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Cristina Bontaş

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Cristina Bontaş
T Cristina Bontas 1992EF
Bontaş at the 1992 Olympic Games

Country represented

Flag of Romania Romania

Born

December 5 1973 (1973-12-05) (age 43)
Ştefan cel Mare, Bacău, Bacău County, Romania

Coach(es)

Octavian Bellu
Nadia Comăneci, Mihai Săndulescu (former)

Current status

Retired

Cristina Bontaş (b. December 5, 1973 in Ştefan cel Mare, Bacău, Romania) is a Romanian artistic gymnast, who competed in international events between 1987 and 1993. Her best events were the floor exercise, the vault, and the all around. She is a world champion on floor, a double olympic medalist and a six-time world medalist. Bontaş scored a perfect ten on floor in the all around event of the 1989 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Early Life and Career

She started training at the age of seven at the CSM Oneşti club under coaches Nadia Comăneci and Mihai Săndulescu. She had a successful junior career medaling in various competitions. In 1987 her debut at a major international event (International Japan Junior Invitational) brought her four medals, one gold for vault and three silver for the all around, uneven bars and floor. At the 1988 Junior European Championships, Avignon, France she won bronze in the all around event and she managed a fifth place on vault and a seventh place on floor. The 1988 Junior Friendship Tournament (Druzhba) was another especially successful meet: she won gold for floor, bronze for balance beam and vault and finished fourth in the all around event. In spite of her successful junior career she was the second and therefore the non traveling alternate for the team at the 1988 Olympics.

Senior Career

1989-1990

Her debut as a senior in an international event was at the 1989 Romanian Internationals where she medaled silver for all around, uneven bars and floor and bronze for vault. 1989 was the start of a series of medals for floor and vault in international events. Cristina was the surprise top Romanian gymnast at the 1989 World Championships, finishing on the fourth place in the all around event ahead of the great Daniela Silivaş and just behind the trio of Soviet medalists (Boginskaya, Laschenova and Strazheva). In the all around event she scored a perfect 10 for the floor exercise. She won bronze on floor in a final in which the silver medal was not rewarded and tied for silver on vault with Brandy Johnson. Cristina also contributed to the team's silver medal by achieving the third highest average score of her team. In 1990 she won silver medal on vault at the European Championships Athens, Greece and placed seventh in the floor and uneven bars events.

1991

At the 1991 World Championships Indianapolis, USA she tied for gold for floor with Oksana Chusovitina. Her performance on the floor exercise based on a musical background of well-known American songs (like e.g., "The Star-Spangled Banner" (USA anthem), "Oh Susanna", "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again", "Yankee Doodle" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas") energized the crowds. She also won the bronze medal on the all-around event, contributed heavily to the team bronze with the highest average score of her team and placed fourth on vault, seventh on uneven bars and eight on balance beam.

1992 Olympic Games

Together with Lavinia Miloşovici, Gina Gogean, Mirela Paşca, Vanda Hădărean, and Maria Neculiţă, Cristina was a team member of the Romanian team at the 1992 Olympics Barcelona, Spain. In the team finals she had once again the highest contributing score of all her colleagues, highlighted by an average 9.95 on the floor exercise. She qualified first in the floor finals, third all around and fifth in the balance beam finals. She won silver with the team, tied for the bronze medal on floor exercise with Tatiana Gutsu and Shannon Miller, and placed fourth in the all-around and beam finals.

Post Retirement

Cristina retired after the 1992 Olympic games. She first coached in Romania and did some TV commentaries for gymnastics events. Later, she coached in Italy and in Wales. When the contract in Wales was up, Bontas immigrated to Canada to coach at Hamilton's Mountain Star Gymnastics. She went back to Romania in 1998 to marry, returning to Canada without husband Gabi Tătaru while they waited for immigration papers. After several months, her husband was able to join her in Canada, he too coaching at Hamilton Mountain Gym Elites (formerly Mountain Star Gymnastics). The couple have a daughter named Elisa, born May 1999 and a son, born April 2002. In September 2003, Bontaş and her husband opened their own gymnastics club in Hamilton, World Class Gymnastics. Here Cristina is training her pupils for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1987Japan Junior International2nd1st2nd2nd
Blume Memorial5
Kosice International1st2nd1st
1988Avignon Junior European Championships3rd57
Junior Friendship Tournament43rd3rd1st
1989Romanian International2nd3rd2nd2nd
Stuttgart World Championships2nd42nd3rd
Chunichi Cup3rd
1990Blume Memorial11
DTB Cup4
Romanian International2nd
Athens European Championships2nd77
1991Indianapolis World Championships3rd3rd4781st
Chunichi Cup3rd
DTB Cup4
1992Barcelona Olympic Games2nd443rd
Chunichi Cup2nd

Floor Music

1987- "Ciobanelul"/ "Feciorasca de Pe Muras" by Dumitru Farcas

1991 - "The Star-Spangled Banner"/ "Oh Susanna"/ "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again"/ "Yankee Doodle"/ "Deep in the Heart of Texas"


World Floor Exercise Champions
Matylda Pálfyová • Helena RakoczyTamara ManinaEva BosákováLarisa LatyninaNatalia KuchinskayaLudmilla TourischevaNellie Kim | Elena MukhinaEmilia EberleNatalia IlienkoEcaterina SzaboOksana OmelianchikDaniela Silivaş | Elena ShushunovaDaniela Silivaş | Svetlana BoginskayaCristina BontaşKim ZmeskalShannon MillerDina KochetkovaGina GogeanGina Gogean | Kui YuanyuanGina GogeanAndreea RăducanElena GómezDaiane Dos SantosAlicia SacramoneCheng FeiShawn JohnsonBeth TweddleLauren MitchellKsenia AfanasyevaSimone Biles


Romanian National Champions
Elena Ceampelea • Anca Grigoraș • Nadia Comăneci • Cristina Itu • Emilia EberleLavinia AgacheEcaterina SzaboDaniela Silivaş | Ecaterina SzaboDaniela SilivaşCristina BontaşLavinia MiloşoviciSimona AmânarMaria OlaruSimona Amânar | Andreea RăducanSabina Cojocar | Silvia StroescuAura Andreea MunteanuCătălina PonorSandra IzbaşaSteliana NistorAna PorgrasLarisa Iordache

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