ProSport reports that Marian Drăgulescu has officially retired from competitive gymnastics. The six-time world champion on floor and vault, who just a few months ago seemed to have found a new love for the sport, announced his retirement today because of ongoing back issues. He will become a coach at Dinamo Bucharest.
Here's the ProSport story.
(photo: Amy Sancetta/AP Photo)
"The Moroccan" Says Goodbye!
"I don't want to risk anything. I have to be grateful for everything I've achieved so far. It's a sad moment, like all moments which involve the end of a road. It's hard, but you have to know when to quit," confesses Marian Drăgulescu, age 28.
Once more Romanian gymnastics has lost a champion after the Beijing Olympics. First Steliana Nistor retired, and now "the Moroccan" is ending his career, also because of health problems. "It's too risky to go on. Therefore I have chosen to become a coach. This month I'll start working with the children's group at Dinamo, alongside Marius Urzică. I'm not at all apprehensive. I've worked with children before, in America," says one of Romania's most decorated athletes.
After a hectic 2008 during which he failed to win a medal at the Olympics but made headlines because of his trouble at home, Drăgulescu is ending his sporting life. The main reason for his retirement is his problems with his spine; he has been diagnosed with serious cervical discopathy.
"I don't want to act as a figurant in competitions, but I don't want to spend my life in a wheelchair either. It hurts [to say it], but that's the truth," he continues.
Drăgulescu will remain close to the national team, whose new head coach is Nicuşor Pascu, the godfather to his daughter Beatrice. "I'll go and give Nicu a helping hand."
"My goal is to produce a national champion in the age category I'll be coaching" - Marian Drăgulescu, former gymnast
Drum bun, Marian, şi multă baftă!