Nadia Comaneci Bio: Early Life, Gymnast, Son & Net Worth

As an Olympic gymnast who gained a lot of fame and success from a young age, Nadia Comaneci is loved for many reasons. Nadia is a retired gymnast and a five-time Olympic gold medalist.

The former gymnast has accomplished what no one had ever done before in professional gymnastics. At the early age of 14, Comaneci was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 at the 1976 Olympic Games.

Nadia Comaneci gymnast
Nadia Comaneci is a former gymnast

Likewise, she recorded the perfect 10.0 six more times and became the youngest all-around Olympic gold medallist. As expected, Nadia is one of the world’s best-known gymnasts.

This article will explore everything that you need to know about Nadia Comaneci. Read on to learn more about her.

Quick Facts:

Full NameNadia Elena Comaneci Conner
Birth DateNovember 12, 1961
Birth PlaceOnesti, Romania
Nick NameNana
Age60 Years Old
NationalityAmerican-Romanian
EthnicityUnknown
EducationUniversity Politehnica of Bucharest
HoroscopeScorpio
Father’s NameGheorghe Comaneci
Mother’s NameStefania-Alexandrina Comaneci
SiblingsAdrian Comaneci
Height5 feet 4 inches (1.63m)
Weight57 kg (125 lb)
Bra-size34D
Shoe Size6.5 (US)
Hair ColorBlonde
Eye ColorBlack
Body Measurement36-24-35 inches
FigureSlim
MarriedMarried
HusbandBart Conner
ChildrenDylan Paul Conner
ProfessionGymnast
LevelSenior Elite
Active since1976
RetirementMay 7, 1984 
Years on National Team1970-1984
ResidenceNorman, Oklahoma, US
MerchPoster, Letters to a Young Gymnast
Social MediaTwitterInstagram
Last UpdateMay, 2022

Where is Nadia Comaneci from? – Early Life & Family

Nadia Elena Comaneci Conner shortly, Nadia Comaneci, was born in Onești, Romania to parents Gheorghe Comaneci and Stefania-Alexandrina Comaneci.

Interestingly, Nadia was named after a heroine Nadejda from a Russian film that her parents had seen before her birth.

Born as a second child of two, Comaneci’s father worked as an auto mechanic while her mother was an office employee. Sadly, her parents separated in the 1970s, and her father later moved to Bucharest, the capital.

Further, Nadia and her younger brother Adrian Comaneci were raised in the Romanian Orthodox Church. Nadia was very energetic and active as a child, who loved to explore new things. 

In a 2011 interview, Comaneci’s mother said that she enrolled Nadia into gymnastics classes because she was a child who was so full of energy and difficult to manage.

Moreover, Nadia began gymnastics in kindergarten with coaches Duncan and Munteanu in a local team called Flacăra (“The Flame”).

As for her education, Nadia attended the University of Politehnica of Bucharest.

How tall is Nadia Comaneci? Age, Height, and Body Measurements

The former gymnast was born in 1961, which makes her 60 years old as of writing. Also, her birthday falls on November 12

And her sun sign is Scorpio. And from what we know, the people of this sign are ambitious, talented, and brave.

Nadia Comaneci height
Nadia Comaneci and her gorgeous body line 

Likewise, Nadia stands at the height of 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) and weighs a perfect 45 kg. Further, Comaneci has a slim well-endowed body measuring 36-inches of the breast, 24-inches of the waist, and 35-inches of hips.

Also, her shoe size is 6.5 (US). Besides this, Nadia has short blonde hair and stunning black eyes that look beautiful with her fair complexion wide broad smile.

Diet Plan

A person is what he or she eats every day. With Nadia Comaneci, she has fluid control over her eating habits. So let’s dive right into her diet schedule. 

At first, Nadia indulges in freshly-squeezed orange juice to start her day. It is often followed by a cup of coffee with a little milk, yogurt, brown toast, turkey, and a little bit of cheese. In contrast, a boiled egg is a rare thing. 

