The C Score (2.0)

Archive for October 28th, 2008

Octavian Belu and Maria Bitang, the two formidable coaches of the Romanian team through 2005, have apparently gotten married.

Belu and Bitang at the 2004 Olympics

THEN: Belu and Bitang at the 2004 Olympics

I think this is great/hilarious.  It initially came out as a rumor in a tabloid in Romania, but now some legit news sources are covering it, so I think it’s actually true.  See for instance here.

Belu and Bitang with their kids (from previous marriages)

NOW: Belu and Bitang with their kids (from previous marriages)

By the way, don’t their kids look FUN?

We’ve finally heard something from Ivana Hong, one of the alternates for the 2008 Olympic team. She’s been the subject of rumor since she left GAGE, where Al Fong has trained a number of Olympians, including Courtney McCool and Terin Humphrey.

The Hongs spoke with NBC Action News in this article.

It was pretty clear that something or other was wrong with Hong in the months leading up to Trials, both mentally and physically. Fong said:

“It became blatant she flat-out quit. It was almost as we were taken down a deep dark path.”

In fact, according to the Hongs, Fong discouraged Hong from seeking advice about a nagging ankle injury, which was in fact a fracture. Hong continued training anyway. But according to the famous Mrs. Hong, Fong stopped teaching Ivana.

This is quite something. Everyone thought Fong had kind of reformed since the whole two-girls-who-trained-with-him died fiasco.

On the other hand, Mrs. Hong is known for her somewhat heavy-handed relationship with her daughter’s coaches and her gymnastics training, and Ivana is said to be a difficult gymnast to train. So we’re left wondering if this was just a bad match in coaching, gymnastics and parenting styles.

As for GAGE, it’s been having financial troubles — Fong wrote about it on the GAGE Web site earlier this year. They are also looking for at least one coach for their team. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe they’ve redesigned their Web site since I was last there, and it no longer lists their team gymnasts.

The weirdest thing about this article, hoewver, is that there is no mention of where Hong is going next. Rumors have her going to Chow’s in Iowa, AOGC in California … remains to be seen.

Ivana Hong

Ivana Hong


About The C Score

First there was A score and B score, now D score and E score. Where is the C score? Right here. In the form of my random thoughts about women's artistic gymnastics.

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