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Alexandra Piscupescu officially retires at the Bucharest World Cup

Alexandra Piscupescu. More photos from the World Cup here.

           Not more than a week ago, the most important event of the year in Romanian gymnastics, the second stage of the Rhythmic World Cup, organized in Bucharest by the Romanian Rhythmic Federation, ended with a very special moment for the fans of this beautiful sport: a final routine from the gymnast who has dominated Romanian Rhythmic gymnastics in the past five years, Alexandra Piscupescu. Although she had already announced her retirement at last year’s National Championships, this was the perfect moment for her to say farewell to her fans at an event that brought together the top gymnasts of this sport.

           Winner of five consecutive national titles between 2010 and 2014, Alexandra started Rhythmic gymnastics back in 2001 and was coached by Maria Gîrbă and Elena Vlad at the Olimpia Club in Bucharest. She made her senior debut in 2010 and shortly became one of the most appreciated gymnasts in the world with guest appearances at some of the most important galas of this sport, such as the ones in Spain (Euskalgym) or South Korea (Rhythmic  All-Stars).

           To celebrate this wonderful career that has just ended, let’s go back in time and watch a couple of her most interesting routines, starting with 2006 when this 12 year old was competing at that year’s Romanian Cup.

           In 2010, Alexandra would move on to senior level, competing in her first World Championships. Here she is with hoop at the Pesaro World Cup.

           She would compete in four World Championships throughout her career, her best standing coming in 2011 and repeating in 2013 – 17th place.

           Any elite gymnast’s dream is to compete at the Olympic Games and Alexandra also had the chance to fight for a place at the 2012 London Games. Unfortunately, at the London Test Event organized earlier that year, she finished just outside the qualification spots, igniting a well known scandal in the world of gymnastics (the judges were then accused of favoring Chrystalleni Trikomiti from Cyprus, who finished the competition just ahead of Alexandra and that the latter and Ukrainian gymnast Ganna Rizatdinova should have made the Olympics the previous year at the World Championships, where direct qualification was first granted, instead of being sent to the test event). Although the Romanian competed with a black armband in sign of protest and the Romanian Federation, through its president Irina Deleanu, supported her, it all ended with a suspension of the latter…

           The year 2013 was one of the busiest years for Alexandra competition wise and it would bring in the greatest achievement of her career. For the first time, Romania would organize one of the stages of the World Cup in Bucharest and Alexandra would go on to win three medals in the apparatus finals (two silver and a bronze). A special moment of these finals was when tenor Bogdan Mihai, whose song Alexandra had chosen for her ribbon routine, accompanied her live during that final.

           Alexandra competed in five European Championships, placing highest in her 2010 senior debut – 15th. One of her most beautiful routines is the one performed with ball at the 2013 Europeans.

           Although I have tried to select some of the most interesting moments of Alexandra’s career in this article, there are many more which have not made the cut. We would need days to watch all her routines at the World Cups, national competitions, galas or the club competitions in Italy, where she competed for Spoleto’s La Fenice Club. Let’s end this very short overview with Alexandra’s farewell performance at the Bucharest World Cup.

Thank you and good luck, Alexandra Piscupescu!

This post is also available in: Romanian