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Nadia Comaneci: "It was much like scoring a 10 at math, in school. That was it!"
"Say It As It Is” Series of Interviews conducted by Marius Tuca
- Marius Tuca : Tell me about the hardships you had to put up with while a gymnast. I want you to do this because many gymnasts achieving far less than you did complain about the strenuous effort they have to make.
- Marius Tuca : And you also assumed responsibility for everything you achieved, or not, in gymnastics.
- Marius Tuca : Definitely. How do you comment on the accusations surfacing in the media over the draconian regime imposed by trainers, like Bela and Marta, Bellu and Bitang, and so on?
- Marius Tuca : Well, you never complained about the training schedule and requirements because you agreed with it, it became your own.
- Marius Tuca : You spoke about talent. You also spoke about working more than you were asked to. But how about the secret deposits you made for everything: an extra exercise, and extra routine – you always had something new in stock, things untapped.
- Marius Tuca : So, you still keep active those personal reserves?
- Marius Tuca : Speaking about routines and young Romanian girls who want to start a career in gymnastics – you write in you book the following: "There are routines you know you can successfully complete, always. But if Marta told me to approach in a different way a routine and I was unable to do it during the training, then it was clear for me that I was not going to be able to perform it during the competition. The skies did not open for someone to touch me over my shoulder with a magic wand, to take me floating in midair during my uneven bars or beam routines. If one does not build one's own reserves, one has nothing to count on when need be.”
- Marius Tuca : It makes for good literature, but in fact, what took you floating over the bars and beam were your had work and your talent.
- Marius Tuca : And about fame, this is what you say in your book: "Years passed by and I am wiser now; I understand that for a child fame means a lot of overwhelming responsibilities. Sometimes I felt like going under, though I fought to get out for a breath of air. And I must confess I had moments when I felt like letting myself go into the abyss.”
- Marius Tuca : What? You do not recognize yourself in these works?
- Marius Tuca : Were there moments when you contemplated ...
- Marius Tuca : Then talk about it!
- Marius Tuca : But were there such moments? At least that you can admit?
- Marius Tuca : This is how it was for you in that abyss?
- Marius Tuca : You always had the time and the room for you to get up again?
- Marius Tuca : So, you built your own reserve here too!
- Marius Tuca : Moving on, I want to ask you about the Montreal Olympics, in 1976. Everybody talks about that marking board showing a 1, because there was not 10 yet in gymnastics. Tell me what it meant for you?
- Marius Tuca : This is the time your trainer was really fuming...
- Marius Tuca : You are such a diplomat. I asked you how you felt then, and you gave me technical details about the electronic board!
- Marius Tuca : Humility will kill you, Nadia. Look what wrote your friend Ion Tiriac, about that moment in 1976: "In the midst of a noisy jazz orchestra one violin suddenly broke in a sweet sound in a hall ready to catch on fire. But the crowd fell quiet and the public in Montreal lived in the moment, as it did the billion people watching the few minutes of the routine on their television screens.”
- Marius Tuca : But it could have had!
- Marius Tuca : He might have intimidated you. After all he donned that big mustache...
- Marius Tuca : This is the secret of your achievement, of your success: hard work. And this is kind of a disappointing answer to people, who maybe do not want to hear they have to strive on, continue working for their dream to become true.
TO BE CONTINUED
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