Romania’s Marian Dragulescu has reportedly announced his retirement. This is not the first time that he has announced his retirement but we expect that this will officially be the last time.
The gymnast who won three medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games previously announced his retirement in 2005 but returned to competition at the 2005 and 2006 World Championships. He continued on training into 2007 when at the European Championships he suffered an injury on both floor and vault. He underwent intense physiotherapy in the USA and returned to competition just before the 2008 Olympics. He once again announced his retirement following the Beijing Olympics in 2008 after he failed to medal.
However he reconsidered his retirement in the same year when he competed in the German Bundesliga but then again announed his retirement after a successful time on the circuit. Once again in 2009 Dragulescu made another go of it, announcing his return to competition. 2009’s comeback attempt was successful, winning gold on both floor and vault at the World Championships.
He continued training in 2010 and was part of the Romanian World Championships yet failed to qualify for any events finals. He remained relatively quiet for the next couple of months before competing as an All Around gymnast at the Romanian Nationals in 2011. It was officially announced in October of the same year that Dragulescu, along with fellow 2004 Olympian Catalina Ponor were again eligible to compete for Romania and could take part in the upcoming World Championships. However during the Worlds in Tokyo it was announced that Dragulescu had sustained an injury and despite qualifying for Team, All Around and Event finals, decided to withdraw from all three competitions. In qualifying for the Team Final, he helped the Romanian team qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Following the 2011 Worlds, Dragulescu underwent intense physiotherapy, both in Romania and the USA in an attempt to be fit and healthy for the 2012 Olympic Games. He was scheduled to compete in some International competitions but did not compete. It was then announced in July that Dragulescu would not make the London 2012 Olympic Team. Following this decision he told Pro Sport that he felt the decision had been made soe time before and was extremely disappointed. m
Hopefully Dragulescu will continue to be involved in the gymnastics world by coaching and following his goal as he said he would in 2009, which was to create a gymnast better than himself. With 10 Individual European, 9 Individual World and 2 Individual Olympic titles as well as a named Vault skill, Dragulescu certainly leaves an amazing legacy for any Romanian gymnast to follow. His Dragulescu vault was named to the Code of Points, not many can perform this vault as well as he can:
Image via Getty Images.