For lunch, she eats the wraps from the leftovers of the previous dinner, which is a combination of salmon, hummus, and cheese. In the end, Nadia munches fish with hummus and salads for her dinner. 

Talking about fish, Nadia stated that she is allergic to tuna. As for french fries, she left it decades ago. Nadia opened up that her favorite dish is an eggplant dip with a Romanian recipe among all her dishes. 

Workout

Alongside healthy eating is her active routine with a series of exercises. Every day, her morning starts with short, quick workouts which last for thirty minutes. Well, that workout especially includes cardio. 

Additionally, she is involved in running, stretching, and lightweights.

Nadia Comaneci | Early Career: Where it all began 

Initially, professional gymnastic coach Bela Karolyi and his wife went from school to school looking for young girls to invite to their gymnastics academy. 

Likewise, when they attended Nadia’s school and saw her doing a cartwheel on the playground for the first time, they knew that she would be amazing.

Seeing her skills, Bela immediately invited Nadia to his gym. So, at the early age of six, Nadia stepped into the gym for the first time. There she used to train for two to three hours a day.

Following training and continuous improvement of her skills In 1969, Nadia entered her first official competition, the Romanian National Junior Championship, and finished in thirteenth place. 

Even though Nadia did not do so well, she did not get discouraged. Instead, that next year, she tried again and won. Later, when Comaneci turned 12, she went to live and train with Karolyi, eight hours a day and six days a week. 

Nadia Comaneci | Professional Gymnastic Career

In 1976 when Comaneci turned 14, she became eligible to compete with seniors. She competed in the American Cup at Madison Square Garden and won a silver medal.

After that, Nadia competed at the Montreal Olympics. Again, she performed flawlessly and left the judges with no other option but to give her a perfect 10. 

And this was not the only perfect 10; Nadia also received six more during this competition and won three gold medals in the process. Notably, she was the first Romanian gymnast to win the Olympic all-around title. 

Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Comaneci

Likewise, she also holds the record as the youngest ever Olympic gymnastics all-around champion. After her huge win at the Montreal Olympics, Nadia’s popularity and fame could go nowhere but up. 

Alongside numerous awards and accolades, the talented gymnast even got her own theme song. Initially, Robert Rigger created a video with a series of slow-motion footage of Nadia’s Olympic performances.

That video was created with the “Cotton’s Dream” soundtrack from the movie Bless the Beasts and the Children

Later, it got so popular that the song became a hit single by the end of 1976. So, composers decided to rename the song as “Nadia’s Theme.”

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Moreover, Nadia’s fame and popularity just kept on coming after the Montreal Olympics. She was named BBC’s Overseas Sports Personality and Female Athlete of the Year in 1976.

The Downfall of a Gymnast

Likewise, back in her home in Romania, Comăneci, she was also awarded the Sickle and Hammer Gold Medal and was named a Hero of Socialist Labor for her success. 

Further, in 1977 the Romanian Gymnastics Federation removed Nadia from her longtime coach, Bela, and sent her to Bucharest to train at the sports complex. 

However, Nadia did not find this change positive and struggled with bodily changes as she grew older.

Likewise, her gymnastics skills suffered, and she was so unhappy to the point in life that she even attempted suicide.

After the traumatic event, Romanian permitted Nadia to return to Deva and the Karolyis school and reassigned Bela as her coach. This brought things back to normal, and she resumed her training.

In 1980 she was chosen to participate in the Summer Olympics in Moscow. But, this time, Nadia was nowhere near the previous Olympics’ achievements. Though she won four medals – two gold and two silver; her performance was far from perfect. 

Injury

During the 1979 World Championship, Nadia had caught the flu that had left her frail and fragile. Hence, she was feeling quite weak. 

On the bars, the gymnast scratched her wrist from her metal grip buckle, which resulted in blood poisoning. She was rushed to the hospital, where the doctors advised her not to compete. 

