NADIA COMANECI Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Nadia Comaneci                                                                               
Born: 12 November 1961                                                                             
Nadia Elena Comaneci (born November 12, 1961)                                                       
is a Romanian gymnast, winner of five Olympic gold medals, and the first gymnast                   
to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She is one of                   
the best-known gymnasts in the world and, along with Olga Korbut, is credited                       
with popularizing the sport around the world.                                                       
Comaneci was born in OneĹti, Romania, as the daughter of Gheorghe and Ĺtefania-Alexandrina.         
Her pregnant mother was watching a Russian film in which the heroine of the                         
story's name was Nadya, the shortened version of the Russian name Nadyezhda (which                 
means, literally, "Hope"). She decided that her daughter would be named Nadia,                     
too. Comaneci also has a younger brother named Adrian.                                             
Comaneci began gymnastics in kindergarten with a local team called "Flame," with                   
coaches Duncan and Munteanu. At age 6 she was chosen to attend BĂla                                 
KĂrolyi's experimental gymnastics school after he spotted her and a friend                         
turning cartwheels in a schoolyard.                                                                 
Comaneci was training with the Károlyis by the time she was 7 years old, in 1969.                 
She was one of the first students at the gymnastics school established in Onesti                   
by BĂla and his wife, Marta, who would later defect to the United States and                       
become coaches of many prominent American gymnasts. Unlike many of the other                       
students at the KĂrolyi school, Comaneci was able to commute from home for many                     
years because she lived in the area.                                                               
Comaneci placed 13th in her first Romanian National Championships in 1969. A                       
year later, in 1970, she began competing as a member of her hometown team and                       
became the youngest gymnast ever to win the Romanian Nationals. In 1971, she                       
participated in her first international competition, a dual junior meet between                     
Romania and Yugoslavia, winning her first all-around title and contributing to                     
the team gold. For the next few years, she competed as a junior in numerous                         
national contests in Romania and additional dual meets with nearby countries                       
such as Hungary, Italy and Poland. At the age of 11, in 1973, she won the                           
all-around gold, as well as the vault and uneven bars titles, at the Junior                         
Friendship Tournament (Druzhba), an important meet for junior gymnasts.                             
Comaneci's first major international success came at the age of 13, when she                       
nearly swept the 1975 European Championships in Skien, Norway, winning the all-around               
and gold medals on every event but the floor exercise, in which she placed                         
second. She continued to enjoy success in other meets in 1975, winning the all-around               
at the "Champions All" competition and placing first in the all-around, vault,                     
beam, and bars at the Romanian National Championships. In the Pre-Olympic test                     
event in MontrĂ©al, Comaneci won the all-around and the balance beam golds, as                     
well as silvers in the vault, floor, and bars behind accomplished Soviet gymnast                   
Nellie Kim, who would prove to be one of her greatest rivals over the next five                     
In March 1976, Comaneci competed in the inaugural edition of the American Cup at                   
Madison Square Garden in New York. She received unprecedented scores of 10.0,                       
which signified a perfect routine without any deductions, on vault in both the                     
preliminary and final rounds of competition and won the all-around. Comaneci                       
also received 10s in other meets in 1976, including the prestigious Chunichi Cup                   
competition in Japan, where she posted perfect marks on the vault and uneven                       
The international community took note of Comaneci: she was named the United                         
Press International's "Female Athlete of the Year" for 1975.                                       
At the age of 14, Comaneci became one of the stars of the 1976 Olympic Games in                     
Montreal. During the team portion of the competition, her routine on the uneven                     
bars was scored at a 10.0. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics                       
history that the score had ever been awarded. The scoreboards were not even                         
equipped to display scores of 10.0—so Nadia's perfect marks were reported on the                 
boards as 1.00 instead.[18] Over the course of the Olympics, Comaneci would earn                   
six additional 10s, en route to capturing the all-around, beam and bars titles                     
and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. The Romanian team also placed second                     
in the team competition.                                                                           
Comaneci was the first Romanian gymnast to win the all-around title at the                         
Olympics. She also holds the record as the youngest Olympic gymnastics all-around                   
champion ever; with the revised age-eligibility requirements in the sport (gymnasts                 
must now turn 16 in the calendar year to compete in the Olympics; in 1976                           
gymnasts had to be 14 by the first day of the competition), this record is                         
currently unable to be broken.                                                                     
Comaneci's achievements at the Olympics generated a significant amount of media                     
attention. The theme song from the American soap opera The Young and the                           
Restless became associated with her after the television program ABC's Wide                         
World Of Sports used it as background music for montages of her routines. The                       
song became a top ten single in the fall of 1976, and the composer, Barry De                       
Vorzon, renamed it to "Nadia's Theme" after her. However, Comaneci never                           
actually performed to "Nadia's Theme." Her floor exercise music was a medley of                     
the songs "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" and "Jump in the Line" arranged for piano.                     
She was the 1976 BBC Sports Personality of the Year in the overseas athletes                       
category and the Associated Press's 1976 "Female Athlete of the Year".                             
She also retained her title as the UPI Female Athlete of the Year. Back home                       
in Romania, Comaneci's success led her to be named a "Hero of Socialist Labor,"                     
she was the youngest Romanian to receive such recognition during the reign of                       
Nicolae CeauĹescu.