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Exclusive interview with the 2018 Bronze World medalist and European Gold medalist- Nicolae Onica

Nicolae at the 2018 Worlds Medal Ceremony, alongside fellow medal winners (L-R: Faris Ibrahim, Tian Tao, Sohrab Moradi, Nicolae Onica & Yauheni Tsikhantsou)

The 25 year old Romanian, Nicolae Onica had a breath-taking 2018! Winning a Bronze medal at the Worlds in Ashgabat, in the new 96kg category, lifting a total of 391kg! As well as a Gold medal at the European Championships in the 94kg category with a 171kg Snatch and a 210kg Clean and Jerk (381kg total)!

We spoke to Nicolae about his amazing year, his approach to weightlifting and weightlifting in Romania!

1) Nicolae was born in Moldova in 1993 and received Romanian citizenship in 2013. Our club has a lot of youth athletes just starting out so we were interested to know how old you were when you started weightlifting?

I was 12 years old.

clean and jerk nicolae onica
171kg Snatch @ 2018 European Championship!

2) What do you think is your biggest achievement in the sport?

My biggest achievement is 1st place at the European Championship 2018 and 3rd place (at the total) at the World Championship 2018.

3) You have travelled to a lot of places for competitions, where was your favourite?

My favorite place to travel to a competition was Thailand.

4) Nerves can play a big part on competition days, how do you stay for your lifts?

It is impossible to be totally calm, but I focus myself totally on what I have to do.

5) Dinamo Bucharest trainer, Anton Ficzi saw your potential as a weightlifter. What is the best lesson your coach has taught you?

My coach taught me to be more serious and disciplined.

Clean and jerk Nicolae Onica
210kg Clean & Jerk @ 2018 Europeans

6) Everyone has a favourite exercise! What is yours?

My favorite is clean & jerk.

7) Weightlifting seems very popular in Romania, with lots of big names! Where are the best places to train?

Yes, weightlifting is very popular in Romania and the best place for training for me is Bucharest. The national team is now outside of Bucharest, in the mountains. I train at the weightlifting club at Dinamo Bucharest. Most of the city is now just Crossfit since the national team has moved out.

8) What is your weekly training schedule and when do you make time for recovery?

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday I have 2 training sessions a day! Thursday and Saturday I use the sauna for recovery.

9) After such a huge year, what is your biggest goal currently?

My biggest goal currently is getting another 1st place at the European Championship 2019.

10) What is your top tip for people starting out in weightlifting?

Weightlifting takes a lot of discipline and hard work.

Take a look at the videos below to see Nicolae in action! Watching him finally hit that 210 clean and jerk is spectacular and he is obviously absolutely ecstatic with it!

- Charlotte & Ryan (Canterbury Strength) with Nicolae Onica


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