The Class of 2011 sat down for formal interviews with
IG Editor Dwight Normile during their induction into
the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in May.
IT is hard to believe that Lavinia Milosovici never won a major all-around title, but she did earn a world or Olympic gold on all four events, a rare feat in itself. Born Oct. 21, 1976, in Lugoj, Romania, Milosovici lives in Timisoara now with her husband, Cosmin Vanatu, a
police officer. The couple had a daughter, Denisa, in 2004, who died at
age 4 from complications from her premature birth. Milosovici preferred
not to discuss her loss for this interview, but thoughtfully answered questions about her career, her rivals and her opinion of the sport today.
When you look back on your career, what
images come to mind? I remember the first
steps I made in the gym and all the years that
went by [that] I spent in the gym, like the training, hard times, good times, pleasant times and
Do you regret not winning a major all-around gold? I don’t regret it. I know that
every athlete puts on a list those titles, but I
think I completed that record with the other
medals that I won in my career.
Which accomplishments do you value the
most? Every athlete wishes to go to the
Olympic Games. I am very satisfied that I had
good results in two Olympic Games.
“I don’t regret [not winning
a major all-around title],
but I think I completed that
record with the other medals
that I won in my career.”
through that, too. I was happy that there was a
very good team, and I think we had very good
results during that time. And I was happy to be
a part of it.
Can Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang
lead Romania back to the top? We hope
they can. But even now, in Berlin (2011
European Championships), you could see some
of the results of them being back on the top.
Did you ever think about making a comeback after the 1996 Olympics? I wished I
could do that but I had some health problems
with my back and my ankle. Maybe if I didn’t
have those problems I would have tried to come
Do you still keep in touch with your teammates? I speak on the phone with Cristina
Bontas, Vanda (Hadarean), Maria Neculita,
most of them.
Who were your biggest rivals? The Russians,
but I think we were so well prepared that I
don’t think we had rivalries at that time.
You were part of the Romanian streak of
team victories. How did that make you feel?
That was during a time when we had many
Europeans and world championships, and it
was also during a time when there was a
change in the Code of Points, so I had to go
What do you think of the ne w gymnastics
rules? I don’t like it, because I can’t quite
understand it. I think that before, the scores
looked much better when you saw a 9. 9, 9.85,
10. Nobody understands exactly what [the
scores] mean [today]. When somebody gets the
highest score, it’s not like it gets published,
‘Oh, this is a perfect whatever.’
Milosovici celebrates her 10.0-floor
exercise gold with Octavian Bellu at
the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
What was your reaction when you were
invited to be in the Hall of F ame. I was very
happy. I didn’t know exactly what the entire
meaning was of the Hall of Fame. I looked and
saw what was going on. I am very honored to
be here. IG