Silvia Stroescu
Elite sport requires sacrifices, hard work, talent and sometimes putting our health at risk. 



Romania’s Silvia Stroescu was a part of the 2004 Olympic gold winning team, 2001 World gold winning team and 2004 European gold winning team. Her success comes after years of hard work and what most of us didn’t know, putting her health at risk.

In one of her interviews for the Romanian show “Teo” she talked about what did it take to make the Olympic team.

“In 2003 I had a problem with my spine, doctors discovered two slipped discs (ruptured inter vertebral discs) and told me that I had to take a break. Initially I spent half a year outside the gym and when i went for checkup, they told me to take another six months off. So basically I spent a whole year outside gymnastics, and a year is an extremely long period for an elite athlete. But I wanted so much to compete at the 2004 Olympics, because that’s the dream of every athlete. The break I took motivated me and made me determined not to give up and that I need to follow my goals and to do everything in my power to get to the Olympics.”

2004 Olympic gold winning team
A slipped disc is a very serious injury that could permanently affect the spine. Patients may experience serious pain depending on the gravity of the situation. Silvia fought and kept pushing forward in order to realize her dream.

 “It was a very difficult time back then, both coaches and my parents supported me” said Silvia ” But the hardest part was the fight with myself, of course I thought about retiring but I told myself “no”, once I started walking down this path,  I must carry on to fulfill my goals”

“After all I managed to get back in shape. I started to get back in the gym executing my regular routines and I told myself that I’m careful and everything is gonna be ok even with two slipped discs. After all, everything turned out to be ok and I ended up winning the gold medal for Romania.”

As her condition was a serious one and could have badly affected her health, Silvia has to sign a written agreement where she takes full responsibility for her decision in continuing gymnastics knowing about the health risks.

“I signed the paper right after I returned to the gym in which i state that I take full responsibility for my decision and in case of a serious injury I am the only one to be blamed. I was 17 at that time and of course I had my parents beside me and they supported me all the way. The major risk was that I could find myself not being able to walk ever again. But all elite athletes have to take risks, a lot of gymnasts had problems with their spine, more or less serious than mine, these are risks and we are all aware of what we are exposing ourselves too. No one forces you to do anything  you don’t want but if you love what you do, than you must dedicate yourself 100%.” 

Photos by Sing Lo (Click here to view his site)
Source: kanald.ro
Written by Alex Mladinescu
Axact

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WOGymnastikA is a blog turned website which brings you the latest updates on women’s artistic gymnastics as well as exclusive interviews with your favorite gymnasts. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us on wogymnastika@gmail.com .

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