Romanian Gymnastics Upheaval: Coaches at odds, Gogean resigns in anger

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She seems super angry, but I am not clear and what actually happened. I’ve edited this post to list everything I got from this thread and from a couple private messages sent by people fairly in the loop but unwilling to share information publicly. Also, here’s a better article with a good translation, and it’s consistent with everything I listed below, it seems.
  • Patrick Kiens was made head coach for WAG in Romania apparently in January-ish. He was known previously for his work with Thorsdottir and, more recently, with gymnasts in Austria, though one person said that some Romanians (adults) are still unclear as to why he left Austria.
  • Around the same time, Corina Morosan Haljoni, who had already been working with Romanian gymnastics, was also named to the leadership team. She had previously worked with Romanian gymnastics; for example, she was listed as “Seniors Team manager” at 2022 Euros a year or so ago.
  • One person believes that the shift in Haljoni’s role was requested by Patrick Kiens.
  • That change may have needed approval by Romania’s Minister of Sport, named Novak, though it’s not clear how long he may have sat on the decision.
  • That change did get a positive reference from Anca Grigoras; I don’t know whether she has a specific role in Romanian gymnastics, but she is the judge that is the president of the European Women’s Technical Committee; we all know that those European judges are pretty well connected and have more opportunities to connect in person at international competitions across Europe than most international judges do
  • The author’s understanding is that this reference may have had pull with Novak.
  • Haljoni’s role change came as a surprise to most of the coaching staff, who then questioned how someone who is only known as a dance teacher/choreographer would be given such a position, especially when they don’t have a resumé of success. (Side note: My own research suggests she has been coaching in the UK for many years, though I am not clear about the capacity in which she guided gymnasts; perhaps it was mostly dance.)
  • One person mentioned that Kiens’ boyfriend (no, not D.M., to answer a question earlier) also now appears to have a leadership role at Romanian gymnastics, and that he, too, is known for expertise in dance, and there’s a perception that 3 of these people all have dance background and limited experience with gymnastics more broadly.
  • Some athletes and parents, concerned about team assignments and such, have felt pressure to go along with everything; nobody accused anyone of explicitly verbalizing such expectations, but one person pointed out that subtle words here or there could be interpreted as having meaning…
  • Many of the past Romanian gymnastics stars are now speaking out against Haljoni being in this role. One of the assistant coaches, Gina Gogean, whom we all know, resigned in connection with that.
  • Camilia Voinea, whose daughter Sabrina is the clear star of Romanian Gymnastics after success in World Cup and Euros this year, really tore into Haljni in an interview a couple of days ago. The author felt that this was significant because even if the most successful athlete’s coach and parent is doing well under the system, then something might not be so transparent.
  • Gogean was relegated to working with athletes only on beam, which she protested in her letter.
  • Gogean has collaborated with Belu and Bitang in setting up training plans and feels that they have been helpful, even though they have their own program going — that explains the reference to those two in her letter.
  • Some people think that this may have been the plan from the beginning, when Kiens joined Team Romania.
  • The author expressed some concerns about past Romanian coaching systems, but felt that there were some pluses to what has been happening the past couple years — the coaches and judges, at least generally seem relaxed and less under pressure but are aware that they have a way to go before they will reach the level they want.
  • These coaches and judges feel that they are trying to keep their strengths up there and are slowly trying to address their weaknesses.
  • That tweet I posted, from a couple days ago, said that Constantin Carmecita, president of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation (and from the rhythmic world) and some of the Executive Committee resigned due to the coaching civil “war” (very dramatic language); however, since Worlds is in 5 months, the Sports Minister postponed the decision.
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Could it have something to do with the installment of Patrick Kiens? She seems to be angry about changing coaching methods that have worked for decades. Honestly, that doesn’t seem like the worst idea ever, especially considering Romania’s last decade. Then again, this is speculating. No idea what’s going on.
This reads like the training program was a total shitshow the last few months. She’s clearly very pissed with how it all went down regarding the new changes. It certainly doesn’t sound like they treated her fairly; i also must say, reading her statements, i could imagine she’s not the easiest person to work with, too. The actual truth i guess we will never now.
She sounds very bitter about changes to coaching methods in Romania - it sounds as though she is determined to keep the methods of the past and the Romanian “heyday”. From the article it sounds as though she worked to maintain the methods and influence of Belu and Bitang - yet the “old” methods have not been overly successful in recent years
@Livi Can you clarify what you meant Patrick Kiens? And is his boyfriend also part of the coaching changes there?
Deva is Down :romania:

Following the ROU Civil War, Deva is no longer the
Olympic Center. The Sr National Team (Amalia, Ana, Andreea, Lilia and
Mara) will move to Onesti with Patrick Kiens.

has been said about Danciu, Oprea and Sfiringu, the gymnasts who voted
Gogean to stay

GYMeme (@IzbasaG) April
30, 2023
Constantin, FRG :romania: president, and most of the Executive Committee

But since Worlds are in 5 months, the Sports
Minister, postponed the decision

This was caused by
the coaching civil war. Gogean should also keep her spot which caused
Corina to also try to quit
— GYMeme (@IzbasaG) April
28, 2023
I am not even clear on who had what roles before this?
who’s the minister of sport…?
Patrick Kiens
Belu and Bitang

Clearer now
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I don’t know who his boyfriend is (if you mean Daymon Montagne, I don’t think he is his boyfriend, neither is he in Romania).

What I know is that Patrick was installed a few months ago and I saw he had quite a prominent role at Europeans. Don’t know if he is a head coach. I also assume he is bringing some changes to this team in terms of training, technique, choreography of course. It could be what Gina is hinting at, though as I said these are speculations. Could be something/someone totally different
I can’t see why they are so against the new coaching methods. Installing Patrick Kiens was supposed to be great to the program, when the current code of point is more artistry-based. I mean they need even more new changes especially on bars.
It’s not like bringing in Kiens can help everyone though because they haven’t all been training together in one gym/city for a while. Like since at least 2016 they started splitting off with certain gymnasts with certain coaches in one city then other groups with other coaches in another. Last I saw it listed the main senior gymnasts were split up 3 or 4 ways. It’s like they accidently drifted into a club system but there’s no camps or anything where everyone gets together?

I guess this is where the drama is stemming from, because it’s been the same drama for the past 20 years. Trying to get everyone to agree on what damn city to train in. Deva has the school. Bucharest has the hospitals. No idea what Onesti has, I thought the juniors used to be there?

Were Kiens and Gogean even coaching in the same gym? Or was Gogean in Deva and Kiens in Onesti?
I am not even clear on who had what roles before this?
Raducan resigned at the end of 2019. Carmecita Constantin (rhythmic) has been president since 2020.

Gogean has been coaching the junior team. I just googled a 2021 interview with her and she was coaching the junior team in Deva. The current Romanian juniors are actually pretty good.
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I can’t see why they are so against the new coaching methods. Installing Patrick Kiens was supposed to be great to the program, when the current code of point is more artistry-based. I mean they need even more new changes especially on bars.
It is likely a traditional thing and maybe patriotic.

I don’t recall any foreign Romanian coaches…they are all Romanian, so all internal and from the same system they trained under.
And some people simply don’t like change. Especially when they have been doing the same thing for decades AND it has been successful for themselves
Yes. And I’m guessing he is relying on an interpreter and vice versa. That’s never going to be conducive to effective communication or forming professional relationships.
They could probably done this better by using him in a more technical/consultancy role, rather than as a coach.

Even so, when GB brought Carol Orchard over as a consultant for beam, it did not go down well at national team camps and she quit.

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