Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hell Hath Frozen Over

Corina Ungureanu, member of Romanian's gold-medal-winning teams at the 1997 and 1999 World Championships is back and looking hotter than ever. For those who don't remember, Corina Ungureanu was the badass of the rather reserved 1997-2000 squad. While Octavian Belu always picked Corina for major competitions (Euros, Worlds, Goodwill Games), he continually ripped on her in the press and claimed that he didn't think she'd make whatever major event was on the horizon.

Despite Belu's bitching, Corina managed to become the 1998 European Champion on Floor Exercise and was one of the few Romanians to ever dance or be expressive on the apparatus. She is also one of the few Romanians to ever be inconsistent on balance beam.

Corina had enough and retired after the 1999 World Championships due to a back injury. She immediately posed for the January 2000 issue of Romanian Playboy and went on to star in two nude Japanese DVDs with fellow teammates Lavinia Milosovici and Claudia Presecan, posed for Playboy again in 2008, published multiple photo books, wrote an autobiography and is the spokeswoman for a bottled water company.
Belu, who was never her biggest fan, is now calling Corina a 'role model.'

And let's admit it, she looks amazing. After four months, Ungureanu looks far superior to Gabriela Dragoi, who is also on the comeback trail.

Ioana, our trusted Romanian correspondent, has translated the latest news from Dracula's kingdom.

Ungureanu's been training for 4 months and plans to compete again.
She's training 3 events FX , VT and UB and she is the only one of the
gymnasts currently at Deva to have worked with B&B before.

"It's refreshing to see a gymnast her age that wants to compete.
Without work, you cannot do anything and Corina could be an example
for them [the other gymnasts]," explained Bellu. For now, he's
reserved while talking about the current gymnasts. " I cannot make any
appraisals yet; we need to get to know each other better, to see why
each one is here, what she wants to do and if their desire corresponds
with our desire to do our job as well as possible."

Ungureanu on her comeback: "I'm here because I like exercising. I
tried going to the gym, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Gymnastics is my
life and I live through it" [she could also have meant that's how I
earn a living]

Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang went back their old coaching habits
quickly, as if the past 5 years when they've been away from the gym
never existed. "You need to think you're better than the others,"
Bellu's words can be heard throughout the gym. The girls are aligned
on the floor, listening intently and without blinking. After a few
quick words, he utters a clear "com,e on, up!" They all jump to their
feet and give a curt greeting "good morning!"

Warmups start. Bellu and Btang are doing rounds and helping out
gymnasts. Bellu helps Claudia Voicu stabilize a turn and shows Sandra
a new exercise for her knee and occasionally gives her a few short
instructions. This is only the beginning.

"I'm alongside the coaches who've worked here. We don't want to
disturb the current order, but bring additional experience instead,"
said Bitang.

"We don't want to rush things, but everything gradually, get to know
each other better and see why each one is here" bellu

In other news, Diana Chelaru, one of the only healthy gymnasts, managed to injure herself by fracturing metacarpal bone in her left hand on an Uneven Bars transition. The Romanians should really just stay off that apparatus.

Belu and Bitang were brought in to help prevent injuries... Anyone who remembers their glorious reign, please refrain from spitting up dinner.

Ana Porgras continues to rehab, as does Pitic.


  1. Shocked and appalled that no one else has commented on this. I must say that once you start doing naked UB bars routines, it will take a lot more than a comeback to get people talking about you again. ahem! I hope this works out for Corina. She's whipped into shape and seems genuinely committed to this.

    I actually liked her House of the Rising Sun FX better than the 1998 routine, but she was lovely on floor either way.

  2. Who choreographed her routines? It is obvious that she is a much better dancer than her routines allow her to demonstrate.

  3. Looks like she is sporting a tattoo on her arm. Gangsta.

  4. Looks like she is sporting a tattoo on her arm. Gangsta.

    She's got one on her ankle and one on her hand, too. Girl's seriously inked =)!

    @Auntie -I believe it was still Valer Puia who choreographed her floor routines. Her '97 FX was a carry over from her days as a junior in Bucharest. I think Sorina Mladin, the former rhytmic gymnast, was working with the junior team for choreography, but she's the only one I remember. There might have been others.