Nadia Comaneci breaks Russia’s monopoly on medals

As London’s turn at hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics is set to begin, we remember one of the greatest of sport’s inspirational stories-a time when “1” meant “10”.

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci in a practice session for an appearance at the Hartford Civic Center. Photo credit: Dave Gilbert/image originally posted to Flickr by eye2eye.

It all happened on July 18, 1976, in Montreal, Canada.

A shy 14-year old girl from Romania had just completed her uneven bar exercise. Her flawless performance revealed the limits of the day’s electronic scoreboards when the judges awarded her “the first perfect 10.00” in the history of gymnastics.

Everybody was confused. The displays beamed a score of 1.00 because they were not programmed for 10.00.

Nadia Comaneci was the first outsider to break the Soviet gymnasts’ monopoly on medals. She went on to capture six more 10s and to win the all-around event.

Her trainer, Bela Karolyi, was instrumental in making the U.S.A. team a gymnastic powerhouse.

….Nadia’s story continues below this video snapshot of how a Romanian gymnast and her trainer enhanced America’s gymnastic prowess on the world stage:

A lot of little girls can now dream of becoming an Olympic champion while attending one of the many gymnastic schools around the country. For many of them the path was opened 36 years ago in Montreal.

Today, Nadia is still active promoting the sport worldwide. She married former American gymnast Bart Conner and lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

MilSuccessNet’s nugget came to you with more than the usual spring in its step into history, where victories are recorded in different ways.  



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