Follow Us On
Celestina Popa Jumps into Gym Ownership
(26 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Preparing for Opening Day of her own gym in British Columbia, 1988 Romanian Olympian Celestina Popa told IG she is hopeful that "Celestina Popa Gymnastics" will benefit area youth and eventually yield competitive talent.

Preparing for Opening Day of her own gym in British Columbia, 1988 Romanian Olympian Celestina Popa told IG she is hopeful that "Celestina Popa Gymnastics" will benefit area youth and eventually yield competitive talent.

"I'd like to make a good impact on my community, in regard to the need for young people to start being more active," Popa said. "I am going to have a recreational program in the first year, with the intention to prepare gymnasts for competitive teams in the future.”

Celestina Popa Gymnastics, which held an open house June 20-21, will celebrate its formal opening June 29. Located in Maple Ridge, 40 kilometers from Vancouver, the facility has 4,800 square feet for gymnastics and 800 square feet for other activities.

"I have possibilities to expand the facility after my first year, but I'd like to see the gym working properly before getting bigger," Popa said.

Popa won a team gold medal at the 1987 World Championships and team silver medals at the 1988 Olympic Games and 1985 Worlds. She said she wanted to open a gym closer to her Maple Ridge home than Flicka Gymnastics Club in North Vancouver, where she had been coaching since 1994.

"The need for a gym in the community that I live in was big," Popa said.

Popa is married to fellow former Romanian gymnast Flaviu Toma, longtime head coach and technical director at Flicka. Popa said Toma will teach morning classes for ages 3-4 and 4-5 at her club, and he will also coach High Performance gymnasts at Flip City Gymnastics Centre in Langley.

Celestina Popa at the 1987 Worlds in Rotterdam

As a gymnast, Popa earned recognition for her eponymous full-twisting straddle jump, as well as her flexibility and unique style. Among her top individual accomplishments, she tied for first place all-around at the 1985 Chunichi Cup in Japan, and placed 10th all-around in preliminaries at the 1988 Olympics.

Popa said she wants to present the best aspects of her Romanian gymnastics background to her Canadian pupils.

"I would like to bring to the community the knowledge that I accumulated during my career," Popa told IG. "I want to make all of the gymnasts aware that you can achieve your dreams with hard work and respect for the people that are trying to help you — your coaches and parents."

External Link: Celestina Popa Gymnastics

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features
"Popa is Still Jumping" - Popa feature (March 2001)
"Silence is Golden" - Romanian team feature, includes Popa
Popa on cover collage, 1985 Chunichi Cup report (March 1986)

To subscribe to IG Magazine or order back issues, click here.

Comments (5)add comment

Taylor from Flicka said:

I Miss You, Congradulations!
Celi and Toma have Coached me at Flicka Gymnastics since I was young and have trained me to become a National High Performance Gymnast they were like my second parents and I miss them a lotsmilies/cry.gif! I just know that their gym will do well and I wish them all the luck! Celi and Toma are great coaches and they are great people! Congradulations smilies/grin.gif
Love Taylor from Flicka
June 24, 2009
Votes: +0

alex said:

mult noroc,celestina!
June 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Thomas Casey said:

Congratulations Celestina. I've always wondered what you had been up to since you were finished with gymnastics. British Columbia I hear is awesome and I wish you the greatest success with your new gym. Just work hard, make sure your students are receiving quality teaching and coaches, and never stop re-evaluating your progress and improvements. Good Luck! Oh, and Aurelia says hi and good luck as well!
June 27, 2009
Votes: +0

McKayla Popa said:

Hi. My name is McKayla Popa. This may seem weird but i think were somehow related. Please write back.
March 31, 2010
Votes: +0

toma said:

I am writing to McKayla Popa.May be we are.Celi
November 06, 2014 | url
Votes: +0

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.

Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser. The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.

Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.