[Exclusive interview] Raluca Haidu: I hoped I would be able to go to the Olympics until the very last minute.

Photo: Volker Minkus

You started practicing gymnastics at the Cetate Deva Club and trained there until you left for Izvorani. How were these two experiences for you?

They were the best and most exciting times of my life. I don’t regret doing gymnastics, not even for a moment.

Which of the coaches you trained with helped you most?

I think all of my coaches helped me a lot and always wanted what was best for me.

You were an All-arounder as well. What apparatus did you find most difficult?

The most difficult apparatus for me was beam because I got very nervous and I wasn’t able to control that.

Is there any special moment you are most fond of?

The moments I spent with my team mates were wonderful.

What was your experience with the National team’s coaches, Mariana Bitang and Octavian Bellu?

I feel honored to have been coached by Mrs. Mariana and Mr. Bellu. They are wonderful people and I want to thank them for everything.

Brussels 2012 was a special moment for us. How was it for you?

Brussels 2012 was a special moment I will hold in my heart forever… I’m glad I had the chance to be on the podium together with my team mates, Cătălina, Sandra, Larisa and Diana.

How hard was last year’s Bucharest friendly meet for you? (Romania announced the Olympic team at this competition). Did you already know you wouldn’t be able to compete at the Olympics?

It was a very difficult moment for me because I really wanted to compete and do well. I really wanted to and I hoped I would be able to go to the Olympics till the very last minute.

What do you think you needed to achieve everything you wanted to achieve in gymnastics?

I believe I lacked the necessary courage and guts.

What motivated you to keep going and keep improving? Making it through so many trainings is not easy…

I loved doing gymnastics and I tried to be positive… I wouldn’t have made it without all the support from my family, coaches and team mates. I want to thank all of them for that.

Could you tell us a quality that defines each one of your team mates? Larisa, Sandra, Cătălina, Diana, Ana, Amalia…

I can’t name something for each one but I can say they are wonderful, special girls.

Could you tell us who in the Romanian team trained an Amânar? Romania is highly criticized for not having presented any in an official competition since Monica Roșu…

I’m sorry but I can’t offer you information from the gym. I´m not authorized…

Were nerves your biggest enemy?

Clearly nerves were my biggest enemy.

How is teenage life without gymnastics? What is Raluca Haidu planning now?

It’s a simple life, I do normal and average things. I’ve met new people, I’ve gone to school as every other child… I would like to attend the Cluj Sports Academy in the future.

You’ve always had a large number of fans who supported you throughout your career, from the very moment the documentary The Secret of Deva was aired (someone also asked if you still keep in touch with Mălina). Would you like to send them a message now?

Yes, we keep in touch. We are not best friends but we do keep in touch.

I would like to thank all of you for having been there for me. Keep fighting for what you want in life! Kisses!

This post is also available in: Romanian