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A perfect 10? The troubled life of a Romanian gymnastics legend

Georgescu, Diana; (2023) A perfect 10? The troubled life of a Romanian gymnastics legend. [Review]. The Times Literary Supplement (TLS) , 6271 Green open access

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Abstract

Stejărel Olaru’s book promises to tell the engrossing tale of the life and career of the Romanian gymnastics legend Nadia Comăneci through the lens of the Communist secret police. It opens with the story’s conclusion: her flight to freedom by illegally crossing the border into Hungary and defecting to the US in November 1989, just weeks before the collapse of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s regime. Drawing on secret police archives, along with interviews and published autobiographies, the subsequent chapters reconstruct Comăneci’s career, from her “discovery” in Onești in the early 1970s to her achievement of the first “perfect 10” in gymnastics history at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. The book tracks her degrading relationship with her coaches, Béla and Marta Károlyi, her spectacular recovery for the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the Ceaușescus’ ban on her international travel after her retirement from sports.

Type: Article
Title: A perfect 10? The troubled life of a Romanian gymnastics legend
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/nadia-comaneci-...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10178239
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