Once in every four years, the world’s best athletes get together to prove their skills in one of the most important sports competitions in modern history
Initially due in 2020, the Olympic Games in Tokyo were postponed by one year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the current edition in Japan, spectators are barred from the Olympic events. This decision, taken by the organizers, upset sponsors, who see their business figures going down. The most affected, however, are sports lovers, who have waited for five years to see their favorite athletes compete, fighting for Olympic medals. Fans have no choice but watch the TV and online broadcasts of the events, which unfortunately cannot recreate the wonderful atmosphere of such competition.
Romania has sent a 101-strong delegation to this edition of the Olympics. In 17 sports disciplines, 46 athletes will be competing in the women's version of the games and 55 in the men's version. Romanian athletes are set to prove their mettle in swimming, athletics, rowing, football, artistic gymnastics, 3-on-3 women's basketball, cycling, wrestling, shooting sports, canoeing, table tennis, boxing, judo, fencing and lawn tennis. 40 coaches and sports officials are also part of the delegation.
The Romanian athletes’ chances to win medals have been thoroughly analyzed. The level of Romanian Olympic performance has been going down constantly in the last few years. In the 2008 edition, held in Beijing, the country won nine medals, of which 4 gold ones. Fours years later, in London, Romania only won two gold medals out of a total 7, while in 2016 the country’s athletes returned from Rio with only four medals, of which 1 gold. This year, in Tokyo, Romania’s fencing team, that won gold in Brazil, is represented only by Ana Maria Popescu.
Before leaving for Tokyo, she conveyed a message to the fans of Romania’s Olympic team: “I know for sure that each of us dreamt about winning a medal and I know we will do our best for that to happen. We thank you for your trust, for your support, and we thank the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee for taking care of us and offering us everything we needed to prepare. This time, everything was as it should. Apart from that, let us not forget that Romanian sport is not only about the Olympic Games. So we ask you to support us the way you always have, and to further stand by us and the future of Romanian sports.”
Romania’s football squad have already made their debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. (EE)