In the light of the Beijing Olympic games (and all that comes with it) I want you all to take a look at one of my personal heroes: Nadia Comaneci - Little Miss Perfect!
At the age of 14, Nadia became one of the stars of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. During the team portion of the competition, her routine on the uneven bars was scored at a 10.0. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. The scoreboards were not even equipped to display scores of 10.0—so Nadia's perfect marks were reported on the boards as 1.00 instead. Over the course of the Olympics, Comaneci would earn six additional 10s.
Just take a minute and think about what an amazing thing she accomplished! Here it is, the first ever example of perfection in Olympic Gymnastics:
In 1981, Comaneci participated in a gymnastics exhibition tour in the United States. During the tour, her coaches, Béla and Marta Károlyi, along with the Romanian team choreographer Géza Pozsár, defected. Upon her return to Romania, Comaneci's actions were strictly monitored. She was granted leave to attend the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles but was supervised for the entire trip. Aside from that journey, and a few select trips to Moscow and Cuba, Comaneci was forbidden to leave the country for any reason. "Life..." she wrote in her autobiography, "took on a new bleakness."
In November of 1989, a few weeks before the Revolution, she defected with a group of other young Romanians. Her overland journey took her through Hungary, Austria, and finally, to the United States.Her initial arrival in the United States generated some negative press, focusing on her penchant for heavy makeup and trashy clothes and hinted at an eating disorder and an unsavory life left behind in Romania.
On June 29, 2001, Comaneci became a naturalized citizen of the United States. She has also retained her Romanian passport, making her a dual citizen.
Nadia Comaneci has two moves named after her on the uneven bars. One is a toe-on, half-turn to a back flip dismount, while the other is a release move (a cast to straddle front flip) that is still rated at a high difficulty level today. (It is an “E” on an A-G scale with “A” the easiest.)
She is the true image of the Olympic spirit. Just imagine: she was from a communist country, she was so young and tinny and small...but despite all of those things that were against her, she showed the world that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! (Adidas, as you can see, was inspired:)) )
She is one of the greatest...and even tough she no longer lives in Romania, she still visits often enough to support the dreams of so many little girls with pony tails!
I was one of them!