Nicoleta Daniela Șofronie
|— Gymnast —|
|Full name||Nicoleta Daniela Sofronie|
February 12, 1988 |
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Head coach(es)||Octavian Belu|
|Assistant coach(es)||Mariana Bitang|
|Former coach(es)||Mirela Szemerjai|
Nicoleta Daniela Sofronie (born February 12, 1988 in Constanţa, Romania) is a Romanian artistic gymnast. She is an Olympic and a European gold medalist with the team. She is also an Olympic silver medalist on floor and the 2004 European all around silver medalist.
Sofronie started gymnastics in 1992 in her hometown Constanţa and moved to Deva in 2002. In 2003 she was an alternate to the team at the 2003 World Championships. Practically an unknown gymnast before 2004, she burst out onto the international scene with a silver medal in the controversial all around final at the 2004 European Championships in Amsterdam. Sofronie's score in the all around event was 0.38 points behind the score of Alina Kozich of Ukraine, one of the narrowest margins of victory in European history. After three rotations (vault, uneven bars and floor) Kozich was 0.137 points behind Sofronie. In the last rotation, the floor exercise, Sofronie did not receive the full credit for the dance connections that filled the gaps between acrobatics, which lowered the start value of her routine to 9.70. At the same time speculations were made that the A-panel head Lyubov Adrianova of Russia had influenced the elevation of Kozich's start value from 9.90 to 10. Despite controversies, statements released by the European Gymnastics Union and the International Gymnastics Federations confirmed the decisions taken during the competition. At the 2004 European Championships Sofronie also contributed to the team gold medal, the first time since 1998 that they had taken this title. A picture of her performing at these championships was on the cover of the 2004 June/July International Gymnast Magazine.
Later that year she affirmed her position as a notable gymnast with strong performances at the 2004 Athens Olympics, helping the Romanian team to win the gold. She competed on vault, bars and floor in team finals, scoring 9.400, 9.562 and 9.562 respectively. Individually, Sofronie won silver on floor behind teammate Cătălina Ponor, placed fifth all around and sixth on uneven bars. Unusually for a Romanian gymnast, she was a strong bars worker and comparatively weak on beam. Following an subpar performance at the 2005 European Championships, Sofronie retired from the sport and pursued her education.
After retirement she graduated her high school and university studies. She was for a short period a member of Romanian Golden Team – a gymnastics show set up by Marius Urzică. She is currently working as an assistant coach at the club at which she started her career in her hometown Constanţa.