Silver not an option for Romanian eight
The Romanian women’s eight has won the European Rowing Championship title for the last four years. The coxswain of the 2011 crew, Teodora Gidoiu, has steered the boat to victory for the last three of those years and she wants to take her crew to their fifth gold medal this year.
Gidoiu started her international coxing career in 2004 with a gold medal at the World Rowing Junior Championships and has been on the senior team since the 2008 European Championships. “It’s the same as being a rower; more time brings more experience. I learn something new every single day, see a new mistake, correct it and improve,” says Gidoiu.
Gidoiu gave World Rowing some insight into the boat, Romanian rowing and the women on the team. Whilst the rowers in the crew attended a sporting university, Gidoiu graduated from the Police Academy and has a degree in translation in both English and French.
World Rowing: What is the secret behind four European gold medals in a row?
Teodora Gidoiu: There is no secret, it’s just hard work, the desire to win and maybe one per cent luck. Three new girls have joined the team this year which makes it a little bit different. The younger ones ask me and Ionelia Zaharia, the more experienced one, for advice. They may lack a little bit of experience but they want to go for gold as much as we do. They work hard and demonstrate their wish to do their best and not disappoint any of us. I also think these younger girls will have a great future.
We are working hard. We live together like a family in our training centre in Snagov, for 11 months a year. In fact, I see the girls in the crew much more than my family, whom I only see once a year. We train every single day except Sunday. We are friends within the team, we go out together and have lots of fun.
Being on the team means a lot to me and the girls; it’s the greatest thing I could dream of and it’s such an honour to represent my country.
WR: There is a tradition of women’s rowing in Romania. Do you have contacts with the previous generation?
TG: Elisabeta Lipa, four-time Olympic Champion and the President of the (Romanian) Federation, is with us whenever we need them and so are Doina Ignat, three-time Olympic Champion and Georgeta Damian – Andrunache, two-time Olympic Champion. To give you an example, Doina came to the World Championships in Bled, just for us. We unfortunately finished fourth which was very disappointing as we were in third place for 1500m and were missing the small thing that makes the difference in the last 500m. We tried everything but couldn’t win that medal. I think we’ve got it back though and will make it here. But nevertheless we managed to qualify for the London Olympic Games and will train even more, as our ultimate goal is Olympic Gold, silver is not an option.
The older generations paved the way, built up experience and share it with us. We also have very good coaches and for them there are no excuses, we have to be perfect.
WR: Is there anything we need to know more about Romania and rowing?
TG: Yes, we are a very little country but have great values and great rowers!