Thursday, 25 July 2013

Full CUSU Interview

Student selected to compete at the Winter Olympics

Ioan Achiriloaie, a member of Coventry University Students’ Union, has been selected to represent his country at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Coventry University Students’ Union has conducted a Q&A session with him to discuss this fantastic achievement:

How does it feel to have been selected for the Winter Olympics?
I cannot even begin to describe the feeling. The honour of being part of the Olympic team of Romania is amazing. Qualifying for the Olympics is the best thing that could have happened to me at this point in my career.

When did you first get into the sport?
My first real race was in 2003. It was the National Children’s Championships of Romania. The person who introduced me to skiing was my father when I was 7, introducing it as a 'must do' sport. Needless to say he was right. He actually never wanted me to become a ski racer; just to ski well enough. Then Maria Cristea, the wife of Romania’s best ever skier Dan Cristea, recognised me as a potential ski racer. My father said let's give it a try and the rest is history.

How have you benefitted from being part of the Coventry University Scholarship scheme and sport at Coventry?
I want to be very clear on this subject. I could have never have achieved this without it. It provided me with the necessary funding in order to participate in the races I needed to go to. These races were in Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy and elsewhere. I thank Coventry University not only for the financial support provided, but also the moral support. In my time at Uni I have learned what it means to be appreciated for your work as an athlete. I will always be grateful.

How proud are you to represent your country?
I cannot express what an honour this is for me. To be able to wear that badge on your chest with Romania and the Olympic circles will be the culmination of all the effort I have put into alpine skiing over my entire career. It also tells me nothing was in vain.

What are your plans between now and the Winter Olympics? Where will you be training?
If all is well I plan to ski for a minimum of 15 days each month until December when the races start. I will make my debut in the World Cup and Europa Cup as well at the end of December. I have my schedule all planned out in detail the only problem now, of course, is the financial backing. I am struggling with this but hopefully I will find some people as nice as the ones from Coventry to help me continue my activity. 

Who inspires you and why?
Steven Gerrard. Yes, your Steven Gerrard. I have to say he is the person who inspires me the most. The commitment he gives on the football pitch regardless the opposition or the side he is playing in enlightens me every time. Another person that inspires me greatly is Muhammad Ali. The confidence he has is astonishing.

What are your hopes for the future?
 Regarding my career if all goes according to plan I want to become a World Class athlete in my sport and country. I firmly believe I have the athletic and mental means to do so; all I need is the support.
To make a donation towards Ioans’ Olympic dream please go to:

Coventry University

     When I said that it was in Coventry that I learned what it means to be appreciated (for sport) I was not kidding. Even though I already finished Uni they continue to support me. This great interview was published these days on the Coventry University Student's Union web page. It is a great feeling and gives me a great boost for the future! Thank you Cov...


     Cand am spus ca la Coventry am invatat ce inseamna sa fi apreciat pentru sport nu am glumit. Cu toate ca am terminat facultatea continua sa ma sustina, sa scrie de mine si sa intrebe de mine. Un interviu minunat a fost publicat pe pagina Uniunii Studentilor apartind Coventry University. O senzatie minunata si inca un sut de la spate! Multumesc Cov...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Pig on the Road

     A long trip can be hard. Especially if you are a pig. My friend the Pig had a really hard time, which I will illustrate to you in a few pictures:


Got bored and wanted to smoke:

Stop in Austria, decided to celebrate with some wine:

Massive hangover:

All better and ready to go:



     After a 1850 km trip I made it safely to Rimini, Italy. The main reason why I am here is the pain I've been having for the last 2 weeks of my back. I had some older problems but have not done a proper check since 2009. 
     I wanted to come here because my desire was to see a real and proper sports doctor, and with some help I managed to get an appointment with one of the good ones regarding such problems. 
     After the consultation I am very positive,  the problems I once had are now almost recovered and as long as I don't do some exercises that can put me in pain again I will be fine.
     This being said I am very happy to get back to training and am very positive for the future.

     Dupa un drum de 1850 km am ajuns in siguranta la Rimini, Italia. Motivul principal venirii mele aici este durerea la spate resimtita in ultimele 2 saptamani. Am niste vechi probleme cu spatele si nu am mai fost la un consult adevarat din 2009.
     Am vrut sa vin aici deoarece am vrut sa vad un medic sportiv in adevaratul sens al cuvantului, iar cu umpic de ajutor am reusit sa imi fac o programare la unul dintre doctorii renumiti legat de asemenea probleme. 
     Dupa control pot spune ca sunt foarte increzator, problemele care le aveam odata sunt in recurs si cata vreme nu fac anumite exercitii care sa-mi provoace durerii totul va fi bine.
     Acestea fiind spuse sunt foarte fericit sa ma intorc la antrenamente si sunt foarte increzator pentru ce va urma. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


     I would like to express my sincerest regards to mister Catalin Leonte, for the very important contribution he decided to make for my career, by helping me with all the ski wax and other products necessary to prep my skis and make them as fast as possible. For sure he is going to be on my mind when my skis will fly from under me! I am very fortunate to have met him I promise his effort will not be in vain. Thank you sir!

