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Robert Tamirjan, the young multiple paratriathlon champion, whom doctors saw in a wheelchair

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Thousands of hours of training, a continuous struggle with one's own limits, but also with those imposed by those around, the permanent support of the family, this is the recipe for the success of Robert Tamirjan, multiple world and European paratriathlon champion, the young man from central city of Miercurea-Ciuc, whom, at the beginning of his life, the doctors saw in a wheelchair.

Robert Tamirjan was born with spastic hemiparesis on the right side, a condition he was only diagnosed with around the age of two, when doctors told his parents that it was possible that their son would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

The tall, blue-eyed young man, with a bright smile, calmly tells about the trials he went through and about the not-so-easy road that eventually led him to the great performance.

The doctors' predictions were not accepted by Robert's parents, who said they would do everything possible for him to live a normal life. Physiotherapy and medical gymnastics sessions began, and his father directed him to sports.

"Dad said I had to do everything possible to have a normal life, although many other parents and friends and even my grandparents were against them (his parents). They said: 'poor child, with disabilities, look they torment him and don't let him be, they always stress him'. But, after all these years, they saw the fruits of their hard work and changed their mentality," reveals the champion from Miercurea-Ciuc.

His biggest problem was that he no longer had any sense of balance, which is why he had a hard time learning to ride a bicycle, which later became his good friend.

At the age of six, Robert took up ice hockey, a sport he practiced until he was 14. Meanwhile, at school, he was marginalized by his peers, he was "alone", as he says, but he found his way, having the constant support of his parents.

"Of course I didn't feel a problem that I was disabled, because I, being born like this, didn't know what it was like to be normal, this was my normal and that's how I grew up. Already, after general school, in high school, I no longer had any problems with my colleagues, with anything, and I started to live a more and more normal life," reveals Robert.

At the age of 14, he borrowed a bicycle from a professional company in Miercurea-Ciuc and entered the competition for amateurs within the Cycling Tour of the Tinutul Secuiesc. The result was not praiseworthy, the multiple champion remembers, but the then manager of the Tusnad Cycling Team, from Miercurea-Ciuc, saw the potential in him and invited him to train with the team. Robert gave up hockey, started sustained cycling training, and the following year participated in the first more serious competitions.

In 2015, in Targu Mures, he took part in his first duathlon, a Balkan competition, the first in which he had also to run, along with cycling. And even if in the running event he was surpassed by all the competitors, he recovered extraordinarily in the MTB cycling event and thus became the Balkan vice-champion.

The following year he also competed in the European Winter Triathlon Championship, in Estonia, i.e. running, cycling and cross-country skiing, all on snow. Despite the very difficult conditions, he obtained the title of vice-champion. In the meantime, he also became the European duathlon champion, but he also trained in cycling and competed in specific competitions, achieving quite good results.

In 2016, he decided to leave the Tusnad Cycling Team and go on his own. In the same year, he was admitted to the National University of Physical Education and Sport, in Bucharest, where he encountered the obstacles that the system places on people with disabilities. The doctors who checked the medical files were on the verge of not accepting him, because in his file it was written that he has spastic hemiparesis. And this, despite the fact that he already held a European title and two European vice-champion titles and practiced performance sports.

In the end, with the dean's approval, he is admitted to the faculty, but a year and a half later he wants to transfer to the Faculty of Sports in Cluj-Napoca, where he was registered at CS Politehnica and where his coach, Iosif Crisan, was located. But there his file is rejected, also due to medical problems. The decision was made when he was in Denmark, at a world cross-country triathlon championship, and he learned the news when he called his parents to inform them that he had become world champion again!

All these experiences made Robert to give up college, even if he still wants to study, but he doesn't know yet if he will do it in Romania or abroad.

In the meantime, the young man from Miercurea-Ciuc, who is now 24 years old, saw his way, prepared, manned up when he had difficult moments and currently has countless national champion titles, as well as 9 titles of world champion and another 9 European champion titles in different variations of triathlon, namely triathlon, cross triathlon, cross duathlon, winter triathlon and winter duathlon.

This year, he also obtained his first national championship title in cycling, both on the road and on the velodrome, the National Championship taking place in Bulgaria, as there is no velodrome track in Romania.

Next year, Robert starts qualifying for the Olympic Games, his big dream, which he knows he will fulfill, because, as he says, he still has 10-15 years of performance sports to practice.

When you ask him what he thinks Romania has given him, the champion from Miercurea-Ciuc answers that he is grateful for the mountains where he trains, but also for the support received from the cycling and triathlon federations. And he gave Romania the multiple titles won, the climbs on the podium, where the country's name is promoted.

And because Robert is a source of inspiration for children and young people with disabilities, he recommends them to believe in their dreams and never give up on them.

"I think that each of us needs dreams to follow. Because, without dreams, we have no goals and, if we don't have goals, we don't have a purpose in life, we don't have the motivation to move forward. So, never abandon your dreams, because if you follow your dreams and work to reach them, they will come true," is the message of the multiple champion.AGERPRES

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