Румыния / Romania

Romania were first represented at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games when their rugby union team claimed the bronze.

The first Romanian to win an individual gold medal was shooter Iosif SIRBU, who won the small bore rifle prone position at the 1952 Games in Helsinki.

High jumper Iolanda BALAS was the first Romanian woman to become an Olympic champion when she took gold at the 1960 Games in Rome.

Romanians have been most successful in the sport of artistic gymnastics. Gymnast Nadia COMANECI set new standards at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. She was the first to be awarded a perfect 10 mark for her asymmetric bars routine. At the age of 14 she won the all around title, the parallel bars and beam. In 1980 she won two further golds and remains Romania's most successful Olympian.

COMANECI inspired a generation of outstanding gymnasts, including Ekaterina SZABO, who won four gold medals at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

Simona AMANAR won three gold medals in her Olympic career. In Sydney 2000 she took the women's all around title and led the team to gold.

In 2004, Catalina PONOR won gold in the floor exercise and on the beam, and helped win the team gold medal. Romanians have also enjoyed great success on the water in rowing and canoeing.

Elisabeta LIPA (born OLENIUC) is the most successful rower, with eight Olympic medals, including five gold medals. She won her first gold in the double sculls at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and won the single sculls in 1992. She was also part of the victorious Romanian women's eight that won three consecutive titles from 1996 to 2004.

Georgeta DAMIAN-ANDRUNACHE won five gold medals across three Olympic Games from 2000 to 2008. In Beijing she won her third consecutive gold medal in the coxless pairs. She also won gold in the eights in 2000 and 2004, and added a bronze in the event in 2008.

Fellow crew member Doina IGNAT won four gold medals in a career that stretched from 1992 to 2008. Romania's success in canoeing began with Leon ROTMAN, who won gold in the 1,000m and 10,000m Canadian singles at the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games.

Ivan PATZAICHIN was a dominant figure in the sport, taking part in five Olympic Games from 1968 to 1984. He won Canadian doubles gold in 1968, 1980 and 1984. He also added gold in the Canadian singles in 1972 and collected a further three silver.

The 1976 kayak champion Vasile DIBA also won a silver and two bronze medals.

In Beijing, Constantina TOMESCU won the women's marathon. Romania's women distance runners have a good Olympic record.

Doina MELINTE (800m) and Maricica PUICA (3,000m) won gold at the Los Angeles 1984 Games, Paula IVAN took the1500m gold in Seoul 1988, and Gabriela Szabo won 5,000m gold at the Sydney 2000 Games to complete a full set of medals.

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