Maria Simionescu passes away.
August 23, 2012
Romanian Maria Simionescu passed away on August 21, 2012 at the age of 85, following a long and difficult illness.
She was one of the key figures in women’s artistic gymnastics, as an educator, national coach and latterly, from 1972 to 1996, as a senior FIG official.
At national level, Maria Simionescu devoted her entire career to the development of Romanian gymnastics. Born on September 29, 1927 in Bucharest, she graduated from the National Sports Institute in 1953, staying on as a lecturer until 1956, when she was appointed as head coach the Romanian gymnastics team. She quickly achieved international success, leading the Romanian national team to three editions of the Olympic Games (Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964). Her record in charge of the national team was extremely impressive: 52 Olympic medals - 18 of them gold - and 85 World Championship medals, including 32 gold’s.
As Vice-President of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, she founded the Onesti Gymnastics Academy together with her husband Gheorghe. It became the first specialist gymnastics school to gain recognition at international level.
In 1972, Maria Simionescu was elected as a member of the FIG Women’s Artistic Technical Committee, and went on to serve the most senior roles, as Vice-President, member of the FIG Appeal Commission and as an Appeal Judge.
The UEG joins the FIG and the Romanian Gymnastics Federation to extend its warmest condolences to all her loved-ones, in particular to her family and gymnastics friends.
Informations from the RGF and the FIG - Adapt- O. Do Rosario/UEG