Romanian sports history: 40 years since Nadia Comaneci got the perfect 10 in gymnastics

July 18, 1976, was the most important day in the life of Romanian Nadia Comaneci, and one of the most important days in the history of world gymnastics. On that day, former Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first athlete to score a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games.

The incredible success was registered at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. This year, Comaneci celebrates 40 years since the moment she became one of the most famous gymnasts in the world.

“Every time there is a zero in the anniversary, it’s kind of bigger. There was 10, then 20, then 30, and now 40, it seems like a lot of numbers. It’s like half of your life is gone,” Comaneci told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“But to realize that it’s 40 years since it happened, it’s like ‘oh my gosh, really?’

This week, Nadia Comaneci is to go to Montreal to show her 10-year-old son Dylan the Olympic Stadium where his mom’s name is engraved. She will then head to Rio for the Olympics.

Nadia Comaneci was born in Onesti, Romania, on November 12, 1961. At the age of 6, she was spotted doing cartwheels by the well-known Romanian gymnastic coach, Bela Karolyi. He and his wife Marta were looking for young children to train for the Romanian National Junior Team. Eight years later, Nadia became the star of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, when she earned the first score of 10. Read more about her here.

Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com