Where is Nadia Comaneci Now?

March 12, 2024

When Nadia Comaneci scored her first perfect 10 in the 1976 Olympics, she left an indelible mark on the world of gymnastics and the Olympics itself. She would go on to notch six more at the Montreal Games and win three gold medals. Four years later, she returned to the Olympic stage in Moscow and won two more perfect tens and a pair of silver medals.

But it was the events that followed the Games that made Comaneci’s life a harrowing tale of survival. A new book, “Nadia and the Secret Police: A Cold War Escape,” written by historian Stejarel Olaru (Bloomsbury), reveals some of what drove Comaneci to flee her homeland, Romania, a month before Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime fell. Olaru chronicles the mind-numbing surveillance and spying conducted by the country’s secret police, the Securitate, on their most favored athletes.

The secretive monitoring extended to her personal and professional life, from her coach Bela Karolyi arranging demonstration tours abroad that earned Romania millions in foreign currency to her friendships with men. Even the postman who delivered thousands of fan letters to Comaneci was kept on file by the Securitate.

Despite these tumultuous times, Comaneci remains dedicated to her passion for gymnastics. She divides her time between appearances and commercial endorsements, speaking engagements and charity events. She and her husband, Bart Conner (a former gymnast), also own the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Oklahoma City, along with International Gymnast magazine, Perfect 10 Productions Inc. and Grips, Etc. They have a son, Dylan.


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