Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nadia Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci (full name Nadia Elena Comaneci) was born on November 12, 1961 in Onesti, Romania. She is a Romanian gymnast who won five Olympic medals being considerated one of the world's greatest gymnasts.

Biography and Career :

She competed for the first time in the national championship in 1970 for her town's team and soon after this she started to work with the great coach Bella Karolyi and his wife Martha. At the age of 13 she won at the European championship in Norway in 1970 3 gold medals and one silver. In the same year Associated Press called her "the sport-woman of the year in Romania".
In 1976 she became at the Summer Olympic Games in Quebec Canada a very big star. Nadia Comaneci succeed to obtain 6 time the best mark:10(first in the history of gymnastic) and won 3 gold medals, 1 silver and a bronze one. When she came back in Romania was called "Hero of the Socialistic Labor", and was the youngest person who got that distinction.
After 2 years in which Nadia didn't have other notable results, in 1979 won the 3rd supreme title and was the first gymnast(man or woman) in the history of sport who succeed this performance. In December at the World Championship, although she had an hand’s injury she participated and obtained 9.95.
In 1980 At Olympic Games in Moscow Nadia had some problems with the referees who were very influenced by Communist Party in USSR but though she won 2 gold medals and 2 silver.After this Games she retired and between 1984-1989 was member of Romanian Gymnastic Federation.In November 1989 Nadia Comaneci emigrated in USA after she crossed the Romanian-Hungarian border illegally. In USA was involved in promotion of sport products.In 1994 got engaged with Bart Conner and came back in Romania for the first time after she lived her country. In April 1996 she got married with her fiancé.Now she and her husband are the owners of Bart Conner Gymnastic Academy and of some sportive equipment stores and also are editors for International Gymnastic Magazine.
Nadia Comaneci is vice-president of the Director Council of "Special Olympics", honorific president of the Romanian Gymnastic Federation, honorific president of Romanian Olympic Committee and member in Foundation of International Gymnastic Federation.
In December 2003 she published her first book "Letters to a young gymnast".
Trivia :
- She married Bart Conner in Spring of 1996. The ceremony was held in her hometown in Romanian at an Eastern Orthodox church.
- At the Montreal Olympics, the scoreboards were not equipped to display scores of 10.0--so Nadia's perfect marks were reported on the boards as 1.00 instead.
- She was the 1976 BBC Sports Personality of the Year in the overseas athletes category.
- She has a son, Dylan Paul Conner.

Quotes :
- "I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet."
- "Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win."
- "It's a new chapter in our lives. I'm happy. It kind of makes my life and Bart's life and our family's lives complete."

Awards :
1976 - Montreal - All-around - Gold
1976 - Montreal - Uneven - Gold
1976 - Montreal - Balance - Gold
1976 - Montreal - Team Competition - Silver
1976 - Montreal - Floor exercise - Bronze
1980 - Moscow - Balance beam - Gold
1980 - Moscow - Floor exercise - Gold
1980 - Moscow - Team competition - Silver
1980 - Moscow - All around - Silver

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