The athletes who will represent Romania at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (February 4-20) are "heroes", said on Thursday the Minister of Sport, Eduard Novak.
"I congratulate the athletes qualified for the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing 2022, whom I consider heroes, for the ambition and tenacity with which they prepared, without the proper infrastructure, ahead of countries with tradition and with all the necessary conditions," said Novak, who started his sports career as a speed skater, on his Facebook page, after the Romanian Sports and Olympic Committee announced the list of the 22 athletes qualified.
Romania will attend the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (February 4-20) with 22 athletes, in luge, bob, skeleton, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jump, biathlon and speed skating, announced, on Thursday, the Romanian Sports and Olympic Committee.
The 8 women athletes and 14 men athletes will be grouped into three Olympic villages, in Yanqing, Zhangjiakou and Beijing.
The Executive Committee of the COSR has decided, on Thursday, through vote, the designation of the two athletes who will bear the Romanian flag at the opening ceremony at the Beijing Games, Raluca Stramaturaru (luge) and Paul Pepene (cross-country skiing), their designation taking into account "the age of the athletes, the sport they represent, their performance and their respect for Olympic values."
Raluca Stramaturaru (36 years old) is at her fourth participation in the Olympic Winter Games, after the editions in Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018. In the last edition of the Olympic Olympic Games she had the best standing in Romania's team, seventh place. Raluca Stramaturaru is the second representative in this discipline to be a flagbearer, after Ioan Apostol (1992, 1994).
Paul Pepene is the first and only cross-country skier from Romania to have won a world title in U23. He has in his track record 2 world silver medals in adults, at rollerblade skiing. He is at his fourth Olympic participation after attending Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018.
The Romanian athletes who will attend the 2022 Olympic Games are the following:
- luge (4): Raluca Stramaturaru (women's, relay), Valentin Cretu (men's, relay), Marian Gitlan, Darius Serban (double men's, relay)
- bob (6): Andreea Grecu (monobob, two-woman bob), Katharina Wick (two-woman bob) - trainer Paul Neagu; Mihai Tentea (two-man bob, four-man), Ciprian Daroczi (two-man, four-man bob), Raul Dobre (four-man bob), Cristian Radu (four-man)
- skeleton (1): Sebastian Enache (men's) - possible reallotment, first reserve
- alpine skiing (2): Maria Constantin (slalom, women's giant slalom), Alexandru Stefanescu (slalom, men's giant slalom).
- ski jumping (3): Daniela Haralambie (women's normal hill), Andrei Feldorean (men's individual hill, men's individual large hill), Daniel Cacina (men's individual hill, individual large hill)
- cross-country skiing (3): Timea Lorincz (skiathlon, women's freestyle), Paul Pepene, Raul Popa (skiathlon, freestyle, team sprint)
- biathlon (2): Natalia Ushkina (individual, sprint, pursuit - women's), George Colţea (sprint, individual, pursuit - men's)
- speed skating (1): Mihaela Hogas (women's).