Gazeta Sporturilor posted an interview with Sandra Izbaşa today. It doesn't contain a lot of new information, but it's a nice read, with some tantalizing tidbits on her new floor routine. Here it is...
(Photo: Gazeta Sporturilor)
"It's like a profession to me"
Sandra Izbaşa explains why she didn't leave Deva after the Olympics
Sandra Izbaşa is still at Deva. This year she will turn nineteen, in June. She is the Olympic champion on floor, as well as a double European champion on the same event. Why hasn't she left the sport she has been doing for fifteen years now?
"Gymnastics has gotten into my blood. I'd find it hard to retire. It's like a profession to me. What would I do at home? Get bored, that's what I'd do!" says Sandra Izbaşa when we catch up with her one evening at the foot of the Deva fortress. She has just finished another one of the thousands of workouts she has had in her career. And the counting is not over yet... No sooner has she finished speaking about boredom than she starts about something else: "At age eighteen female gymnasts begin to mature. What would I do at home? Divide my time between home and school? At least I'm doing something constructive now. This year I'll have to graduate from high school, and then there's a gold medal at the world championships to be won," adds Sandra.
"I'd have a hard time retiring"
The gold medal at the world championships is the only one which has so far eluded her. "World championships are not like the Olympics. If I had screwed up in Beijing, I would have had a problem. But the world championships are held every year," says Sandra. The gymnast from Bucharest has competed in two world championships, where she has won three medals: a silver on beam (2006) and two bronzes, one in the all-around (2006) and one with the team (2007).
The colors of the Olympics
Makeup is part of a female gymnast's job description. Girls made to look older by means of layers of color. Why do gymnasts use makeup? "Ever since I was a child I've been taught to use certain facial expressions and makeup. When I couldn't put on my makeup myself, my female coaches would help me. They taught me that I'm an artist, not on the stage but on four apparatus," explains Sandra. At the Olympics, her colors were black, blue and orange. Sandra would have liked to use white as well, but "I'm quite pale enough as is."
From happiness to sadness
Sandra has taken her Olympic floor routine with her into 2009, even if she is also preparing a new routine. "I've mastered both routines very well. The music is from the same theme I used in Beijing, but it's not happy anymore, but sad," adds the double European champion on floor. [We take this to mean that Sandra is using music from the Bandyta soundtrack by Michal Lorenc again, but a less cheerful part of it this time around.]
Even so, what would Sandra like to do once she has retired? "Listen to music, manage to do some sports-like dancing... I would have said handball, but I don't want to have any elbows shoved into my mouth anymore. I had enough of that when I was young. Furthermore, I'd like to take walks and relax," says the gymnast.
But until she gets time for all that, Sandra still has a lot of training ahead of her. Even though she uses makeup, is about to get her driver's license, and will turn nineteen this year, Sandra finishes off our evening chat with the words, "In other respects I'm [still] a child."
The program for 2009
Sandra's first competition of 2009 will take place on February 21, in America, in Oklahoma. Together with Andreea Grigore [nope - Dana Druncea] she will compete in the meet organized by Nadia Comăneci. Before the European Championships in April, Sandra is also scheduled to take part in a friendly against Italy.