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04 Nov 2014
Olympic News, COMANECI, Nadia
Olympic News

A mythical bib at The Olympic Museum

There was a special event at The Olympic Museum on Tuesday morning: Nadia Comaneci, one of the greatest athletes of all time, a triple Olympic gymnastics champion at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, and the first gymnast in history to score a perfect 10.0, came to donate to The Museum the numbered bib she wore at these Games.

On taking the floor, Nadia Comaneci shared her enthusiasm: “I visited The Olympic Museum a while ago and have many excellent memories of it. There is no better place to display my bib which was with me in Montreal!” 

The IOC President then paid tribute to this grande dame of sport: “The Montreal Games were your Games, you made your mark on them forever. The size of the bib that you are donating today may be small, but its historical meaning is very great. But you did not become famous only for your sporting achievements - your commitment to various bodies, your desire to give back to sport what it has given to you, make you an example to others. I remember in particular your tireless commitment to the athletes when we were both members of the Athletes’ Commission in the early 1980s.” 

Somewhat mischievously, Nadia Comaneci also underlined the various symbols of her bib number, 73: “7” as in the number of perfect 10s that she obtained in Montreal, and “3” as in the number of gold medals that she won there. In addition, 7 plus 3 equals 10… as in the perfect score obtained by the Romanian gymnast. And if we multiply 7 by 3, we get 21 – and the 1976 Games celebrated in Montreal were those of the XXI Olympiad. Amazing coincidences! 

©IOC/Arnaud Meylan

After this, the gymnastics legend was given the surprise of attending a gymnastics demonstration by talented youngsters from the Canton of Vaud, and talked with these youngsters, who were delighted to meet one of the greatest representatives of their sport. Nadia Comaneci and the IOC President spoke to them in particular about the importance of being disciplined and knowing how to dust oneself off after a failure. The meeting concluded with a long and lively autograph-signing and photo session. 

Visitors will be able to see this bib very soon at The Olympic Museum.

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