David Popovici, European champion in the country with only one Olympic swimming pool

For the first time in history, Romania won a world champion in swimming in the 100 and 200 meters freestyle. It is also the first of its kind in the world, because no athlete has won gold medals in these two events in the same competition.

At 17, David Popovici became one Among the youngest world champions in swimming. This happened at the World Championships held in Budapest, a country with dozens of Olympic pools where athletes can train regardless of the season and where international competitions can be organized.

The Dona Arena complex in Budapest – Photo: INQUAM PHOTOS / Alex Nicodim

In Romania, only three Olympic pools can host high-level competitions, but as of the beginning of this month only one was in operation, one at Dynamo, which opened in 2014.

The Otopeni National Swimming Center was open a year ago, but due to bureaucracy it was closed until July 5, when it opened for the European Swimming Championships. The project started 10 years ago.

And in Târgu Morey, a modern swimming pool was opened last year as well, and it is still closed today.

Its construction was approved 14 years ago by government decision, but the actual work began only in 2019. At the same time, it was also approved by the Romanian Federation of Swimming and Modern Pentathlon, but it does not work, because it took a year to complete it. It is legally established who runs it, and now the Ministry of Sports appoints the personnel who must serve it.

Timisoara, the country’s third most populous city, does not have an Olympic swimming pool. The one that was built years ago ʼ60 lies in disrepair and filth in the middle of the city.

In Galati, the city’s only Olympic swimming pool has been closed for almost 17 years. Built in 1970 and rehabilitated in 2005 for half a million euros, it is now a ruin.

Budapest complex 171 million dollars

David Popovici won gold at the World Championships held in Budapest at the Danube Arena, an eight-thousand-seat complex at a cost of $171 million.

Work began in 2015 and was completed in 2017.

The Danube Arena was completed four years ago to host a A global competition in 2017, after the city of Guadalajara was no longer able to host. It was then listed as the location for potential swimming competitions if Budapest were to host the Olympics.

The arena hosts international swimming, polo and jumping competitions. It is the most expensive sports arena in the history of Hungary.

Otopeni Olympic swimming pool, which was operated only on 5 July – Photo: INQUAM PHOTOS / Sabin Cristoveanu

“We did not build the Danube Stadium for the World Championship, and it was impossible to make such a huge investment for the sake of world competition only. We built it because it provides long-term benefits to the citizens of Budapest, including the residents of Angyalfold and Ojpest,” said Budapest’s Secretary of State for Development, Pallas Forges.

In addition to swimming and jumping pools, there is also a children’s pool, but also a jacuzzi for 25 people.

The main building also houses shops, sports museum, fitness center, professional gyms, buffets, VIP viewing area, conference and event hall, media studios, offices, meeting rooms as well as auxiliary spaces (maintenance and operation rooms, health units, changing rooms, medical and security rooms).

30 Roman provinces that do not have a basin

The dry numbers show that at the moment, the state offers only 35 swimming pools where students can practice the sport. Most of them (10) are in Bucharest.

25 swimming pools for high school students, and another 10 for high school children.

“A swimming pool is a pool of water intended for pupils and students to swim and which can be covered or uncovered,” the INE explains what was taken into account when compiling the census.

The 25 swimming pools available to students from 1st to 8th grade are located in 11 provinces and in the municipality of Bucharest. The 10 swimming pools for secondary school students are located in 6 provinces and in Bucharest.

Since some districts have swimming pools for middle and high school students, only 13 districts and Bucharest municipality provide swimming pools for students.

At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, 2.8 million children and students were enrolled in the pre-university education system. Thus, there is a group of 80,000 students.

If we include all children, the stats are even harsher.

The data reveal that at the beginning of 2020, the number of children aged 0-18 living in Romania reached 4.138 million, representing 18.7% of the population, according to statistical data made available on the occasion of the International Day of International Day. Child. This results in a group of 117,000 children.

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