Lavinia Miloșovici

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Lavinia Miloșovici
Miloşovici, Ónodi, Lysenko 1992 Olympics.jpg
Miloşovici (left) at the 1992 Olympics
Personal information
Full nameLavinia Corina Miloșovici
Nickname(s)Milo
Country represented Romania
Born (1976-10-21) 21 October 1976 (age 43)
Lugoj, Romania[1]
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior International
GymDeva National Training Center
Head coach(es)Octavian Bellu
Assistant coach(es)Mariana Bitang
Retired1997

Lavinia Corina Miloșovici (born 21 October 1976) is a retired Romanian artistic gymnast.[2] An exceptionally successful athlete on the international competition circuit, Miloșovici, also known as "Milo" in the gymnastics community, is considered to be one of Romania's top gymnasts ever and one of the most prolific female all-around medalists ever, earning a total 19 World Championships or Olympic medals in a span of six years. She medalled in every single World Championships meet, Olympic Games and European Championships between 1991 and 1996, and is only the third female gymnast ever, after Larisa Latynina and Věra Čáslavská, to win at least one World Championships or Olympic title on all four events. Miloșovici was also the last gymnast along with Lu Li to ever receive the perfect mark of 10.0 in an Olympic competition and the last to receive the benchmark score of 9.95 at the World Championships. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2011.[3] Her trademarks included her four-event mastery, consistency, longevity, versatile skill set, and her leadership abilities.

Early life and career[edit]

Miloșovici was born in a family with Serbian roots.[2] Her mother, Ildiko, was a competitive volleyball player, while her father, Tănase, was a national team wrestler. She began gymnastics at the age of 6 and moved to the Deva National Training Centre as she excelled in the sport.[4][5][6]

Miloșovici's gymnastics career was nearly derailed when she contracted scarlet fever at the age of 10, and again when the Romanian Revolution in 1989 temporarily closed Deva. However, she continued to train, and by 1990, was representing Romania in such international meets as the American Cup and the World Sports Fair.[5][7] She competed well at the 1991 Junior European Championships, winning two gold medals.[7]

Senior career[edit]

Miloșovici made her debut as a senior in 1991, winning her first all-around title at the Romanian National Championships.[7] She joined the Romanian team at the 1991 World Championships, where she contributed to the team's bronze medal and won her first individual World Championships title, on the vault, and placed third on the balance beam.[4]

Miloșovici won her second individual world title on uneven bars at the 1992 World Championships. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Miloșovici won a total of four medals, placing third in the all around, second with the Romanian team, tying with Hungarian Henrietta Ónodi for the vault gold medal, and winning floor exercise with a perfect score of 10.0. She scored her 10 on the same night that China's Lu Li also scored a 10 (hers being for her performance on the uneven bars). Miloșovici's 10, in the event finals, was only the second awarded in Barcelona, and the last ever awarded at any Olympics.[8][9] She was the only gymnast at those Games to win 2 individual golds, and combined with an all around medal and 4 overall medals, made the most successful overall gymnast of the Games. She was very close to winning the all around, being tied for 1st with eventual winner Tatiana Gutsu after 3 rotations, but a big hop on her beam dismount to start the night (9.850) and a small hop on her uneven bars dismount in the final rotation (9.900) cost her the victory. Interestingly enough, the same 3 gymnasts that were on the women's all-around podium at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics were the same 3 gymnasts that were on the women's all-around podium at the 1991 DTB Cup, (Milosovici, Gutsu, and Shannon Miller), although in the instance of the latter, the ordering was different, and Milosovici was the All-Around Champion.

After the 1992 Olympics, Miloșovici continued to compete, winning the world title on beam in 1993, which completed her quartet of golds on each of the individual apparatuses, and the world silver medal on vault that same year. In 1994 and 1995, she led the Romanian team to two World Championships team titles. Shortly before the 1994 World Championships, she and her teammates staged a strike at Deva to protest nonpayment of prize money owed from the Romanian Gymnastics Federation; in spite of the depleted training time, they still won the team gold medal at Worlds.[7][10] Miloșovici's best all around finish in World Championship or Olympic competition came in 1994 when she took second to Shannon Miller in a controversial finish, after being considered the early favorite. Uncharacteristic mistakes on bars and beam cost her the win. Milosovici concluded the 1994 Worlds with a silver on floor and a bronze on vault. She lost the floor gold by 0.013 to Dina Kochetkova, with many again feeling Miloșovici was unjustly marked and should have won. At the Europeans a fall off the uneven bars on the dismount kept her off the all around podium but she rebounded to win a gold on vaulting, silver on floor, and bronze on beam in the individual event finals.

She delivered a dominant performance at the 1994 Team Worlds where she easily won the individual all around points tally with an astounding 39.500 point total, an average score of 9.875 over the 4 events, and led Romania to an emphatic victory. A performance which had she duplicated it at the individual worlds in Brisbane would have easily won her the All Around and likely several event golds. She also received the highest score of the quadrennium at this meet with a 9.950 on Floor exercise. At the 1995 Sabae World Championships, she captured the all around bronze, although she was in tears after the competition as she realized this was likely her last realistic shot at a major all around title. At this point she was being overshadowed by younger teammates Gina Gogean and Simona Amanar, and the only event final she qualified for due to the 2 per country rule was the uneven bars, despite being the fourth highest qualifier on floor (Amanar and Gogean were the top two qualifiers).

