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Cristina Bontaş
T Cristina Bontas 1992EF.jpeg
Bontaş at the 1992 Olympic Games

Country represented

Flag of Romania.png Romania


December 5 1973 (1973-12-05) (age 47)
Ştefan cel Mare, Bacău, Bacău County, Romania


Octavian Bellu
Nadia Comăneci, Mihai Săndulescu (former)

Current status


Cristina Bontaş (b. December 5, 1973 in Ştefan cel Mare, Bacău, Romania) is a Romanian artistic gymnast, who competed in international events between 1987 and 1993. Her best events were the floor exercise, the vault, and the all around. She is a world champion on floor, a double olympic medalist and a six-time world medalist. Bontaş scored a perfect ten on floor in the all around event of the 1989 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Early Life and Career

She started training at the age of seven at the CSM Oneşti club under coaches Nadia Comăneci and Mihai Săndulescu. She had a successful junior career medaling in various competitions. In 1987 her debut at a major international event (International Japan Junior Invitational) brought her four medals, one gold for vault and three silver for the all around, uneven bars and floor. At the 1988 Junior European Championships, Avignon, France she won bronze in the all around event and she managed a fifth place on vault and a seventh place on floor. The 1988 Junior Friendship Tournament (Druzhba) was another especially successful meet: she won gold for floor, bronze for balance beam and vault and finished fourth in the all around event. In spite of her successful junior career she was the second and therefore the non traveling alternate for the team at the 1988 Olympics.

Senior Career


Her debut as a senior in an international event was at the 1989 Romanian Internationals where she medaled silver for all around, uneven bars and floor and bronze for vault. 1989 was the start of a series of medals for floor and vault in international events. Cristina was the surprise top Romanian gymnast at the 1989 World Championships, finishing on the fourth place in the all around event ahead of the great Daniela Silivaş and just behind the trio of Soviet medalists (Boginskaya, Laschenova and Strazheva). In the all around event she scored a perfect 10 for the floor exercise. She won bronze on floor in a final in which the silver medal was not rewarded and tied for silver on vault with Brandy Johnson. Cristina also contributed to the team's silver medal by achieving the third highest average score of her team. In 1990 she won silver medal on vault at the European Championships Athens, Greece and placed seventh in the floor and uneven bars events.


At the 1991 World Championships Indianapolis, USA she tied for gold for floor with Oksana Chusovitina. Her performance on the floor exercise based on a musical background of well-known American songs (like e.g., "The Star-Spangled Banner" (USA anthem), "Oh Susanna", "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again", "Yankee Doodle" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas") energized the crowds. She also won the bronze medal on the all-around event, contributed heavily to the team bronze with the highest average score of her team and placed fourth on vault, seventh on uneven bars and eight on balance beam.

1992 Olympic Games

Together with Lavinia Miloşovici, Gina Gogean, Mirela Paşca, Vanda Hădărean, and Maria Neculiţă, Cristina was a team member of the Romanian team at the 1992 Olympics Barcelona, Spain. In the team finals she had once again the highest contributing score of all her colleagues, highlighted by an average 9.95 on the floor exercise. She qualified first in the floor finals, third all around and fifth in the balance beam finals. She won silver with the team, tied for the bronze medal on floor exercise with Tatiana Gutsu and Shannon Miller, and placed fourth in the all-around and beam finals.

Post Retirement

Cristina retired after the 1992 Olympic games. She first coached in Romania and did some TV commentaries for gymnastics events. Later, she coached in Italy and in Wales. When the contract in Wales was up, Bontas immigrated to Canada to coach at Hamilton's Mountain Star Gymnastics. She went back to Romania in 1998 to marry, returning to Canada without husband Gabi Tătaru while they waited for immigration papers. After several months, her husband was able to join her in Canada, he too coaching at Hamilton Mountain Gym Elites (formerly Mountain Star Gymnastics). The couple have a daughter named Elisa, born May 1999 and a son, born April 2002. In September 2003, Bontaş and her husband opened their own gymnastics club in Hamilton, World Class Gymnastics.

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1987 Japan Junior International 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd
Blume Memorial 5
Kosice International 1st 2nd 1st
1988 Avignon Junior European Championships 3rd 5 7
Junior Friendship Tournament 4 3rd 3rd 1st
1989 Romanian International 2nd 3rd 2nd 2nd
Stuttgart World Championships 2nd 4 2nd 3rd
Chunichi Cup 3rd
1990 Blume Memorial 11
DTB Cup 4
Romanian International 2nd
Athens European Championships 2nd 7 7
1991 Indianapolis World Championships 3rd 3rd 4 7 8 1st
Chunichi Cup 3rd
DTB Cup 4
1992 Barcelona Olympic Games 2nd 4 4 3rd
Chunichi Cup 2nd

Floor Music

1987- "Ciobanelul"/ "Feciorasca de Pe Muras" by Dumitru Farcas

1991 - "The Star-Spangled Banner"/ "Oh Susanna"/ "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again"/ "Yankee Doodle"/ "Deep in the Heart of Texas"

World Floor Exercise Champions
Matylda Pálfyová • Helena RakoczyTamara ManinaEva BosákováLarisa LatyninaNatalia KuchinskayaLudmilla TourischevaNellie Kim | Elena MukhinaEmilia EberleNatalia IlienkoEcaterina SzaboOksana OmelianchikDaniela Silivaş | Elena ShushunovaDaniela Silivaş | Svetlana BoginskayaCristina BontaşKim ZmeskalShannon MillerDina KochetkovaGina GogeanGina Gogean | Kui YuanyuanGina GogeanAndreea RăducanElena GómezDaiane Dos SantosAlicia SacramoneCheng FeiShawn JohnsonBeth TweddleLauren MitchellKsenia AfanasyevaSimone BilesMurakami MaiSimone BilesMurakami Mai

Romanian National All-Around Champions
Elena Ceampelea • Anca Grigoraș • Nadia Comăneci • Cristina Itu • Emilia EberleLavinia AgacheEcaterina SzaboDaniela Silivaş | Ecaterina SzaboDaniela SilivaşCristina BontaşLavinia MiloşoviciSimona AmânarMaria OlaruSimona Amânar | Andreea RăducanSabina Cojocar | Silvia StroescuAura Andreea MunteanuCătălina PonorSandra IzbaşaSteliana NistorAna PorgrasLarisa IordacheSilviana SfiringuIoana StanciulescuSilviana Sfiringu