The Other Side Of The Medal by Andreea Răducan
Translation: Magda Petrescu
Editor: Marisa Finetti
Foreword: Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang
Creative concept cover
ISBN ePub: 978- 606-93188-2-9
ISBN print: 978-606-93188-3-6
Digital publishing protects the environment
After all these years, the Sydney Olympic Games’ motto in 2000 seems to be the best one yet. Should we assume that the other Olympic Games were more tolerant?
Romania paid dearly for a situation still unclear to this day. Andreea Raducan was in the middle of an unhappy turn of events — most of which were beyond her control and started from an innocent action. Subsequently, it blotted her career. To win the Olympic gold medal is perhaps the rarest occasion when the gods are on your side, so to speak. As an athlete you have to be in the best shape of your life and your performances have to impress the judges in such a way that they know you are the best in the world.
Andreea was an Olympic Champion and experienced the euphoria and elation that comes with being an Olympic champion — something that only a few people ever experience. More amazing was the all-around championship result (a Romanian 1-2-3) and while Andreea was still receiving congratulatory messages from Romania and abroad, the nightmare began. In only a few moments our extreme joy turned into bewilderment, despair, frustration and indignation at a decision that is very difficult to explain, even today. It is for this reason that this book attempts to revisit those events as accurately as possible. Why the amazement you may ask? Because, usually we all want to forget the difficult moments that we have to face at some point in life. However, Andreea Raducan doesn’t want to forget and, even if remembering those moments means reopening a wound that might never heal, she wants to reopen it to shine more light on this bizarre event that will likely never be fully explained. The medal withdrawal decision, whatever happened behind the curtains to make such a decision, many procedural flaws and many other lesser known moments, will be the subject of this revisiting. To revisit the event in question demands a lot of patience, unflagging effort and courage. There’s only one question left: Why now? Maybe for her pride or maybe because of the desire to show that she suffered an injustice. Andreea wants to tell her side of the story.
To us, Andreea is the Olympic champion from Sydney and we believe that, above the details that you will discover in this book, all Sydney Olympics related, Andreea’s winning spirit is underlined. She is an example of assiduity, determination and courage. The hope that one day justice will be done makes her go on with trust.
Mariana Bitang, Octavian Bellu
He was at work when mom brought me into this world. Before going to the hospital he called and asked, “Good day, did Simina Raducan give birth?” The nurse answered, “Yes and you have a girl! God bless her.” Dad repeated the question, “No, you don’t understand. I am asking about Raducan Simina.” “Yes, sir, your wife gave birth, and you have a girl!”
He wanted a boy — probably a boy who would become a football player, but that was not to be. A girl was born instead — a girl so similar to him with the same characteristics and looks. The choice was gymnastics instead of football. A sports fan, my dad was the one who chose my way in life. I know that he loved me immensely.
I inherited his pride and determination to make things right. I will never forget the rides on his red bike. I was the pilot because I sat in front of him on a little seat specially installed there so he can take me with him anywhere. Sometimes I would get tired and sleepy and he always knew that I was tired when I would nod in agreement with everything he said, even if he said things that I didn’t like. He would pull my hair with his lips to wake me up so I wouldn’t fall from his arms.
I was only five years old when one day after a training session I told him that I didn’t want to go up on the beam. I was afraid that the beam was too high and too thin. “Go up and have no fear. Daddy is right here waiting for you on the other end of the beam,” he would say. I remembered his reply countless times in my life. Each time I struggled, daddy was waiting for me “on the other end of the beam” to make things better for me. Maybe it wasn’t an accident that the beam became my favorite apparatus as high and as thin as it was. When he talked to me he seemed fearless, but he was very sensitive and vulnerable. I think he suffered each moment I competed. I later found out from my mom that he took pills to calm down in order to be able to watch me in competition.
There are people who just become parents, and then there are those who are born to be parents. I thank my mother for choosing the best father in the world for us. And, I thank God for allowing them to meet. I wished I could have told dad a million of things, but I always felt that it wasn’t the right moment and that I would have the time to tell him everything after I had finished my gymnastics career. It never happened. Fate separated us way too soon.
This book is dedicated to him, and I wish he could have read this book so he would realize that I understood everything he taught me better than he imagined. We promised one another many things. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep all of these promises.
They say that a girl looks for her father’s qualities in the boy that will be her future husband. I hope that my children’s father will be just like him. In fact, I know that it will be this way.
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