Nadia Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci

[koh-muh-neech, -neych; Rom. kaw-mah-nech]
Comaneci, Nadia, 1961-, Romanian-American gymnast. Under the tutelage of coach Bela Karolyi, she rose to prominence in the celebrated Romanian gymnastics program. Comaneci was known for the boldness of her routines and her implacable composure. In the 1976 Olympics, she won five medals—three gold, one silver, and one bronze. She also scored a perfect 10 in two events, a score no one had previously achieved. In the 1980 Olympics, she won two gold and two silver medals. The difficulty of her performances and the high level of her technical execution resulted in a redefinition of the sport and of judges' and viewers' expectations of women's gymnastics. She defected to the United States in 1989; in 1996 she married the American Bart Conner, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist. She and Conner were pioneers in pairs gymnastics. An American citizen since 2001, Comaneci has worked as a coach since retiring from competitive gymnastics.

(born Nov. 12, 1961, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Rom.) Romanian-born gymnast. Comaneci entered her first international competition in 1972 and won three gold medals. In the 1976 Olympic Games, the first in which a perfect score of 10 was ever awarded in an Olympic gymnastic event, she received an astounding seven perfect scores and won the gold medals for the balance beam, uneven parallel bars, and all-around competitions. In the 1980 Olympics she won gold medals for the beam and the floor exercises. She retired from competition in 1984 and defected to the U.S. in 1989.

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"Nadia's Theme" is a piece of music composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. that serves as the theme music to the American television soap opera The Young and the Restless.

The melody, originally titled "Cotton's Dream", was written by De Vorzon and Botkin as incidental music for the 1971 theatrical film Bless the Beasts and Children. Two years later, Botkin wrote a rearranged version of the piece for The Young and the Restless; the show debuted on March 26, 1973. The melody was later renamed "Nadia's Theme" after the ABC television network Wide World Of Sports lent the music for a montage of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci's routines during the 1976 Summer Olympics ; but Nadia never performed her routines using this piece of music. Instead, she used a piano arrangement of a medley of the songs "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" and "Jump in the Line" for their floor exercises.

About one month after the 1976 Olympics, the song was released as a single by A&M Records, with its B-side containing an instrumental of De Vorzon's song "Down the Line". It soared up to number 8 on the Billboard Music Charts by December of 1976, in part because of its association with Comaneci. However, A&M Records failed to credit De Vorzon as the co-writer on the first pressings of the single; he successfully sued the record label for $241,000 USD. The single has never been released on CD.

Other versions of "Nadia's Theme" have been recorded, including a semi-rock version by The Ventures, an easy listening version by Ray Conniff, and David Hasselhoff's rendition for his 1987 album Lovin' Feelings.

A sample of "Nadia's Theme" is the musical accompaniment to the verses of Mary J. Blige's single "No More Drama" from her album with the same name. In the tune, Blige's persona describes her former self as "young and restless". It was also sampled in the Krayzie Bone song "We Starvin" from his album, Thug Mentality 1999".

Awards

Grammy Awards:

References

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