Turning Daughter Into America’s Gymnastics Rival, Romanian Olympian Opens Up on Their “Greatest Advantage” in the Sport

Published 01/25/2024, 11:52 AM EST

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A Romanian teen gymnast who used to accompany her mother, an Olympics silver medallist, to gymnastics practice, has her sight set for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Together, they both believe that the underlying connection of mother-daughter gives their team a clear advantage. “I see that it(their practice) bears fruit, and we want the fruits to grow more and more,” The 1988 Olympic silver medalist, 53, told Olympics.com.

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In the comfort of their home, the senior ex-gymnast groomed her 15-year-old daughter for her debut international gold in Doha last year. As they prepare for the upcoming Summer Olympics, the young buck is being imbued with a lot of tidbits and trying to hold her own against the global gymnastics dominating team – the US.

Gymnastics face-off puts mother-daughter to rigorous practice

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Under the coaching of her mother, Camelia Voinea, a 1988 Romanian Olympian gymnast, Sabrina Maneca-Voinea, a new senior, made a significant impact in 2023. The mother-and-daughter team is hard at work improving their performance going into the new year. Talking about their bond with FIG, Camelia said, Nobody knows your own kid better than you, and that’s my greatest advantage. It’s pure joy and happiness, because we have this sport in our blood. She is the blessing of my life.”

Just last year, Maneca-Voinea debuted for the senior national team in March at the World Cup in Doha (QAT) winning gold medals in both the balance beam and floor events. She went on to earn a bronze medal in the European Championships in May in floor exercise, which prepared her for the World’s in Antwerp. The stakes were enormous given their once-dominant gymnastics nation hadn’t secured a spot since 2012.

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Romania improved from 22nd place in 2019 to the top 12 in 2023, where Maneca faced one of the hardest challenges on the mats. After a previous vault failure, earning the top score for her team (13.666) performing a roundoff to full-twisting layout somersault. “It was a great privilege for me to compete with Simone Biles, Rebeca Andrade and all the big names of Gymnastics,” she said about her win. Joining the leading American gymnasts in 2024, the Romanian is embracing the superior advantage she has over others.

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The cut of her jib gives her an edge

Her mother trained Sabrina Voinea, who is from Constanta, at first and for most of her life. She now works exclusively with her coach Cristian Moldovan. She trains with her colleagues in Deva and joins them for national team selections before international competitions. She described being motivated to match her mother’s gymnastic fortitude and said, “I was seven or eight years old when she(her mother) told me how great, but also how difficult, it is to reach the level she used to be at.”

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Believe, believe, believe, and even if you don’t believe, act like you do, and one day all the hard work will pay off and your dreams will come true,” says young Voinea to aspiring gymnasts worldwide.

Watch this story 20-Year-Old Millionaire Gymnast Exposes the Red Flags That Spell Doom for a Date

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

710Articles

One take at a time

Hi there! I am Divya Purohit, and I am a Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an avid sports junkie I delved in the world of sports journalism and started crafting content around my favorite athletes. By means of my distinct storytelling approach, I provide perceptive viewpoints on diverse sports stories.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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