Paralympic cyclist champion Eduard Novak, Romanian Minister of Youth and Sports

Eduard Novak took over the mandate of Minister of Youth and Sports in a ceremony at the ministry’s headquarters in Bucharest.

“Lots of emotion today at the vote of investiture. I’m honored to have your trust! The new title of Minister of Sport opens a new path, and the challenges serve as fuel for me. The year 2021 will be the year of rebuilding, of courage. We will rebuild where needed, so we can all get back to what we love. The discipline I gained from cycling and skating is helping me immensely right now. I will fight, together with my team, for the future of Romanian sports,” Eduard Novak posted on his Facebook page after the ceremony.

The paralympic champion of Romania was proposed for the job by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ).

Ionuț Stroe, who formerly held this office, declared: “Today is the end of a term, a difficult period. I am glad that my successor is a man with whom I have worked very well. It will guarantee continuity.”

Novak started out as a speed skater but turned to cycling after a car accident left him with only one foot. As a professional cyclist, he has represented Romania in four Paralympic Games, in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro.

He took home a gold for the 1-kilometer track pursuit event at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London – a first for Romania – and set a new world-record time to boot. He has also been the head of the Romanian Cycling Federation since 2013.

RMDSZ has a total of three ministers in the current government. Aside from Novak, there is Attila Cseke, a former health minister, who now heads the Development, Public Works, and Administration Ministry; Tánczos Barna serves as Minister of Environment. Meanwhile, RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen is the deputy PM of the center-right ruling coalition of PNL, USR-PLUS, and RMDSZ.

Featured photo: Facebook page of Eduard Novak.

Author: Blanka Székely