Arizona State's John Varvara signed a two-season contract this month with Romania’s international sevens team with hopes of reaching the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“We have a really good chance of qualifying for the Olympics,” Varvara said of Romania, “and the Olympics are something I’ve dreamt about forever.”
Four European teams will be compete in the 2016 Games and Varvara believes Romania has a good chance of being one of them. If Varvara and his future Romanian team do qualify for the upcoming Olympics, he would not be the only Olympian in his family. Varvara’s mother was an Olympic basketball player and his father, a target shooter, both for their home country of Romania.
Varvara was flown to Bucharest, the capital of Romania, to get a chance to meet the coaches and players as well as test his strength and conditioning with his future teammates. Varvara had the highest bench press, squat, bent over row, and multi-stage fitness test.
According to Varvara, Romania found him through watching footage of ASU at College 7s Nationals, where ASU won the Bowl.
Varvara began playing rugby his senior year of high school with the South Orange County after a few of his friends encouraged him to join the team. That same year, one of Varvara’s best friends and teammates, James French, passed away.
“I attribute everything to James. He shared all his knowledge and skills with me to make me a better player,” Varvara said, “and now I want to give all that back to the rugby community.”
In French’s honor, Varvara continued to give everything he had to rugby and strived to become a better player at ASU. With the help of elite-level coaching, Varvara used his passion to hone his skills and take his game to the international level.