Grit Jurack – A Leader By Example

A farewell to one of the best on the occasion of her last match. Germany played against the Czech Republic on October 7 in Leipzig.


The Pursuit Of Steadiness

An idealistic overview of leadership issues at the end of the Olympic cycle. Read it here.


(…) But are patience, cyclic planning and time investment still of relevance to our times and markets? As it turns out, teams are forced to give up on their best players, the ones expected to develop passion on top of passion – commitment to a team, to an audience, to a town and to a nation on top of their love for handball.

The Varzaru File

In sequel of the post on Alina Dobrin, I will make the insane attempt to sum up Cristina Varzaru.


In May 2011, she gives an interview to Adevarul in which she confessess that she deeply admired Jane Kolding long before coming to Denmark. She then played against her on field, but did not have the courage to approach her.

She elaborates on the lessons she received from her former coaches. Her first coach, in Corabia, thought her defence; while in Valcea she developed her technique as a wing under Rosca’s guidance. She praises Macovei and Tarca for trusting in her and pushing her to the front stage.

She has particular respect for Dumitru Musi, the coach who took her to World and European Gold at Youth and Junior level. In 1999, in China, she was declared most complete player. I find it mind blowing that she made the all star team at 3 major competitions in a row, WCh 1997, ECh 1998 and WCh 1999.

She took part in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2009 WCh and 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010 ECh, not to forget the Sydney Olympics.

To Denmark

After moving to Denmark, in 2005, she received great reviews from the fans, as in the following posts from the handball123 forum. The reward for her work and courage came as Viborg won its first ChL trophy in 2006.

slagelsefan Oct 06, 2005 6:03 pm

I must say, forget Woo, Touray, Turey… Varzaru is playing absolutely fantastic, both in defence and in creative and effective attacking play. Very very nice.

Red and white Oct 06, 2005 7:17 pm

I totally agree! I had high hopes for Varzaru´s skills before she came to Viborg and she certainly haven´t disappointed me. I think I have seen her score 20-30 goals so far, but what is spectacular is that every single goal is different. (Help me out you Danes, how do you translate afslutnings repertoire?) Her technique is simply superb! Her defense is surprisingly good too. Very aggresseive with lots of steals, but she could use some more speed.


Silver in 2005

Her words after the semifinal against Hungary: “We were so stressed, because we wanted this victory badly. That is why there were so many mistakes and incoherent moves in our play. The final score and the victory are the most important things, tough! We fought from beginning to end, without conceding anything and we have reached the final.”

Commentator in 2007

An injury kept her out of the WCh in France. She then joined Radu Naum at the commentators’ desk. Here she is after the 1/4 against France: “I believe Romania has the power to win the gold medal. We know how to come back in the game. We no longer are the Romania that leaves the court with bowed head after endless extra times. The girls finish a match in the same way they start it, with enthusiasm. It would be a shame to miss on gold.”  Naum concludes in his dramatic fashion, as Cristina smiles at them being kicked out of the arena  “We end here our coverage from Paris Bercy which is now empty. We still hear the roar of the crowd, screaming HUTUPAN, HUTUPAN or ROMANIA, ROMANIA …”. Then the lights go down. What a great moment in Romanian television!!!

Back in Denmark

In 2009 and 2010 she makes the All Star Team of the Danish Championship.

In 2010 she becomes top scorer of ChL leaving us flashbacks of extraordinary executions, of dead angles she capitalized on, of imaginative passes and more toughness than we had expected. ” I have five or six goals left to score. I will try my best, but if we win the title and I don’t get to score at all, I will be the happiest person on earth.” she tells the Romanian press before the return match.

Bronze in 2010

Despite the injury, she was there, supporting her teammates, advising the wings how to shoot at Mortensen (seriously!) and delivering impeccably in interviews.

“It was hard to watch the girls from the stands. But in a way, it was also beautiful. I forgot about my injury, because they were more important, considering the effort we had spent together in training. I was sorry for not being on court but maybe this was the price I had o pay for the medal. (…) I would crave for Neagu in Viborg, because I know her and I know my club. I have been there for five years now and it feels great. In Viborg, I have learned how to smile and keep calm. I know now that some peace and quiet can substantially improve one’s achievements.” she stated for GSP.TV after she returned from Euros.

Noroc, Cristina!