In 1976, Romanian athlete Nadia Comăneci made history when she became the first gymnas to score a perfect 10 at the Olympics. She was 14 years old, by the way — but despite her young age, she went home with three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze that year. No big deal. What's more, she's as inspirational now as she was back then; indeed, these Nadia Comăneci quotes perfectly sum up the gymnast's attitude, determination, and perseverance — three things that undoubtedly helped make her an international success. And they're qualities she clearly still exhibits to this day — Comăneci is still around and kicking butt.
Four years after her record-breaking score, Comăneci headed to Moscow, Russia, to once again compete at the Olympic Games, this time winning two golds and two silvers. She retired from competitive gymnastics in 1984; however, her unbeatable success in the sport led to a future in athletics and so much more. These days, Comăneci and her husband (Bart Conner, also a former Olympic gymnast), spend their time working with athletes, making appearances, and combining forces with charitable causes like Special Olympics International and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Comăneci still shines brightly in all these endeavors. She may not be flipping over the vault or twirling around bars, but her fiery passion is unmistakeable.
People have always been curious about Comăneci — not just because of her remarkable skill as a gymnast, but also due to her upbringing, history, and experiences leaving Romania. Her story is an interesting one, needless to say. And her past has helped give her the recognizable voice we've all come to love.
1. "I was very competitive since I was 5. At 5 years old, I competed in kindergarten in a tricycle competition, and I won that too."
2. "... I consider it an accomplishment when I can do something to the best of my ability."
3. "Compared to parenthood, gymnastics was easy!"
4. "Bad decisions, good decisions, you learn from all experiences."
5. "Perseverance is critical. I achieved whatever success I achieved because I was unwilling to stop."
6. "Be humble and ... be prepared to fail."
7. "There is no definition of perfection."
8. "Without work and sacrifice, you don't get anywhere."
9. "My son Dylan is the greatest accomplishment of my life... my child offered me something completely different. Love and the spiritual warmth necessary for raising this little treasure."
10. "I don't regret anything."
11. "I am the kind of person when I make a decision, I don’t doubt it. I go all the way hoping that it is going to be good."