Romanian tennis ace Simona Halep was presented on Tuesday by President Klaus Iohannis with the National Order of the ‘Star of Romania’ in the rank of Knight, in a ceremony held at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
“Before us stands a great champion, who has offered Romanians not only moments of joy, but also an invaluable example. Dear Simona Halep, today I award you the highest distinction of the Romanian state, in sign of recognition and deep appreciation for your winning the prestigious Wimbledon trophy, as well as for your exceptional career track so far. In just 55 minutes, you have written an important page in the history of Romanian tennis, at Wimbledon. Thanks to your talent, passion, determination, perseverance and constant training, you have succeeded in becoming the first Romanian tennis player to hold this title. I congratulate you with all my heart! (…) Simona Halep is already one of the most beloved sportswomen of all times. Through the tennis she practices with so much passion and dedication, she inspires millions of people from many corners of the world. Moreover, she reaches in a very special way the children’s hearts, sowing the seeds of trust and courage in there. By the power of your example, you represent a highly precious role model for the young generation,” President Klaus Iohannis said at the award ceremony.
He argued that Halep’s Wimbledon final match has been “a lesson of concentration, of physical and mental strength, of huge ambition,” and stressed that the Romanian tennis player’s special performance fully belongs to her and to her family.
“It is a great honor for me, a recognition and appreciation of my work. (…) I hope to inspire all the children through these results, to instill into them the desire and pleasure to practise this sport that helps one develop not only one’s sports career, but the personal career too. (…) I am having a quite emotional moment. It’s harder than the Wimbledon final,” confessed Simona Halep, who went on to thank her family, her coaches and the Romanians.
“I want to thank them for having built this house, as I call my career. Each brick was very important, this is why I reached the highest level of tennis. I thank the Romanians everywhere, who support me unconditionally regardless of the country where I play, but what I most thank them for is the positive energy I receive when I return home. I am proud to be a Romanian and I hope to go everywhere, head held up high, and win as many trophies as possible, in order to be an inspiration for all the kids, and I hope that they get opportunities and as best as possible conditions for us to have as many champions as possible in the future,” Halep said at the decoration ceremony.
Attending the event at the Cotroceni Palace were Simona Halep’s parents, as well as people close to her, including former tennis player Ilie Nastase.