Nicu Vlad is also the reason for which the flat-backed, semi-stiff legged barbell lift (with a form similar to a deadlift) came to be known as the Romanian deadlift.
As the story goes, he was seen by some American lifters doing the deadlifts in the Olympic training hall prior to either winning a medal, setting a world record or both. Since he is Romanian, the exercise got dubbed the Romanian deadlift, and that is the name most people know the exercise by.
As the exercise does not involve lifting the weight off the ground, it is not technically a deadlift, but rather a powerful compound accessory movement that strengthens the same muscles.
^Schmitz, Jim. "Jim Schmitz on the Lifts: Romanian DeadLift". IronMind. the “discovery” of the RDL was in my gym, The Sports Palace, in San Francisco in 1990 .. Nicu Vlad, of Romania .. proceeded to do this lift, a combination stiff-leg deadlift and regular deadlift, but actually neither. Someone watching asked what the exercise was he was doing. Nicu just shrugged his shoulders and said it was to make his back strong for the clean. Dragomir also said the same; it was just a lift that Nicu had developed for his back and clean. .. Someone taking notes asked what this lift was called. .. Nicu and Dragomir didn’t have a name, so I said, “Let’s call it the Romanian deadlift or RDL for short,” and every one agreed