Don't Run Away from a Challenge

Nadia Comăneci

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Nadia Comăneci: “I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot.”
Nadia Comăneci: “I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot.”

Nadia Comăneci (1961-) is a Romanian gymnast and the first gymnast to score a perfect ten in an Olympic event.

Nadia first began gymnastics when she was six years old. At the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, at the age of fourteen, she received seven perfect scores and won the gold medals for the balance beam, the uneven bars, and the all-around individual competition. Four years later at the 1980 Olympic games, Nadia earned two more gold medals and two silver.

 She retired from competition in 1984. Today she runs several gymnastics ventures with her husband, fellow gymnast Bart Conner, and divides her time between delivering inspirational speeches, supporting charities, and promoting gymnastics.

Learn more.


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Kayla Kim

Marketing Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I was Laidlaw scholar in 2019, and I studied national, regional, and local identity in northern Tajikistan through the lens of women's fashion. 

For a year after graduating, I worked for the UN Mine Action Service which removes landmines from conflict and post-conflict regions. Now I have returned to the Laidlaw Foundation!

Please feel free to get in touch. I'm always happy to meet new people and chat, especially about nationalism/politics of gender/Central Asia/demining/UN/writing or even ballroom dance :)