Fabrica de Medalii – 10.03.2012

English Translation by: Romanian Gymnastics Fans

Andreea Raducan: How are the girls doing in Geography?
Georgeta Manolache: They are doing pretty well. What we try to do is teach them general things as they belong to different years and what they are supposed to learn is different. We are trying to bring everything together so that each one of them understands.

Andreea Raducan: Do you think they pay more attention to the places they go to after what you teach them here?
Georgeta Manolache: Yes, of course.

Andreea Raducan: Have they told you about the places they´ve already been to?
Georgeta Manolache: No, they are too young yet. The older girls have seen more.

Andreea Raducan: Do you notice when they are still focused on the training or are too tired after trainings?
Georgeta Manolache: We take it easy on them anyway because we know what training implies. They put in a lot of effort to be able to do both and I admire them a lot for their strength. They don´t do what the other kids normally do, they don´t have a normal childhood.

Andreea Raducan: Larisa, you´ve just come back from the American Cup, you are now at school and you are about to go to the next training. Aren´t you tired?
Larisa Iordache: I am tired, but this is worth it. This doesn´t matter if you want to be a champion.

Andreea Raducan: Do you have a favorite subject?
Larisa Iordache: I like Math. I like the others too…

Andreea Raducan: Diana, Larisa is the youngest in the group, do you help her along?
Diana Bulimar: Yes, of course we do. She had an important test last year and we helped her with her homework.

Andreea Raducan: Pitic, do you support each other? I noticed there´s another group of older girls. Do you ask them for advice with school?
Raluca Haidu: Yes, we do. If I can help, I do help. We support each other.

Andreea Raducan: What do you like about school?
Raluca Haidu: I don´t have any favorite subject, I like them all.

Andreea Raducan: Do you appreciate the effort your teachers make for you? You are part of a special class…
Raluca Haidu: Yes, we really appreciate that and we want to thank them for it.

Andreea Raducan: We joined the girls at school to try to understand what discipline – having a clear schedule you need to respect – means. How is their training going along?
Mariana Bitang: As you well know, from my point of view they can always do better. Basically, some of them are on schedule. Unfortunately, we had this problem with Sandra…She is away now for another check but we hope to receive good news and have her start working again. She says she is ok now, she can´t wait to get going. Not having been careful for a split of a second cost her 10 training days and you have to go back to what you were working on one month ago. But this is how elite sport goes, these things happen…We hope we won´t see many cases as this one. There are girls who are on schedule and are very close to what we expect of them and others who are farther away. The difference is made by their desire.

Andreea Raducan: You are a role model for the younger ones, they´ve told me they come to you when they have problems….
Catalina Ponor: Yes, they do. I want to be a role model for them because I am experienced and I am at an age when I can see and understand things differently.

Andreea Raducan: Undoubtedly, everyone is wondering who is going to be part of the Romanian team for the London Olympics. We support you and we are very interested in knowing more about your road to the Games, the training stages, your preparation for the Europeans. How is your training going along?
Catalina Ponor: It´s slowly going along. We try to add in difficulty every day and to go back to what gymnastics really means and what it meant before. We have a couple of check points with the Europeans and the World Cups. We´ll have to analyze the results there to see what might happen at the Olympics.

Andreea Raducan: Sandra really scared us, everyone was saying her injury was serious. I understood it was not serious after all, she just needs a couple of days off and then she can start working again.
Mariana Bitang: Sandra had a pretty serious injury in 2009 but we were not working with her then. That injury left a mark and every time you fall you remember that moment. In this case it was more the scare than the real injury. We consulted one of the best Romanian doctors – you know him very well as he saw you many times as well. We completely trust his judgment, but we sent her to Viena to try to speed things up. The diagnosis was the same and everything is fine now: Sandra feels ok but we don´t want to hurry into anything. We know the difference between being fully recovered and working in permanent pain until the Olympics for having hurried. We´d rather she waited a couple of days until she is fully recovered.

Catalina Ponor: You have to push even harder when you feel you cannot do it anymore. Results will then follow.

Andreea Raducan: You´ve just got back from the American Cup with a bronze medal. I understood you were not even nervous?
Larisa Iordache: I was nervous, but I tried to look at it from a positive angle. I did win a bronze medal but I want gold.

Andreea Raducan: Did you feel you had really well prepared rivals? They are experienced gymnasts while this is your first Senior year…
Larisa Iordache: It doesn´t matter this is my first Senior year because I have been training with the Seniors. I will try to be even better.

Andreea Raducan: Do you feel any pressure knowing that the gymnastics team has always come back with medals? People want you to keep the flag up and put their hopes in you for the Europeans and the Olympics. Does this put more pressure on you or does this motivate you to achieve great results?
Larisa Iordache: I feel some pressure, but not too much. I really want to bring Romania on the podium, the fact that people trust me and put their hopes in me is motivating.

Andreea Raducan: Mrs. Mariana told us earlier today that you did not perform all the skills you plan to perform. What are you working on?
Larisa Iordache: I want to add one skill on every event to increase in difficulty. And also to improve execution.

Andreea Raducan: Except the All Around, because I know you are looking to medal there, what is the apparatus that can bring you a gold medal at the Olympics?
Larisa Iordache: I really want to believe that beam is the one.

Andreea Raducan: Is beam your favorite?
Larisa Iordache: Yes.

Andreea Raducan: What is your relationship with the girls who have already been to the Olympics? Like Catalina, Sandra, Gabi Dragoi…Do you ask them about that? The atmosphere at the Olympics is different from the one at a World Championship for example…
Larisa Iordache: Yes, I have already asked and I can´t wait to see how it is. I hope to make the team, I really want to be there. I did ask but I really want to find out by myself. We get along well, we support each other. You don´t notice they are older because they help us a lot, they offer advice, we talk a lot. The fact that we are a team makes me happy.

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