Olympics: Rise of an East Bloc Maverick

Rumania finds splendor in solitude

For a country smaller than Oregon and with slightly fewer people (23 million) than California, Rumania was a major presence at the Olympics. The land of plentiful wine and comely gymnasts accounted for more medals than any country except the U.S. and West Germany. That would be reason enough to cause dancing in the streets of Bucharest. Yet Rumania's strong showing was even more welcome because it justified a decision to show up at all, disregarding the Soviet-sponsored boycott. If that were not sufficiently gratifying, the roaring ovation that greeted the team's entry into the Coliseum on...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!