Miloșovici won the bronze medal on floor at the 1996 World Championships, before winning the team and floor gold medals at the European Championships. She also finished third in the all around. Miloșovici led the Romanian team to a bronze at the 1996 Olympics, in spite of a spate of injuries that left the squad depleted of several key gymnasts and forced them to compete with only six athletes instead of seven.[11] Milosovici had the rare opportunity to improve upon her third place all around finish in Barcelona; with her consistency and competitors' mistakes, she was tied for the bronze with Amanar, and became the first gymnast since Nadia Comăneci to medal in the all around at consecutive Olympics. This also marked her fourth all-around medal in World and Olympic competition, a feat since equalled only by Svetlana Khorkina, Aliya Mustafina and Simone Biles. In her final competition, she finished eighth in the uneven bars final. She originally qualified for the beam final, but was replaced by her teammate Alexandra Marinescu.

Overall, she won a total of 26 Olympic, World and European medals in her career, with 11 of them gold. She is currently ranked fifth in terms of the total number of medals won at the World Championships, behind Simone Biles, Svetlana Khorkina, Gina Gogean and Larisa Latynina.

Post-retirement[edit]

Miloșovici announced her official retirement in the summer of 1997.[12] After retiring, she returned to Lugoj to coach gymnastics and attended the Sports University in Timișoara.[5]

On 23 October 1999, Milo married her childhood friend, Cosmin Vinatu. According to Prosport, Cosmin was a sergeant major in the police force.[7] The two were childhood friends, but lost touch when Milo moved to Deva. Then, in 1998, Milo was out with her brother and a group of his friends and they ran into Cosmin at a bar. Needless to say, Milo and Cosmin's friendship was renewed. Their wedding took place at the Termal restaurant in Timișoara, with over 350 guests. Milo told Prosport that the couple expected to live in Timișoara after the wedding, though she does own a house in her hometown of Lugoj. They had one daughter, Denisa Florentina, who was born in 2004 and died in 2008. Milosovici grieves chronically for the loss of her daughter, Denisa, going to the cemetery once or twice per week with her family. [13] The godmother was former teammate, Simona Amânar. In January 2013, Lavinia gave birth to a boy, Cosmin Mihai,[6][14] and in July 2016 Lavinia's second son, Andrei Nicolae, was born.[15] Adding to her numerous post-career tragedies, however, in-between the birth of her first and second sons, she also suffered a miscarriage. [13][16]

In 2002, Miloșovici, along with former teammates Corina Ungureanu and Claudia Presăcan, sparked controversy by posing naked in photographs for a Japanese photobook, LCC Gold, and performing gymnastics routines topless for the Japanese DVDs Gold Bird and Euro Angels. A number of photographs from the photobook and DVDs were subsequently published in the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai, and an edited version of the DVDs entitled 3 Gold Girls was released in Germany in 2004. Because the gymnasts had posed for some of the photographs and footage wearing their official Romanian team leotards, the Romanian Gymnastics Federation banned them from coaching and judging in the country for five years, and the Japanese Junior Gymnastic Club Federation contemplated banning Romanian gymnasts from a major international junior competition.[17][18]

Major results[edit]

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
1990 American Cup 5th
World Sports Fair 7th 3rd 3rd
1991 European Championships (Junior) 6th 1st 2nd 1st
Romanian Nationals 1st 1st 2nd
World Sports Fair 7th 3rd 3rd
1991 World Championships 3rd 7th 1st 3rd 4th
1992 Romanian Nationals 1st 1st 1st 1st
1992 World Championships 4th 1st 8th
1992 Olympic Games 2nd 3rd 1st 4th 8th 1st
1993 Romanian Nationals 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st
1993 World Championships 8th 2nd 5th 1st 5th
1994 European Championships 1st 6th 1st 7th 3rd 2nd
1994 World Championships 2nd 3rd 6th 5th 2nd
1994 World Team Championships 1st
1995 Romanian Nationals 1st
1995 World Championships 1st 3rd 5th
1996 European Championships 1st 3rd 4th 1st
1996 World Championships 10th 3rd
1996 Olympic Games 3rd 3rd 8th

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lavinia Miloșovici. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ a b Jane Perlez (13 July 1995) "Romanian Coach Keeps Up the Fight", New York Times
  3. ^ Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique IGHF presents Class of 2011, 6 May 2011
  4. ^ a b FIG biography International Gymnastics Federation Archived 1 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c Whatever happened to Lavinia Miloşovici? Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Gymnastics Greats, 2008
  6. ^ a b Legends:Lavinia Miloşovici International Gymnast, 2001
  7. ^ a b c d e List of competitive results Gymn-Forum
  8. ^ " BARCELONA: GYMNASTICS; Miller Picks Up 3 Medals In a Day" Gerard Eskenazi, New York Times, 2 August 1992
  9. ^ "Comaneci gets world record status" International Gymnast, 19 July 2007
  10. ^ Jere Longman (28 September 1994) " The Cost of Freedom: Romanian Gymnasts Stage Training Slowdown", New York Times
  11. ^ "Romanian Women Are Uneasy Favorites" Christopher Clarey, New York Times, 17 July 1996
  12. ^ "Gymnastics: Milosovici retires" Archived 11 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Independent, 19 July 1997
  13. ^ a b Kanal D Romania (18 October 2016)[1]. "Kanal D Romania" (18 October 2016)
  14. ^ "Hope Growing Along with Milosovici's Baby" International Gymnast 4 April 2004
  15. ^ Lavinia Miloșovici este din nou mamă! Fosta campioană olimpică a născut un băiețel de nota 10. libertatea.ro (16 July 2016)
  16. ^ [2]. "Kanal D Romania" (18 October 2016)
  17. ^ "Five year suspension for retired Romanians" International Gymnast, 18 December 2002
  18. ^ "Romania in clear over naked Gymnastics". Sports Illustrated/Associated Press, 17 December 2002

External links[edit]