Facts About Nadia Comăneci You Need To Know

Published on November 19, 2018
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In all likelihood, you have probably already heard of the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci. She first shot into stardom with her amazing performance at the Montreal Olympic Games held in Quebec, Canada back in 1976. However, we are willing to bet that you don’t know the rest of her story. From how she became an Olympian to the way she escaped her home country, we have it all for you. Keep reading to find out more about this amazing woman!

The Early Days

Stefania and Gheorghe Comăneci welcomed a baby girl they named Nadia Elena Comăneci in Onesti, Romania on November 12, 1961. Her Romanian Orthodox parents were beyond excited about the birth of their firstborn child. Not long after this, the couple would be blessed with their second child.

The Early Days

The Early Days

Hope For Nadia

In Romania, it is not uncommon to find a girl named Nadia, though there was a special reason why her parents gave her that name. When her mother Stefania was pregnant with her, she had been watching a movie with Gheorghe. They were inspired by the film and liked the name of the protagonist. “Nadya” means “hope”, though we doubt they could foresee how suitable the name actually ended up being.

Hope For Nadia

Hope For Nadia

Full Of Life

As a little girl, Nadia was bursting with boundless energy. She was the type of child who enjoyed bouncing the day away as she jumped on the furniture. Her parents thought that it would be a good idea to sign her up for gymnastics so that she could have a positive outlet for it. At the time, they were unaware that this decision would alter the course of their lives.

Full Of Life

Full Of Life

Going Forward

It seems like Nadia was a driven individual from the beginning. She might have been young, though she knew she wanted to accomplish amazing things. Once, she described herself this way: “I was driven towards something I wanted to be the best at, and I didn’t know exactly what it was, it happened to be gymnastics.”

Going Forward

Going Forward

Young Talent

On one particular day, little Nadia had been spending some time on the playground with a school friend when she did some cartwheels. The kids had been too lost in playtime to notice a pair of adults keeping their eyes on them. The witnesses turned out to be the gymnastic coaches and married couple, Márta and Béla Károlyi. Back then, they were hanging out in the playground on the lookout for talented children. They decided to follow Nadia and her friend in an attempt to recruit the little girls to their gym.

Young Talent

Young Talent

Béla Károlyi

Béla Károlyi has been a huge sports fan since he was young and he ended up becoming an athlete himself. He got his start in the sport of hammer-throwing and he eventually became a champion in it. Later, he switched to coaching junior boxing. It was only when he met Márta Károlyi that he decided to convert to gymnastics. The couple normally went scouting for young talent and this was how they found Nadia.

Béla Károlyi

Béla Károlyi

Hard Work

Béla successfully recruited Nadia to his gym and he started mentoring the little girl. Nadia began training for three hours every single day and she was driven by a desire to succeed. Márta and Béla were both impressed with the talent and form possessed by the little girl. She was extremely driven as evidenced by the fact that she chose to get up every time she fell down.

Hard Work

Hard Work

Ups And Downs

The training routine her coaches made her undergo paid off and young Nadia Comăneci entered the Romanian Junior Championship at the tender age of eight years old. She managed to earn the 13th place and that was already pretty impressive for her age. However, she was clearly disappointed by her ranking. Still, she did not give up and she was only driven to try harder. The same motivation earned her the top spot in the following year!

Ups And Downs

Ups And Downs

Practice Makes Perfect

Béla Károlyi was the type of person who prioritized hard work and dedication. He must have been happy to take someone so similar under his wing. When Nadia was 13 years old, she was working with Béla 8 hours every day for 6 days a week. That’s the dedication it takes when you have dreams of greatness. Clearly, the pair was not going to let anything get in the way of their goals.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Never Too Much

A couple of years after winning her first championship, some people wanted to know if Nadia felt like the Károlyis pushed her too hard. She answered by saying that this was not true. In fact, she was the one who always wanted to take the extra mile by insisting on doing more whenever Béla assigned her an exercise. This was evidently someone who wanted to be the best at her craft no matter what.

Never Too Much

Never Too Much

Gold and Silver

During the European Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championship in 1975, Nadia wowed everyone with her European debut performance. During the course of the competition, she ended up winning nearly all of the competition she took part in. Nonetheless, she ended up bagging the silver medal in the only category she did not win gold in. Even more impressive is the fact that she was able to accomplish so much at the age of 13!

