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Romania at the Olympic Games

The Olympic events with the best performances for Romania

Photo: pixabay.com
Photo: pixabay.com

, 17.05.2024, 14:00

 

The first participation of our gymnasts in an Olympic contest was in Berlin in 1936 but they started winning medals only 20 years later. Elena Leustean became a bronze medallist in the floor event in Melbourne, where the Romanian team also finished in the third position. Another bronze in Rome in 1960 was followed by a 16-year break.

 

Then Nadia Comaneci managed a perfect 10, making the three-digit scoreboard in Montreal obsolete. Nadia has won five Olympic gold medals, three of them in Montreal, in the individual all-round, beam and uneven bars event. Ecaterina Szabo comes next with four Olympic titles all of them in Los Angeles in 1984. Three Olympic gold medals have been won by Daniela Silivas, Simona Amanar and Catalina Ponor. Silivas compelled recognition in Seoul in 1988 when she won the uneven bars, beam and floor events.

 

Amanar won the vault event in Atlanta in 1996 and the all round event and the team contest in Sydney 2000. Ponor won the Olympic titles in the beam, floor and teams contests in Athens, in 2004. In the men’s competitions, Romania had only one Olympic champion, Marius Urzica who won the pommel horse event in Sydney.

 

When it comes to the best Olympic performances, Romanian rowers come right after the gymnasts, with 38 medals, half of them gold. Romania’s first participation in an Olympic competition was in Helsinki, in 1952, with the first medal won in Munich in 1972 by Petre Ceapura, Ladislau Lovrenschi and Stefan Tudor, the bronze medallists in the men’s coxed pairs.

 

The women’s contests were introduced for the first time in Montreal in 1976 and Romania’s coxed quadruple scull stepped onto the podium’s third step. At the following edition, in Moscow in 1980, Sanda Toma won the gold for Romania in the single scull race. Women rowers from Romania dominated the competitions from 1984 to 2004, winning 17 gold medals, most of them in the Los Angeles Olympics.

 

In 1984, Romanian rowers won five Olympic titles in the women’s competitions and one in the men’s contests. Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu brought home the last Olympic gold for Romania in the women’s pairs of the Beijing Olympics, while the Romanian eight won the bronze in the 2016 Games in Rio.

 

Next in terms of Olympic medals won for Romania are the athletes, with 35 medals, kayak-canoeists with 34, and wrestlers with 33 medals. Iolanda Balas is the only Romanian athlete with two gold medals in the Olympic Games, in 1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo. Ivan Patzaichin reaped four gold medals and three silver in the kayak-canoe races. He and Serghei Covaliov compelled recognition in the 1000 meter race of Mexico Olympics in 1968, in Moscow 1980 and in Los Angeles four years later together with Toma Simionov. Patzaichin also won the 1000 meter single race in Munich in 1972.

 

Gheorghe Berceanu and Stefan Rusu also made Romanians proud in Olympic wrestling competitions. Berceanu won the gold in Munich and silver four years later in Montreal, while Rusu became a silver medallist in Montreal and a gold medallist at the Olympics in Moscow. (bill)

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