Nadia Comaneci took up the sport of gymnastics aged six, becoming one of the first students at a school founded by coach Béla Károlyi. In 1975, 13-year-old Comaneci won gold in every event at the European Championships except the floor exercise.
A year later in Montreal, she became the first gymnast in Olympic history to be awarded the perfect score of 10.0 for her performance on the uneven bars. She went on to record the perfect 10.0 six more times and became the youngest all-around Olympic gold medallist ever.
Comaneci’s career over the next four years was slightly less spectacular, judged against her own high standards. At the 1980 Olympic Games, she won her fourth and fifth golds but finished second in the all-around competition behind Yelena Davydova. Comaneci retired a year later, leaving her with a career haul of nine Olympic medals.
After her retirement, Comaneci was rarely allowed to travel outside her country. She defected to the United States in 1989. She has since married 1984 Olympic gold medallist Bart Conner, a gymnast she first met in the 1970s.