     Dorest sa ii multumesc cu toata sinceritatrea domnului Catalin Leonte pentru contributia foarte importanta catre carIera mea, asigurandu-mi toata ceara respectiv sculele de care am nevoie pentru a face schiurile sa zboare de sub mine sezonul viitor! Cu siguranta ma voi gandi la dansul in acele momente. Sunt privilegiat sa il cunosc si ii promit ca eforturile lui nu vor fi in zadar. Va multumesc!


It's time...

     A new season is upon us. For some of us anyway. The new list with FIS points and rankings just came out, the first of the 13-14 season. So my dear followers, I would like to let you know, as things stand in the list mentioned earlier I am now qualified for the Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014. Once again thanks to everybody supporting me and no worries. It is only the beginning.

     Un nou sezon se arata. Cel putin pentru unii dintre noi. Noua lista cu puncte FIS si clasamentul international tocmai a aparut, prima a sezonului 13-14. Asadar dragii mei urmaritori, vreau sa va dau de stire ca in acest moment sunt calificat la Jocurile Olimpice de Iarna de la Sochi 2014. Din nou, tin sa multumesc tuturor celor care m-au sustinut si nu va faceti probleme. Este numai inceputul.



Monday, 8 July 2013

1. Coventry / Saalbach (the revelation)

This is the story of how I decided to start skiing again, after quitting to go to University in 2010. How and what made me do this. I have to stay it all started in...Coventry, UK. In the office of one Tom Shakespeare (who later turned out to be a good friend as well).

     By the time I arrived in England, I had assured the Academical Scholarship at Uni due to good grades in the final exams of high school (9.13). But for some reason I also applied for the Sports Scholarship. Came October I had to make a decision, Sport or Academical, because you cannot have both. I don't know why, since I was supposed to be done with skiing forever, I choose the Sport one. One of the best decisions I made in England :).

     That first year (2010-2011) I did not think about skiing so much. Just enough to drag my ass to the Romanian National Championships in March (picture), to grab a surprising 4th place in the Giant Slalom. I also made a girlfriend with which I am still with today (Dalila Chiari, hello dear). What I was actually interested in that year (from a sport point of view) was Futsal ( I started playing for this team called the Birmingham Tigers. I was feeding my lust for sport and competition with this. Plus I have always been a fan of football and later futsal. The summer of 2011 I spent in Romania physically training for futsal (or so I thought).

     Come the new academical year, a skiing opportunity presented itself to me. Here is where things get interesting in Tom Shakespeare's office (Sport Scholarship Coordinator). He invited me there to let me know that there is a University Alpine Championship every year hosted usually in France, asking me if I would be willing to go, also knowing that I will have some financial support from Uni (Coventry University has been brilliant for me during my comeback in skiing). I put my phone to my ear and called my mother (knowing this would be an extra expense) to see if I can go. She gave me a straight forward yes which is the same answer I gave to Tommo. That year for some reason it was hosted in Austria, which was lucky (Saalbach Hinterglem).

     The end of march was upon me. I took 10 days off Uni before the races to have at least some feeling of the snow in Austria. To give you an idea of how much ski racing means to me, from the spring of 2010 to the spring of 2012 I only skied 3 times: once at the national championships in march 2011, and twice in December 2011 when my girl came to Romania for the first time. Other than this I never ever skied for myself. I did not care. If there was no race to train for I did not see the pleasure in it. Sad, right? Anyway back to the story at hand. 

     During those 2 weeks training and racing I have been more professional than I have been for the entire 8 years of my career from 2002-2010 (taking care of the skis,sleeping the right amount and the right hours, etc). I did not plan on being the perfect athlete or anything during those days it just came. 

     There were supposed to be 3 races : Slalom,Giant Slalom and Super-G. The Super-G was in the end cancelled due to soft snow. I took a 2nd place in both Slalom and Giant Slalom. I missed that feeling so much. I was sad when it was all over. I was sad for a few weeks. It was then that I realized what was missing...this void that needed to be filled. Dalila told me: That's it. This cannot happen. You need to start skiing again. It is meant for you to do it. Ski racing. The victories. The satisfaction. The podiums. But most of all....THAT feeling. She was right. She has a very big merit in my comeback. I will forever be grateful to her.