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.
Everything was going very quickly for the young athlete. In 1971, she took part in her first international competition, which pitted Romania against Yugoslavia. Her coaches were right: she captures all of the championship titles, despite the fact that she was only 8 years old. She would continue to rise by competing at various European and US championships, achieving perfect scores after perfect scores. Nadia was at the top of her game, and nobody seemed able to get her off.
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 in an 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 truly historic moment. 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.