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Andreea Raducan: People keep asking me why I don’t go into coaching.

Foto: Prosport

 

What brings you to Sibiu and why did you stop by the gym where many Olympic and World champions started their careers?

I’m happy to be here. I could not miss it since many gymnasts started here. I can think of many names…Mihaela Stănuleţ, Claudia Presecan, Steliana Nistor, Sabina Cojocar are famous Romanian gymnasts who come from Sibiu. There was no excuse for me not to stop by the gym.

Are you tempted to go into coaching in the future?

I’m not planning on going back to the gym any time soon although I get a lot of questions about this since not many of my colleagues have chosen to become coaches. I think I can help the sport from another perspective. What I want now is to promote it.

Romania is back on top after the European medals. Do you think this pushes the girls towards a triumph at the Olympics?

It’s both a challenge and pressure on their shoulders, but I hope this is something positive. What I believe is that these results helped build their confidence. They understood again what being a team is. I think Romania belongs up there and the girls showed it’s possible. We had a very interesting team and we will also have it at the Olympics, we’ve never had 3 generations of gymnasts in the same team before. There are experienced gymnasts who know how it feels to be on the podium and have the anthem played for you. There’s also Larisa, whose desire to win is so strong, thus the most important result is the team one. It should be followed by as many individual medals as possible. I hope there is a good atmosphere inside the team. Even though the championship was only at European level, it was a very important test.

Was the result surprising? Did you expect them to come back with so many medals?

It’s not about that, no competition is similar to another. People were disappointed after Tokyo, when the girls came home without any medal. The period that followed was pretty difficult, but of course I wasn’t surprised. It’s an Olympic year, a very important year and the girls know it. I know this because gymnasts don’t get to go to two editions of the Games very often.

The coaches have also managed to bring the team together. I know the competition will be different in London. We will face the Americans, the Chinese, the Russians who have a strong team…The competition starts from scratch.

Who will be the leader of the Romanian team in London?

They have to be a team. Cătălina Ponor can be the leader, she is an experienced gymnast. She has a lot to share with the girls and knows what it feels to be at the Olympics. I asked Larisa this and she told me she wanted to know for herself how it feels and let’s hope we will see her on the podium, bringing back medals.

Original interview by Dragoș Popescu for Prosport here.