Conf. univ. dr. Băluță Aurelian Virgil
The Rapid Club celebrated 100 years of existence on June 25, 2023. What can you say interesting when the facts are remarkable and the memories overwhelming? In sports terms it was clearly said: Rapid is a phenomenon. Rapid meant performance, true supporters, intense experiences, joys and sufferings in measure. But beyond the sporting competition and the various sympathies we each have, there is a reason for more general, Romanian pride. We have a sports club with a tradition spanning a century.
Rapid was from the beginning a club of workers, of simple people. Yes, the people who toiled in the CFR workshops after the First World War knew what sport was in general, football in particular. That’s how Rapid has remained throughout its already centenary history. Some teams were loved more by people in the country’s leadership. For the supporters of Rapid, nothing outside the sports competition has ever mattered. They rejoiced with the team, they suffered with it, but they always showed loyalty to it.
Why would the supporters of the other teams, from Bucharest or from the province, be interested in Rapid? Because the strength of domestic competition is very important for performance abroad. And the Rapid club raised the level of domestic competitions with little money but with hearty supporters. Or because the value of the trophies won against the Rapid club has a much higher value. In football, it was often said that the opponents of the Rapid club played outnumbered: the audience was always the 12th player.
Compared to the material support received by Rapid, the performances achieved on the national and international level were quite exceptional. It matters a lot that these performances have been found throughout the club’s existence. A rigorous observer must note that the achievements of the Rapid club cover some of the most diverse periods in the country’s history. The athlete-coach-gallery combination was the one that always brought success to Giulesti.
Many of us were happy with the beautiful initiative to have a special event at the new Giulesti stadium on the anniversary of the Rapid club’s centenary. The day of June 25, 2023, when the centenary gala show took place, was beautiful. At one point it rained heavily. As the Romanian oral tradition says, the raindrops that overlapped for a while with the anniversary event symbolize the tears of those who suffered over time for Rapid. Tears of athletes, coaches and supporters.
With every anniversary, along with every joy, there are also regrets. Successive generations of athletes, coaches, technical staff, supporters, those who built the glory of the Rapid club are no longer with us physically, but the rapidist spirit has remained unchanged. He was seen and heard very well in and around Giulești on June 25, 2023, he will be present at any competition in which the Rapid team is involved.
As a former athlete of the Rapid club, I was connected in my own way to this jubilee moment. The moment that summed up a century of history will remain in the soul of the speed riders who had the chance to live this day. I was present at the show outside the stadium. The organization was up to par there too. The reverberations of the atmosphere in the stands were transmitted with great intensity around them as well. The personalities of the Rapid club also respected the fans outside the stadium: they greeted them, took pictures with them.
All the way I walked to the stadium and back home, I listened in my heart to the songs from my teenage years, high school and then student, the period of my life when I walked around the neighborhood dressed in the gala equipment of the Rapid club. There was the unmistakable chanting and roaring of the gallery. To be honest, everything that was sung when I was parading with the athletes from Rapid came back to me like a dream. Then the moment of glory of the Rapid club, the astral hour of Romanian sport and my teenage years were together. This unique existence cannot be forgotten.