Gold And Silver

Gold And Silver

The American Cup

The next year, Nadia Comăneci left the European continent for the first time in order to attend the American Cup. The competition was considered to be a warm-up tournament before the athletes competed in the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Montreal in the same year. The world went wild as the talented gymnast bagged perfect scores.

The American Cup

The American Cup

Two Winners

After stunning everyone in the audience during the competition, the next event was the awarding ceremony. There were two silver cups for one male gymnast and one female gymnast. No one was shocked that Nadia Comăneci won and the other cup was given to the American athlete Bart Conner. This served as their first meeting and it ended up becoming a life-changing moment for both talented gymnasts!

Two Winners

Two Winners

Young Love

Photographers wanted to capture the image of the champions on film and they huddled together to snap photos as they showed off their medals. Someone yelled, “Kiss for the cameras, please!” The 18-year-old Bart Conner obliged the request by kissing Nadia on the cheek. The moment made for an adorable image and the photograph was definitely well-received. We daresay that the moment further catapulted Nadia into fame!

M:requestsretnaphoto32738#RetnaComaneci CP010744.jpg

Young Love

Summer Olympics

Only several months after she dominated the American Cup, Nadia delivered an incredible performance during the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal. She completely swept the floor and everyone could only watch her in amazement. Her performances earned the perfect score of 10 a total of six times! She was able to smash world records as she became the first gymnast to earn that amount of perfect scores in the history of the Olympics.

Summer Olympics

Summer Olympics

Confusion In The Crowd

This was the first time such a thing was recorded in Olympic history so it’s not surprising to hear there were some minor issues. The manufacturer of the digital scoreboards was a company called Omega SA. They did not program the display to show “10” since this was thought to be an impossible feat. This is why the board instead showed “1.00” when the time came. It’s safe to say that everyone was puzzled as they stared at it, though the moment only lasted until everyone realized the actual score.

Confusion In The Crowd

Confusion In The Crowd

Writing History

Everyone wanted to know what Nadia had to say about the unprecedented score she received. To everyone’s surprise, Nadia let the world know that she did not like looking at the scoreboards when she competes. She admitted, “I didn’t know I was making history when I got the 10.”

Writing History

Writing History

The Perfect “10”

Upon seeing the scoreboard, Béla Károlyi was infuriated. He was under the impression that the judges made a mistake or otherwise made a penalty he did not notice. He said, “I said ‘holy cow, they deducted something over here, there is a deduction, there is a penalty,’ I was on my way to the jury, then I heard, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, first time in the history of the sport, a perfect 10 in the Olympic Games.’”

The Perfect 10

The Perfect “10”

For Now And Always

As if it is not already impressive to break such a record, it’s hard to believe that she was only 14 years old when she managed to do this. Regardless, she will forever remain the youngest person to do so as the Olympic committee has changed the rules since then. These days, one must be 16 years old in order to participate in the Olympic Games.

For Now And Always

For Now And Always

Humble Nadia

The awarding ceremony naturally followed her magnificent performance. When she was on stage, an official asked her what she thought of her record-breaking performance. Everyone was eager to learn how the 14-year-old gymnast felt about. Her response? “It’s okay. I’ve gotten 19 golds in other competitions”. Wow!

Humble Nadia

Humble Nadia

In With The New

The previous Olympic Games had been held in Munich, Germany in 1972. Back then, Olga Korbut stole the spotlight when she delivered an almost perfect performance. However, the gymnast from the Soviet Union had to give way to the younger girl. As the competition drew to a close, Nadia was able to surpass her achievements.

In With The New

In With The New

A New Hero

When Nadia returned home from Montreal, she definitely had no clue about the reception she would get upon her arrival. Over 10,000 people went to the airport to give her a hero’s welcome. The young gymnast was clearly overwhelmed with the attention given to her by the cheering crowd. She actually went back to the airplane for a little while to regain her composure!

A New Hero

A New Hero

National Pride

Upon Nadia Comăneci’s return to her home country, she was treated like a national hero. It’s easy to see why as no one else had ever achieved the feat she managed to pull off. Then President Nicolae Ceaușescu presented her with the “Sickle and Hammer Gold Medal” and announced her to be a hero of “Socialist Labor”. The rumor mill even started saying how the government gave the family a car and an entire month off from work.

