One minute and thirty-five seconds changed Ana Padurariu’s life. A poised, precise balance beam routine added this young Canadian star’s name to a long list of legends who have won World beam medals—from Larisa Latynina to Olga Korbut to Nastia Liukin.
Seven months earlier, Padurariu wouldn’t have dreamed this was possible. When one of her vaults went awry at the prestigious Elite Canada competition, she suffered two fractures in her foot, but she worked hard to make a quick recovery—after all, the 2018 World Championships in October were fast approaching.
“To win the silver medal on beam in Doha was something incredible,” says Padurariu, who, at 16, was the youngest member of her team. “I ended up falling in my beam routine in team finals, so I was glad that I had another shot to prove to myself. [I wanted to prove] that I had worked really hard leading up to this moment, and that I can trust myself to do the right thing, just like in training. I was so happy that I was able to share this medal with everyone that has been supporting me, and to make my country proud. I realized later that this was a [historic] medal, and that just made it even more special!”
But this certainly won’t be the climax of Padurariu’s career. Now her focus turns toward the future, which definitely looks promising.
Born in Canada of Romanian heritage, Padurariu began training at Gemini Gymnastics at the age of four. Her longtime coach is 1980 Olympic all-around champion Elena Davydova, whose sprightly and spunky performances in Moscow have let an indelible impression on gymnastics history.
For the full story on Padurariu and her beam silver (in addition to thoughts from her coach Elena Davydova), subscribe now for our March/April issue!
Padurariu photo by Grace Chiu
Davydova photo courtesy of Elena Davydova
Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com