04. Daniela Silivas, former Romanian National Team Member (1984 - 1989), gymnastics. Original article published in ‘Prosport’, July 30, 2002.

Q: You're one of the gymnasts to admit about the age falsification.

A: That's true. One of the officials of the Federation told me "Look at the passport, from today you're not 13 years old anymore but 15." Nobody asked me if I agreed to this, I was just a child. They needed gold medals and everybody who was involved in gymnastics knew about these practices.

Q: But the doctors have said that this has put you under more injury risks.

A: You should know that I competed better at the age of 13 than at 17. I felt much better, physical and mentally. Besides, there isn't much difference between the training program of juniors and the ones in the national team. And look, the Americans have enough accidents (injuries) with gymnasts too and they don't change anyone's age.

Q: Where you never confused when somebody asked how old you were?

A: When we competed, we told them the age that was in the passport, the false one. Afterwards, when I retired from gymnastics, I gave them my true age so in a way you can say that when I retired, I became two years younger.

When I retired, nobody was interested in me anymore. I didn't win any more medals for them so they didn't need Daniela Silivas.

When I came to Romania in 1999, I heard that Lavinia Milosovici was without a job. I couldn't believe it, that's abnormal. Because of a lack of money, most of the girls from my generation have left the country except for Camelia Voinea. In my time when we won an international competition, the Federation received 10.000 dollars but we only got 10.000 lei (I don't know the value of the money back then but today it's not even worth a dollar). The gymnasts of today make good money but in my time, you couldn't make a living in Romanian gymnastics.
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