Nadia Comaneci, the First Perfect 10 Olympian, Can Nail a Cartwheel 43 Years Later
It was in Montreal, back in 1976, when Nadia Comaneci stunned the world by earning the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics history. She got seven of them, in fact — four on bars and three on beam — leading the Romanian gymnastics team to their first Olympic silver medal in the team event. Nadia herself won individual golds in the balance beam, uneven bars, and the highly-coveted all-around competition. Her scores were so unprecedented, the Olympic scoreboards weren't even equipped to display them, posting 1.00 instead!
It was a history-making performance that still resonates, especially for Nadia herself. On the 43rd anniversary (to the day!) of her first Olympic perfect 10, she posted a short, sweet Twitter video to celebrate her achievement. "Here we go," she captioned the video, which shows her executing a (pretty perfect-looking) cartwheel on the beach. She called out the anniversary and drew our attention to her son in the background, photobombing and stealing the spotlight with his own perfect 10 handstand.
Nadia remains a gymnastics icon and continues to hold the record as the youngest Olympic gymnastics all-around champion. (She was only 14!) It's one record, in fact, that will never be broken; now, gymnasts must be at least 16, or turning 16 in the calendar year, to compete at the Olympics. And while other gymnasts followed her to the perfect 10 standard, a change to the scoring system in 2006 meant that we'll never again see a 10 at the Olympic level. Luckily, we have plenty of footage of Nadia's gorgeous routines to keep us satisfied. Keep reading to watch her first perfect 10 on the uneven bars and see more pictures from her record-breaking performances.
Or, just keep replaying her seaside throwback cartwheel. The toe point! The pose at the end! Yep, she's still got it.
Nadia's First Perfect 10
Nadia Performs Her Floor Routine at the Olympics
Nadia Competing in the Olympics
Nadia's Perfect 10
Well, the scoreboard tried.