08 March 2020

Olympic royalty Nadia Comaneci confident that Simone Biles can emulate her success in gymnastics

Nadia Comaneci wrote her name into Olympic gymnastics history when she scored a perfect 10 on the beam at the Montreal games in 1976 and now believes that American superstar Simone Biles can emulate her achievements.

Comaneci was just 14 at the time and seen as a trailblazer for women's sport.

She has now hailed Biles as a modern inspiration and is impressed by the way the young American has dealt with everything life has thrown at her, including the fallout from allegations of sexual abuse by former US Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, but still remained on the top of her game.

"It only seems like yesterday that we were in Rio,” said Comaneci. “Simone did amazingly in Rio, and she is still around and she wants to do this.

“For me, the women’s gymnastics in Tokyo will be the only sport where you can predict who will win – even with mistakes she [Simone] is winning.

“I think she is dealing very well with the pressure. It was more difficult in her first Olympics because that was the ice-breaking Olympics for her and now she knows what is expected.

“I think she will do everything she is expected to do, with the idea that ‘this is my last shot’. If she’s got more left after this, then we’ll see.”

Biles will be looking to add to her tally of four Olympic gold medals this summer (PA Images)

Comaneci is a staunch supporter of initiatives like International Women’s Day and is confident that they will inspire young girls to achieve their goals and become trailblazers themselves.

“I think now women stand up and say, this is who we are, this is what we want, and this is what we do. It is the time of the woman, and I am very happy for that," said the Romanian star.

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