Romania’s participation in the rugby tournament at the 1924 Olympic Games was a triumph over adversity.
Exhausted after four days of travel by train, with a lack of food and short of funds, it was an achievement in itself that the 23-man squad made it to Paris let alone took to the field to compete against hosts France and the USA.
A baptism of fire followed for the first generation of home-grown Romanian rugby players as they were soundly beaten in both games, but by winning the bronze medal the collection of students and young professionals had created a legacy for others back home to aspire to.
Full-back Teodor Florian entered the record books as Romania’s first international points scorer when he kicked a penalty goal in the opening game against France, the Oaks’ second test. Romania’s only previous outing at that level, at the 1919 Inter-Allied Games, had ended in a 21-0 loss to the USA.