Sad news came from the Romanian camp when two members of the national team, Gabi Dragoi and Amelia Racea decided to retire. TCG caught up with both these girls recently, talking about their decision to retire and their plans for their futures. In this article, Romanian writer Bea Gheorghisor remembers the career of Dragoi, followed by a chat with the recently retired gymnast. Look out for our interview with Racea, coming soon.
Gabriela Dragoi became famous almost overnight when, at the 2008 Olympics, she was the only Romanian to qualify for the balance beam final. Back then, Romania was perceived as the team of Nistor, Izbasa and the rest and it was unexpected that another Romanian gymnast would have the opportunity to shine in an individual final. When both Sandra Izbasa and Steliana Nistor had a less than stellar qualifying round, Gabi Dragoi did her job and grabbed the 7th place for the final.
Long-time followers of Romanian gymnastics know that Gabi did not appear exactly out of nowhere: she was the 2008 national beam champion, a European champion with the Romanian team in Clermond-Ferrand and, in the friendly meets leading to the Games, she had had good results on beam and in the all around. Yet, from these good results to being able to deliver under the pressure of an Olympics event final was still a long way. During the final Gabriela demonstrated why she deserved to be there, managing a very fluid and stylish routine and finishing 5th...
...read the entire article and the interview with Gabi on TCG