May 212014

In Sofia, between 12 and 18 May the 30th edition of the European Women Gymnastics Championships wrote its story. The medal record is already history: gold for the senior team (Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Andreea Munteanu, Stefnia Stanila and Silvia Zarzu), gold on floor, silver on beam, bronze on vault and 6th place on uneven bars for Larisa Iordache, 4th place on floor for Diana Bulimar, bronze for the junior team(Laura Jurca, Andreea Iridon, Anda Butuc, Andreea Ciurusniuc and Andra Stoica), silver in the all-around, silver on vault and 5th place on floor for Laura Jurca, silver on beam, silver on floor, 6th place in the all-around for Andreea Iridon and 6th place on beam for Anda Butuc.

Although a very productive Euro edition for team Romania we have to think of it as just a step to the bigger goal: a medal at the upcoming Olympic Games. Hopefully the beautiful moment from Sofia will turn out to be a just the beginning of a long line of successes.

Puzzle team was present body and soul in Sofia both in the media space and in the supporters’ area. As we couldn’t stay away, our hearts beat with and for them in all those moments. Results are history and memories we will keep with us forever. We want to share with you some of the special moments the Romanian fans have experienced at these Euros. Here are the gymnasts for whom the Romanian fans sighed for with emotion, joy, regret or indignation:

Romania’s senior team (Unstoppable in the team final)

Romania’s junior team (Overcoming beginners nerves and lack of experience )

Laura Jurca (Managing an extremely difficult moment on the uneven bars)

Andreea Iridon (So close to gold. The fans believed in it: “Bravo Andreea!, Bravo Andreea!…)

Larisa Iordache (Best gymnast in Sofia)

 Roxana Popa (We are so proud of her!  “Hai Roxana, Hai Roxana!..”)

Noemi Makra (So beautiful and so underrated… Romanian fans loved her!)

Anna Pavlova (Impossible not to love Anna Pavlova! “Davai Anna!”)

Becky Downie (A much expected medal. Romanian fans appreciated her value.)

Maike Enderle (German girls were favorites in the UB junior final)

Claudia Fragapane (Appreciating even the most dangerous competitors)

Mar 262014


Between 22-23 March 2014, the traditional competition “Trofeo Citta di Jesolo” had amongst competitors young juniors and seniors from Romania.

The junior team was composed of : Anda Butuc, Andra Stoica, Andreea Iridon, Asiana Peng, Laura Jurca and Stefania Orzu while in the senior competition we were represented by: Andreea Munteanu, Stefania Stanila and Silvia Zarzu.

The junior team succeeded a total of 212.900 , finishing in a silver earning 2nd place.  Laura Jurca was the highest individually ranked Romanian in 4th place with a strong total of 55.500 while Anda Butuc was 12th with a total of 52.050, Stefania Orzu 19th  (50.150) and Asiana Peng 22nd (49.950). In the vault final, Laura Jurca won the bronze medal (14.234), behind Bailie Key (14.934) and Jordan Chiles (14.350). On the uneven bars Anda Butuc was 4th with 13.200. Beam specialist, Andreea Iridon won the bronze medal (14.300),behind Norah Flatley (14.667) and Bailie Key (14.533). The floor final brought a second medal for the tiny Laura Jurca – a silver one (13.733) while Andra Stoica with a watered down routine was 7th (13.000).

In the senior field, Andreea Munteanu surpassed her competitors on beam, earning a much deserved gold medal (14.833). She was followed by Elisa Meneghini and Alyssa Baumann who tied for 2nd place (14.200) and by Natsumi Sasada (14.00). Stefania Stanila was 5th (13.700). In the floor final gold went Mikayla Skinner (14.533), silver to Kyla Ross (14.233) and bronze to Andreea Munteanu (13.967). Stefania Stanila was 5th again (13.633). In the all around, Andreea Munteanu and Stefania Stanila placed 13th (54.500) and 14th (54.450)respectively.

The competition served as a useful verification for our young junior and new seniors for the upcoming European Championships. The results are optimistic and even though there are still details to be corrected and adjusted as well as confidence to be built, the girls proved to be on a very good track.

We would like to thank our contributor Anna Meneghel  and our friends who have helped us with the photos: Filippo Tomasi, Silvia Vatteroni, Virginia Nastia Magnani, Luigi Fardella, Giulia Zanetti. (©)

May 062013

At the beginning of the year 16 juniors were selected to  strengthen the Olympic team training at Izvorani. Together with the 4 seniors remained in the post Olympic fight, the new members of the team are now the first offensive  line in the Rio Olympics strategy.


