Roza Galiyeva of the Atlanta Games
Alexandra Marinescu was born on March 19, 1981 to Alexandru and Anca Marinescu in the capital city of Bucharest. She had no siblings growing up, just her dog Pichy. When she was four years old her parents signed her up for swimming lessons, but her instructor thought she was better suited to gymnastics.
Alexandra trained at a club called Triumph Bucharest with her best friend, Aurelia Gheba, and her coach, Benone Pereteanu. She proved to be a very talented gymnast, but unlike many promising young gymnasts in Romania, she stayed at the club in her hometown instead of moving to Deva to train as part of the team.
Alexandra did not make the move to Deva until early 1996, and her coach accompanied her. But by that time, the world had already seen the young gymnast and what promise she had. She made quite a statement by taking first in the All Around at the 1994 Junior European Championship, at only thirteen years old. Alexandra successfully defended that title at the 1996 Jr. Euros, as well. So when 1996 came, Alexandra was thought by many to be a favorite for the All Around gold in Atlanta. However, things didn't work out for her.
She was a vital member of the third place Romanian team at the 1996 Olympic Games and was one of Romania's three all around qualifiers. However her teammate Simona Amanar was put in instead of her. Amanar had been the fourth highest Romanian, due to a fall on the balance beam on the compulsory exercise, however, she had the highest optional all around score. Octavian Belu, the national team coach felt that Simona worked harder, so he put her in the All Around instead of Marinescu. Alexandra also had some bad habits, the result of training in Bucharest so long which added to the substitution. In the end, Simona tied with Lavinia Milosovici for the all around bronze. Alexandra also qualified to the Balance Beam final, her best chance to win a medal, but she was third behind Gina Gogean and Lavinia Milosovici. Only two athletes could go. Octavian Belu thought Marinescu had a better chance then Milosovici, so he took the latter out and put in the former. Unfortunately, Alexandra fell twice and finished in 8th place. Things just didn't go as planned for Alexandra Marinescu
The situation from Atlanta seemed to repeat itself at the 1997 World Championships in Laussane, Switzerland. Alexandra finished in the top three from her country, and again when the All Around Competition came, it was Amanar who was there instead. The subject of rivalry between the girls often came up, although both insisted it was nonexistant. In fact, it was revealed that Alexandra stepped aside in favor of Simona, who thanked her teammate for giving her the chance to compete.
Sadly, a back condition called Scoliosis forced Alexandra to retire shortly after the 1997 Worlds, at only sixteen years old. So she moved in with her grandmother who lived in Deva to finish high school. In 1998, Alexandra signed a five-year modeling contract.
- Gymnasts-Cristina Bontas, Lavinia Milosovici, Nadia Comaneci
- Apparatus-Balance Beam
- Least Favorite Apparatus-
- Hobbies-Listening to Music
- Actors-Tom Hanks, Jim Carry
- Classes-Art, Math, English
- Alexandra was the first Romanian gymnast (that I know of) to have an official website, visit it here: Alex's Official Site
- 1993 ROM-GER Jr. Dual Meet: 1st A-A
- 1994 Blume Memorial: 10th A-A
- 1994 International Championships of Romania: 2nd A-A
- 1994 Jr. European Championships: 1st A-A, 1st B, 3rd FX, 6th UB
- 1995 FRA-ROM Dual Meet: 1st Team, 3rd A-A
- 1995 Atlanta Pre-Olympics: 1st A-A, 1st BB, 2nd FX
- 1995 ROM-GBR-AUS Meet: 1st Team, 1st A-A
- 1995 International Championships of Romania: 1st B
- 1995 Subway World Challenge: 4th A-A
- 1995 World Championships: 1st Team, 4th UB, 4th B
- 1996 Cottbus International: 3rd FX, 5th B, 8th UB
- 1996 Jr. European Championships: 1st A-A, 1st BB
- 1996 World Championships (San Juan): 2nd BB
- 1996 Olympic Games: 3rd Team, 8th B
- 1996 Catania Cup: 3rd A-A
- 1996 Australian Cup: 6th A-A, 2nd BB, 4th FX
- 1996 Arthur Gander Memorial: 2nd A-A
- 1996 Swiss Cup: 2nd B, 3rd UB, 3rd FX
- 1997 American Cup: 5th A-A
- 1997 Tournee des Defis d'Or: 1st BB, 1st UB, 1st FX
- 1997 China Cup: 2nd Team, 3rd A-A
- 1997 Romanian Nationals: 3rd A-A, 3rd FX, 3rd V
- 1997 ITA-ROM-UKR: 1st Team, 5th A-A
- 1997 World Championships: 1st Team