Nadia Comaneci: Perfectionist
- Olympic Medals: 5 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze
- Olympic Games participations: 2
- First Olympic Games: Montreal 1976
- Year of Birth: 1961
Comaneci achieved perfection at the age of 14. The Romanian gymnast scored a “perfect 10” on the uneven bars in the team part of the gymnastics at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, and even the scoreboard didn’t know what to do: it wasn’t able to display the four digits needed to show a row of 10.00s, because nobody had even conceived that it was possible.— via Olympics.com
Perfection is a rare commodity but 45 years ago in Montreal, the 14-year-old Romanian gymnast was judged to have achieved it seven times.
The tiny Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut had paved the way four years earlier in Munich, when her captivating performances and three golds ignited gymnastics’ popularity and four years later resulted in a fierce rivalry with Comaneci.
The result was Comaneci, who like Korbut stood just 4ft 11in (1.50m), scoring the first perfect 10.00 scores – four times on the uneven bars and three times on the beam as she won gold in both and the all-round title.
Two further gold medals followed at the Moscow Games in 1980.
Fellow gymnasts later detailed abuse and beatings at the hands of Romania’s coach Bela Karolyi. While under his care, Comaneci was once reportedly rushed to hospital after drinking bleach.
Comaneci competed until 1981 and fled Romania just before the fall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. She now lives in the United States.
Nadia Comaneci at the Olympic Games
|Moscow 1980||Silver||Individual All-Around||Gymnastics|
|Montreal 1976||Gold||Individual All-Around||Gymnastics|
Watch her inspirational journey here:
(With AFP and IOC inputs)
Respond to this article with a post
Share your perspective on this article with a post on ScrollStack, and send it to your followers.