Gymnastics was first developed by the Ancient Greeks in Sparta and Athens. They used specific exercises that would help them mount their horses better. Historically, gymnast from Eastern European countries have shown much success in this sport. The most famous gymnast of them all being, the one and only, Nadia Comăneci. The Romanian gymnast was the first ever to score a perfect 10/10 at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. During the same Games, she earned six more perfect scores, which lead her to winning three Olympic Gold Medals!
Like any hero’s story, her path to stardom was full of trials and tribulations, but like all heroes, she came out on top. Read on to discover how Nadia won a total 5 Olympic Gold Medals against all odds, and put gymnastics on the map, thanks to hard work, a bit of innocence, and strong determination. Now let’s take a look at this wonder woman’s intriguing story.
Since then, gymnastics has proceeded to become a very competitive sport among both men and women. No doubt, the sport requires the competitor to possess great strength, agility, flexibility, and rhythm. Most competitive gymnastic events today are organized by The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique or FIG. The organization was formed in Liege in 1881 and greatly added to the rise in popularity of the sport. By 1896, the sport had become so popular, that it was included in the first ever modern Olympic Games. Nowadays, every country has their own FIG governing body to manage their gymnastics teams. Television has greatly assisted in publicizing gymnastics and attracting a lot of attention to the sport. Countries which stand out for their competitive gymnastics and for their reigning gymnasts over their years include Japan, China, Russia and other Soviet Countries like Romania and of course, the USA.
Throughout the years, these countries have dominated gymnastics around the world, and have produced many top competitors who have brought home honorable wins for their countries. Although their coaches often use rather questionably difficult training tactics, the controversial arduousness has led to many Olympic gold medalists, which has kept their local FIG quiet. There is one Romanian gymnast in particular who stood out among the crowd of gymnasts during her time. Her name is Nadia Comăneci. She quickly became one of the most famous and beloved gymnasts of all time – for both good reasons and not so good. She is often credited as making gymnastics a popular sport among young girls around the world. Her story is quite different from your usual rise to fame story, as she had to overcome some pretty straining moments at such a young age.