Historic Sports Moments

June 13, 2024

Nadia Comaneci Becomes a Star With a Perfect Score

From the Olympic Games in ancient Greece to medieval jousting tournaments, sports have given people a way to test their physical abilities, while also serving as a form of entertainment that brings people together.

Over the centuries sports have evolved from straight forward tests of might to something more abstract. While many of today's athletes use the latest technology, advanced equipment, and sponsors to help them achieve their goals, there are millions of spectators who simply enjoy sports because healthy competition can bring out the best in people. At the same time, many have the goal of one day becoming the athlete who gets to shine in the arena or stand on the podium. Let's peel back the curtain and take a look at some of the most iconic sports moments in history.

Source: Reddit

Having grown up in Romania in the 1960s, Nadia Comaneci lived under communist rule. When she was 6, she was identified by Bela Karolyi (who later coached in the U.S.) as a potential talent. She soon became a force to be reckoned with, competing nationally and regionally.

In 1976, she became recognized on a global scale. During the Montreal Olympics, she was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10.0. Some people didn't even think that a perfect score was possible in the sport, and the scoreboard wasn't programmed to reflect that score. It showed 1.00 instead of 10.0. Comaneci ended up winning three gold medals, one silver, and one bronze.

Comaneci is the youngest gymnast to have won a gold medal in the Olympics. The minimum age for athletes in the sport has been raised since she competed, so she will likely continue to hold that record.

The Fastest Woman on Earth: Betty Robinson

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Young girls today can dream of becoming Olympic gold medalists and professionals in their sports, thanks to early pioneers. When Betty Robinson was a child, women weren't allowed to participate in track and field events in the Olympics. This changed in 1928 during the Amsterdam Olympics, and Robinson was ready to shine, despite her young age of 16.

In just her third official 100-meter competition, Robinson qualified for the final heat. She was the first to cross the tape in the finals with a time of 12.2 seconds, which tied the world record. As the first-ever female 100-meter gold medalist, she became an inspiration to many.

Robinson suffered major injuries during a plane crash in 1931 making her unable to compete in the 1932 Olympics, but she did return to the games in 1936. During those games, her relay team took home the gold in the 4 x 100m race.