The Greek media drew attention to the book about the fate of the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci. The publication sheds light on the success in sports, gained in the conditions of extreme cruelty to athletes.
The newly published book describes horrific scenes of famine and abuse of female athletes in Romania during the Ceausescu era. Nadia and the Securitate, written by Romanian writer Stezarel Olaru (Στέγιαρελ Ολάρου), cites documents from the country’s State Security Service.
According to them, the secret police agents were several times shocked by the treatment of young athletes by the famous trainer Bella Caroli and his wife Martha. “The athletes were starved to death, which was common for Karoli,” says the Romanian author. Before going to bed, the girls ate toothpaste, they were so tormented by hunger.
The chapters of the book describe scenes of gymnasts having to surreptitiously drink water in the toilet, as they were often not allowed to drink, despite the overwhelming thirst. Some ended up with bulimia. “The girls became virtuosos in stealing food, which they hid in places where they thought no one would find it, such as in curtains,” the book says.
In an unpublished interview cited by the author, Comaneci stated that she was beaten and that she sometimes went on hunger strike for three days in a row.
Nadia says of the new book that has been published: “I knew about Olaros’s work and his investigation of classified documents of police informants. I also told him everything I remember (and was published earlier in the book Letters to a Young Gymnast), and he wrote it down. I have nothing more to add. Life goes on as usual. “
Bella Carroll, for her part, did not reject the things that the book says in an affirmative way. When asked for her opinion on this, she said, “By nature, I am never satisfied with the results. My charges (gymnasts) are the best trained in the world. And they are winning. And that’s exactly what matters in the end. “
Nadia Comaneci is a Romanian gymnast, five-time Olympic champion, two-time world champion, nine-time European champion. She was born on November 12, 1961 in the city of Onesti.
One of the world’s best gymnasts of the 20th century. The first of them to receive a score of 10 from the jury in the competition at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. The most titled, along with Elisabeth Lipa, Romanian athlete in the history of the Olympics. Honorary President of the Romanian National Olympic Committee and the Romanian Gymnastics Federation.
In November 1989, shortly before the revolution in Romania, together with a group of other young people, Nadia fled the country to the United States, via Hungary and Austria, then emigrated to Canada. At first she worked in Montreal, then, at the suggestion of her future husband, she moved to Oklahoma. She later visited Romania, for the first time since the fall of the Ceausescu regime, where in 1996 she married two-time Olympic gymnastics champion American Bart Conner. Nadia received American citizenship in 2001 and retained Romanian citizenship.
In 2006, a survey was conducted in Romania “100 Greatest Romanians”, and Comaneci took 10th place in it – the highest among living people and among athletes.