Nadia Comăneci : biography
Comăneci successfully defended her European all-around title in 1977, but when questions about the scoring were raised, Ceaușescu ordered the Romanian gymnasts to return home. The team followed orders and controversially walked out of the competition during the event finals.Letters to a Young Gymnast. Comăneci, Nadia. 2004, Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-01276-0 pg. 61–62
Following the 1977 Europeans, the Romanian Gymnastics Federation removed Comăneci from her longtime coaches, the Károlyis, and sent her to Bucharest to train at the August 23 sports complex. The change was not positive for Comăneci. Grappling with both the stress of her parents’ divorce and the new training environment, she was extremely unhappy and her gymnastics and overall fitness suffered.Letters to a Young Gymnast. Comăneci, Nadia. 2004, Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-01276-0 pg. 64–68 Comăneci competed in the 1978 World Championships in Strasbourg looking heavier and out of shape; she was also several inches taller than in Montreal. A fall from the uneven bars resulted in a fourth-place finish in the all-around behind Soviets Elena Mukhina, Nellie Kim, and Natalia Shaposhnikova. Comăneci did win the world title on beam, and a silver on vault.
After the 1978 "Worlds", Comăneci was permitted to return to Deva and to the Károlyis.Letters to a Young Gymnast. Comăneci, Nadia. 2004, Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-01276-0 pg. 68–72 In 1979, a newly slim and motivated Comăneci won her third consecutive European all-around title, becoming the first gymnast, male or female, to achieve this feat. At the World Championships that December, Comăneci led the field after the compulsory competition but was hospitalized before the optional portion of the team competition for blood poisoning caused by a cut in her wrist from her metal grip buckle. Against doctors’ orders, she left the hospital and competed on the beam, where she scored a 9.95. Her performance helped give the Romanians their first team gold medal. After her performance, Comăneci spent several days recovering in All Saints Hospital and underwent a minor surgical procedure for the infected hand, which had developed an abscess. The Epistle, (All Saints Episcopal Hospital), January 1980Letters to a Young Gymnast. Comăneci, Nadia. 2004, Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-01276-0 pg. 87–91Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. Ryan, Joan. 1995, Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-47790-2
Comăneci participated in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, where she placed second, by a small margin, to Yelena Davydova in the individual all-around event. She successfully defended her Olympic title on the balance beam and tied with Nellie Kim for the gold medal in the floor exercise. There were controversies over the scoring in both the all-around and floor exercise competitions. The Romanian team finished second overall in the team competition.
Comăneci retired from competition in 1981. Her official retirement ceremony took place in Bucharest in 1984 and was attended by the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee.
At the age of 14, Comăneci became one of the stars of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal. During the team portion of the competition on July 18, her routine on the uneven bars was awarded a perfect ten. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. When Omega SA, the traditional Olympics scoreboard manufacturer, asked before the 1976 games whether four digits would be necessary for gymnastics, it was told that a perfect 10.00 was not possible. Nadia’s perfect marks were thus displayed as 1.00 instead. The crowd was at first confused, but soon understood and gave her a rousing ovation. Over the course of the Olympics, Comăneci would earn six additional tens, en route to capturing the all-around, beam, and bars titles, and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. The Romanian team also placed second in the team competition, capturing silver. International Gymnast magazine