Nadia Comaneci

Active - 2016 - 2019  |   Born - Nov 12, 1961 in Onesti, Romania  |   Genres - Sports & Recreation, Music

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Biography by Tracie Cooper

Along with fellow athletes Olga Korbut and Mary Lou Retton, Nadia Comaneci's success as an Olympic gymnast extended from the gym and into the public eye. Known for being the first gymnast to have earned a perfect 10 in competition, Comaneci eventually married another gold medalist: gymnast Bart Conner. Along with her husband, Comaneci has performed in a variety of gymnastic exhibitions and lent her expertise in the form of on-air commentary in current elite gymnastic competitions. In 2008, Comaneci appeared on NBC's celebrity edition of business reality show The Apprentice.

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Factsheet

  • Discovered by gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi while doing cartwheels at an elementary-school playground.
  • Recorded the first-ever perfect 10 at the Olympics in Montreal in 1976; the scoreboard wasn't equipped to display the score so it read 1.00.
  • After winning five medals and recording seven 10s, she graced the covers of Sports Illustrated, Time and Newsweek in the same week in 1976.
  • Won a total of nine Olympic medals (five gold, three silver, one bronze).
  • Left her family and medals when she defected from Romania in 1989.
  • Became a U.S. citizen in 2001.