Cătălina Ponor : biography
Cătălina Ponor ( born August 20, 1987) is a Romanian artistic gymnast. She won three gold medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics, on balance beam, floor, and as part of the Romanian team. She also obtained a silver medal on floor and a bronze medal as part of the Romanian team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as multiple World Championship and European Championship medals.
Ponor was born in Constanta. She started gymnastics when she was four years old.. london2012.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
In 2002, Ponor was discovered training in Constanţa by the Romanian national team coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang who invited her to train with the national team.. NBC Olympics (2012-05-13). Retrieved on 2012-07-20.
In August, Ponor competed at the 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, United States. She helped the Romanian team finish in second place and in event finals she placed second on balance beam scoring 9.587 and second on floor scoring 9.700.
In November, Ponor competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Stuttgart, Germany. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 9.587 and third on floor scoring 9.237.
In March, Ponor competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Cottbus, Germany. She placed first on balance beam scoring 9.700 and second on floor scoring 9.575.
Later in March, Ponor competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Lyon, France. She placed second on balance beam scoring 9.175 and second on floor scoring 9.625.
At the beginning of May, Ponor competed at the European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She helped the Romanian team finish in first place. In event finals, she placed first on balance beam scoring 9.725 and first on floor scoring 9.637.
In August, Ponor competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. She contributed scores of 9.412 on vault, 9.762 on balance beam, and 9.750 on floor towards the Romanian team's first place finish.http://www.gymnasticsresults.com/olympics/2004/wag/teams.pdf In event finals, she placed first on balance beam with a score of 9.787 and first on floor with a score of 9.750. Ponor said, "I'm very happy for my medals. Today it was a dream that came true. I would like to thank my coaches for the courage they gave me during the competition, and for the preparation. The atmosphere was wonderful, simply unique. Adding these two titles to the team's gold is an amazing feeling. I was not afraid that I was going to lose the gold medal on Floor. When I won the gold medal on Balance Beam, I was very emotional. I had wished to win that medal forever. I became even more emotional when I won the gold medal on Floor Exercise, because it became a second gold medal, and a gold medal is very hard to get." Ponor was the first female gymnast since Daniela Silivaş in 1988 and last since to win three gold medals at a single Olympics.
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