Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca on Tuesday said that at a meeting on Monday with swimmer David Popovici he was asked to provide the younger generation with the necessary conditions for them to play sports.
"He asked me to provide the younger generation with the necessary conditions to be able to play sports. Let me quote him on the arguments: 'When we play sports, we have both a healthy body and especially a healthy mind. It teaches us to think and to plan,' and I told him that beyond that, professional athletes have a commitment to themselves and a level of ambition that we sometimes lack. As such, I believe that we are compelled to do what we have to do for the younger generation in terms of both administrative insurance and the impetus side and as many role models as possible, so that the younger generation has something to emulate," Ciuca told a news conference.
He said that it was an honour to meet Popovici and that he congratulated him on his performance.
"It was an honour meeting him because I had the opportunity to congratulate him directly, at the government headquarters, and to thank him for all the efforts made by him, by his family and team. I discussed a lot of issues related to Romanian sport with David and he detailed to me how he got to this high level of performance. What he asked me to do and I promised him I will was that the government make and effort and commitment to a sports strategy, a new sports law as soon as possible," said Ciuca.
At the Government House on Monday Ciuca said that Popovici is the standard bearer of his generation, and his results the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest will set things moving in the Romanian sports.
He added that the government supports the reform of the Romanian sports system under a national strategy for sports drafted by the Ministry of Sports that will be promoted soon, considering that it represents an objective of the government agenda.
Competing for the first time as an adult in the long course world championships, Popovici, 17, won gold in the men's 100 m freestyle and 200 m freestyle, in the FINA 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, the first two world titles for the Romanian men's swimming and set new world junior records in both events.
Popovici is the second swimmer of all time to win gold in the 100 and 200m freestyle events at the same world championships, after American Jim Montgomery did so in 1973 in Belgrade.