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Bela Karolyi


Karolyi was neither consulted nor advised of the team's movement in advance. Highly offended and upset at losing his best students, he shut down the school at Onesti and returned to the Vulcan region where he established a new facility at Deva in early 1977.

Karolyi's new students won the Romanian championships in October of 1977, and in 1978 they beat the Russians again at the Friendship Cup in Cuba that year. The girls from Deva took the top six places in the final standings of the national championships of 1978. Under pressure, soon afterward Karolyi accepted an eleventh-hour assignment to coach the Romanian national team. With only five weeks to train for the world championships, he brought the team to nothing less than a second place finish. His team swept both the European championships and the world championships in 1979.

When Comaneci received unjustified low scores and failed to win a gold medal at the Olympic competition in Moscow in 1980, Karolyi lodged a protest, causing a temporary disruption of the games. Upon his return to Romania he received a reprimand from the national government.

Bela Karolyi, bottom

Although Karolyi resigned in protest, the government refused to recognize his resignation.

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Famous Sports StarsGymnasticsBela Karolyi Biography - Early Life In Romania, Recognition In Competition, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Olympians, Dissatisfaction - SELECTED WRITINGS BY KAROLYI: