Olympian Roxana Maracineanu Named French Sports Minister

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Roxana Maracineanu has been selected as the new sports minister for France, multiple European news outlets reported.

Maracineanu was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1975 before immigrating to France as a 9-year-old in 1984. She became the first French female swimmer to win a world championship. She did so in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1998 world championships. She won the silver medal in the event at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, competing for France.

She takes over the sports minister position, replacing fencer Laura Flessel, who resigned on Sept. 4, citing personal reasons.

“There is no better way to give France what it gave me since I arrived in 1984 at the age of 9 from Romania,” she said.

Maracineanu will dive right into the planning for the 2024 Paris Olympics, a bid Flessel helped France win.

According to Around the Rings, the Olympic organizing committee is not concerned the sports ministry upheaval will hinder the progress of Games preparations, despite Maracineanu’s relative lack of political experience. Paris 2024 leaders are said to be viewing her appointment favorably, after finalizing plans to develop a temporary 15,000-seat aquatics center for the Games. Olympic budget issues will be one of the biggest challenges for her, according to Around the Rings.

Maracineanu has spent time as a regional counselor in the Île de France region.

Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet said on Twitter: “I wish you all the best at the service of sport in France. I am looking forward to work together on Paris 2024; the Games of an entire country”.

Before the Olympics, she will have other major events to deal with, including the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2023 World Rugby Cup.


  1. avatar
    Thomas Nicholson

    Could you send me the e mail address of Roxana Maracineeanu the French minister of sport.