National Pride

National Pride

Dedications To Nadia Comăneci

As a celebration of Nadia’s success, the cinematographer Robert Riger created a video montage of the young gymnast’s performance in the Olympic Games. The footage was paired with the hit song “Cotton’s Dream”, a 1971 composition by Barry De Vorzon Perry Botkin, Jr. It did not take long before the song was synonymous with her record-breaking performance. The song even climbed to the top spot of the charts and it was eventually re-titled “Nadia’s Theme”.

Dedications To Nadia Comăneci1

Dedications To Nadia Comăneci

Athlete Of The Year

However, that was far from the end of it. Newsweek Magazine released an entire cover dedicated to her with the words “A Star Is Born”. Meanwhile, the BBC dubbed her the “Overseas Sports Personality of the Year”. Lastly, the Associated Press declared her to be the “Female Athlete of the Year”. As you can see, everyone loved Nadia Comăneci!

Dedications To Nadia Comăneci

Athlete Of The Year

No Space

The rising star quickly overshadowed other important news stories. For example, her win coincided with a new Mars space mission. Despite this, Time Magazine chose to feature Nadia Comăneci on its cover page and devoted only a small space to the expedition!

No Space

No Space

New Moves

Nadia did not only perfect gymnastic stunts! She actually came up with some of them on her own! The list includes what she calls the “Comăneci dismount” and the “Comăneci salto”. You can definitely say that she left her mark on gymnastics.

New Moves

New Moves

Turbulent Times

We know that it seems like everything was smooth-sailing for Nadia. After all, her career was at its peak and she was on the receiving end of worldwide popularity. However, the news of her parents’ divorce completely blindsided her. She and her brother were suddenly thrown into a situation they did not know how to handle.

Turbulent Times

Turbulent Times

Losing Béla

Sadly, this coincided with another terrible bit of news. Nadia suffered another heartbreak when Romanian officials decided her coach would serve the country better by finding a new protégé. This was terrible news for Nadia and her reaction is completely understandable. They have been together since she was six years old, after all. Unfortunately, this was not the last challenge life had in store for her.

Losing Béla

Losing Béla

Stress Overload

Keep in mind that Nadia was only a 15-year-old girl back then. She was not prepared to deal with the hand she has been given. The talented athlete suddenly lost the will to go to the gym and she eventually stopped training completely. She even landed in the hospital after showing symptoms from incredibly high stress levels.

Stress Overload

Stress Overload

Keeping To Herself

The media had taken to calling Nadia “an emotionless gymnast”, primarily for her passion to win and determined focus. However, the reality is actually the exact opposite as she was highly emotional at that point. Who can blame her, right? However, she did not like to show her emotions and preferred to bottle it all up. Béla Károlyi actually said, “She kept everything inside”. Clearly, Nadia was far too young to handle the stress that she was given.

Keeping To Herself

Keeping To Herself

Time To Restart

Fortunately, the officials of the Romanian Sporting Authority quickly realized that their decision was a huge error on their part. In order to fix the situation right away, Béla was quickly reinstated as Nadia’s coach. The pair had a tearful but heartwarming reunion, though they simply did not have the time to catch up with each other’s lives. After all, the next Olympic Games was already on the horizon.

Time To Restart

Time To Restart

Hands On

Sportsmen and sportswomen all know that injuries might happen at any given time. During the World Championships, Nadia suffered a cut from a metal grip buckle. The medical professionals advised her to withdraw from the games so that she could recover from the injury. However, Nadia was not the type of person who would let anything deter her. She still went back to compete and even bagged the first medal of the Romanian team.

Hands On

Hands On

Moscow Summer Olympics

Considering the fact that they were separated for a while, Béla and Nadia trained rigorously as much as they could. The pair trained intensely for five weeks in order to prepare for the competition. The Moscow Olympic Games actually came with plenty of controversies. Among other things, the United States refused to send representatives as a way to protest the involvement of the host country in Afghanistan. However, the Soviets had another problem to deal with in the form of Nadia Comăneci.

Moscow Summer Olympics

Moscow Summer Olympics

Hecklers In The Crowd

Apparently, Nadia did not let anything get in the way of her winning. Everyone in the audience kept their attention on the Romanian Olympian but she knew better than to let the pressure affect her. As she performed her routine, drunk hecklers tried to distract her to no avail. She might not have enjoyed the ideal amount of preparation, but Nadia still bagged two gold medals and two silver ones.