However, she was forced to compete as her teammate, Emilia Eberle, had fallen off the beam, and the team needed her to secure the gold. Comaneci performed despite the excruciating pain and led her team to their first-ever World gold medal. 

The Nadia Tour

In 1981, the communist regime of Romania organized the famous Nadia tour called Nadia ’81 to try and raise money.

It was an official tour of the United States, and her coaches, Bela and Marta Karolyi were the group leader.

On the last day of the tour, Nadia coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi decided to defect to the US. Likewise, they indirectly asked Nadia if she wanted to join him.

At that time, Nadia had no interest in defecting and wanted to go home to Romania.

Nadia with her coach Bela
A young Nadia with her coach Bela Karolyi.

After Bela’s defection, Nadia’s life changed as she could not have predicted. The Romanian government was afraid that she might defect as well, just like Bela. 

As Nadia was a national asset, they strictly monitored and assigned special agents to record her every move. Not to mention, they even recorded her phone calls and banned her from visiting Western countries.

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Furthermore, the Romanian government didn’t even allow Nadia to participate in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Not to mention, her life became increasingly difficult with the government’s constant involvement in her private affairs. Nadia got trapped in her own country.

Escaping from Romania 

In 1989, Comaneci decided to defect to the United States. On the night of November 27, 1989, Nadia defected to the US with other Romanians.

They were guided by Constantin Panait, a Romanian expatriate manager who worked as a roofer in Florida. But their journey wasn’t easy. They would mostly walk on foot all night to reach the Hungarian border. 

Nadia and her group could reach the Hungarian border despite all the harshness and trouble. After reaching the Hungarian border, they boarded a plane to the United States.

Awards and Achievements

  • The United Press International Athlete of the Year Award 1975 and 1976
  • In 1976: Associated Press Athlete of the Year Award, Hero of Socialist Labour Award, BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award
  • 1983: The Olympic Order Award
  • 1990: International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame
  • 1993: International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
  • 1998: Marca Leyenda Award, Flo Hyman Memorial Award
  • 2004: The Olympic Order Award
  • 2016: Great Immigrant Honoree by Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Nadia Comăneci’s Book: Letters to a Young Gymnast was published on 2004
  • 1984: Nadia was the subject of a biopic television film, Nadia
  • 2012: Universal Pictures chose Nadia to dub Granny Norma in Romanian in the animated movie The Lorax.
  • 2015: Katie holmes directed a short documentary about Comăneci entitled Eternal Princess.
  • 2016: Arte France produced a Pola Rapaport documentary about Nadia entitled Nadia Comăneci, la gymnaste et le dictateur.

Nadia Comaneci | Net worth and Income

According to sources, Nadia Comaneci has accumulated a net worth of $10 million. Comaneci has made this much from her successful career and deserves every penny for her hard work.

Моѕt оf hеr mоnеу соmеѕ frоm hеr ѕроrtѕ еngаgеmеnt and hеr рrіvаtе gуmnаѕtіс ѕсhооl.

Currеntlу Nadia is also involved in tеlеvіѕіоn соmmеntаrу wrіtеѕ fоr gуmnаѕtіс рublісаtіоnѕ аnd trаvеlѕ thе wоrld рrоmоtіng thе ѕроrtѕ. 

Likewise, Nadia hаѕ also bееn fеаturеd іn ѕеvеrаl dосumеntаrіеѕ thаt hаvе mајоrеd іn hеr ѕuссеѕѕful саrееr lіfе.

Brand Deals, Commercials, and Business

Even today, Nadia has numerous trips all around for gymnastics teachings. In addition, she delivers inspirational speeches and promotes gymnastics, fitness, and healthy lifestyles.

Today, alongside her husband, they have partnered with Paul Ziert to run the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy. Likewise, the duo also operates International Gymnast magazine, Perfect 10 Productions, Inc. (a TV production company), Grips, Etc. (a gymnastics supply company).

Overall, Nadia is a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics International. At the same time, she is also the Founding member of the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation board.  
 
