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Date: 12/10/2015

The international handball community today mourns the loss of Gheorghe Gruia Marinescu, who passed away in Mexico City on December 9 2015. The International Handball Federation offers our sincerest condolences to Mr Gruia’s family, friends, and to both the Romanian Handball Federation and the Mexican Handball Federation. 

Mr Gruia was a multiple world champion, winning the gold medal at the 1964 World Men’s Handball Championship and the 1970 World Men’s Handball Championship, as well as the bronze medal at the 1967 World Championship and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich – the first to include indoor handball – during his time representing Romania as an exceptional right back. At the 1972 Games Mr Gruia was also the top goal scorer. 

His achievements led to him being named The Greatest Handball Player of All Time by the International Handball Federation in 1992.  

Mr Gruia moved to Mexico City, adopting Mexico as his home country and contributing significantly to the development of handball in the Pan American nation through his work as a coach and official. 

The Mexican Handball Federation released the following statement in recognition of the loss for their own nation, Romania, and the international handball community:

To our whole community,

As many of you may know, professor Gheorghe Gruia Marinescu passed away yesterday in Mexico City.

Apart from having been a multiple world champion and an icon for our sport, professor Gheorghe Gruia was also a friend and a teacher. He was an exceptional human being whom we will always remember.

May he rest in peace,

Mexican Handball Federation