Simona Amanar

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Simona Amanar
Simona Amânar
Amânar at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Personal info
Full name Simona Amânar
Nickname(s) Simi
Country represented  Romania
Birthday/Birthplace (1979-10-07) October 7, 1979
Constanța, Romania
Height 158 cm (5 ft 2 in)
Discipline Women’s artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International
Gym Deva National Training Center
Head coach(es) Octavian Bellu
Assistant coach(es) Mariana Bitang
Eponymous skills Amânar (vault)
Retired 2000

Medal record

Representing  Romania
Olympic Games
1996 Atlanta Vault
2000 Sydney Team
2000 Sydney All-Around
1996 Atlanta Floor Exercise
1996 Atlanta Team
1996 Atlanta All-Around
2000 Sydney Floor Exercise
World Championships
1994 Dortmund Team
1995 Sabae Team
1995 Sabae Vault
1997 Lausanne Team
1997 Lausanne Vault
1999 Tianjin Team
1996 San Juan Vault
1997 Lausanne All-Around
1999 Tianjin Vault
1999 Tianjin Floor Exercise
World Cup Final
1998 Sabae Vault
1998 Sabae Floor Exercise
2000 Glasgow Vault
2000 Glasgow Balance Beam
2000 Glasgow Floor Exercise
European Championships
1994 Stockholm Team
1996 Birmingham Team
1996 Birmingham Vault
1996 Birmingham Uneven Bars
1998 St. Petersburg Team
2000 Paris Vault
1998 St. Petersburg All-Around
1998 St. Petersburg Vault
2000 Paris Balance Beam
1998 St. Petersburg Balance Beam
1998 St. Petersburg Floor Exercise
2000 Paris Team

Simona Amânar (Constanţa, Romania, October 7, 1979) is a Romanian artistic gymnast, winner of seven Olympic medals and individual champion of artistic gymnastics at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. of the best gymnasts of recent decades.

Simona Amanar’s Biography


He started practicing gymnastics when he was only 6 years old.

In 1994 he joined the senior Romanian national team. That same year he participated in the World Championships in Dortmund and in the Europeans in Stockholm, and in both Romania he won gold for teams.

In 1995 he started to stand out at the individual level, winning the gold medal in jump (shared with the Ukrainian Lilia Podkopayeva) in the World Championships in Sabae, Japan. The jump was always his best device, and in it he would be Olympic, world and European champion.

In the Europeans of Birmingham 1996 he won the gold medals in jump and asymmetric bars, although in this last apparatus there was a triple tie between Amânar, Podkopayeva and the Russian Svetlana Khorkina.

Shortly thereafter, he won the silver medal in the World Cup in Puerto Rico behind his compatriot Gina Gogean, in a very controversial decision since for many the victory must have corresponded to the Cuban Annia Portoundo, who was finally bronze.

Atlanta Games 1996

At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics the competition did not start well for her, as she failed on the balance bar during the team competition. The Romanians, current world and European champions were relegated to the bronze medal.

In addition Simona Amânar was only the 4th ranked Romanian, which in principle prevented her from participating in the individual general competition, where only three gymnasts per country are allowed. However the Romanian coach Octavian Belu decided that Amânar would replace in it his partner Alexandra Marinescu, who was classified, because she considered that Amânar was better prepared.

Finally Amânar won the bronze medal shared with his teammate Lavinia Milosovici, obtaining both the same score. The gold was for the Ukrainian Lilia Podkopayeva and the silver for the also Romanian Gina Gogean. Interestingly the Romanians won three medals, but not the gold one …

In the finals by equipment, Amânar had a good performance on the ground where with a 9,850 took the silver medal behind the Ukrainian Podkopayeva. But the most important moment came in the final jump, his best device, where he made an extraordinary Yurchenko with double rotation that was scored with a 9,875 and that earned him the gold medal.

Finally Amânar won four medals in Atlanta, one of them gold.

After the Atlanta Games

At the 1997 Lausanne World Championships, although Romania revalidated the team world title, Amanâr failed again in this competition, and ironically they decided to replace their partner Marinescu in the general competition.

