Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Amānar began participating in gymnastics as a 6-year-old, and became a national team member in 1994, winning the World and European team titles that year. The following year, she was again part of the winning Romanian team at the World Championships, while winning an individual gold medal in the vault, her strongest event.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics, Amānar would win that same event. In the all-around competition, due to a fall in team compulsories, she hadn't placed for the final. However, in a scenario similar to the 1992 Olympic substitution by the Unified Team of Tatiana Gutsu for Roza Galieva , Amānar was favored instead of teammate Alexandra Marinescu because she had the highest optional all-around score among women. She eventually ended up sharing the bronze medal with teammate Lavinia Milosovici behind Lilia Podkopayeva of the Ukraine (gold) and Romanian Gina Gogean . She won two more medals, a silver in the floor exercise and a bronze in the team all-around.
Ironically Amānar would again replace a higher performing Marinescu in the 1997 World All-Around Championships. She would win the silver medal behind Svetlana Khorkina of Russia.
At the 2000 Summer Olympics, the top favourite for the all-around title, Svetlana Khorkina of Russia, stumbled in a number of events, leaving the title up for grabs for the three Romanian women competing in the final. Andrea Răducan finished first, trailed by Amānar and Maria Olaru. However, it was later discovered that Răducan had used a cold medicine containing banned substances. Although she was not banned, and her results in other events were allowed to stand, Răducan was stripped of her gold medal, which now went to Amānar instead. Earlier in the Olympics, the Romanian women had already secured the team title. In the floor exercise, she won her seventh Olympic medal, a bronze one.
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