“No matter what, never give up ”
Proclaimed world’s best épée fencer for about three consecutive seasons, Ana-Maria Brânză earned a valuable spot in Romanian performance sports pantheon as well as in the hearts of Romanian people, through her talent and determination, through her extraordinary work recognized by dozens of medals in multiple world competitions, but especially through her winning attitude that she shares with everyone around her.
The failures and defeats she suffered throughout her career provided her with the most important life and success lessons and those are the moments she always comes back to „because there is nothing more dangerous for a performance athlete than showy self-satisfaction”, says Ana-Maria Brânză.
She began her career in sports in 1996 in CSS no. 3 Steaua București with the coach Radu Szilaghy, and she is currently part of CSA Steaua București.
She won her first junior gold metal in 2001 in Gdansk, Poland, and ever since she has gained national, European, world and (two!) Olympic medals. She was rewarded with the one-stripe Class II `Sports Merit` Order following the Beijing 2008 Olympic medal, and since 2007 she has been titled Honored Master of Sports.
She was Gold Medalist Olympic Champion in the 2016 edition of Rio de Janeiro, Silver Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, twice World Champion with her team and seven-time European Champion. Throughout her career, she won 14 World Cup tournaments and was proclaimed Best Epée Fencer in the World in 2007–2008, 2008–2009 and 2012–2013 seasons, thus matching the record held by the French Laura Flessel-Colovic. It was then she was appointed a member of the Athletes’ Commission within the International Fencing Federation.
Beyond her athletic performance and the medals she won, she is actively involved in campaigns meant to encourage sports among youth and not only, holding the firm belief that “sport creates people, and the smile is included.”. She also supports AITA, a center for autistic children in Bucharest. In November 2013, she launched the Aleargă de ziua ta (Run for Your Birthday) campaign, where she encourages people to celebrate their birthdays by physical movement and collecting donations for a charitable cause.