Romania has a rich history of competing in sports. It must be our competitive spirit, the native ambition, and hard-working nature, or maybe just pure talent. Either way, the athletes of Romania left their mark on just about every sport. So let’s meet the local legends. Ladies first.
Nadia Comăneci, the first person to score a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games
A perfect 10 refers to a score of 10.00 for a single routine in gymnastics and was once thought to be unattainable. Especially at the Olympic Games. That was until Nadia Comăneci, a rising Romanian star of gymnastics, came into the picture and changed the world of gymnastics for good. She received six more perfect 10s at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, besides winning 3 gold medals. No wonder she is worldwide famous and a role model for every gymnast out there.
Simona Halep, the first Romanian tennis player to be world no. 1
Halep is the only active sports superstar we have, so a lot of emotions runs through our veins whenever she’s playing a big match. Trust us, we can be very passionate when it comes to sports. If we are to talk about her accomplishments, we have to mention her constantly improved game, being one of the most popular WTA players, and winning some big WTA titles. By far, her most impressive performance was that of becoming the first female tennis player in Romania to make it to No 1 (in October 2017).
Ilie Năstase, Romanian former world No. 1 professional tennis player
Let’s stick for a while in the tennis world to praise the star, the one and only Ilie “Nasty” Năstase. Romanians love him for his humor and spicy love life, but he notorious for being an incredibly good tennis player. He was ranked world No. 1 from 23 August 1973 to 2 June 1974, he is one of the ten players in history who has won more than 100 ATP professional titles, and won no less than 7 Grand Slam titles. Maybe that’s why he’s a part of the International Tennis Hall of fame. Let’s add that he is the 1st male player who won the French Open title in 1973 without losing a set and we’re done.
Gheorghe Hagi, the best Romanian football player of all time
Everybody knows him as Gică Hagi actually. This former professional football player used to be one of the best-attacking midfielders in Europe back in the 80’s and 90’s. For many Romanians, he is the King (Regele) and nicknamed “The Maradona of the Carpathians”. He proudly received the Romanian Footballer of the Year award seven times, he played in 3 FIFA World Cups and 3 UEFA European Championship, managing to score 35 goals when representing Romania. He is considered one of the greatest living footballers and one of the greatest players of the 20th century and that’s why we love him. And for his memorable speeches J.
Featured image source: Steemit