Romanian-born swimming champion Roxana Maracineanu is the new sports minister in the French government, Lequipe.fr reported. She is replacing Laura Flessel, who resigned on September 4.
Maracineanu, a former backstroke swimmer, was born in 1975 in Bucharest. She immigrated to France in 1984.
In 1998, Roxana Maracineanu became the first athlete in France to win the world title in the 200 m backstroke competition at the 1998 World Aquatics Championships in Perth. She won the silver medal in the 200 m backstroke at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, on behalf of France.
She withdrew from sports in 2004 and worked as a consultant for various TV stations. She was also a regional counselor in the Île de France region. She is married to journalist Franck Ballanger.
(Photo source: mulhouse-natation.com)