Additionally, she is also involved with the Nadia Comaneci Foundation and the Nadia Comaneci Children’s Clinic in Bucharest. In the meantime, she is also the ambassador for the International Judo Federation (IJF).

Books and Films

Nadia Comaneci is a gymnast who has ushered in a new era for women’s sports. In fact, for everyone involved in gymnastics. Today, she has written a few books as the guidelines for their path!
 
In 1981, Nadia put forward her autobiography depicting the events starting from her childhood days to becoming a world-class athlete. 
 
In 2011, Nadia published a book titled “Letters to a Young Gymnast,” which portrays her inspiring and dramatic stories from her own experience. It speaks about one’s dream and the hurdles in between. 
 
Likewise, some of the films and documentaries on her are listed below. 
  • 1984 biopic television film, Nadia
  • 2015 documentary for ESPN: “Eternal Princess” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival
  • 2016, Arte France documentary: Nadia Comăneci, la gymnaste et le dictateur (Nadia Comăneci: The Gymnast and the Dictator)
 

Get in-depth with Nadia’s net worth and Income, Nadia Comaneci Net Worth: House, Book & Salary >>

Is Nadia Comaneci Married? Personal life and Husband

Nadia Comaneci is happily married to her husband, Bart Conner. Bart is a former American Olympic gymnast. Bart and Nadia crossed paths for the first time in 1976.

Similarly, they first met at Madison Square Garden in New York while standing at the winners’ podium.

Both of them were competing in the American Cup, and Bart had just won the men’s all-around, while Comaneci was taking home the women’s all-around.

Eventually, while Brat and Nadia were taking pictures standing at the podium, their photographer said:

“Oh, she’s adorable. Give her a kiss on the cheek; it’d make a nice picture.”

Brat and Nadia first picture together
Brat and Nadia’s first picture together.

And history was made; Bart, who was celebrating his 18th birthday that dayhad received an unknown and beautiful present: meeting his future wife.

After that event, Bart and Nadia parted ways. Bart returned to the states and Nadia to Romania, and hence the two didn’t cross paths that much. 

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After Nadia escaped from Romania in 1989, they met again. That time Bart helped Nadia by inviting her to do gymnastics shows. Slowly, their friendship started and eventually grew into a relationship. 

Proposal

Similarly, in 1994 Bart proposed to Nadia. Nadia said yes, and they both decided to marry in her hometown. So they held their grand fairytale wedding in Romania, and the day was like a national event.

Brat and Nadia wedding
Bart and Nadia’s wedding.

More than 10,000 people attended their wedding. Everyone even took off work to watch the wedding, which was broadcasted live on television.

Their marriage seems an excerpt from a fairytale book. Moreover, the couple has one son named Dylan Conner, born in June 2006. At present, the duo resides in Norman, Oklahoma. Together, they run the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy and a gymnastics school in Romania.

Social Media Presence

Twitter: 145.7K followers

Instagram: 94.5K followers

Some FAQs:

Who has the most perfect 10 in gymnastics?

Nadia Comaneci is the first gymnast in Olympic history to be awarded the perfect score of 10.0 for her performance on the uneven bars in 1976.

What is the name of the short film about Nadia Comaneci?

The name of the short film about Nadia Comaneci is “Eternal Princess.” The movie shows an intimate look at Nadia’s inner struggles, personal dedication, and greatest success.

Moreover, it was directed by Katie Holmes in 2015 for ESPN and was first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

What does Nadia Comaneci do today?

Nadia Comaneci currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with her family. Nadia and her husband Bart owns and operates the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, which trains more than 1,000 students. 

Likewise, they have also opened a gymnastics school in Romania. Besides, Comaneci is also involved in numerous charities, including the Special Olympics.

Moreover, she has personally funded the Nadia Comaneci Children’s Clinic’s construction and operation in Bucharest. It provides low-cost and free medical and social support to Romanian children.

Who is Nadia Comaneci’s choreographer?

Nadia Comaneci’s choreographer is Geza Pozsar.

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