One woman’s injury and fall from grace can be another woman’s opportunity seized and rocket ship to stardom.

One team’s inability to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio is another team’s opportunity to make history.

According to an October 24, 2015 story in, “Romania has medaled at every Summer Games going all the way back to 1976, but its stunning collapse in qualifying essentially eliminated the reigning bronze medalists Friday.

Glued to the scoreboard Saturday, it wasn’t until the second-to-last subdivision that Romania was assured of a place at the test event. The lone consolation is that reigning world silver medalist Larisa Iordache did qualify for the all-around, where scores start from scratch.”

Thank heavens for Larisa Iordache. article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

Her desire to succeed is unstoppable.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”… Confucius

Have you heard of her? As the world of female sports begins to unite, we’re certain you will be hearing more about this Romanian luminary. article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

Larisa is a Romanian artistic gymnast who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the team competition, and she is the current leader of the Romanian women’s artistic gymnastics team.

She is the 2014 World silver medalist in the all-around and on floor. She is the 2015 World bronze medalist in the all-around and the 2013 World bronze medalist on floor.

That’s already a lot to take in but with a super star like Larisa, there is much more.

Remember Nadia Comaneci? article, photo article, photo

She had the entire Olympic audiences eating out of her hand and waiting on her every move.

Nadia Elena Comăneci is a former Romanian gymnast, winner of three gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event.

As early as 2008, the Romanian press was referring to Larisa as “The New Nadia” due to the potential that she had.

In her first year as a senior, Larisa won two gold medals at the 2012 European Champions with her team and on floor. In 2013 she won the European title on beam.

She was the most successful gymnast at the 2014 European Championships, winning gold with her team and on floor, silver on beam, and bronze on vault. She is a 9-time gold medalist in the World Cups.

Larisa was selected to compete at the 2015 World Championships along with Diana Bulimar, Ana Maria Ocolişan, Laura Jurca, Silvia Zarzu, and Catalina Ponor. However, Ponor withdrew after having surgery, and alternate Andreea Iridon was put in her place.

Then the leotard threads began to unravel.

The Romanian team finished in thirteenth place, meaning that they did not directly qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

With initial high expectations, their team performance was described as a meltdown.

Then to add more pressure, there’s nothing like a legend to lend a choice comment.

Nadia Comăneci was interviewed after their performance, and she stated, “It’s not the best year for them. I know they have a few girls that aren’t of age who are in the plan for next year’s Olympics. There’s been a lot of accidents also. It wasn’t very smooth for everybody and psychologically on top of that, Ocolisan’s injury hit them hard.”

Larisa and her teammates were seen crying afterwards.

Having said all of that, at least Larisa still made it to the promise land in Rio. article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

Rio is where she is headed but let’s travel to where she is from and enjoy the village that helped raise such a beautiful talented girl.

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial center. article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862 and is the center of Romanian media, culture, and art.

In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom. article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits, after London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Paris.

When it comes to Bucharest, there is plenty of love to go around. To many, this ancient metropolis is elegance laced with history. article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

The dynamic travel site smiles, “Romania’s capital gets a bad rap, but in fact it’s dynamic, energetic and quite fun. It’s where still-unreconstructed communism meets unbridled capitalism; where the soporific forces of the EU meet the passions of the Balkans and Middle East.

Many travelers give the city just a night or two before heading off to Transylvania, but we think that’s not enough. Budget at least a few days to take in the good museums, stroll the parks and hang out at trendy cafes. While much of the center is modern and garish, you will find some splendid 17th- and 18th-century Orthodox churches tucked away in quiet corners and graceful art nouveau villas. Communism changed the face of the city for good, and nowhere is this more evident than at the gargantuan Palace of Parliament, the craziest and arguably crassest tribute to dictatorial megalomania you’ll ever see.” article, wikipedia photo article, wikipedia photo

We believe you Lonely Planet. We always do.

We also believe in Larisa and are certain she’s going to have a powerful showing in Rio. She’s a person who continually improves with wisdom.

In her October 16, 2014 interview with CNN she expressed, “I loved being watched by people. It’s so important, when you’ve been working hard, to be able to show what you’ve worked for daily. You can’t succeed without pleasure and desire.”

We agree.

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”… Robert Kiyosaki

Seeing Larisa soar through the air with apparent ease, it’s easy to forget the fine line between success and failure as these beautiful athletes try to pull off finely-honed, complicated aerial maneuvers.

It’s a great pleasure to watch Larisa compete and witness her iron will and desire to be the best.

She’s a reminder in life why all of us should make the most of the opportunities presented to us.

As Larisa so eloquently expressed, it will ignite both our pleasure and desire.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.