60 years of Nadia Comaneci, the perfect athlete

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She appeared to the world spinning and this is how it remains in the imagination, even today, November 12, that the former child prodigy Nadia Comaneci she is an elegant lady who has succumbed to the temptation of aesthetic retouching and is celebrating sixty years. An eternal girl, a girlish woman. The perfect athlete, the first to have obtained a 10 in gymnastics. A myth, a source of inspiration. Supported by the grace of a magical elf, she entered the enchanted forest of sport to never leave it. A gymnastic Lolita, she didn’t reach 40 kilos, she was 153 centimeters tall, capable of seducing the world.

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They wrote that when it circled the parallels it looked like a dolphin swimming in the open sea. It was the demonstration that you can start from nothing, she was born poor in Communist Romania, and reach glory. Not without pain: he began to compete at the age of three, suffered oppression and an iron discipline, he was eighteen when he attempted suicide by drinking bleach, returning from the disastrous relationship with Nicu Ceausescu, the son of the dictator of Romania who beaten her up.

He revealed himself to the world a Montreal, 1976 Olympics. Won three gold medals, one in silver and one in bronze. She was only fourteen, she was tiny, but made of wire. It turned out to be the best in the world in the beam, in the individual general competition and in the asymmetrical parallels. The 10 in the scoreboard was not foreseen, it was thought that no one could reach such perfection. The electronic voting system went haywire. So the judges, after his performance at the asymmetrical parallels, made do, and a 1.00 appeared in worldwide. For her, 10 was nothing new. He had already won it a few months earlier, in March, at Madison Square Garden in New York during the American Cup.

Nadia’s career was short, lightning-fast, a flash in the night. It could not be otherwise, youth in gymnastics is a luxury. He won two more golds and two silvers in Moscow in 1980, and then retired in the run-up to the Los Angeles Olympics, four years later. In fact, it was not competing since 1981. In fact, for Nadia Comaneci at 19 it was all over. The dictator of Romania Ceaucescu made her the symbol of the socialist proletarian youth. His proximity to the regime at the time caused no small scandal. It was 1989 when Nadia left Romania to flee to the United States.

In 1996 she married the American gymnast Bart Conner, whom she had met in competition. Together they had a son, Dylan Paul, born in 2006. Today Nadia owns a gymnastics school, is very committed to social issues and has struggled to rebuild her link with her native land. She returned to her homeland in 1994: communism had fallen, the world had changed, she was welcomed as a heroine. Today Nadia Comaneci is a serene lady, still supported by an extraordinary physique. He said that every day of his life he goes back to that perfect day with his memory. Who knows if the little girl remained after all he returned from trips around the world with a bag full of dolls and colored socks. Those in Romania were all gray, like the days of his childhood.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– The 12 greatest and most inspiring female athletes of all time

-Nadia Comaneci, 40 years after the perfect 10: “If you don’t try the impossible, what’s the taste?”


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