Oana Ban
Ban at the 2004 Olympic Games

Full name

Oana Mihaela Ban

Country represented

Flag of Romania Romania


January 11 1986 (1986-01-11) (age 31)
Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Transylvania, Romania

Years on National Team



Viitorul Gymnastics Club


Octavian Belu & Mariana Bitang

Current status


Oana Mihaela Ban (born January 11, 1986 in Cluj-Napoca) is a retired Romanian artistic gymnast. She is an Olympic gold medalist with the team and a world silver medalist on beam and with the team. Her best events were the floor and the balance beam.

Early Career

Oana Ban started to train for gymnastics in her hometown at "Viitorul" Gymnastics Club with coaches Rodica Câmpean and Anton Ciupe. Ban quickly rose to prominence as one of Romania's top junior world-class gymnasts. She competed in her first Romanian national championships in 1998, winning the floor exercise event in the junior division. The following year, she was invited to join the Romanian national team, and began working with coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang at the elite training facility in Deva. Success in major international junior meets soon followed, including a first-place finish at the Top Gym tournament in Belgium in 1999 and a bronze medal at the 2001 European Youth Olympic Days.

Senior Career

2002 - 2003

With her early January birth date, Ban missed the eligibility cutoff for the 2001 World Championships by a mere eleven days. She was forced to wait until 2002 to make her international senior debut. At the 2002 World Championships in Debrecen, Ban won a silver medal on the balance beam, one of Romania's only victories of the competition and placed fourth on the floor finals. Later that year she placed second all around at the prestigious Chunichi Cup (behind team mate Oana Petrovschi) and won the Massilia Cup. In 2003, Ban had a similarly strong showing, contributing to the Romanian team's silver medal at the 2003 World Championships and placing sixth in the all-around final. That year she successfully competed in several international competitions winning the silver medal all around at the Gander Memorial behind Cătălina Ponor and the bronze medal all around at the 2003 Chunichi cup behind Andreea Munteanu and Svetlana Khorkina. She also won silver on beam at the 2003 Cottbus Cup and the 2003 DTB Cup and won the Swiss cup together with Marian Drăgulescu.

Athens 2004

Oana's career highlight came at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where she, along with teammates Monica Roşu, Alexandra Eremia, Cătălina Ponor, Daniela Şofronie and Silvia Stroescu, won the gold medal in the team competition. Ban contributed heavily to the Romanian victory, competing on uneven bars, balance beam, and floor in the team finals. Individually, she qualified for both the all-around and the floor exercise final. She also placed fifth in the qualifications for the balance beam final but she could not compete due to the two per country rule. Unfortunately, an injury sustained on her last event in the team competition forced her to sit out both competitions and essentially ended her Olympic experience. For Ban, the situation was unfortunate: she had qualified to the all-around in an impressive third place; her qualifying floor score would have been good enough for fifth place. She was replaced in the floor final by Daniela Şofronie who won the silver medal.


Ban retired from gymnastics after the Olympics; she is currently pursuing her education. She participated in the 4th televised competition of Kunoichi in Japan. She made it past the First Stage of the competition, but failed on the Floating Bridge of Stage 2.


During her career, Ban specialized on floor exercise and beam. Her favorite event was floor; she was renowned for her difficult tumbling and fast-paced, playful, crowd-pleasing choreography. As many of her Romanian teammates, her weakness was the uneven bars. In spite of her powerful tumbling skills and strength, Ban was not an especially strong vaulter. Nonetheless, she was able to perform as an all-around gymnast for the Romanian team, and posted scores that frequently placed her in the top ten at major competitions. She qualified in third place for the Olympic all-around in Athens and would have been a medal contender had injury not prevented it.


Featured Gymnast for June 2013

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1998Romanian Junior Nationals1st
1999Top Gym1st
20012001 European Youth Olympic Days3rd
2002Debrecen World Championships2nd4
Chunichi Cup 2nd
Élite Gym Massilia1st
Massilia Gym Cup1st
2003Anaheim World Championships1st6
Romanian National Championships61st
Arthur Gander Memorial2nd
Chunichi Cup 3rd
Cottbus Cup2nd
DTB Cup2nd
Swiss Cup1st
2004Athens Olympic Games1st
Romanian National Championships4

Floor Music

2002 - "Danse Roumanie" by Ian Boutouk & the Balatonia Gypsy Orchestra

2003 - "Bomba!" by Unknown

2004 - "Conga" by Gloria Estefan

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