Cătălina Ponor moved to the national training center in Deva in 2002 and competed at the 2003 World Championships, where she won three silver medals on beam, floor, and with the team. The following year she won gold medals in the same events at the 2004 European Championships before going to the Olympics. At the Athens Games she again won gold in these three events, equalling the record for female gymnasts with three golds at one Olympics.
Ponor added two more bronze medals at the Worlds – 2005 on beam and 2007 with the team and she won the beam at both the 2005 and 2006 European Championships to become the first ever gymnast to win three consecutive titles in this event. She retired at the end of 2007, but in 2011, Ponor made a comeback at the Romanian national championships and won gold on beam and vault. This qualified her for the national team and earned her a spot on the World Championships team, where she made the final on beam, finishing seventh.