Aura Andreea Munteanu
|Aura Andreea Munteanu|
|— Gymnast —|
September 20, 1988 |
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Head coach(es)||Octavian Bellu|
Munteanu became interested in gymnastics in 1994 after watching a competition on television. Inspired by the meet, she began using her mother's bed as a makeshift vault, prompting her parents to enroll her for lessons at the CSS Farul Constanţa club. She progressed well in the sport, and was accepted to train at the Deva national training center in October 2002.
Less than a year after beginning her training at Deva, in 2003, Munteanu became the Romanian National Champion. Later that year she was selected as part of the Romanian team for the 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The Romanians had a disappointing team competition, losing the title they had held for eight years; however, they still finished the meet in second place. In the all-around competition, Munteanu finished 15th after a fall on the uneven bars. In the floor exercise final, her cheeky, artistic routine, choreographed to music from The Mask by Adriana Pop, earned her a fourth-place finish and praise from commentators and gymnastics fans.
Munteanu did not compete at the 2004 European Championships, but was selected for the Romanian team for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. However, days before the Olympics began, she was forced to withdraw, suffering from shin splints. Her recovery was predicted to take six months; however, new injuries and major changes in the Romanian gymnastics system, including the resignation of head coaches Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang, delayed her return to competitive form.
In early 2006, Munteanu trained with new national team head coach Nicolae Forminte in Deva. She did not compete at the 2006 European Championships, but was still considered to be in contention for the Romanian team at the 2006 Worlds. However, in June, she retired from gymnastics due to nagging back injuries.