These are excerpts from The NY Post who called Florina Petcu the feisty Romanian-born who previously enjoyed success as an International actress, ballet dancer and a world champ in Muay Thai kickboxing. Petcu had Hollywood roles include a critically acclaimed part in Spike Lee’s “Inside Man”. Petcu is a 37-year-old senior who never played soccer or any other organized team sport in her life and is with competitors half her age. She was named a starting defender and co-captain.
Petcu nine years earlier took up Muay Thai fighting – a grittier form of standard kickboxing in which fighters can also land blows with their knees and elbows.Her family forbid her from playing sports while growing up under Communism in Bucharest. Her resume in the flyweight and bantamweight divisions includes a silver medal for Team USA in the 2007 IFMA World Championships, the International Kickboxing Federation world championship in 2008 and World Kickboxing Association US championships in 2009 and 2010.
She studied acting and dance and went on to perform many times on Romanian TV and other shows throughout Europe. Her best-known US work is a modest — but scene-stealing part — in the 2006 film “Inside Man” starring Denzel Washington. She now spends much of her time off campus volunteering at a domestic violence shelter in Harlem.
The honors student, who finished her studies in December and will be receiving a bachelor’s of science degree in sports psychology and creative movement/drama therapy, says she wants to pursue a career counseling youths victimized by sexual abuse or domestic violence. She said she plans to move to California and hopes to enroll in San Francisco State University’s master’s program in clinical psychology. Her goal, she says, will be combining her “passion for sports and the arts” into therapy for victims.