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Răducan Ready for New Challenges as President of Romanian Federation
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World and Olympic champion Andreea Răducan is expected to be elected president of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation on Friday, following the withdrawl of incumbent Adrian Stoica from the race.

World and Olympic champion Andreea Răducan is expected to be elected the new president of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation (FRG) on Friday, following the withdrawal of incumbent Adrian Stoica, the only other candidate, on Thursday.

Răducan, 33, told IG she was not caught by surprise by the news of Stoica's withdrawal, which had come as a shock to the general public.

Andreea Răducan at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney

"I cannot say that I was surprised by Mr. Adrian Stoica's decision," the former gymnast told IG late Thursday. "First and foremost, I respect Mr. Stoica's decision to not present his candidacy for the presidency of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation. He has notified me before making this decision public, and I thank him for his trust and for everything he has done during his tenure as the President of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation."

Earlier on Thursday, Stoica announced that he would be bowing out of the race after more than four decades working for the federation, including 12 as president. He stated that his decision stemmed from Răducan's qualifications and eagerness to take the reigns of the federation.

"I will not run anymore given that there is such a desire from the younger generation to get involved," Stoica told AGERPRES. "I've already spent 42 and a half years within the Romanian Gymnastics Federation — it's time to go."

Răducan, whose storied career is well-known, has stayed heavily involved in gymnastics since her retirement in 2002. She has worked as a reporter and commentator for Romanian television, and she has been a tireless promoter of women's gymnastics in Romania through various programs and events. Since 2006, she has been working with the Romanian Olympic Foundation, which promotes fitness and sport and also provides aid to former champions needing assistance. She is currently president of the foundation and announced her candidacy for president of the FRG in June.

Răducan, a native of Bârlad, graduated with a degree in Physical Education from the West University of Timișoara and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Bucharest. In 2010, Răducan released her autobiography, The Other Side of the Medal, which dealt with the still controversial decision to strip her of her 2000 Olympic all-around gold medal after she ingested cold medicine (containing an ingredient that is no longer a banned substance).

Răducan told IG she is ready to take on the huge challenges facing the Romanian program after its disappointing quadrennium.

"Romania's gymnastics team did not qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio, which represented a huge setback and disappointment for our country," she said. "It was the first time after 48 years that the female team did not make it to the Olympics. Keep in mind that during the last 44 years, since Munich 1972, the female gymnastics team has won at least one medal at each edition. Being now the only candidate to lead this federation, it has become clear to me that the federation will be undergoing a profound change, some would call it a 'generational change'. This change will take place both on a managerial level and on a sports level. We highly appreciate the extraordinary results obtained by our veterans like Cătălina Ponor and Marian Drăgulescu. At the same time, we will have to be courageous and give the chance to the new generation of talented young Romanian gymnasts to prove themselves and compete on a top level. Therefore, my main goal as the new President is to reform the FRG so that our national team will have satisfying results at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo."

The past spring, the FRG successfully organized the European championships for men and women, held at the Polyvalent Hall in Cluj-Napoca, where the 10,000-capacity arena was sold out throughout the event. Răducan was actively involved in the organization of the European championships, and says the success may lead the federation to bid for other events, such as a World Cup or even a world championship.

"The event was a great success confirmed by the enthusiastic crowd and the European Union of Gymnastics," she said. "It proved that in Romania we are capable of hosting wonderful gymnastics tournaments. After this positive experience, we are definitely open to discussing other bids for international events."

The elections for the Romanian Gymnastics Federation will be held Friday morning. Although Răducan is now the only candidate for the presidency, several other positions will be contested. Former Olympians Dănuţ Grecu and Monica Roşu and aerobics coach Maria Fumea are vying for two positions as vice president of the federation.

There are 13 candidates for the seven-member Executive Committee of the FRG, including several former gymnasts and coaches: Vasilica Agop, Dragoș Bîrzu, Angela Cacoveanu, Olga Didilescu, Adrian Durlă, Nicolae Forminte, Gina Gogean-Groza, Ingrid Istrate, Cătălin Meran, Cristian Moldovan, Florin Popa, Augustin Pop and Cristiana Spînu.

In addition to her new position as head of the FRG, Răducan is also preparing for another role: mamă. She is expecting her first child, a daughter, in October, with husband Daniel Tandreu, whom she married last year.

External Link: Romanian Gymnastics Federation

Read an exclusive interview with Andreea Răducan in the January 2017 issue of International Gymnast. To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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