Defence Minister Mihai Fifor stated on Monday, at the ceremony dedicated to Romanian servicemen who took part in the Invictus Paralympic Games, that Premier Mihai Tudose has ordered the legislation amended so as to allow Invictus members to be assimilated to other athletes who represent Romania.
“You have from us all the support, from all points of view. I convey to you the Prime Minister’s salutations. He has ordered the amending of the legislation so that this wonderful team would be assimilated to the other athletes who represent us in sports competitions abroad, for you to be assimilated to world champions, Olympic champions, because that’s what you are,” Fifor said.
“Today, here, we close the Invictus Games in Toronto, but we start the preparations for Australia, because we must go there and prove that Romania knows how to fight for what it has best, namely for its national pride, for its pride as full-fledged member alongside all other countries,” Fifor added.
On Monday, the MoD organised a ceremony in the honour of the 15 servicemen who took part in the Invictus Paralympic Games in Toronto.
Romania took part for the first time in the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, on September 23-30, being represented by 15 athletes, servicemen injured in theatres of operations or in the country. The athletes competed in seven disciplines – archery, athletics, swimming, powerlifting, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball and cycling.
Major Laurentiu Serban won the bronze medal in the 1,500-metre event, the first medal won by the Invictus Romania team.
Major Laurentiu Serban, the captain of Invictus Romania, was injured in Afghanistan in 2006, while extracting his colleagues from an armoured personnel carrier that had been hit by an improvised explosive device.
Lieutenant Ciprian Iriciuc, injured in Afghanistan in 2015, won the bronze medal in the indoor rowing event.
The Romanian team (Ionut Butoi, Dorin Petrut and Nicusor-Augustin Pegulescu) won the gold medal in the compound archery event.
Ionut Butoi was injured in Afghanistan in 2008. The serviceman was close to dying in an IED attack. He fractured his spine and is paralysed from the waist down. Because of the stress, he suffers from diabetes, being now dependent on insulin. He trains for archery, powerlifting and swimming events.
Nicusor-Augustin Pegulescu was injured in Afghanistan in 2009. His left leg is amputated and he trains for indoor rowing and archery events.
Dorin Petrut was injured in Iraq in 2007. He has a titanium rod in his left leg, from the knee down to the ankle. He trains for the archery event.
The team that represented Romania at the Invictus Games 2017, in Toronto, returned to Romania on Monday night. The servicemen, their family members and the technical staff were met at the airport by Defence Minister Mihai Fifor.