Hecklers In The Crowd

Hecklers In The Crowd

Unfair Scoring

To no one’s surprise, Nadia was able to deliver more flawless performances this time around. However, there were several things that would get in her way. Bela Károlyi noticed that the judges were taking a really long time to deliver her scores and he was immediately suspicious. When they finally revealed her scores, he felt they were much too low than what Nadia deserved. He proceeded to make a scene and it was promptly televised. Some Romanians felt like he embarrassed their country and Bela started worrying about his safety when they got home.

Unfair Scoring

Unfair Scoring

Mutual Respect

Although the Moscow Olympic Games scandal still lingered in the air, she snagged a gold medal yet again. More importantly, she earned the respect and admiration of fans and competitors from around the world. Her Soviet competitor Nellie Kim even hugged her and extended her congratulations on the podium. She put to rest the myth about Nadia’s demeanor by explaining, “She was psychologically prepared, not emotionless.”

Mutual Respect

Mutual Respect

Escaping The Grip

As a way to promote Nadia in America, the Gymnastics Federation set her up on a tour named “Nadia 81” in 1981. It was spread across 11 cities in the United States and it was chance for Nadia to be admired by her American fans. The tour also offered safety for Bela, who eventually defected. Without a doubt, Nadia felt abandoned yet again.

Escaping The Grip

Escaping The Grip

No Way Out

Upon her return home, the government was afraid that she would follow in Bela’s footsteps and defect to the United States. The Romanian government therefore instituted a travel ban for her. Moreover, they started screening and monitoring her personal communication lines. Nadia did not have any privacy or freedom at all. In fact, she was only granted permission to leave the country to compete in Cuba and other parts of Europe.

No Way Out

No Way Out

Throwing In The Towel

In 1984, Nadia decided to throw in the towel and quit playing the sport. Keep in mind, however, that this was not the end of her gymnastics career altogether. She went into coaching instead and headed the Romanian gymnastics team. However, this decision would actually put her in a difficult place in the future.

Throwing In The Towel

Throwing In The Towel

The New Girl

When Nadia accompanied the country’s national team to the 1984 Olympic Games, she came face to face with her old coach, Béla Károlyi. At that point, he had already started working as a coach for the U.S. national team. Moreover, he took on a new protégé named Mary Lou Retton. It must have heard to learn about this, though Nadia knew he was simply making the most out of his circumstances.

The New Girl

The New Girl

Mary Lou Retton

On January 24, 1968, Mary Lou Retton was born. She became passionate about gymnastics when she watched Nadia Comăneci’s wonderful performance during the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal. She later learned that Márta and Béla Károlyi, Nadia’s former coaches, had moved to Houston. She decided to move there to undergo training in their capable hands.

Mary Lou Retton

Mary Lou Retton

New Success

Her hard work paid off in no time and this was made clear during the Olympic Games in 1984. Mary Lou Retton became the first female gymnast outside of Europe to have won the individual all-around gold. Even more fascinating was the fact that she was competing with Romanian gymnast Ecaterina Szabo back then.

New Success

New Success

Keeping Distance

During the Los Angeles Olympic Games, Nadia had a hard time looking away from the American national team. No, this was not because of Mary Lou Retton. She was more concerned about her former coach, Béla. She had been ordered not to talk to him and she was suffering because of it. This was the moment she felt the need to escape Romania.

Keeping Distance

Keeping Distance

Hope On The Horizon

It was only in 1987 and Nadia found the opportunity to actually do so. She was attending a party when she was introduced to Constantin Panait. This man claimed that he defected to the United States of America and that he was already an American citizen. At the time, Nadia had no clue that Panait would change her life for good.

Hope On The Horizon

Hope On The Horizon

The Only Chance

Nadia put her life in his hands because he managed to obtain American citizenship. It was a risky endeavor but she nonetheless followed him in the hopes of escaping Romania. They were able to do this in 1989. First, they sneaked into Hungary and then Austria. They then entered Canada first before they finally made it to the United States. After just a matter of weeks, the Ceaușescu administration was deposed by the Romanian Revolution.

The Only Chance

The Only Chance

Goodbyes

What’s worse than saying goodbye to your country? The answer to that is bidding farewell to your family, of course. Her mother became so emotional upon learning about her plan but her brother helped her calm down. Nonetheless, they motivated Nadia to continue with her plan.

