Nadia Comăneci

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Nadia Elena Comăneci (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈnadi.a koməˈnet͡ʃʲ]; born November 12, 1961) is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics, and the first gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She is also the winner of two gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics. She is one of the best-known gymnasts in the world .[1][2][3] In 2000 Comăneci was named as one of the athletes of the century by the Laureus World Sports Academy.[4]


Early life

Comăneci was born in Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (now Oneşti), Romania, as the daughter of Gheorghe and Ştefania-Alexandrina.[5][6] Her pregnant mother was watching a Russian film in which the heroine's name was Nadya, the diminutive version of the Russian name Nadezhda (which means "Hope"). She decided that her daughter would be named Nadia, too. Comăneci also has a younger brother named Adrian.[7]

According to some sources, she was born as Anna Kemenes.[8][9][10]

Early gymnastics career

Nadia began gymnastics in kindergarten with a local team called "Flacăra", with coaches Duncan and Munteanu.[11][12] At age 6 she was chosen to attend Béla Károlyi's experimental gymnastics school after Karolyi spotted her and a friend turning cartwheels in a schoolyard.[13][14][15]

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