daily news

Romanian gymnast Catalina Ponor retires after London games with five career Olympic medals


Romanian gymnast Catalina Ponor (in picture, right)  said Tuesday evening that the Olympic Games in London would be the last competition of her career. She has five Olympic medals,  including three golds. Her latest medal was the silver for the floor competition in London.

“I retire with no regrets. I worked every second for the team, I worked every second for me, I worked every second for everyone. I was already Olympic champion and I leave the gym with my head up. I thank everyone for their support and I’m sorry that I have disappointed them,” said Ponor for the official site of the London Olympics. Her statement reminds of the recent beam competition, where she ended third but lost the bronze medal after the US gymnast appealed the score.

The gymnast will turn 25 on August 20th. She started in gymnastics aged five and is now thinking  of a coaching career. “I want a vacation, to relax my mind. Then, I will try to do something, such as to become a coach,” said Catalina Ponor. After her silver medal for the floor exercise, Ponor said her only regret was that her coaches didn’t congratulate her.

She was on the verge of winning a medal on the beam, besides the silver on the floor, but eventually she was the fourth after the umpires accepted the appeal made ​​by Alexandra Raisman’s coach, Romanian Mihai Breştean, giving the American an equal score to Ponor, but with a higher difficulty rating.

After her official debut in major competitions in 2002, Catalina Ponor has had ups and downs. 2004 was the peak of her career with three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Athens, for her team performance, beam and floor. Other medals came at the European and World Championships, after which health problems forced her to stop competing between 2007 and 2011.

The year 2012 started with a gold medal at the European, gold for beam and silver on the floor. The gymnast also has plans for her private life, announcing that after the Olympics she will get engaged.

Ioana Toader, ioana.toader@romania-insider.com

(photo source: London 2012 Olympics)