Nadia then and now
I blogged about Nadia Comaneci for last year’s challenge, so this is a gymnastics post, which is what Nadia represents to Romanians everywhere. It’s a post of mostly photos and a very short story.
After Nadia’s win at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, every mother in Romania wanted her little girl to be the next Olympic medalist. That included my mother. But unlike Nadia, I had no extraordinary gymnastics talents. For one, I grew too tall. No good gymnast measures anywhere near 5’8”. Volleyball was my sport.
To this day, however, I enjoy watching gymnastics, especially the World Championships and the Olympics.
I’m constantly amazed by the young athletes. How incredibly flexible their ligaments and tendons must be to enable them to bend and rotate in ways that people find impossible and painful. How gracefully they walk on that tinny balance beam.
How they jump, rotate in the air, and after two reverse flips stick their landing. I’ve been around gymnasts. I know it takes a huge amount of time and dedication, not to mention talent.
Every so many years, I sit in my living room and watch, my heart in my throat as the gymnast dismounts, flips through the air — once, twice, even three times — and somehow finds a way to plant both feet on the floor. Mind blowing.
What’s you favorite sport?
Thanks so much, everyone, for reading and all the wonderful comments. Tomorrow’s post is Ovidiu — the Roman poet, whose influence — from literature to common names — is still felt in Romania.