Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sport in Romania
The most popular sport in Romania is football (soccer). Other popular sports include team handball, basketball, rugby union, tennis and gymnastics.

Football (soccer)
Handball is the most popular sport in Romania after football. The Romanian men's national team has won the Handball World Cup a record 4 times (1961, 1964, 1970, and 1974). The only other team to have matched this record is Sweden in 1999. Steaua and Dinamo have also won several European titles over the years.
Romania has produced many great handball players, including Gheorghe Gruia, Vasile Stângă, Cornel Penu, Ioan Moşer, and Cristian Gaţu.

Basketball is a very popular sport among Romanian youth. Gheorghe Mureşan was the first Romanian to enter NBA, and he became known as the tallest man ever to play in that league. Another product of the Romanian basketball school was Toni Alexe.

Romania holds a long tradition in artistic gymnastics, especially in the ladies' competition. The most famous Romanian gymnast is Nadia Comăneci, who was the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10 at the Olympic games, during the 1976 Summer Olympics. Other famous gymnasts include: Lavinia Miloşovici, Gina Gogean, Simona Amânar, Andreea Răducan, Maria Olaru, and Cătălina Ponor.
Top Romanian men's gymnasts include Marius Urzică and Marian Drăgulescu.