Great web-site discovered

I have just discovered a very nice website: ( Romania's Champions). Many interesting interviews can be found there, a few of which are with some Romanisn gymnastics' greatest stars. I read today a fascinatingly sincere and long interview with Nicolae Forminte. For a long time I wanted to write an article about him but having found this article, I no longer consider it necessary. Over the next days I will do my best to translate it in English. So here is part one:

Nicolae Forminte, a champion coach (Part 1)

Nicolae Forminte speaks about the state of Romanian gymnastics after the couple Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang have left the national team. Although people were considerring him the loser in this situation, as a successor of the ones mentioned above, he has managed to reach his objectives and, moreover, looks at the future contests with optimist.

Why Gymnastics?

I could say that my destiny wanted so. Initially, I wanted play football, as any other boy, but I wasn’t tall enough, I was too small, then Athletics became fashionable but I had the same problem with the height. In the end I was directed towards a gym, at about 8-9. There, at CSS1 Constanta I met a great man, if I were to call him only a coach, it would be too little. I can say that since then I have spent about 40 years in gymnastics.

How did you begin to coach?

I became a coach, with a diploma, in 1981, when I graduated from the University, but starting with my second year of studies I was sent to the gym as an apprentice. Back then, the Sports Academy had been dissolved and at the faculties that studied the sports the courses lasted for onlyr 3 years now. Only the first three students from every faculty were sent to Buchatest for a 4th year, then, they were able chose their speciality- I chose gymnastics, of course. For the foreign students, the 4th year was the final year but for the Romanians, the diploma was split into 2: you got one diploma for your 3 years, that wasn’t valid outside the country and a different certificate for graduating the specialty, which was recognized worldwide. It was a very selective year and you could refuse to do it, but very few would do this because the jobs that you had access to later, were better, and it was in general a guarantee that you would be hired in a city.

How did you get to Deva?

It was the normal course, I worked for 10 years at the local club in Constanta, I had good results and I trained some gymnasts that were selected for the national team. Then, Simona Amanar’s moment came and I was selected along with her for the national team in Deva. It is true, I had had the „Daniela Maranduca moment” before that and she was already in Deva. I remained there, in trials from 1992 until 1993 when I was oficially named.

What does gymnastics mean to you?

It means Nicolae Forminte. Without it I wouldn’t be what I am today. It is the road the destiny brought me to and it brought me where I am today. I could not say that I regret or I am happy about it, I did something that I enjoyed and I still like it very much, I had the chance to find very talented children too. First of all I am grateful to the two emblematic gymnasts for me, at a club lever : Daniela Maranduca and Simona Amanar.

What did Simoma have that Daniela did not?

Daniela did not have the same chance Simona had, meaning she was taken away from me, by force in 1988 and sent to the centralized camp. Back then, you couldn’t express you disaproval although I did! It was then that my hair started to go gray! I told some people, older or newer, that were in control of the city’s administration, that, because I wasn’t a member of the Communist Party, they couldn’t tie me down and do what they wanted with me. I was probably a bit ignorant or I didn’t really care much because that year I had lost my mother and for me nothing was important any more. So Daniela did not have the chance to go with me to the national team but equally, she did not have the patience and the tenacity to tolerate me in training. On the other hand, Simona was able to absorb and demonstrate about 85% of all I knew about gymnastics. The difference between Maranduca and Amanar also consists of elegance. Daniela was very elegant and talented but she had less ability to work, but Simona had only the necessary amount of talent and a great ability to work hard.

How would you characterize yourself?

I have adapted or I have tried to adapt to the social command willingly or without my will. I could say that the education, no matter the domain in which you work, must determine you to „fold” on the social command. You either follow the line drawn by the ministry and the others that rule the social life or you are removed. I think I have managed to adapt to all the trends. I have trained gymnasts when the coach had to be tough, because that was a well regarded feature in the selection CV and now in this democratic stage, when the coach must show a lot of understanding, to accept many compromises and to entirely change the sportsman-coach relationship.

How much has the sport changed since you have become a coach?

Gymnastics is now a challenge to the extent to which it forces you to operate with different means. The disobedience, the indiscipline, the personality, lack of will, lack of ambition of the subjects with whom you work, must be replaced in some way by the coach or you must induce to the gymnasts different ways than the ones that used to be in place. Today, a coach is more the one under the loop; today as a coach you are less apreciated and more denigrated, and no one understands that this man has to do the same things but with different tools. There is no purpose in asking me to break the concrete as others did before, but with a little hammer when others were able to use the rigs. For me this is a challenge, still...

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