Country: Romania

Profession: Athlete – 1500m

Career highlights:

  • 2x Olympian
  • 2022 Indoor Championships finalist
  • 5x National Champion
  • 5x National Indoor Champion

How do you stay self-motivated through the ups and downs of being an athlete?

I learned that the road to success is not easy, and you have to learn to lose in order to know how to win. It’s hard to stay motivated when you have problems (injuries and bad results), but I had a coach by my side who highlighted my qualities and motivated me. 

To become a champion, you have to behave like a champion from the first day you step on the track and believe in yourself.

The 1500m is a tough race – can you take us through what goes through your mind that last 200m as you come round the bend and head for the finish line?

I always start the race with one thought: ‘’I’m ready and I can do it’’. Training is harder than competition and I always go with the desire to surpass myself. 

In the last 200m I always say to myself: ‘’Fight to the end’’, even when I’m not always in great shape. Believe in your power beyond the finish line.

What has been the most pressure you have ever felt, and how did you handle it?

For me, qualifying races were a real challenge. I was asking myself a lot of questions before I started the race and that disturbs me. Until the day I decided it’s time to work with a sports psychologist. Ever since I started working with a sports psychologist, my performance has started to improve.

What Romanian food do you enjoy making?

Traditional Romanian food brings together a mix of ingredients and is heavily influenced by Balkan, Turkish, Serbian and Hungarian cuisines. Romanian food is varied and very savoury.

I enjoy making sarmale (Cabbage Rolls). It is an incredibly comforting dish that you can easily find on the street during the Christmas and New Year holidays or at every typical Romanian wedding. It is made of minced meat mixed with spices, rice, and onions, then rolled up in sour cabbage leaves, and boiled for hours. 

How do you like to relax after a long week?

I try to spend my free time outdoors. Walking on the beach and drinking coffee in the sound of the waves are my moments of relaxing.

If you could choose any superpower, what would you choose and why?

I would choose the superpower to teleport. The ability to transport you from one place to another would be an asset to visit the whole world in a lifetime. I wouldn’t waste time traveling. I would also be able to travel from one competition to the other without jetlag.

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