The origins of gymnastics are seldom known. The sport originated in Ancient Greece as a way to improve horse mounting skills. Modern gymnastics has come a long way since then and has evolved into not only a form of exercise, but also a highly competitive Olympic sport. Over the years, gymnastics has become a favorite of global audiences watching the Olympics.
There is one gymnast in particular who caught the audience’s attention during her era. From Romania, Nadia Comăneci quickly jumped to fame, for some good reasons and some not so good reasons. Read on to find out what separates Nadia from the rest.
Nadia Comăneci was born in a small town in the Carpathian Mountains called Onesti, Romania, on November 12, 1961. Her father was Gheorge Comăneci, an auto mechanic who was Romanian born and bred. Her mother was Ştefania Comăneci, and Nadia had a younger brother named Adrian. The two children were brought up under the Romanian Orthodox Church, as many families were in Romania at that time. Ştefania said that Nadia was a difficult child that was full of energy, so she enrolled her daughter in gymnastics classes from a young age.
Learning the ropes
Nadia’s first gymnastics classes were in kindergarten, where she was part of a local team named Flacăra – which means “The Flame” in Romanian – with her coaches being Duncan and Munteanu. By the age of 6, Nadia was hooked on the sport of gymnastics and knew that this was something she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Little did she know quite how her life would turn out, simply by starting those first few gymnastics lessons.