-Every Medal Has A Story-...

      Gold Medal -80kg, 2006 European Championship, WUKF, Austria


    My opponent was from Belarus. He was a former world champion in 2003 and had now just won his three fights in our division, each at 6-0. I had also just won my three fights in the other pool. We were now about to fight each other in the fourth and final round. This was the 2006 WUKF European Championship. 

    Coming into the final round, thoughts were running in the back of my mind, "This guy is so good! Maybe I too will be beaten at 6-0! What will my colleagues and friends think of me?!" I was feeling as if my thoughts were taking away my power and energy. I quickly cued-in to my survival instincts, reminding myself, "I trained a lot for this competition! That's why I made it to the finals! Maybe he was just lucky to win the previous 6-0!"

Also, I had just seen one of my colleagues win his final in his division at -70kg, with a serious knee injury. I said to myself, "If this guy can win his final with one leg and two arms, then with two legs and two arms I can do better!" I continued to think about my strong techniques. In no time, my attitude and thinking seemed to manifest in me a new level of confidence and self-assurance. I now had a good feeling about my final fight. 

    At the start of the fight, I immediately surprised my opponent with a kick to the head. As a process of interchanging techniques continued, he was winning points, and I too was winning points. 

    The final score was 5-2, for me. The Romanian team was roaring with such enthusiasm alongside who were cheering, "Sorin! Sorin!"

I became European Champion!