|Birth Day:||August 20, 1987|
|Birth Place:||Constanta, Romania|
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She started her competitive gymnastics career at the 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
Ponor was the first female gymnast since Daniela Silivaș in 1988 to win three gold medals at a single Olympics.
Ponor was born in Constanța and started gymnastics when she was four years old. In 2002, she was discovered training in Constanța by the Romanian national team coaches, Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang, who invited her to join the national team.
In March 2004, Ponor competed at the World Cup event in Cottbus, Germany. She placed first on balance beam, scoring 9.700, and second on floor, scoring 9.575. Later in March, she competed at the World Cup event in Lyon, France, and won silver medals on balance beam and floor, scoring 9.175 and 9.625 respectively.
In March, Ponor competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Doha, Qatar. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 15.300 and first on floor with a score of 15.275. Ponor said, "I want to do the same thing that I did in 2004. It was hard to make a comeback, but all the time I was thinking that I could do it. I will not relax till I reach my goal."
Ponor competed at the European Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, in June 2005. She placed first on balance beam with a score of 9.737 and fourth on floor with a score of 9.200. That fall, she won a bronze medal on beam (9.500) at the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne.
In March 2006, she competed at the Cottbus World Cup and placed sixth in the floor final with a score of 13.250. The following month, at the European Championships in Volos, Greece, she placed first on balance beam (15.800) and third on floor (14.600).
In 2007, Ponor began training with Mariana Bitang again. She said: "She's the only person who can bring me back to the form I was in. She's the only coach who can guide me to a world title and another Olympic title." Bitang added, "We saw her very determined, and we were very surprised to see her appetite for competition."
In February 2015, Ponor registered for the anti-doping control within the International Federation of Gymnastics, which suggested that she might be returning to competition. She officially announced her comeback in early March. She told WOGymnastika that by coming back for a third time, she will be risking her biggest failure. She could not compete in the 2015 European Games in Baku as she was not eligible yet.
In June 2016, Ponor won two bronze medals at the European Championships. On 6 July, she was selected to represent Romania at the 2016 Summer Olympics, despite Larisa Iordache's achievement of her fourth consecutive national all around title and citing injury concerns on Iordache. This announcement was made shortly after Ponor was named as Romania's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies, the first time this honor was given to a gymnast.
Ponor continued to compete in 2017 in the hopes of participating in the European Championships, since Romania was the host this year. She began the year by winning titles on the balance beam and floor exercise at the Baku World Cup. One week later, on 23 March, she won a silver medal on beam at the Doha World Cup.
In October 2017, Ponor competed at the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal. Competing only in qualifications on beam, placing 26th, and floor, placing 14th. Ponor did not qualify to either event finals after a fall on beam, earning her a 12.233, and a step out of bounds on floor, earning her a 13.266.
Currently, Catalina Ponor is 35 years, 5 months and 18 days old. Catalina Ponor will celebrate 36th birthday on a Sunday 20th of August 2023.
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