Daniela AndreiDaniela Andrei is a gymnast that raised a lot of hopes over the years, being thought to be one of the most talented gymnast of the current generation. Unfortunately she did not live up to her potential yet, being slowed down by health issues and by limited competitive experience. But she keeps fighting, and with more luck, we are sure she can prove her true value. She comes from CSS Buzau club, where she trained with Tanta Patrut and Constantin Clinciu, she then prepared at Onesti junior center and  Deva and Izvorani Olympic centers. She is senior since 2009.

Dana, elegant and precise on beam


Madalina BlendeaMadalina Blendea, athlete of CNS Cetate Deva club and student of Adela Popa and Ioan Coroiu was a usual presence on the  awarding podiums, dominating her age category until last year when some medical issues have occurred and prevented her from competing since. She is a complete, 4 events gymnast, with very polished executions  and presentations and a special affinity for uneven bars, having  nice lines and good rhythm on this apparatus. She becomes senior in 2015.

Mada and a very promising uneven bars routine


Diana BulimarDiana Bulimar, the reliable soldier of the Olympic team, reinvented through her individual successes at this year’s  Euro’s is a Izvorani team member since 2010. She now represents CS Dinamo Bucharest club but has started gymnastics at CSS 1 Timisoara under Mariana Tomceanu and Marcel Benea and was  later part of Onesti and Deva junior teams. She is a multiple European and Olympic medalist as both a junior and a senior. She always excelled on floor and beam, she was safe and precise on uneven bars for the team and this year she showed great vault potential announcing herself as a powerful contented for big events all-around final. She needs to raise her difficulty level to increase her individual chances. She is senior since 2011.

A golden floor


Anda ButucAnda Butuc comes from CSS 2 Bucharest club where she was coached by Liliana Plisca, Bianca Abrudean and Ancuta Gheorghe-Dan. In 2012 she was part of Deva junior team. She is a longilin, elegant gymnast, with beautiful posture, highly competitive on beam and uneven bars, needing a bit more work on the leg events. She turns senior in 2016.

Anda,best on beam at Nadia International


Andreea CiurusniucAndreea Ciurusniuc is one of the 3 Steaua gymnasts present at Izvorani, being a talented and dynamic athlete, with great potential on all apparatus. Being under centralized training since 2012,when she was selected for Deva junior team, she made a rapid technical improvement, learning a lot of new elements, and perfecting execution quality. She will be senior eligible in 2016.

A lively floor

IordacheLarisa Iordache is, as we know, our most complete gymnast. Athlete of Dinamo club, discovered by coach Mariana Cimpeanu Silisteanu, Larisa was part of Onesti and Deva junior teams before she was selected for Izvorani Olympic team. She is a multiple European champion and medalist at both junior and senior level and also a team bronze medalist at London Olympics.  She is excellent on beam, floor and vault and has great potential for uneven bars too. Being thought to be one of the best contenders for the all-around titles in London, Larisa could not defend her chances being hampered by a leg injury. “She has explosion and speed. She is a mix of acrobatic complexity and artistic qualities ” (Mariana Bitang). 2013 is her second year as a senior.

Lari’s most recent gold

Andreea IridonAndreea Iridon, one of the most complete gymnasts of the new generation, comes from CNS Cetate Deva club, and was coached by  Adela Popa and Ioan Coroiu. She is an elegant, flexible gymnast with nice extension, she excels on beam and uneven bars but is also competitive on vault and floor. She has yet to gain on consistency. She is one to remember! Becomes senior in 2015.

Complexity and precision – Andreea on uneven bars

Sandra IzbasaThe well-known Sandra Izbasa, double Olympic champion does not need any presentation, we all know her special, unique qualities: she is elegant, powerful and unstoppable. We all learned through the years that we should never underestimate her.  Always adapting and besting herself, Sandra went through different stages: all-around gymnast, beam and floor specialist, floor specialist, vault and floor specialist and again all-around gymnast, every phase having its own medals. And now she still finds motivation and pleasure in doing gymnastics being an extraordinary model of determination and ambition for all little gymnasts  and for all of us.  She began gymnastics at Steaua club under the guidance of  Lia Ceampelea, Eliza Stoica, Angela Cacoveanu, Gheorghe Neagu, Marius Vintila  and Mariana Ristea.