Goodbyes

Goodbyes

A Close Call

The journey definitely had a lot of risks. When they were trying to get over the border to Hungary, they were spotted by several patrolmen. As they were being interrogated, the soldiers recognized her and immediately let her go. Who knows what would have happened if she was a different person?

A Close Call

A Close Call

A Mixed Reception

When she arrived in the United States, the media was quick to cover the story. It spread like wildfire and journalists kept hounding her for more information. They asked her things like “What are your plans now?” Luckily, Nadia was able to maintain her composure as always. She simply smiled and replied in broken English. There were some people who did not like the news, though it is safe to say that most people were excited to host her.

A Mixed Reception

A Mixed Reception

Held Back

When Béla Károlyi learned that his old student was now in America, he tried to contact her right away. As a matter of fact, plenty of people were trying to do the same thing. However, not one of them ever heard from her. Why was Nadia ignoring their phone calls? If you must know, it is simply because she had not been getting them. That’s right, Constantin Panait had been intercepting the calls to ensure that she was not aware of them.

Held Back

Held Back

Life Of Mystery

It seemed like Constantin Panait was taking advantage of her poor English to isolate her. Clearly, there was something sketchy happening here. Panait was a married man but that did not stop him from staying in hotels and motels with Nadia. When she was asked about their relationship, Nadia only replied, “It’s a secret.” In our opinion, this sounds absolutely shady.

Life Of Mystery

Life Of Mystery

A Friend In Need

It was during a visit to Canada that Nadia was finally able to get some help. During her time there, she met her friend Alexandru Stefu. He asked her about her relationship with Panait and the former gymnast finally admitted that Panait was holding her against her will. Stefu was angry and confronted Panait about it, though he skipped town right away. In fact, he fled the United States with a large portion of her money. Even though he treated her badly, Nadia does not bear him ill will as he helped get her to America.

A Friend In Need

A Friend In Need

Bart Conner Returns

Nadia had actually been preparing to appear on the Pat Sajak Show when Stefu decided to confront Panait. Bart Conner found out about her guest appearance and knew he had to see her.

Bart Conner

Bart Conner

Meeting Nadia Comăneci

Now that is what you call a throwback! Nadia and Bart met each other during the American Cup in 1976 when they both stood on the stage with their own silver cups. Bart, of course, kissed Nadia on the cheek back then. We’re sure you’re excited to learn what happened next!

Meeting Nadia Comăneci

Meeting Nadia Comăneci

By All Means

Bart was on a rather tight schedule that particular day. When his flight landed in Los Angeles, he was aware of the fact that he did not have plenty of time to spare. He wanted to surprise Nadia but will he get to the studio in time? His flight arrived at 4:45 pm and the show was set to begin at 5 pm! Bart decided to hire a chopper to reach the studio as soon as possible.

By All Means

By All Means

Reunited Again

Bart Conner was quite the sight for sore eyes when he entered the studio carrying a bouquet of flowers. He approached Nadia Comăneci, gave her the flowers, and kissed her cheek. Spontaneously, he planted another one on the other cheek! The crowd cheered for the pair and we bet everyone had been thinking about their previous kiss many years ago.

Reunited Again

Reunited Again

Friend Zone

Nadia had absolutely zero idea that Bart had been crushing on her. She found him to be an approachable guy but he was extremely friendly to everyone during the Montreal Olympic Games. Apparently, Bart bounced from one seat to the next to talk to the other people on the bus. She did not know he was actually developing a crush on her!

Friend Zone

Friend Zone

More than A Date

Nadia and Bart began spending a lot of time together and they eventually realized that they had actually been dating the whole time. It did not take long before they realized they wanted to be together. Four years later, he finally got down on one knee and proposed to Nadia.

More Than A Date

More Than A Date

Wedding Day

The couple wanted to walk down the aisle in Romania so they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to celebrate the wedding. Nadia had no idea how she would be treated in her home country after she defected to the United States. We bet she was surprised to find ten thousand fans waiting for her when she arrived!

Wedding Day

Wedding Day

The Whole Nation

Bart and Nadia became man and wife in 1996. In Romania, the date was like a national holiday and everyone watched the wedding via television. Some people even called it “the royal wedding of sport”. True gymnastics fans must have also been glued to their seats!

