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Nadia Comaneci Biography

Discovered By Famous Coach, Earned A Perfect Ten At The Olympics, Chronology, Awards And AccomplishmentsCONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY COMANECI:


Romanian gymnast

Nadia Comaneci made her mark on the gymnastics scene and on the world with her breathtaking performances at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. At the age of 14 Comaneci became the first gymnast to earn a perfect ten score in Olympic competition. In two Olympic appearances Comaneci earned five gold, three silver, and one bronze medal. After she retired from the sport she immigrated to the United States from Romania. She has remained active in gymnastics as a coach, analyst, magazine publisher, and exhibition athlete.

Nadia Elena Comaneci was born on November 12, 1961, in Onesti (formally known as Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej), Romania. She was named after a heroine Nadejda from a Russian film that her parents had seen before her birth. She was the oldest of two children born to Gheorghe and Stefania Comaneci. Her younger brother Adrian was born six years later. Her father worked as an auto mechanic, while her mother was an office employee.

Comaneci was an energetic child who loved to explore new things and to be active. "If ever a child aged its parents overnight, it was me," wrote Comaneci in her 1981 autobiography titled Nadia. "I was virtually uncontrollable." Comaneci found an outlet for all of her energy in gymnastics, which she began to learn in kindergarten. When she was six years old, Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci

and a friend were spotted doing cartwheels by the prominent Romanian gymnastic coach, Bela Karolyi. He and his wife Marta were looking for young children to train for the Romanian National Junior Team.


Address: 3206 Bart Conner Dr., Norman, OK 73072-2406. Phone: (405) 447-7500.


Nadia, London: Proteus, 1981.

Sketch by Janet P. Stamatel

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsGymnastics