Daniela Silivaș : biography
Viorica Daniela Silivaș-Harper ( born May 9, 1972), best known as Daniela Silivaș, is a Romanian former gymnast who is most famous for winning six medals (three gold, two silver, and one bronze) in women's artistic gymnastics at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. In her five-year tenure as a member of the Romanian senior national team, Silivaș earned six individual World Championships titles as well the 1987 European Championships all-around title. She was the only gymnast, male or female, to medal in every single event at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where she earned 7 perfect 10.0 scores.
In 1989, Silivaș's training was hampered by the closure of the Deva National Training Center during the Romanian Revolution and further impeded by a knee injury. She formally retired in 1991 and moved to the United States, where she currently enjoys a career as a gymnastics coach. In 2002 she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Daniela Silivas – Romania
The hallmarks of Silivaș's gymnastics were her impeccable form and execution, difficulty and expressive dance. Many of the skills she performed in the 1988 Olympics still carry high difficulty ratings in the 2007 Code of Points. Between 1985 and 1988, the highlights of Silivaș's routines included:
- "Back to back" tumbling: Round-off, back handspring, double twist, punch front, round-off, back handspring, double twist, punch front.
- Triple twist
- Double twisting double back somersault "Silivaș"
- Double back tuck
- Double tour-double pirouette
- The "Silivaș" skill, which involved spinning on the ankles
- The "Silivaș" mount: shoulder stand-pirouette
- Back handspring, two layout step-outs
- Roundoff, two-foot layout
- Aerial front walkover
- Double back dismount
- Shaposhnikova transition
However, Silivaș did not linger for long in the junior ranks. In 1985, the Romanian Gymnastics Federation changed her birth year from 1972 to 1970 to make her age eligible for the World Championships in Montreal. The falsification was suspected by some, but was never fully verified until Silivaș herself revealed it in 2002. She stated that she was never consulted about the matter: officials simply gave her a new passport, called her attention to the birth date, and informed her that she was now 15.
Although she was only 13 at the 1985 Worlds, Silivaș scored a perfect 10 en route to capturing the World balance beam title; defeating the reigning Olympic Champion, her fellow countrywoman, Ecaterina Szabo, in the process. She finished behind reigning co-World Champion Yelena Shushunova in the individual all-around at the 1986 World Cup and quickly established herself as the leader of the Romanian gymnastics team. Silivaș's greatest triumph took place at the 1987 European Gymnastics Championships in Moscow, where she won the individual all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise titles in addition to taking a silver medal on the vault. At the time, every dominant nation in women's gymnastics was located in Europe; winning the European title over the deep field of powerful Soviet, East German and Bulgarian gymnasts marked a major victory.
At the 1987 World Championships in Rotterdam, Silivaș helped the Romanian squad win the team title, defeating the nearly invincible world champion Soviet team for the first time since 1979. She was a favorite for the all-around title, but, hampered by low scores carried over from the team optionals, where she had stepped off the balance beam, as well as a shaky uneven bars routine in the all-around, she only managed to win the bronze medal behind teammate Aurelia Dobre and 1985 World Champion Shushunova. In the event finals, Silivaș did win two gold medals, on the uneven bars and the floor.
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