Three Romanian athletes with disabilities climb Mount Kilimanjaro on National Day
Răzvan Nedu, Adriana Tofan, and Liviu Matei, three Romanian athletes with disabilities, reached the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) on December 1 - Romania's National Day. The performance athletes, two with severe visual impairments and one with a physical disability, have thus shown that nothing is impossible when you train seriously and believe in your abilities.
Răzvan Nedu, Adriana Tofan, and Liviu Matei are members of Romania’s national paraclimbing team. Their mountain guide in the expedition was Teofil Vlad.
In addition to participating in the Paralympic Games, the Romanian paraclimbing team also aims to conquer the world's highest peaks on each continent. Blind climber Alexandru Benchea kicked off the 7Summits project in 2020, while for Răzvan Nedu, this is the third peak after Elbrus (5,642 m) and Aconcagua (6,962 m).
Răzvan Nedu has just 1% vision. He is a trainer for children with disabilities at the Climb Again sports and therapy center and captain of the national paraclimbing team. A former world silver medalist in paraclimbing, he also reached the tops of Aconcagua (6,962 m), Elbrus (5,642 m), and Mont Blanc (4,809 m).
Adriana Tofan is completely blind and a B1 category athlete. She won silver at the 2022 Paraclimbing Master Imst in Austria, and this year, she was the only female athlete to make the national team during the Climbing World Championships in Switzerland, placing 10th.
Liviu Matei is an RP3 (neurological/physical disability) climber and a climbing instructor, alongside Răzvan, at the Climb Again center. After successfully climbing the 4,167 meters of Mount Toubkal in Morocco in November, he returned to Africa to summit Kilimanjaro.
Climb Again, the coordinator of Romania's paraclimbing team, is a non-profit affiliated with the Romanian Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (FRAE), founded and led by Claudiu Miu, former Balkan climbing champion. Since 2014, it has been organizing free sessions of climbing therapy, physical therapy and psychological counselling for children and young people with disabilities.
(Photo source: Climb Again)