[Nov 12] Nadia
Comaneci- the very first "Perfect 10"World Citizen
world's first perfect gymnast"
By BRUCE LOWITT ,
from "Top 100 Sport Stories of the Century"
"The silence was broken only by the sounds of clicking
-- hundreds of cameras capturing the moment.
What they caught was perfection. Nadia Comaneci, the 14-year-old
Romanian, arched in midair for an instant on her dismount
from the uneven parallel bars, then the feet supporting her
4-foot-11, 86-pound body landed softly on the mat.
The silence was shattered by an explosion of cheering and
applause that, after a few seconds, turned to consternation.
Flashing on the electronic scoreboard was 1.00. It took a
moment for the 18,000 spectators at the Forum to realize that
Comaneci had, in effect, outperformed modern technology."
reprinted under special permission, full
original story here.
...Romania, 1976.In a communist country where our very few
happy moments where the Saturdays "Dallas" episodes
or-for the children-the Sundays 20 minutes (only) of "real
cartoons" from Disney, Nadia helped us to dream again
about what you can do if you have the determination needed.
During the nights of Montreal Olympics (there is 7 hours deference
between the East Coast and Bucharest), we use to stay late
in the nights to see Nadia competing. Next days, most of us
were felling asleep at school or work.My older family members
said they didn't have so much emotions and excitement (and
late nigh TV broadcast) since the first landing on the Moon
back in 60's.I think these both events are somehow connected
because they show how much the human being can progress and
do for the benefit of the whole world.
It wasn't any more about gymnastics; a small and beautiful
girl from a small (and beautiful) country has succeeded to
achieve perfection, fighting with the most powerful nations.The
US has (and still) have a great sympathy capital in Romania,
despite the fact that they left Romania in the dirty hands
of communists after WW2. But the real satisfaction of each
Romanian was that Nadia have managed to beat the "Devil"
which was, during that time, the Soviet Empire. Of course,
the fight is still going on, with the revenge of Nelli Kim
succeeding to change the COP and hoping to erase the story
of "Perfect 10" from the gymnasts books.
"The Deer from Carpathians" -our beloved Nadia was
not only a very talented gymnast, but a gymnast who pleased
you each time she was competing at floor, balance beam, vault
or even uneven bars-something which we can't say about today's
Romanians gymnasts, which are trained more specifically, to
score for the team and some coaches pockets rather than for
the public which has to enjoy coming at contests.
If you like the real, pure, high quality gymnastics, you can
watch -like me- Nadia's floor exercise from Montreal tens
times and still enjoy it.
You have to remember they made their own music, a mixed piano
and Romanian traditional songs, but the results were much
better than the today's hi tech music
You can like or not Nadia, but you have to
respect her achievements. It doesn't matter any more she was
born in Romania. Because of her perfection in gymnastics,
which has delighted and inspired the whole world, she is a
Because of the great impact her career have had in gymnastics
all over the world, she is a World Citizen. A very admired
and loved one.
...December 1989. The worst years of the communism regime
in Romania were close to the end, but those of us who lived
there couldn't even hope for this. From those who managed
to listen Radio Free Europe or Voice of America (which were
heavy jammed by the communist secret police), a very strange
news came: Nadia has escaped to America! It was such a great
news that US channels made a break from live broadcasts of
the Malta meeting between the US and the Soviet president,
to air the story on Nadia escaping from iron curtain and arriving
in US. It was one of the early signs of the communism regime
falling down in Romania and a spot on the dictator face.
you are Romanian, you have to be proud that Nadia was born
in Romania. As one of the very few Romanians who may know
most parts of the real story of Nadia, I'm grateful to America
(once more). Why? Because I saw that somehow Nadia managed
to get her 24 carat Gold smile, here is US.
Yes, she smiled during her retirement ceremony back in 1984,
she use to be friendly and smiling at the gymnastics competitions
in the years to follow, but it was, let's say... only a 14
After 1995, I could saw her coming back to the beautiful '76
smile, when she was really happy of her victories (as a child,
she didn't have a clue about the rest, to give her reasons
to be sad). It's nice to see her husband Bart being such a
nice guy with her.
The communist regime have used Nadia and gymnastics to make
propaganda for their regime; later after 1994, the neo-communists
have managed (again!) to use her for their image & (political)
benefit. They had put on the brake on Romania's evolution
-it was the only country from Eastern Europe still rulled
by neo communists, and the result was the country is far behind
all the others in the region (as montlhy income, life quality
and...pretty much everything).
I saw recently a documentary about how much
of the Worlds Gold may be stored in the Federal Reserve in
Manhattan. I know that one of the most important Romanian
(and Worlds) treasure...Nadia and her smile is "stored"
in Oklahoma and they have to take much care on this Treasure.The
"Guardian" Bart seems to be a nice, happily and
friendly person.Wish them a happy life.
Happy Birthday, Nadia!
Romanian Gymnastics News Archive.