“If you don’t fall, you cannot get back up” – Amelia Racea @ The Medal Factory – episode 8

[The Medal Factory – episode 8 – (c) Digisport]

Amelia Racea


Andreea Raducan: Ama, I´d like to know if you have any sisters or brothers.

Amelia Racea: Yes, I have a 20 year old brother who is studying at Sibiu’s Military Academy.

Andreea Raducan: Did you get to spend time playing when you were little? You left home pretty early, but you must have some memories of this….

Amelia Racea: We spent more time fighting then playing….after I left, we didn’t have time to play, to be together as before.

Andreea Raducan: You left home, but you found another family here. How do you spend the holidays? I imagine that you spent most of them together with the gymnastics team…

Amelia Racea: If it’s possible, our parents come to where we are and we spend the holidays together with my team mates.

Although she also loves other sports, Amalia has never taken any up. She loves gymnastics so much she managed to surpass any obstacle. Life inside a training camp, injuries or other issues have not stopped her from doing gymnastics.

Andreea Raducan: Do you have a motto?

Amelia Racea: If you don’t fall, you cannot get back up.

Andreea Raducan: I’d like to ask you about the difficult moments a viewer doesn’t know about: when you are having a bad day, when you don’t have good results in competition, when you need someone to motivate you to go back to training.

Amelia Racea: The worst moment is when you get injured right before an important competition and you cannot compete. You leave behind all the work you’ve put in.

Andreea Raducan: You’ve probably had injuries along the years, but did this ever happen to you before a competition you really wanted to be in?

Amelia Racea: Yes, it happened last year before Worlds and I couldn’t compete. I felt really bad because I had put in a lot of work, it was a pity.

Andreea Raducan: Are you superstitious?

Amelia Racea: No.

Andreea Raducan: That’s good, that means you’re a balanced person.

A day in a gymnast’s life seems monotonous: daily trainings, very little free time, school lessons, rest and that’s all. Even so, gymnasts find resources to make their lives easier. True friendships have sprung inside the team, there is a close collaboration with the technical staff and a “family” life has been established.

Andreea Raducan: How does a day in the Izvorani life look like for you?

Amelia Racea: There’s lots of training. We go to school in the morning, then we have the first training, lunch and rest time and in the afternoon, around 5, we start training again.

Andreea Raducan: Training and work everyday…What do you do in your free time? I know you don’t have much of that, but do you have hobbies, what do you like to do?

Amelia Racea: Sometimes we go out, shopping…I personally like to go swimming, to play tennis.

Andreea Raducan: Would you have liked to have a career in these fields or you would do the same if you were to start again?

Amelia Racea: I would do the same, I love gymnastics so I wouldn’t go for swimming or tennis…

Anca Grigoras: You cannot have results if you stay home, go to school far away, come back home, go to training and so on. If you don’t train twice a day, it’s impossible. I’m not saying that under this centralized system they don’t go to school, you know very well that they do. But we make it easier for them, having everything in one place makes it easier: they go to school next door or the teachers come to them for personal classes. So the gymnasts have more time to rest and concentrate on what they need to do.

Andreea Raducan: When you’ re in a competition and you get nervous, how do you leave the nerves behind? What motivates you then?

Amelia Racea: The nerves never go away completely, but I try to focus on the routine. You have to show what you did in training, not make mistakes because of the nerves.

Andreea Raducan: The World Championships are getting closer, are you preparing any surprise, how do you see this competition? Personally, but also for the team…

Amelia Racea: I’m not preparing any surprises, but I want to improve my routines. I hope everything will go well.

Andreea Raducan: You will compete in your first Olympics next year. What do you expect from the competition, what are your dreams related to it?

Amelia Racea: I want to win at least one gold medal, I want to be healthy to be able to achieve this result.

Andreea Raducan: How did Romanian gymnastics manage to stay on top during so many years?

Adrian Stoica: There is only one answer: it was hard. It is difficult because if you want to stay there, in whatever field, you need to invest in it and work really hard. And this is valid not only for sports, but also for art, music, science…And in art, as well as in gymnastics, you need talent which must be accompanied by hard work. This is the secret, but I repeat, it is very hard.

Andreea Raducan: What does a gymnast need to become a champion?

Amelia Racea: He needs talent, hard work to get where he wants to be and some luck.

Andreea Raducan: What is your favorite apparatus?

Amelia Racea: I like the other apparatus as well, but I love beam.

Andreea Raducan: I’d like to ask you about floor. The artistry is very important, but what do you think about the music? How do you choose it?

Amelia Racea: With the choreographer, but I have to like it. I’m not very expressive…

Andreea Raducan: So it must be something you like…

Amelia Racea: Yes, something that captivates my attention.

Andreea Raducan: Ama, what are you thinking of before a competition? How important is the preparation before going in?

Amelia Racea: I think about doing my routines as well as possible and I try to get rid of the nerves.

Andreea Raducan: Do you like having your parents in the arena while you are competing?

Amelia Racea: At major competitions, no.

Andreea Raducan: Why? Is the pressure stronger?

Amelia Racea: Maybe, I don’t know. Of course, I won’t be thinking about them while competing, but this is how I feel….

Andreea Raducan: Who is the competition for you at this moment?

Amelia Racea: The US, not all gymnasts, but at least one or 2…

Andreea Raducan: How difficult is it to keep fit? I’d like you to tell us a bit about your diet….

Amelia Racea: Having the optimum weight is very important. I don’t think you can maintain it always but not having extra kilos is important for your health and it helps you move easier.

Andreea Raducan: What about your diet? There was this legend about gymnasts, that they only ate a salad leaf and so on. I know it’s not true, but I’d like you to tell us more about what you eat, what you like and don’t like…

Amelia Racea: We eat 3 meals a day, but we get what we need: cereals in the morning, grilled meat with rice or salad at lunch and salad for dinner. We don’t go hungry….

Andreea Raducan: It’s a balanced diet, established with the nurse.

Amelia Racea: Yes.

I want to let people at home know we will do our best to bring back the brightest medals. – Amelia Racea


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