2021 Piotr Nurowski Prize: Romanian swimmer named best young European athlete in summer sports
Romanian Swimmer David Popovici has been named the winner of the 2021 Piotr Nurowski “Best Summer European Young Athlete” Prize, the European Olympic Committees (EOC) announced.
Popovici won 37% of the votes cast by participants at the 41st EOC Seminar taking place in Samorin, Slovakia.
He claimed the 10th Summer Piotr Nurowski Prize ahead of Adriana Vilagos from Serbia (athletics), Adriana Cerezo Iglesias from Spain (taekwondo), Sky Brown from Great Britain (skateboarding), and Viktoria Listunova from Russia (artistic gymnastics).
In addition to the trophy, Popovici takes home a EUR 15,000 training scholarship. Runner-up Adriana Vilagos receives EUR 8,000, and Cerezo Iglesias EUR 5,000. Fourth- and fifth-placed Brown and Listunova both receive EUR 3,000.
The EOC Piotr Nurowski Prize for Best European Young Athlete was created in 2011 to remember Piotr Nurowski, a former president of the Polish Olympic Committee who died tragically in a plane crash a year earlier.
The annual prize is awarded to up-and-coming young athletes who in recent months have showcased not only outstanding sporting achievements but also exceptional conduct on and off the field of play.
Since 2016, two prizes have been awarded every year: for Summer Sports and for Winter Sports. The winner is voted by the participant national Olympic committees at the EOC General Assembly and Seminar out of a selection of five nominees.
Born in Bucharest in 2004, Popovici is a freestyle swimmer. At age 16, he was the youngest athlete on Team Romania at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. In 2019, at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Baku, he won the gold medal in 100m freestyle and silver in both the 50m and 200m events. In 2021, he broke the European Junior record in the 200m Freestyle at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Rome. Earlier in November, he won the gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle event at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia.
(Photo: Sabin Cirstoveanu/ Inquam Photos)