A special floor

Laura JurcaLaura Jurca was part of a very valuable team of gymnasts from CNS Cetate Deva, coached by Adela Popa and Ioan Coroiu. She is a tiny yet powerful gymnast, with great acrobatic abilities. She is constantly improving on her artistic qualities as well. She is an extremely tenacious gymnast. Will be senior in 2015.

A champion’s floor performance

Teea MileaTeea Milea, currently the only Constanta girl in  Izvorani team, trained at Farul Constanta with coaches: Clementa Garabet, Daniela Maranduca Nicolai and Remus Nicolai. She is a beam and floor specialist being troubled by uneven bars in competitions although she is quite good in training. She will become senior in 2016.

An artist performance – Teea on floor

Andreea Munteanu Andreea Munteanu, multiple Junior European gymnast last year, represents CNS Cetate Deva club where she trained with  Mirela Dicu, Alexandru Militaru, Lenuta Slabu and Sorin Tolteanu. She was selected for Deva Junior team in 2011 and she made a fast and spectacular improvement, becoming one of the most appreciated young gymnasts in the world for the high quality of her executions. She is excellent on beam and floor, a good vaulter but needs to improve on bars. She will be senior  in 2014.

Andreea – a great floor performance

Ioana NicoaraIoana Nicoara is also a CNS Cetate Deva club athlete. She has worked with coaches: Alexandru Militaru, Lenuta Slabu, Sorin Tolteanu and later with Ioan Coroiu and Adela Popa. She is a longilin, elegant and flexible gymnast who improved a lot in the last years. With a bit more confidence she could overcome the completion hesitations that are hindering her. She will be eligible for senior competitions in 2014.

Improving on uneven bars

Ana Maria OcolisanAna Maria Ocolisan, also from CNS Cetate Deva club, student of Alexandru Militaru, Lenuta Slabu, Sorin Tolteanu, is one of the 2 seniors promoted to Izvorani team this year. She is a complete, 4 events gymnast, very clean and precise. She needs to add difficulty to her routines if she wants to be competitive in the international scene.

Concentration and precision – Ana on beam

Asiana Li-Da PengAsiana Peng, the little gymnast from CNS Cetate Deva is one of our biggest hopes for Rio 2016. She was trained at Deva by Cristinel Micu, Gina Gogean, Luciana Rusan, Lenuta Slabu, Ioan Coroiu and Adela Popa. She is a very pleasant gymnast, with polished, beautiful execution, explosive and graceful in the same time. The raise in difficulty  will make her a threat for  any international event. She will become senior in the Olympic year.

Asiana, champion’s refinement

Stefania Alina StanilaStefania Stanila, the other new senior of the team, comes also from CNS Cetate Deva where she trained under Mirela Dicu, Alexandru Militaru, Lenuta Slabu and Sorin Tolteanu. She is a Junior European medalist last year, a valuable, powerful gymnast, under technical improvement, more competitive on vault and floor, having very promising acrobatic abilities.

A complex floor routine

Andra StoicaAndra Stoica, a Dinamo club athlete, prepared by coach Mariana Cimpeanu Silisteanu was part of Onesti and later Deva junior teams, where she mastered a great array of skills. She is a powerful, energetic although small gymnast. She is less known,  having a limited competitive experience, but she has what it takes to become a big name of  Romanian gymnastics. She’ll be senior in the Olympic year.

A valuable beam

Diana TeodoruDiana Teodoru, the only athlete of  SCM Bacau  present at  Izvorani, club coached by Corneliu and Vasilica Agop, is a gymnast that improved a lot over the last years while training at Onesti and Deva junior teams. She is powerful and energetic. She has yet to gain some consistency but this can only come with experience which in her case is quite limited at the moment. She turns senior next year.

Rhythm and energy

Paula Cristina TudorachePaula Tudorache, Dinamo club athlete, discovered and guided by Adriana Musat and Anca Draghici is a special gymnast, very elegant and graceful. She is a beam and bars specialist. By exploiting her artistic potential she can become competitive on floor too. She is in her last year as a junior.

Grace and expressivity

Cristina VrabieCristina Vrabie, a student of  Steaua Bucharest team of coaches (Eliza Stoica, Angela Cacoveanu and Gheorghe Neagu) is a very talented, longilin, elegant gymnast, with clean execution. She has real shots of making the Olympic team being capable of improvement on all events. She’ll be senior in 2016.

