There are those athletes that change the game. Rules are revised, rewritten and revoked in order to accommodate the presence and dominance of special athletes. In basketball, the lane was widened to keep behemoth centers from clogging and terrorizing opponents. They added a three second violation to keep it clear of these trudging giants.
In football the goalposts were pushed back to the end of the end zones and kicking tees were taken away from kickers. There’s a whole special section of rules for “not hitting the quarterback” these days and in baseball, they came up with the designated hitter so pitchers could pitch and other players could hit. Not sure exactly how I feel about that one.
But then there are athletes that come along and break the system. In the 1976 Olymics, a scrawny 14-year-old Romanian gymnast did what no other gymnast had ever previously done. Nadia Elena Comaneci (Connor) from Onesti, Romania came to the Olympics, stole our hearts and changed the sport. In preparing for the Olympics in Montreal, Canada, the committee there was planning for everything and was in a discussion about building the right scoreboard. In contacting the International Gymnastics Federation, they asked a simple question.
“We’re building a scoreboard and we want to get it right. Is there any possibility that a gymnast could get a 10?” Bart Conner relayed in the Yahoo Sports story.
Whoever they were speaking to simply said, “Oh,no.” No one had ever scored a 10 and no one ever would so just make it one digit and then the decimal points. They did. But no one on the committee had ever heard of Nadia, very few in the world probably had at this point. And unless she made an appearance with the Harlem Globetrotters on Wide World of Sports, very few knew who she was. This was in the days before CNN, FOX and every other 24-news and sports spelled network. Heck, if Walter or Dan didn’t mention her, she wasn’t news and really didn’t exist.
But then came the balance beam and a routine she could perform in her sleep. She nailed it. But she “didn’t feel it was quite perfect and I thought I could have done better. But the routine was so much better than the girl before me.”
The score came up.
What? How the heck do you score a 1?
Her coach, Bela Karolyi, was ready to explode when the public address announcer came on explaining that for the first time ever, someone had scored a perfect 10.
She broke the system, she broke the scoreboard – then she did it six more times in those Olympics, bringing home seven medals – three Gold, one silver and one bronze and two team medals.
After the Olympics her fame bound her to her communistic country until she finally “escaped” in 1989. She made it to America where she married USA Olympic gymnast Bart Conner and they live in Oklahoma and have their own gym where they work to help others become a perfect 10 and break scoreboards.
Mention a perfect 10 and the first image is a little 14-year-old girl twisting and turning and landing perfectly in Montreal. Nadia broke the system and fixed it all at the same time.
For a more in-depth look, click here, http://sports.yahoo.com/video/nadia-comaneci-perfect-10-220000990.html
This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan