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Olympic Champions receive their cars

r-l Loredana Boboc, Andreea Răducan, Claudia Presăcan, Andreea Isărescu, Simona Amânar

Last night, Viorel Niculescu, president of Romcar (Romania's AAA) and former COR president Ion Tiriac handed out the prizes promised by the COR to all the gold medalists from Sydney. 21 Ford Ka's and 7 Ford Mondeos drove off from the Ford dealerships parking lot. "After 40 years spent in the sports world, I must confess I was never as nervous as I was watching you. Your achievements mean a lot to this country, and I hope you'll repeat this performance in Athens 2004," said Tiriac.

Every one of the gold medalists looked radiantly happy, and a few of them thanked the Ford company. The license plates on every car had the name of their owner on them. Andreea Răducan, who received a Ford Ka for the gold medal won in the team competition, and a Mondeo for her AA win, said "I am deeply moved (by this gesture) and, speaking for teammates as well, I wanted to thank you all for this beautiful ceremony." Ion Tiriac gave a short speech immediately following the ceremony, and the evening ended with a cocktail party organized by Romcar.

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