Nadia Elena was born in Onesti, Romania back in 1961 to Gheorghe and Stefania. She graduated from the Politehnica University in Bucharest with a degree in sports education. In 1970, she began competing as a member of her hometown team in gymnastics, she was only 7 at that time.
In 1975, at 13 she won the European Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. While you may not know Nadia certainly you’ve heard of Nadia Comaneci, in 1976 she made history at the Montreal Olympics being awarded the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics for her routine on the uneven bars. Believing no one was able to get that perfect score the scoreboard was not programmed to display that score, thus it appeared as “1.00,” the only means by which the judges could indicate that she had indeed received that perfect 10 score.
During the rest of the Montreal Games she received perfect 10’s six different times. She was the first Romanian to be awarded a gold medal for gymnastics. She holds the record for being the youngest Olympic gymnastics all-around champion ever. She defected to the United States in 1989. As far as I can tell she currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband.
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