COMANECI CONNER WEDDING

The Whole Nation

Little Bart

In 2006, ten years after the wedding, the couple welcomed a baby boy into the world. They named him Dylan Paul. Nadia and Bart were creating their very own family in the United States. When she was being interviewed by Isabelle Kumar, she was asked which country she considered her home. Nadia answered, “I am a Romanian, but I am adopted by America.”

Little Bart

Little Bart

A Secret Wonder

When he was growing up, Dylan thought that his parents were regular parents. He later came to realize that they were more than that. One day, Dylan got back from school and asked his mother, “Do you know that you’re famous?” Nadia laughed at the question and answered in the affirmative. She also showed him pictures from their glory days.

A Secret Wonder

A Secret Wonder

Young And Old

Ten years after the birth of Dylan, his mother took to Twitter to share her feelings with all of her fans. Nadia posted a photo of her young son with none other than Béla and Martha Károlyi. She wrote that the encounter made her feel like life has finally come “full circle”. This is perfectly understandable as she would not be here now without the people who first saw her potential.

Young And Old

Young And Old

Coming Together

Mary Lou Retton also posted something on her social media account that made gymnastics fans happy. She uploaded a photo of herself with Béla Károlyi and Nadia Comănecim. As a cherry on top, she captioned it with, “Two of my heroes!” Obviously, the three were on good terms despite everything.

Coming Together

Coming Together

Nadia Comăneci And Caitlyn Jenner

There was another soon-to-be celebrity in the roster of competitors during the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal. Caitlyn Jenner had been a participant in track and field! They did not get to meet back then, however. When asked about it, Jenner answered, “Gymnastics finished before Track and Field started, so I was already gone by the time she competed.” It was only in 2016 that the two met for the first time and they got along like a house on fire.

Nadia Comăneci And Caitlyn Jenner

Nadia Comăneci And Caitlyn Jenner

Nadia Comăneci And Arnold Schwarzenegger

Caitlyn Jenner is definitely not the only famous person who wants to meet Nadia. Once, Nadia had been working out at the local gym when she was spotted by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Can you believe he actually asked her for a picture? He had this to say about the meeting: “It is fantastic to get to the gym early and have an Olympic champion as your trainer – thanks Nadia Comaneci! 10 reps to honor the first perfect 10 score in the Olympics.” Apparently, they also exchanged training tips!

Nadia Comăneci And Arnold Schwarzenegger

Nadia Comăneci And Arnold Schwarzenegger

Commentators

Bart and Nadia are not only excellent together when they are at home. During the 2008 Summer Olympics, the two actually worked together as fellow commentators for the games. That’s definitely the best way to go about “doing what you love”.

Commentators

Commentators

Judging Themselves

Don’t go thinking that the Beijing Summer Olympics was the final time they talked about gymnastic talent together. The Olympic Committee wanted to have fun and so they set up a studio complete with cameras, microphones, and a screen. They then played footage of their best Olympic performances! Nadia and Bart went on to judge each other’s routine. Don’t you wish you had a relationship like that?

Judging Themselves

Judging Themselves

Running With Fire

Let us rewind a little this time. The photo below shows the couple during another special moment they had together. It shows the pair running a portion of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Torch Relay. This was not the last time Nadia got to do this, mind you.

Running With Fire

Running With Fire

The Olympic Torch

Dressed in another white tracksuit, the photo shows Nadia and baller John Amaechi on the 02 Arena roof just before the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch

Keeping Flexible

Recently, Nadia has been spending plenty of time on the road. This is why it is important for her to remain fit and active. It is a given that she needs to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise often. However, she is also a strong believer in the wonders of stretching.

Keeping Flexible

Keeping Flexible

Ten For Ten

Over the years, Nadia Comăneci has become synonymous with the number “10”. Maybe this is why it’s no longer surprising to learn that she is worth approximately $10 million!

Ten For Ten

Ten For Ten

The Girl Next Door

A lot of people find Nadia to be a national and international hero. The same goes for her hometown, though you probably have no idea that the “Memorial Nadia Comaneci Montreal” exists. It is a small building dedicated to her and it will commemorate her brilliance forever.

The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

Letters To A Young Gymnast

We daresay that Nadia has lived a life worth talking about. This is probably what encouraged Nadia to write all about it and you can learn more about her journey in her biography “Letters To A Young Gymnast”. It is an interesting read in itself and it serves as a guide to achieving your dreams despite the adversities in your way.

