Cristina Bontas (ROM)

Photo by Matt Barber

1987 International Japan Junior Invitational: 2nd AA, 1st V, 2nd UB, 2nd FX
1988 Junior European Championships: 3rd AA, 5th V, 7th FX
1988 Druzhba: 4th AA, 3rd V (tie), 3rd BB (tie), 1st FX (tie)
1988 Grand Prix de Rome: 1st AA
1989 Romanian International: 2nd AA, 3rd V, 2nd UB, 2nd FX
1989 World Championships: 2nd T, 4th AA, 2nd V (tie), 3rd FX
1989 Chunichi Cup: 3rd AA
1989 Tokyo Cup: 2nd V
1989 Europeans 9th AA, 3rd V, 3rd FX
1990 Blume Memorial: 11th AA
1990 European Championships: 7th AA, 2nd V, 7th UB, 7th FX
1990 Romanian Nationals: 1st AA
1990 Romanian Invitational: 2nd AA
1990 DTB cup: 4th AA
1990 World Cup: 6th AA, 7th V, 7th UB, 3rd BB, 7th FX
1991 European Championships: 9th AA
1991 Dutch Cup
1991 Chunichi Cup: 3rd AA
1991 DTB Cup: 4th AA
1991 Worlds: 3rd T, 3rd AA, 4th V, 7th UB, 8th BB, 1st FX
1992 Chunichi Cup: 2nd AA
1992 Olympics 2nd T, 4th AA, 4th BB, 3rd FX (tie)

The majority of these results were compiled from information found at Gymn Forum

Coached by the legendary Nadia Comaneci until Nadia's defection, and later by Mihai Sandulescu, Cristina Bontas was the surprise top Romanian at the 1989 World Championships, finishing ahead of the great Daniela Silivas and just behind the trio of Soviet medalists (Boguinskaia, Laschenova and Strazheva). While the 1989 World Championships were certainly Bontas' coming out party, she had been waiting in the wings for quite some time (she was actually the second - and therefore non-travelling - alternate on the 1988 Olympic team).

Following the 1989 World Championships, Bontas continued to assert her position as the new leader of the Romanian team - big shoes to fill after the legendary Silivas. Bontas led the Romanian effect at the 1990 World Cup, finishing a disappointing 6th place but less than .30 out of first place. Pegged as won to watch at the 1991 World Championships, Bontas did not disappoint, winning the bronze in the AA and tying for gold on the FX with the Soviet's Chusovitina. Interestingly, in their December 1991 issue, IG points out that tie between a Soviet and a Romanian on floor was the third in a row on that event at worlds. In 1987 Shushunova (URS) tied Daniela Silivas (ROM), and in 1989 Boguinskaia (URS) tied Daniala Silivas (ROM).

By this point, Bontas was certainly expected to lead the Romanians at the 1992 Olympics. Although she placed a respectable 4th AA and tied for third on FX, it was team member Lavinia Milosovici who shined in Barcelona, finishing 3rd overall, tying for first on vault and finishing first on floor.

Following the 1992 Olympics, Bontas moved to Milan, Italy for a short period. She returned to Romania to study at the Institute of Physical Education in Bucharest and work as a commentator for Romanian TV. After completing her studies, she coached briefly in Romania before accepting a 12 month contract with the Ellan Vannin Gymnastics Club, located on the small island north of Wales called The Isle Of Man. According to Gym Stars, the generous Bontas gave five of her old leotards to some of the gymnasts in her group.

Cristina Bontas was a spectator at the 2000 Canadian Olympic Trials.

When the contract was up, Bontas immigrated to Canada to coach at Hamilton's Mountain Star Gymnastics. She went back to Romania in 1998 to marry, returning to Canada without husband Gabi Tataru while they waited for immigration papers. After several months, her husband was able to join her in Canada, he too coaching at Hamilton Mountain Gym Elites (formerly Mountain Star Gymnastics).

In May of 1999, Bontas gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Elisa. The couple also have a son, born April 2002.

In Septermber 2003, Bontas and her husband opened their own gymnastics club in Hamilton, World Class Gymnastics. The club will mainly offer recreational gymnastics for children, but Bontas is open to higher level training as well. "...but if competitive kids are asking for training, how would I say no?" Bontas told the Hamilton Spectator.

. This page was created in 1999 and last updated September 2003.

 

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