Annie Oakley Society Award
At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, a 14-year-old Romanian dynamo captured the hearts and minds of the world with her daring and perfection. We came to know her simply as “Nadia.”
By the time the 1976 Olympics ended, Comaneci had earned seven perfect tens, three gold medals, one bronze, one silver and countless fans. She appeared on the covers of TIME, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated–all in the same week–and returned home to Romania to a heroine’s welcome.
Four years later at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Comaneci earned two more gold medals and two silver to bring her Olympic total to nine medals–five gold, three silver and one bronze. In 1996, Comaneci was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
In 1999, Comaneci was honored by ABC News and Ladies’ Home Journal as one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century. Comaneci, who is also fluent in French and English, continues to travel the world with her various interests. Her charity work is extensive. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International. She is also a Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Comaneci also serves as a member of the board of the Laureus Sports For Good Foundation. Nadia also travels to Romania often to support dozens of charities in her homeland including the Nadia Comaneci Children’s Clinic in Bucharest.
Even though Nadia won a total of nine Olympic medals, five of them gold, she will always be remembered as the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 and leave her indelible mark on the history of the Olympics.