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Legendary Romanian gymnast, Nadia Comăneci made history when, in 1976, she became the first woman to achieve a perfect 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event. During her career she won a staggering number of medals including five Olympic golds, two World Championship gold medals and nine European Championship golds.
Born in 1961, Nadia began gymnastics when she was a very young child. Naturally talented, she was spotted at the age of six by Béla Károlyi, a coach who saw her doing cartwheels in the school playground. She soon began training and at nine became the youngest gymnast ever to win the Romanian nationals.
The next few years saw Nadia compete in a number of different competitions including national contests and dual meets with countries such as Hungary and Poland. Her first major international success came in 1975 when she won the all round and gold medals in every event except the floor exercise at the European Championships. This almost clean sweep was a sign of the even greater things that were to come.
At the Montreal Olympics Nadia captured the hearts of millions when she became the first woman gymnast to score a perfect 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event. In fact she received seven perfect scores and won an incredible three gold medals - for the uneven bars, balance beam and individual all round. She also won a team silver and a bronze for the floor exercise. Four years later, at the Moscow Olympics, Nadia added two golds and two silvers to her collection.
In 1984 Nadia retired from competition and worked as a coach for the Romanian team. In 1989 she defected to the United States, becoming a US citizen in 2001.