Biographyand Career :
Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang, national gymnastic team coaches, discovered her during a summer holiday and decided to take her in Deva.
The next year Ponor was selected for the Romanian national team and went to the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, USA. There she won silver medals with the team, on balance beam and on floor exercise.
The year 2004 was very good for her and she won three gold medals (team, balance beam, floor exercise) at the European Championships in Amsterdam. When she participated at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece she won again three gold medals (team, balance beam and floor exercise). She won the beam wit
h 9.787 points and the floor with 9.750 points and so she entered in the Record Book because since Daniela Silivas in 1988 no one had won three gold medals in the same Olympics.
In 2005 she was involved in some scandals. At the beginning of the year she was stunned when the press discovered that she had a brother and her mother never told her about him. Ponor's parents divorced when the children were very young. The father went to Sweden and took the boy with him, while the mother stayed with Catalina in Romania. In August Catalina and two of her mates, Florica Leonida and Alexandra Eremia, left the training camp and went to a night club in Bucharest. The Romanian Gymnastics Federation punished them by sending them back to their home clubs. This way Catalina returned to Farul Constanta Club and trained with Matei Stanei.
At the 2005 European Championships, Catalina Ponor won again the gold on the balance beam, but lost the one on the floor. She was seen crying after these results.
In November 2005 at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, she was one of the two Romanian female gymnasts selected by the Romanian Gymnastics Federation to participate in the competition. The other gymnast was Florica Leonida. There Ponor won the bronze medal on the balance beam and didn't qualify in the floor final.
The Romanian gymnastic team changed its coach in 2006 and Catalina didn't want to train with Nicolae Forminte.
She went to the European Championships and said that after the competition she would retire. Ponor won her final gold in the balance beam, her third European title on that apparatus, silver in the team competition and bronze on the floor.