy Ramos, Catalina Ponor's Boyfriend? The Puerto Rican is an Olympian in His Own Right".
  44. ^ "Catalina Ponor to marry Romanian actor/Director Bogdan Jianu".

External linksEdit

Olympic Games
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Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by