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Marian Dragulescu: 'My Stamina Is The Same As Always'
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Winner of eight world titles, Marian Dragulescu of Romania recently conquered his most daunting challenge — on the operating table, not the vaulting table. Dragulescu, who underwent a successful cardiac ablation procedure in May to reduce his abnormally fast heart rate, has not missed a beat in his speedy return to competitive form.

“They removed some electric points which trigger the heart to beat more than regular,” Dragulescu said. “I had one month of recovery and since then it’s like before. I have no problems. My stamina is the same as always.”

Dragulescu’s sense of humor is intact, as well.

“Now I have harder problems, like with both of my Achilles tendons, my knees, my hand, my back, everything,” he joked.

Dragulescu said he is flattered and often amazed by younger gymnasts who successfully perform his namesake vault.

“I’ve seen a lot of gymnasts do it very well, and sometimes it’s hard for me to do this vault,” said Dragulescu, who turned 38 in December. “I’m getting old and some of the gymnasts do it better than I do, but you cannot stop age.”

The self-effacing Dragulescu said that, despite his seniority among his vault rivals, he still sometimes manages to perform the vault better than they do.

“If I catch a full moon, and the universe, stars and the planets align, I can,” he said.

This story appears in the 2019 January/February issue of International Gymnast.

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