November 10, 2008

"I Like Being Childish" - Sandra Izbasa

We'll return to the Brazilian coaching scandal tomorrow (yes, there's more to report), but first we'll give you your weekly scheduled Sandra Izbasa post, as the Olympic champion on floor just granted an interview to ProSport. Here's that interview, translated by our very own Mihaela!

First thing she sees when she looks out of the window:
"Now that the leaves have fallen off the trees, I can more easily catch sight of my car. I can also see my grandmother and the national team's dog, who's watching our house [or hostel]."

What she'd like to see when she looks out of the window:
"A quiet lake or river, and a clear sky."

If she could change anything about herself, it would be...
Sandra thinks about this for a while. "Right now, I wouldn't change anything. I'm satisfied with myself, with the way I look."


How she sees herself in ten years' time:
Sandra smiles. "Me at age 28... Well, a normal person in her own house, with a finished house, a car, and perhaps a boyfriend."

Sandra as a mother:
"I'm having trouble imagining that..." Sandra laughs. "I can't see it yet, but it's something you have to try in life. It's a normal thing to do, because family is important."

The truth:
"I like the plain and unadorned truth, told to me in a straightforward and forthright manner."

How she'd describe herself:
"I'm a fighter, and when I take it into my head to do something, no one can stop me. I've always liked to do things the hard way."

"Image matters a lot. I don't want anyone to put me on a pedestal or take me down from it, but I do want people to appreciate me for what I am and what I do."

Giving up:
"There have been times when I thought I wanted to give up and pack my bags, when I couldn't get the hang of a certain element. But I've never really considered retiring, no matter how tired I was or how much my injuries hurt."

"I want to have a place of my own, my house, and a car, and to start a family. And I want a tree, a fruit tree which I'll plant in the courtyard myself, at home, in Domnesti. Oh, and in the basement I'll get myself a room where I can create floor exercises and do some choreography."

Question which keeps haunting her:
"'What did you feel after winning the Olympic gold medal?' You can't explain how it feels. It's a state, a being alive, a feeling you can't describe in five words."

Whether she has a boyfriend:
"No. I'll have time for that after I've quit gymnastics. I want to stick to my sport, and you know how it goes. If you chase two hares at once, you'll end up catching neither."

"Oscar. I never make the most of my training, but when there's an award to be won, I can always find a little bit extra."

Friends in gymnastics:
"Depends on affinities, preferences and other things. For instance, since the Olympics, the team has been very united, in good times and in bad times. What happened there has made us closer."

Special friend:
"Cheng Fei. She's an exceptional athlete and a perfectionist, and on top of that she has heaps of character. She knows how to lose with her head held high. She has a wonderful sense of fair play. When I had finished my floor exercise in Beijing, she was the first to come up to me and congratulate me."

Sandra and Cheng Fei (photo: AFP/Getty)

Appearance in competitions:
"I do everything myself. I've learned to fend for myself. Sure, I'd like to go to a hair stylist, like Shawn Johnson. I saw in a video that she has someone to fix her hair and do her makeup."

Picking the right leotard:
"It depends on the scope and importance of the competition, on what it could mean for me, and on how many people are watching the competition. All our leotards are beautiful. The one I like most is the blue-and-white one I wore at the Olympics."

Attitude toward life:
"I like being childish, to take pleasure in everything. I'd like to be a child for a few more years. Then we'll see what happens next."

That's our Sandra, great attitude and everything. We hope she'll remain a happy child for a little while longer.


  1. Hey! I found your blog recently and I've really enjoyed reading it so far. I'm also a big Izbasa fan :)
    It's nice to actually have a solid interview showing a person's character

  2. I too somehow missed your blog until just now.

    Gave you a shout out on Gymnastics Coaching:

    Keep up the great work. I am subscribed.

  3. Great blog! Great interview!

    Sandra likes to be childish....? She sounds more grown up than most of the other gymnasts, who only talk about their cars, music, ipods, makeup and about how awsome and cool everything is.....

  4. Thanks, all! Glad you enjoyed the interview. It wasn't ours but we thought we'd share it.

    In retrospect we're not sure "childish" was the right word to use with respect to Sandra. Perhaps "childlike" would have been better. We think Sandra was referring to youthful innocence and wonder at everything - a good quality to possess, some would say. Either that or she simply doesn't want to grow up and be all serious. She does seem to be the team joker.

    Thanks for the shout, Rick! We appreciate it. As you can tell from the fact that you're on our blog list, we like your blog too.

  5. I knew what you meant, while she is more grown up it is nice to have that kind of attitude. I feel the same way, I actually made a post regarding something similar to that a while back.

    I think being a kid is nicer because we can really be ourselves. The older we are the more we have to conform to the situations the world puts us in. It's also just more fun.

  6. We agree, a youthful spirit is a great thing to possess. It makes the world a much more enjoyable place to be in.

    One of the reasons we love Sandra so much is that she really does seem to be herself. She has a genuine, natural, and spontaneous quality that we simply can't get enough of. She's no diva. She's simply a great gal who enjoys her sport and tries to make it enjoyable for others too. It's a great attitude.

  7. Sandra Izbasa es un ser que espero siempre conserve esa sonrisa y esa actitud, su sonrisa refleja una satisfaccion por la vida y una lucha constante por ser cada dia mejor, Felicidades Sandra Izbasa!
    Yo, Lenin estoy encantado desde que te vi por primera vez en las Olimpiadas en Beijijng.