The 1987 World Championships included various intriguing storylines, but none more interesting than Romania’s ambush of the Soviet Union in the thrilling women’s team final. Leading that dramatic charge was a relatively unknown 14-year-old named Aurelia Dobre, who stole the show in Rotterdam.
After Romania won the team gold, its first since 1979, Dobre continued her dominance of the women’s competition. After posting the highest compulsory-optional total in preliminaries, her 39.775 in the all-around final, which included a 10.0 on vault, was again the top score, making her the first Romanian to win the World Championship all-around title. Dobre was not through, however. In apparatus finals she earned her third gold on balance beam.
In 1988, an injury to her left knee robbed Dobre of a longer career. Still, she gamely competed at the Seoul Olympics, where Romania won the team silver. Though Dobre finished sixth all-around, her balletic elegance was on full display at those Games.
Born Nov. 16, 1972, in Bucharest, Dobre remained in the sport after retiring from competition. She moved to the U.S. in 1991, and a year later married Fariborz Mofid, owner of Fit ’n’ Fun Gymnastics in Maryland. They had four sons, Cyrus, Darius and twins Lucas and Marcus. In 2016, Cyrus, trained by his father as an age-group gymnast, competed for the University of Iowa as a red-shirt senior.
Both Aurelia and her husband, “Boz,” coach at the gym, which is now called Dobre Gymnastics Academy.