Some of Romania's former gymnastics
greats commented on the current situation at Deva
Gina Gogean: "Being world team champion is not the same thing as
[winning] an individual title. Now it was time for Loredana to assume the
responsibility of being a leader, not to turn her back on the team."
Maria Olaru: "The responsibility is too big for Loredana, but she
needs to understand the team needs her."
RGF president Nicolae Vieru: "She has a moral obligation to the
federation. her teammates, and the country who gave her money to train."
Gazeta Sporturilor talked to Octavian Belu about
GS: What's going on with Loredana Boboc?
OB: It's been a week since she set foot in the gym, given she is determined
to retire. I cannot understand her reaction. She got scared when she saw she
has to do four events, being used to just helping the team whenever needed.
And since we didn't approve of her decision to retire, she became
GS: How did this lack of discipline manifest itself?
OB: She no longer wanted to follow the training schedule, she would turn her
back on us [coaches] during practice. In the evening, she would disregard
the curfew going to bed late, and she's gained weight.
GS: What do you think is causing her to be undisciplined?
OB: Most definitely, money. I was a staunch supporter of the life annuity
[paid to Olympic medalists], but it turns out this provision, while overall
a good idea, also has negative effects on teenage girls who don't have a
strong backbone. An athlete that knows she will receive 10 M lei /month
($350) loses her perspective. She is no longer interested in training and
school, and that's not normal. We have to sign off the alarm. The big names
in gymnastics, such as Lavinia Milosovici, Gina Gogean
or Simona Amanar, gymnasts who won tens of individual medals,
understood the requirements of the sport, and stayed on the team until they
turned 20-21, while now a 16-year old kid can't stay on because that's not
what she wants. When you pay for your own training, you can do whatever you
want, but when the government funds your training, you have some
obligations. That's what Loredana doesn't understand.
GS: What did you do about it?
OB: The rules do not allow me, as head coach, to dismiss her from the
national team. So, I wrote a memo to the RGF, who called her in for an
interview in front of the Disciplinary Commission. It looks like they didn't
decide on anything because she's coming back to Deva today, March 15th.. In
any case, I'm not willing to make compromises anymore. I won't plead with
anyone to keep doing gymnastics, and I don't want to coach a generation of
retired gymnasts (in the sense that they're as good as retired due to lack
of motivation). If only one gymnast does her job, I'll take her to Worlds. I
don't necessarily have to bring a team and make a fool of myself. The world
sees Loredana with a gold medal around her neck, but they don't have a
chance to see the world rankings, where she is 96th, while Isarescu is
GS: What competitions do you have planned in the near future?
OB: I don't even know anymore. We already missed the American Cup and we
won't be going to Paris Bercy either (French International) because we don't
have anyone to send. As of now, I can count on Andreea Raducan and four
juniors (bad news for Isa, I'm afraid. She doesn't even seem to exist
anymore). Despite an arm injury, Raducan is training full-speed, but Carmen
Ionescu and Alexandra Barac aren't on the same level as Silvia Stroescu or
Sabina Cojocar. Of course I could solve this problem by leaving the National
team, but after spending so many years at Deva I can't be indifferent to
what happens here. It's regrettable that the sense of respect and will to
work have all but disappeared.