Part of the dynamic Kovalenko duo team, Valentina’s career and outstanding accomplishments mirror many of Vladimir’s, however, Valentina has the most experience as a competitive gymnast. This added dimension has helped elevate the Darien program to a new level, as she has related and shared many of her competitive experiences with her gymnasts. Her contributions to the Darien Team have resulted in many State and Regional Championships, including a YMCA National Championship and the crowning of an individual All-Around Champion, Jessica Bolduc.
Before coming to the United States in 1995, Valentina coached at the Mariupol Sports School of Olympic Reserve for Juniors and Children. In 1995 she worked at the Academy of Elite Gymnastics in Orlando, Florida and coached Shayla Worley. Shayla later became a World Champion and a U.S. National Team Member. After her tenure at the Academy of Elite Gymnastics, Valentina and Vladimir continued their coaching career at Gym Carolina in Raleigh North Carolina.
Valentina was a member of the Ukrainian National Gymnastics Team from 1972 to 1977. In 1976 while competing for the famous Spartak Gymnastics Team, her team placed 3rd at the 42nd U.S.S.R. Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. During this competition, she was a teammate of International Hall of Fame inductee and 1976 Olympic Floor and Vault Champion, Nelli Kim and the 1980 Olympic Champion Yelena Davydova.
Valentina has a Master of Sport, and is a graduate of the Kiev State Institute and the Dnipropetrovsk State Institute of Physical Education, where she majored in Physical Culture and Sports. She has been granted the Top Qualification Rating for coaching in Ukraine.
Daniela Andrei (Dana)
Dana also began her gymnastics career at the age of 4 in her hometown of Buzau, Romania. She was a member of the Romanian Junior National Team from 2006 to 2008 and a member of the Romanian Olympic Team from 2008 to 2013.
Dana competed in numerous international competitions throughout her career including the 2008 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Tokyo, Japan.
Dana is currently our Floor coach and Choreographer. She is also slated to perform some Exhibitions in the United States.
Anatolie graduated from the College of Sports in the Republic of Moldova with a Master of Sport in Gymnastics, Track and Field, and Soccer.
He has over 20 years experience teaching and working with children of all ages in the fields of physical education and culture, track and field, soccer and all sports. He worked extensively in Romania for SOS, an international organization in 200+ countries devoted to improving the lives of orphans worldwide. Anatolie has a lifelong passion for increasing children’s self-esteem, confidence and capabilities for success in life. He has a prestigious Master of Sports degree from Russia and Romania and is an elite athlete who qualified for the 1996 Olympics in the marathon.
Anatolie was invited to the United States in 2003 to compete in the Clearwater, Florida Marathon. He went on to win many races in the US, including the inaugural Little Rock Arkansas Marathon in May, 2003.
We are fortunate to have Anatolie as part of our coaching staff.