Angela Ghimpu (ROM)

Photo used with the expressed permission of Shanfan. Check outShanfan's gymnastics site

1993 Balkan Championships: 1st T
1994 USA vs ROM: 1st T, 6th AA
1994 Goodwill Games: 2nd T, 13th AA
1994 Swiss Cup: 2nd V, 1st BB
1994 Grand Prix Rome: 2nd AA
1994 DTB Cup: 4th V, 7th B, 6th BB

Results courtesy of Gymn Forum.

Angela Ghimpu was born on January 24, 1978 in Marasesti, Romania, site of a famous WWII battle. She began gymnastics in 1983, at CSS Focsani under the guidance of Tatiana and Sergiu Popa. At the relatively late age of 15, Angela found herself representing Romania for the first time. At these 1993 Balkan Championships, Angela and her teammates predictably captured gold in the team competition.

In 1994 the USA invited Romania to compete in a dual meet. Angela was not originally scheduled to compete, but at the last minute a member of the planned competitive line up was pulled and Angela was chosen as the replacement. Octavian Belu apparently spent 7.5 hours waiting in the Washington Dulles airport with Angela for authorities to issue her a last minute VISA.

Angela had the meet of her life in the USA, exceeding Belu's expectations - not an easy thing to do! Her floor exercise, performed to Axel f (theme from Beverly Hills Cop), hinted of the originality that had been missing in much gymnastics for some time. Her performances paid off, and she was assigned to several important competitions later that year including grand prix events and the Goodwill Games.

Angela's only individual medals were won at the 1994 Swiss Cup (1st BB, 2nd V) and 1994 Rome Grand Prix (2nd AA). In late 1994/early 1995 a serious bout of pneumonia took her out of competition for some time, after which she was never able to regain competitive form. She retired, a great shame because her routines were anything but stock.

Unlike many of her former teammates, Angela remained in Romania for many years. She's spotted at many local competitions, including the 2000 Romanian International, at which she sported jet black hair - quite a different look from her competitive days!

Angela is now married to a fellow Romanian. The couple live in Italy.

. This page was created on April 22, 2001 and last updated August 26 2003.


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