Top 10 Most Flexible Women Gymnasts’ Inspiring Life Stories – Catalina Ponor

9. Catalina Ponor, Romania:

 Catalina Ponor - Top 10 2013 Most Flexible Women's Gymnasts Inspiring Life StoriesCatalina Ponor was born on 20th August , 1987. She 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.

In 2002, Ponor was discovered training in Constanta by the Romanian national team coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang who invited her to train with the national team.

She is the gymnast who has won the balance beam title the most times at the European Championships: 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.

In August 2003, 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 2004, 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 win 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 a scores of 9.412 on vault, 9.762 on balance beam, and 9.750 on floor towards the Romanian team’s first place finish. 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 Silivas in 1988 and last since to win three gold medals at a single Olympics.

In June 2005, Ponor competed at the European Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 9.737 and fourth on floor with a score of 9.200.

In November, Ponor competed at the 2005 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia. She placed third in the balance beam final with a score of 9.500.

In March 2006, Ponor competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Cottbus, Germany. She placed sixth in the floor final with a score of 13.250.In April, Ponor competed at the European Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Volos, Greece. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 15.800 and third on floor with a score of 14.600.

Catalina Ponor - Top 10 2013 Most Flexible Women's Gymnasts Inspiring Life StoriesIn May 2007, Ponor returned to training with Mariana Bitang. She said about Bitang, “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.”

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.

In September, Ponor competed at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. She helped the Romanian team place third and individually she placed fourth in the balance beam final with a score of 15.700.In December, Ponor retired due to ongoing injuries.

In March 2011, Ponor began training again with the Romanian national team under the newly returned coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang.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.”

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.

In October, Ponor competed at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan. 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.

In March 2012, 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. 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.”

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.

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 towards the Romanian team’s first place finish.

In May, Ponor competed at the 2012 European Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Brussels, Belgium. 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 balance beam scoring 15.300 and second on floor scoring 14.633. Belu said, “You saw the reaction of the fans. A triple Olympic champion gets respect, especially if she performs like this.”

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

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 towards the Romanian team’s first place finish.

At the end of July, Ponor competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. She helped the Romanian team qualify to the team final and individually she qualified to the balance beam final with a score of 15.033 and the floor final with a score of 14.600. In the team final, she contributed scores of 15.100 on vault, 15.416 on balance beam, and 14.800 on floor towards the Romanian team’s third place finish. She earned the high score on balance beam during the team competition. In event finals, Ponor placed fourth on beam with a score of 15.066 and second on floor with a score of 15.200. On balance beam, she had the same score as American Aly Raisman but after tie-breaking procedures 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.”

Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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