Romanian born woman, former World Champion in swimming – named Minister of Sports in the French Government

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World Champion in 200 meters backstroke in 1998 and Olympic vice-champion in 2000, Roxana Mărăcineanu, born in 1975 in Bucharest, has been appointed Minister of Sports in the French Government on Tuesday, replacing Laura Flessel.

Roxana Mărăcineanu was born on May 7, 1975 in Bucharest and immigrated to France in 1984. In 1998, in Perth, Australia, she became the first athlete from France to won the World Champion title in swimming. In 2000, she was second in 200 metres backstroke at the Olympic Games in Sidney, the gold medal being won by Romanian Diana Mocanu, reports.

In 2004 she has withdrawn from sports, has been TV consultant on sports and started the political career, becoming regional counsellor in Île de France, in the region of Paris. She is married to journalist Franck Ballanger.

Roxana Maracineanu granted an interview in 2017 to ‘Le Parisien’ recalling how she and her family went to France, the relationship with the French coach and the way she experienced the Romanian national anthem played for Diana Mocanu in Sidney.

“My career helped me become the best, propelled me from the French team, which was stagnating at the time. The downturn was that, when I had to compete against a Romanian, I was not able to defeat her. I was never more emotional than when I heard the Romanian national anthem on the podium. It wasn’t played for me, but I felt it as it was,” she said.

“I am fully Romanian and I am fully French,” she claimed.


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