With a successful gymnastics career, comes great pain.


Legendary gymnast Nadia Comenci had to endure so much pain in order to secure a gold medal for her team. 



A lot was expected from the Romanian gymnast at the 1979 World championships, but a bouts of flu had left her weak and thin. There, she led the field after the compulsory competition, but on bars, she got a scratch on her wrist from her metal grip buckle which caused blood poisoning. 



Nadia who was hospitalized as a result, was ordered by the doctors to not continue competing at the competition. As such, she was not scheduled to compete. But when teammate Emilia Eberle fell on balance beam, badly injured Comaneci was called to compete on beam as the team needed a good performance from her in order to secure gold.



Comaneci had to perform a one armed routine on the apparatus while suffering from excruciating pain. Her routine consisted of a front aerial, side aerial and back tuck. She only used her injured hand on the back walkover and the pre dismount round off.



The Romanians indeed benefited from Comaneci's collaboration. Her routine scored a 9.950, leading her team to their first ever World gold medal.



Subsequently, Nadia had to spend several day in All Saints Hospital so she can recover and underwent a minor surgical procedure for the infected hand, which had developed an abscess.



The World champion who was obviously happy with the gold, wrote in her autobiography that when she coaches, she will never expect from any of her girls to jeopardize her health in such a way.



There was much criticism as to whether Nadia was forced to jeopardize her own well-being for the team, or was it of her own free will.



At that year, Comaneci became the first female or male gymnast to win three European all around titles.






  Written by Gigi Khazback Farid

Photo: Amazon



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