Teodora Ungureanu (ROM) - November 13th, 1960.
Teodora Ungureanu was born one day after, but one year earlier than her best friend and teammate Nadia Comaneci.
Although she was somewhat overshadowed by the fame of her superstar team mate, Teodora was an elegant, consistent and very successful competitor. She contributed to Romania’s team silver in Montréal in 1976, while also having her own individual triumphs. Although she missed out on an all around medal (fourth) she won won silver on bars and bronze on the beam.
She was unable to follow up on this tremendous success at the European Championships in Prague a year later, however, due to the fact that the Romanian contingent, unhappy with the scoring of Nadia Comaneci, made the team walk out during the event finals. Instead Teodora left empty handed.
In 1978 Teodora was once again part of the Romanian team that won when silver at the World Championships.
Between 1976 and 1979 she would compete in many international gymnastics meet for Romania, often taking medals in the team and all around competitions. Her last appearance in competition came in 1979 at the University Games in Mexico City where she finished first all-around.
After her retirement she married Sorin Cepoi and they worked on the circus for some years. Later on they moved to France where they coached until the early 90s. Afterwards they moved to the United States and today they run Dynamic Gymnastics in New York where Teodora and Sorin coach 2011 World Team Member Sabrina Vega. Romanian star Catalina Ponor worked with them for a time at the gym.
She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001.
Watch her intricate and beautiful bars set at the 1976 Games:
Teodora’s floor music from the 1976 Olympics was later used by teammate Emilia Eberle and by Mary Lou Retton in Los Angeles 1984. Here’s a video showing the three performances to the same music. Ungureanu was beautiful on floor:
Article: Isabel Zamora
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