The Queen of the 1976 Olympic Games returns to Montréal
Born on November 12, 1961 in Onesti, Romania, Nadia Elena Comaneci enrolled at her first gymnastics school at the age of seven. This gifted athlete would train under the tutelage of the reputable Romanian coaches known as the Karolyis. In the same year, she competed at her very first championship. Despite her young age, her destiny seemed to be mapped out: Nadia’s outstanding performances were already setting her apart from the competition.
At her first junior competition, she placed 13th. Everything was progressing very quickly for the young athlete. Beginning in 1971, she took part in her first international competition, which pitted Romania against Yugoslavia. Her coaches were right: she would capture all of the championship titles by the time she reached eight years of age. She would continue her rise by competing at various European and US championships, achieving a perfect score time and time again. Nadia was at the top of her game and nobody seemed able to get her off her game.
10-10-10… Equals perfection!
In 1976, Nadia delivered a flawless performance at the Olympic Games in Montreal. At just 14 years of age, she would become the first female gymnast to score a 10, a first in international competition. Since the scoreboard was not designed to display such a score, the judges were forced to show it as 1.0, further highlighting just how outstanding this feat was.
In the stands, Montrealers and non-Montrealers alike were witnessing a historic moment unfold before them. This legendary performance would forever cement the bond between Nadia Comaneci and the city of Montreal. Famous from that point on, Nadia would grace the covers of major magazines with praiseworthy titles such as La perfection à 14 ans (“Perfection at 14”), “She stole the show” or “A Star is born”. She would continue along that path until 1981, when she retired. A one-of-a-kind athlete, Nadia Comaneci, managed to push the limits of her discipline.
The 2017 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships are proud to welcome this legendary gymnast as their spokesperson.
Nadia Comaneci – Official biography
At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, a 14-year-old Romanian dynamo captured the hearts and minds of the world with her daring and perfection. We came to know her simply as “Nadia.”
By the time the 1976 Olympics ended, Comaneci had earned seven perfect tens, three gold medals, one bronze, one silver and countless fans. She appeared on the covers of TIME, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated–all in the same week–and returned home to Romania to a heroine’s welcome.
Four years later at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Comaneci earned two more gold medals and two silver to bring her Olympic total to nine medals–five gold, three silver and one bronze. In 1996, Comaneci was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
In April 1996, Comaneci married American Olympic Champion Bart Conner in a Romanian state wedding. Comaneci now divides her time among appearances, commercial endorsements for major companies, speaking engagements and charity events. In December of 2003, Nadia wrote a book called Letters to a Young Gymnast, detailing her inspirational story.
|Currently, Nadia and Bart are business partners with their manager, Paul Ziert, in the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, International Gymnast magazine, Perfect 10 Productions, Inc. (a TV production company) and Grips, Etc. (a gymnastics supply company).
In 1999, Comaneci was honored by ABC News and Ladies’ Home Journal as one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century. Comaneci, who is also fluent in French and English, continues to travel the world with her various interests. Her charity work is extensive. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International. Comaneci also serves as a member of the board of the Laureus Sports For Good Foundation, and she often travels to Romania to support dozens of charities in her homeland including the Nadia Comaneci Children’s Clinic in Bucharest.
Even though Nadia won a total of nine Olympic medals, five of them gold, she will always be remembered at the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 and leave her indelible mark on the history of the Olympics.
On June 3, 2006, Conner and Comaneci welcomed their son, Dylan Paul Conner, into the world.
Today, Conner and Comaneci continue to travel the world delivering inspirational speeches as well as promoting their charities, gymnastics, fitness and healthy lifestyles.