Perfect-10 Baby Names: Nadia and Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci, cover of TIME, 1976

On July 18, 1976, 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first Olympian to score a perfect 10 (on the uneven bars). She ended up winning 3 gold medals in Montreal that summer.

The name Comaneci popped up on the SSA’s baby name list for the first and only time in 1976:

  • 1977: not listed
  • 1976: 9 baby girls named Comaneci [debut]
  • 1975: not listed

Comaneci is one of several Romanian surnames that refer to the Cumans, a Turkic nomadic people who came to the Carpathian region in the early 13th century.

The name Nadia also got quite a boost in 1976:

  • 1977: 790 baby girls named Nadia
  • 1976: 586 baby girls named Nadia
  • 1975: 85 baby girls named Nadia
  • 1975: 88 baby girls named Nadia

Her first name was inspired by a Russian movie character called Nadezhda. Nadia is a nickname for Nadezhda, which means “hope” in Russian.

Nadia Comaneci now lives in the U.S. and is married to fellow Olympic gymnast Bart Conner. They have a son, Dylan Paul, who is named for Bart’s favorite musician, Bob Dylan, and Bart’s former University of Oklahoma coach, Paul Ziert.


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