Lavinia the Millionaire

Unknown Romanian newspaper, Aug. 25, 1992   We quote statistically, that the richest man in the world is the man with the most children (in dollars, of course!).  In our society there is always the temptation to follow the West, and here we can say that, since there are many children in Romania, there are also millionaires (in lei!).  We are happy to present a young sports person, nobody other than the multiple medallist of the Barcelona Olympics, Lavinia Milosovici.

Q.  Lavinia, do you feel burdened that you are a millionaire?

A.  No, because of the date of this interview, I haven't received any money.  I have heard a rumor that it was possible I would receive 8 million lei.  It's a lot, it's a little, it's not too well known...  Don't forget that I'm a minor.  I'm happy...a millionaire.  Some people said it would only be small change, and that this money would be taken by my parents to manage.

Q.  Tell me, the idea that a gold medal was going to be rewarded with 3 million lei, was this an incentive for training and competition?

A.  You're wrong to imagine that we entered the training hall with the thought of millions.  Nobody told us about the reward.  I and all my colleagues on the team didn't prepare the same way.  We only trained for the chance to be on the team.  But all of us perfected our exercises for the greatest competition, to be the best in the world, and to see Romania in front.

Q.  You reproached yourself in connection with your exercises in Barcelona?

A.  Yes, that I didn't win the all-around.  I probably had the best chance to win, especially since I was in the lead until the last apparatus.  But I competed first on the uneven bars [where she received only a 9.9], so that all other possible candidates for the first place would perform after me, and they had the advantage.  But it's good that I could step on the third-place platform.

Q.  But you had revenge in the event finals.

A.  I don't think you can say that I had revenge.  I defended, pure and simple, my position as the favorite and I won two gold medals on vault and floor.

Q.  What a pity your failure on balance beam.

A.  It's true, but in life every man (and all sports people are men, right?) has a moment of weakness.  It was only a blink in which I didn't have sufficient concentration and how important that moment was!

Q.  And yet, what will you do with so many millions?

A.  Maybe I'll put it in the bank so it will continue to grow, though you can't be sure that it will grow.  I don't know what I'll do!


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