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May 25, 2022

Prahova County native scores Romania’s best result in 24 years at Winter Olympic Games

A historic result for Romanian sport at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Born in Busteni, Prahova County, Raluca Stramaturaru finished 7th in the women’s single luge event, Romania’s best result in the Winter Games in the last 24 years.

On February 13, thanks to Raluca Stramaturaru, the Romanian delegation registered its best result so far at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The athlete finished 7th in the women’s single luge event. The result is a historic one for Romanian luge, but also for Romanian Olympians, being the best rank held by a Romanian athlete at the Winter Olympic Games since Ioan Apostol and Liviu Cepoi finished 6th in the men’s double luge event in Lillehammer, in 1994. Back in 1992, at the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, the same men’s team finished 4th, while Mihaela Dascalu finished 6th in the women’s speed skating event.

According to the Romanian Olympic Sports Committee (COSR), the final rankings in the women’s single luge event in Pyeongchang also brings to the forefront a strong point, Romania being the fourth-best nation in women’s single luge, since Raluca Stramaturaru was outranked only by athletes from Germany (three), Canada (two) and the U.S. (one).

“It was very hard. I’m glad I managed to focus and control my nerves. I completed four clean runs, which is what I planned to do. This seventh place is the culmination of my work. I badly wanted to register a good result, now it’s happened, and I can only be very happy and satisfied. The track is difficult, and you saw it’s unforgiving. I’m convinced that people have now seen what luge means, what winter sports mean, and maybe we’ll receive more support. It’s a result that makes me push on,” Raluca Stramaturaru stated immediately after the conclusion of Tuesday’s event.

COSR President Mihai Covaliu and IOC member Octavian Morariu were in the stands cheering for Raluca Stramaturaru. “Raluca had a very good competition, she surpassed her personal best. At one point she was on first place. However, the Germans came, then this Canadian girl; but the important thing is we’re 4th in the world. Let’s enjoy this result and build on top of what we have,” Mihai Covaliu said. In his turn, Octavian Morariu pointed out: “It’s a historic result that hasn’t been obtained in more than 20 years. I don’t know how many noticed but we’re the fourth nation in this event, after Germany, Canada and the U.S. Those who can help winter sports should do it now. Because just as others overtook us in summer sports, we too can overtake others in winter sports.”

Raluca Stramaturaru will also compete in the team relay event, on February 15.

Aged 32 (she was born on 22 November 1985), the athlete is enrolled at the CSA Steaua – Predeal Winter Sports Centre, but she was born in Busteni, Prahova County.

It must be pointed out that 10 athletes and 3 coaches from Sinaia, currently or previously enrolled at the Sinaia City Sports Club, represent Romania at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The national Olympic team includes: Andrei Turea, Raluca Stramaturaru, Valentin Cretu – luge; Mazilu Maria – skeleton; Grecu Andreea, Grigore Alexandru, Craciun Florin, Maria Constantin, Paul Muntean and Puiu Beatrice – bobsleigh. The athletes are accompanied by coaches Comsa Alexandru, Radu Teodor (luge) and Neagu Paul (bobsleigh).

Many years ago, Romania’s only Winter Games medal – the bronze medal – was won by Ion Panturu and Nicolae Neagoe in the two-man bobsleigh event in Grenoble, in 1968. The two are honorary citizens of Sinaia.

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