Whatever Happened to
Beáta Storczer?

Beáta Storczer's Competitive Results

1981 Antibes International: 14th AA
1984 Junior Euros: 9th AA, 4FX
1984 Druzhba: 29th AA
1984 Olomouc (Alternate Games): 5th T, 16th AA
1984 Ontario Cup: 6th AA, 5th V, 3rd UB, 1st FX
1985 Euros: 13thAA, 8th FX
1985 GDR-Hungary dual meet: 10th AA
1985 Worlds: 8th T, 25th AA
1986 Belgian Gym Masters: 10th AA
1986 Riga International: 10th AA, 3rd FX
1986 West Germany-Hungary dual meet: 6th AA
1986 Italy-Hungary dual meet: 2nd AA
1987 Athens International: 7th AA, 3rd FX
1987 Blume Memorial: 10th AA
1987 Barcelona: 10th AA, 4th UB
1987 Kosice: 6th AA, 4th UB, 1st FX
1987 HUN-HOL-GDR: 4th AA
1987 Vitkovice: 4th AA
1987 Euros: 14th AA, 8th UB, 5th FX
1987 Worlds: 7th T, 24th AA
1988 American Cup: 4th AA
1988 International Mixed Pairs: 8th T
1988 Hungarian International: 3rd AA
1988 Olympics: 8th T, 23rd AA, 5th FX
1989 Paris International: 6th AA
1989 Euros: 15th AA, 8th UB
1989 Worlds: 9th T
1990 Bosphorus Cup: 7th AA

Results courtesy of Gymn Forum and Erzsébet Büki.
For a photo of Storczer, please visit Gymn Forum's tribute to Storzcer

Photo by Tom Theobald.
Check out Tom's photography site!

Tribute courtesy of Erzsébet Büki
and modified by Jenn

Prior to the early 1980s, the Hungarian women's artistic gymnastics program was relatively successful. Their gymnasts showed respectable standings in major competitions and qualified to a decent number of event finals in major championships. Unfortunately, the 1980-1984 quadrennium marked a drought in Hungarian gymnastics. 

Promising juniors, like Tünde Zsilinszki (1982 Jr. European champion on beam), emerged but no real breakthroughs came. The Hungarians experienced disappointment even in their own backyard: At the 1983 World Championships (held in Budapest, Hungary) the Hungarian team placed 9th (their worst finish in over 30 years of competition), Erika Csányi (their top AA gymnast) failed to place in the top 15, and not one gymnast qualified to the event finals. Among the main reasons for these weaknesses were the frequent injuries that set back young talents and the fact that the most difficult skills of the time (e.g., full-ins on floor) were missing from their repertoire of skills. 

In 1984, a new generation of Hungarian gymnasts emerged. Beáta Storczer was perhaps the most illustrious of the new generation of gymnasts, with an excellent repertoire of skills. Like many eastern European gymnasts, she gained valuable experience as a youngster at the Junior European and Druzhba (Junior Friendship) competitions. Her performances impressed the Hungarian team leaders, and she was selected for the 1984 Hungarian Olympic team. Leading up to the Olympics, she and her teammates trained for two weeks in Deva with the Romanian team. Unfortunately, the Hungarian team never made it to the Olympics. Because of the Soviet boycott, the Hungarians found themselves competing in the Alternate Games (Olomouc) instead. This was Storczer's first major competition, and she did well - she was the first alternate on floor. 

Throughout her career, Storczer was known for her floor work. She was the first Hungarian female gymnast to master the full-in on floor (granted, teammate Andrea Ladányi was not far behind), and by 1987 she was performing double layouts. Storczer's skills on FX were complemented by top-notch choreographer. In an attempt to salvage their program, the Hungarians brought Natalia Klimenko, a famous Soviet choreographer, to Hungary to work with the national team. The hard work paid off and Storczer went on to qualify to the floor event finals at three major competitions during her career (1985 Euros, 1987 Euros, and the 1988 Olympics).

At the 1985 European Championships, Storczer qualified to the floor finals in 4th place. A medal was within reach, but sadly she sad down her final double tuck, finishing 8th. For the 1985 World Championships, the Hungarians assembled an incredibly strong team. Prior to the start of the competition, head coach József Lukács voiced his approval, "It has been a long time since we have had such a strong team. I've got no reason to complain." The Hungarians finished 8th as a team, an improvement over the 1983 World Championships. Although Storczer just missed the floor finals (she was again the first alternate), the Hungarians did qualify a gymnast to floor - Andrea Ladányi's spot in the line up proved the power and depth of the team. 

At the 1987 European Championships, Storzcer's strong skills (full-in, double layout, double tuck, etc.) and choreography earned her a 5th place finish on floor. Storczer had officially made a name for herself. The 1988 Olympics were fast approaching, and Storczer appeared to be peaking just in time. 

Leading up to the Olympics, the Hungarian coaches introduced a special rule for in-house competitions (competitions between Hungarian gymnasts). In an attempt to curb their frequent problem of stepping out of bounds, it was decided that this error would result in a 0.2 point deduction (rather than the regular 0.1 deduction). Even a stop on the line was counted as a mistake. Storczer made the Olympic floor finals, but ironically stepped out of bounds, finishing 5th. She would not have medalled even without the step, so her 5th place finish was welcomed anyways. She was seen as having lifted Hungarian women's gymnastics out of mediocrity.

The 1988 Olympics are surely very memorable for Storzcer for another reason as well. It was during these Games that her fiancé (and now husband) János Martinek became Olympic champion in modern pentathlon (both in individual and team competition). She was the first to give him a kiss at the destination-point!

Storczer did not retire after the Olympics. Originally slotted to be the alternate, she found herself competing at the 1989 European Championships in Brussels when teammate Valéria Kiss was injured during podium training. At 20 years of age, she was by far the most experienced Hungarian entry. Although she finished 8th on the uneven bars, the attention had turned to young Hungarian superstar Henrietta Onodi.

Storczer's last major competition was the 1989 World Championships. Unfortunately, the events of this competition remain an unpleasant memory for her. Prior to team finals, she injured her leg during warm-up and would not compete. Her teammates viewed the injury as a means of escape (a "cop out") and Storczer criticized her harshly, feeling that she had left the team in the lurch. Onodi's comment was the mildest, "I know that Bea's leg hurts, but whose doesn't? She could have set her jaw for the team." Storczer was ostracized, forced to watch the final rotation (four best teams) compete apart from her teammates. 

Although Storczer continued to compete past the 1989 World Championships, her heart was not in gymnastics. In an interview in 1990, she spoke about her love for flowers. She later went on to attend a course on becoming a florist. Storzcer obviously never lost her love for competition though. She later took up aerobics, competing quite successfully (she often medalled at Hungarian Nationals). 

Storczer currently resides in Budapest. She is married to János Martinek (her fiancé from the 1988 Olympic Games) and they have either one or two children.

. This page was created on February 17, 2000.


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