As had happened in Atlanta, Amanâr responded well to the confidence of his coaches, winning the silver medal and only behind the great favorite Svetlana Khorkina. Amanar was better than Khorkina in three of the four devices, but Khorkina took a lot of advantage in the asymmetric bars, her best device and the worst in Amânar, so she won the title.

Amanâr also won his second world title in jumping. Those from Lausanne were their best World Championships.

The following year he also had a great success in the Europeans of St. Petersburg, where he won five medals, including silver in the general competition, again after Svetlana Khorkina. However he could not revalidate his European jump title where he surprised the Hungarian Adrienn Varga.

The Tianyin World Cups of 1999 were not too bright for her. After winning the team world title for the fourth time in a row, in the individual competition he fell off the balance bar and lost all his options to a medal. The gold would be surprisingly for his compatriot Maria Olaru.

Neither could win in the jump final, where the gold went to the Russian Elena Zamolodchikova with a double-turn Tsukahara. Amânar had to settle for the silver medals in jump and on the ground.

Sydney 2000 Games

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Romanians started off in an unbeatable way, winning the team title for the second time in their history and for the first time since the ’84 Los Angeles Games. Bearing in mind that in those games they did not participate the Soviet gymnasts, the triumph in Sydney was undoubtedly of much more value. The Romanian team was formed by Andrea Raducan, Maria Olaru, Loredana Boboc, Andrea Isarescu, Claudia Presacan and Simona Amânar.

In the individual competition held on September 21, the events took place in an unexpected and controversial manner. The big favorite was the Russian Svetlana Khorkina, double European champion.

An incident occurred when by mistake the organizers placed the jumping horse too low for the gymnasts. For this reason several of them suffered falls and even injuries during the competition. However, the error was not discovered until they went through the third rotation, of the four that comprise the event.

When the error was corrected and the horse was at the correct height, the judges decided that the gymnasts who had jumped in the first two rotations could make a new attempt.

Some gymnasts agreed to repeat their jump and others did not. The Romanian Andrea Raducan, who was one of those who had jumped with the horse to the wrong height, continued her competition without repeating her jump, and then made some exceptional performances in balance and floor bars. Finally she won the gold medal, while Simona Amânar took the silver and another Romanian, Maria Olaru, with the bronze. A full for Romania.

However the big scandal jumped days later, when it became public that the champion Andrea Raducan had tested positive for doping control for a substance called pseudoephedrine. The substance was contained in a medically named Nurofen, quite common in the treatment of colds. Raducan and her coaches said she was innocent and that she had only taken what the team doctor recommended.

In spite of everything, Raducan was stripped of the gold medal he had won in the individual competition, although they did not take the team gold to Romania or the silver that Raducan herself won days later in the jump final.

In this way the gold finally went to Simona Amânar, the silver to Maria Olaru and the bronze to the Chinese Zhang Nan

Both Amânar and Olaru supported their companion Raducan at all times. At first they thought about giving up their medals, but then they agreed to pick them up because they were medals won by their country, Romania. Amânar told reporters: “I did not win, Andrea won the gold medal and belongs to Andrea”

In the finals by equipment Simona Amânar tried to revalidate the gold medal jump that had achieved in Atlanta ’96. However missed the jump (a Yurchenko extended with 2½ turns) and ran out of medal. His only consolation was the bronze in his floor exercise.

In her two Olympic participations, Simona Amânar had won seven medals, three of them gold. However, for many, the real queen of the 2000 Sydney Games should have been Andrea Raducan.


At the end of that year, after the finals of the Glasgow World Cup and with 21 years old, Simona Amânar retired from gymnastics. She is currently married and has a child.

His style was not as elegant and showy as Khorkina, Raducan and other gymnasts. She was often criticized for being too robotic and not very expressive in her movements. However, he was very regular and maintained an impeccable trajectory for six years competing at the highest level, and adding 17 medals between Olympic Games and World Championships, something very few gymnasts have achieved.

It will also go down in history as one of the best in horse jumping history. And if we take into account that in Romania team competition is particularly valued, Amânar contributed decisively to recover the hegemony of this country in women’s gymnastics by winning four world titles and one Olympic title.

More Facts about Simona Amanar

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