"Little Miss Perfect" was the name they gave her because she went through her routines with an unsmiling, ice-cold precision. The Romanian gymnast, Nadia Comaneci, all of 150 cm tall and just over 14 years old, scored seven perfect 10's for the first time in Olympic history, at Montreal in 1976. Nadia won two gold medals and the overall gold.
Back in Romania, Nadia received the Hero of the Socialist Party award, the youngest Romanian to be so honoured. But later, rumours flew thick and fast about the gymnast's troubled life. In 1978, she was hospitalised after she drank some bleach, allegedly a suicide attempt. She made a comeback in the 1978 World Gymnastics Championship in France, winning the individual beam competition. In the Moscow Olympics, Nadia won two golds and a silver taking her tally of Olympic golds to five.
In 1989, in the wake of the anti-Communist uprising in eastern Europe, Nadia fled to Hungary and gained asylum in the United States, where she later married Bart Conner, a gymnast. Nadia received a host of awards and citations in 1999, honouring her as one of the greatest female athletes of the century.