Maria Olaru Recounts Beatings by Coaches

Maria Olaru’s up coming book recounts beatings at the hands of Romanian national coaches.

Maria Olaru, now 34, won an all around world champion title in 1999 at Tianjin and world and Olympic gold medals with Romania’s gymnastics team. She retired after the 2000 Olympics.

“I had a very bad day. At the morning practice things went badly. I got out of bed with a bad back ache. I couldn’t do almost anything in training. When Mr. Carpinisan saw that I was performing badly, he started beating me. He slapped me three times to the beam. At the beam, I stood up to him and he slapped me again, then I went to the parallel bars and performed badly because the back was aching even more badly. When I finished, he beat me again. He slapped me in the face and threw me on the floor, and while I was lying down there he started trampling me. I was crying really loud. My eyes and face swallowed,” Maria Olaru recounts in her book

“What’s wrong with you? Do you think that anyone would cry for you,” she remembers coach Octavian Bellu telling her. “And then he gave me a few slaps as a lesson. And, boy, does he have a heavy hand,” Olaru writes, according to journalist Catalin Tolontan, who wrote the preface to her book.

“Never before has the veil of secrets and prejudice in Romanian sports been torn with so much sincerity in a book. The volume is necessary and unbearable,” Tolontan wrote in the preface.

maria olaru 2000 olympics floor

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