Methinks there is something very cute and possibly superstitious going on in the Romanian camp.
See the lady in the background of this shot? I don't know her name (someone will), but I think she is a doctor or a medical person and she has been around for ever.
I noticed a couple of times this week that Ana Porgras (I can't think if I saw the other girls do it) would go over and get the woman to grab her hands and hold them in hers. At first I thought she needed something medical done to them, or maybe she needed some reassurance for her nerves. I saw her do it today before beam, and the woman also said something to her as she held her tiny little hands. I didn't think much of it. Here- I found a picture!!
But then today, I was standing near the entrance, waiting to take shots of someone's routine when Ana Porgras, fresh from her beam gold appeared standing beside me gesturing over at the small Romanian group. 'Diana!' she called out in her silvery little voice that barely cut across the noisy arena
Diana, who was pacing nervously, didn't hear her. Ana stood there patiently, waiting, until Lili Cosma noticed her waving them and stopped Diana in her pacing and pointed out her desperate little team mate. Diana looked over and Ana called out something and then frantically held out her hands and made a squeezing motion.
Then, a second later, as obedient as a lamb, Diana went over to the same woman and placed her hands in hers for a moment while the woman squeezed them and said something.
I have no idea what they are up to- if it is superstition, or the woman tells them something special, but whatever is going on, it is really very cute! And it worked!
Information from anonymous (thank you!)
Her name is Margareta Turcu. Everybody (coaches, gymnasts, fans)calls her "Doamna Eta", Mrs. Eta. She's been a doctor for the national team since forever and has just come out of retirement to help some more. No other (younger) doctor wanted the job, since the monthly pay is around 120-130 euros. She is, undoubtedly, one of the unsung heroes of Romanian gymnastics.