Letters To A Young Gymnast

Letters To A Young Gymnast

Nadia Comăneci And Katie Holmes

There is simply something about the gymnast that draws other people to her. The actress Katie Holmes was fascinated with Nadia and even wanted to tell the story of her life. This was how the movie “Eternal Princess” was created!

Nadia Comăneci And Katie Holmes

Nadia Comăneci And Katie Holmes

A Lot In Common

The movie served as more than just a tribute to Nadia’s Life. The project actually helped more people get to know Nadia on a deeper level. As the two women were working together, they noticed how much they actually had in common. They both shot into fame when they were young and they both suffered a sudden failure after rapid success. Apart from that, they also bonded about dealing with overbearing partners.

A Lot In Common

A Lot In Common

Winning

“Eternal Princess” was not the only period that Nadia spent time in Hollywood. In 2016, Jacqueline Joseph created a documentary titled “Winning” and it featured the greatest athletes from different parts of the globe. Among others, the documentary followed Martina Navratilova, Edwin Moses, Jack Nicklaus, and Esther Vergeer. It goes without saying that Nadia was there as well!

Winning

Winning

Visiting The White House

It definitely appears like everyone wants to spend some time with Nadia. In fact, she and her husband were both invited to visit the White House in 2014. The couple had the opportunity to meet POTUS Barack Obama and FLOTUS Michelle Obama. The event happened not long before the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics. Needless to say, it generated a lot of interest for the event!

Visiting The White House

Visiting The White House

The Special Olympics

True enough, Nadia and Bart no longer participate in competitions, though you should know that they are still associated with the Olympics regardless. They are actually Special Olympics ambassadors and the job description of the position is basically to travel and raise money for both the event and the athletes.

The Special Olympics

The Special Olympics

Nadia Comăneci and Donald Trump

Nadia had the Special Olympics in mind when she took part in the celebrity edition of the reality show The Apprentice. While she was unable to raise the money she wanted for the Special Olympics, she described her overall experience on the program in this manner: “I had great fun. I only did it because it was all for charity.”

Nadia Comăneci And Donald Trump

Nadia Comăneci And Donald Trump

Their Projects

Nadia and Bart are involved in other philanthropic organizations apart from the Special Olympic Games. The couple has also volunteered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. It aims to provide services and research for people suffering from neuromuscular disease.

Their Projects

Their Projects

Nadia’s Clinic

It is definitely impressive that the couple volunteers together, though it is also wonderful that Nadia does other philanthropic things by herself. Take the “Nadia Comăneci Children’s Clinic” for example. Based in Bucharest, the organization offers medical and social services for Romanian kids.

Nadias Clinic

Nadias Clinic

The Youth Is The Future

Nadia is a firm believer that sports can do wonders for young kids. She considers it to be a great way to channel their energy. Not to mention that it will help keep them in tiptop shape! Sports also give their life more structure and teach them the discipline they need to succeed in life.

The Youth Is The Future

The Youth Is The Future

Lifetime Achievements

We can’t deny that Nadia has not competed in the Olympic Games for a while now. However, her influence is definitely not over. In 1999, she was named one of the ‘100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century’ by ABC News. Meanwhile, The International Association of Sports Writers dubbed her one of the ‘25 Outstanding Sports People of the 20th Century’.

Lifetime Achievements

Lifetime Achievements

Fairytale Or Fate

We know that Nadia has had quite an amazing life. At one point, an interviewer actually asked her if she ever thought her life was something like a fairytale. She responded in this manner: “I don’t want my life to be scripted, it becomes too cheesy. I brought motivation to my generation and the generation after me. You should never give up when it gets hard.”

Fairytale Or Fate

Fairytale Or Fate

Connecting The Dots

Isabelle Kumar went on to ask the former gymnast something else during the interview. She asked Nadia if there was anything she would have done differently in retrospect. We adore the answer Nadia gave! According to her, she would not be the person she is now without enduring all the hardships. She said it was just like “connecting the dots”.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting The Dots

Inspiring Young Lives

Nadia Comăneci is definitely an amazing individual. She has shown all of us that working hard will pay off in the end. There were many challenges that she had to undergo over the years, to say the least. She lived under an oppressive regime, left her family, and lived with a controlling partner. However, she has acknowledged that her experiences made her the person she is now. She is living proof that it is important to work hard and pursue your dreams even when life brings us down!

Inspiring Young Lives

Inspiring Young Lives

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