Nadia Comaneci: The Romanian Superstar Who Rewrote Olympic Gymnastics History ?

By Duchess Magazine

Five-time Olympic gold medalist, Nadia Elena Comăneci changed the gymnastics game forever in 1976 at age of 14, when she became the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 at the Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. That brilliant performance cemented her place amongst sports icons and redefined expectations of female athletes in the world of sports.

Comăneci, credited with popularizing the sport around the globe was born in 1961, in Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Romania. Her parents caught up on her passion and started grooming her early, fate smiled and at age 6, she got discovered by famed coach Bela Karolyi. She would later go on to win the Romanian National Junior Championships, and, as a senior, the European Championships in 1975 and ultimately the American Cup in 1976.

Although Comaneci attained great heights early she continued with her passion till 1984 when she retired after which she worked as a coach for the Romanian team before defecting to the United States via Hungary in 1989.

Throughout her career, Comăneci won nine Olympic medals and four World Artistic Gymnastics Championship medals.

She was also awarded several awards and honours amongst which are: 1983: The Olympic Order, 1990: International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame,1993: International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, 2000, Athletes of the 20th Century by the Laureus World Sports Academy, etc.

In 1996 she married to American Olympic gymnast Bart Conner, they share a son.

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