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Climber Horia Colibasanu was decorated on Thursday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace with the National Order of the Star of Romania, in rank of Knight, "as a sign of high appreciation and recognition for the performance he obtained in the Himalayas and for the determination, passion and perseverance with which he perfected his position as an ultraperforming climber."

"I congratulate you for your ambition and perseverance with which you succeeded," said President Klaus Iohannis, defining his activity as "a precious lesson of ambition, passion, force and commitment, seriousness and perseverance."

"Romanians have in you a role model. You broke the limits and proved that nothing is impossible when constantly working for a dream," Iohannis stated.

Furthermore, the head of state confessed that one of the most beautiful images for him is "the tricolour flag waving on the Everest." "There, on the world's rooftop, on a glacial May morning, you wrote history for and about Romania," Iohannis stated.

The President brought to mind that on 14 September, the Mountain Day will be celebrated. "We will bring to mind the issues of the maintain areas, but also the amazing potential of those places. I urge you all to protect and respect the environment," the President stated and brought to mind the climber that "the future generations need the power of example."

In his turn, Colibasanu remembered the message that Iohannis sent two years ago.

"Two years ago, I was moved when I received in the base camp an email on behalf of Mr President. In that email, I was congratulated for the ascension and the Russian team who was near, heard me saying: 'The President wrote.' Everybody asked me 'Who, the President of the Climbing Federation? 'No, the President of my country'," he said.

He talked about the children who are inspired by "the ideals" of climbing. "I believe that it's worth sacrificing things for children, sometimes for climbers even life, in order to take them in a better world and in a Romania which is just as we all desire," Colibasanu stated.

***

Horia Colibasanu is a performing climber, a high altitude climber, with a record of successful climbs on mountain peaks of over 8,000 meters around the world.

So far, Colibasanu has climbed: K2 (8,611m), Manaslu (8,163m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Shishapangma (8,027m), Annapurna (8,091m), Makalu (8,463m), Lhotse (8,516m), Everest (8,848m).

In his expedition he teamed up with partners from various countries including Slovakia, Russia, Spain and Poland.

Colibasanu is also Romania's only alpinist to have been presented with the "Spirit of Mountaineering" distinction by British Alpine Club, the world's first and most prestigious mountaineering club. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Rodica State, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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