A stylish floor

Silvia ZarzuSilvia Zarzu, one of ours most valuable junior gymnasts, comes from CSM Onesti where she trained with Ileana Hrisca, Luminita Eftimiu and Eugen Grosu. She is a dynamic, charismatic gymnast, strong on floor, vault and beam. She does not have great bars abilities but she can improve on her strongest apparatus becoming a specialist for event finals.

Silvery performance at last year’s Euros

The coaching staff has also renewed: Octavian Bellu, Mariana Bitang, Ioan Coroiu, Alexandru Militaru, Cristian Moldovan, Lacramioara Moldovan, Adela Popa and Lucian Sandu are now the coaches in charge.

Oct 022012
Anda Mihaela Butuc

© Dan Mares

General Info

Name: Anda Mihaela Butuc
Born 21 June 2000
Club: CS Dinamo Bucharest (since 2014)
CSS 2 Bucharest
Club coaches: Bianca Abrudean, Ancuta Gheorghe-Dan, Liliana Plisca
Deva Junior National Team member since 2011
Deva Junior National Team coaches: Alexandru Militaru, Cristian Moldovan, Lacramioara Moldovan, Gheorghe Orban (head coach), Adela Popa, choreographer Corina Dorean
Izvorani Olympic Team member since 2013
Izvorani Olympic Team coaches: Octavian Bellu (head coach), Maria Bitang (head coach), Ioan Coroiu, Alexandru Militaru (2013), Cristian Moldovan, Lacramioara Moldovan, Adela Popa, Lucian Sandu

Competition Results

  • 2014: Friendly Meet Fra-Bel-Rou, Avoine – 1st place with team Romania, 15th place AA; Trofeo Citta di Jesolo – 2nd place with team Romania, 12th place AA, 4th place UB; Junior European Championships, Sofia – bronze medal with team Romania, 6th place BB; Senior Nationals – 11th place AA, 8th place UB
  • 2013: Nadia Comaneci International Invitational, Oklahoma – 8th place with team Romania, 1st place BB; Senior Nationals – 3rd place with team CSA Steaua – CSS2  Bucharest, 8th place AA, 3rd place BB, 5th place UB; Junior Individual Nationals – 1st place AA, 2nd place UB and BB (category II, level 5)
  • 2012: School Nationals – 3rd place with team CSS 2 Bucharest, 1st place BB, 2nd place UB (category III, level 4); Junior Team Nationals – 1st AA score (category III, level 4); Junior Individual Nationals – 3rd place UB – the only apparatus she competed on (category III, level 4); Senior Nationals – 2nd place BB, 4th place UB (hopefuls division); Tournoi International de Gymnastique d’Arques – 1st place with team Romania (Cristina Vrabie), 3rd place AA, 1st place BB, 3rd place UB (age group 1)
  • 2011School Nationals – 4th place AA, 1st place UB and FX, 5th place BB (category III, level 3); Junior Team Nationals – 1st AA score (category III, level 3); Junior Individual Nationals – 4th place AA, 4th place BB, 6th place UB (category III, level 3)
  • 2010School Nationals – 1st place with team CSS 2 Bucharest, 2nd place AA, 1st place UB and BB, 3rd place FX (category IV, level 2); “Little Gymnast” Nationals – 1st place with team CSS 2 Bucharest, 2nd place AA, 2nd place UB, 3rd place BB, 5th place FXl (category IV, level 2); Junior Team Nationals – 9th AA score (category III, level 3); Junior Individual Nationals – 10th place AA, 1st place UB, 8th place BB (category III, level 3)
  • 2009School Nationals – 1st place AA, 1st place UB and FX, 3rd place VT and BB (category IV, level 1); Little Gymnast” Nationals – 2nd place AA, 2nd place UB and FX, 3rd place VT and BB (category IV, level 1)

Photo Gallery

  • 2013 Senior Nationals, Bucharest (© Dan Mares)
  • 2012 Tournoi International de Gymnastique d’Arques
  • Team Competition/ All-Around (© Benoit Bonatre)
  • Apparatus Finals (© Benoit Bonatre)
  • 2012 Senior Nationals, Onesti
  • Team Final (© Dan Mares)
  • Apparatus Finals (© Dan Mares)
  • 2011 Junior Individual Nationals, Focsani (© CSS 2 Bucharest)
  • 2010 Junior Individual Nationals, Bacau (© Ionut Branzei)