Comăneci’s wedding seemed like a national holiday in Romania. Over 10,000 people came out in support of the couple, and people all over the country tuned in to watch the wedding ceremony, which was broadcasted live on national television. For Comăneci, it was very emotional being back in her home country.
She felt like she had betrayed her home country and she was feeling so bad about doing so. Now, seeing all of the support caused her to feel loved and forgiven.
Years after their first naive kiss at the Olympics, Bart, and Nadia were reunited once again and sparks were flying. Bart recalls the first kiss they shared on the winner’s podium with Nadia. They performed together in several gymnastics competitions and looked inseparable.
It began with an innocent kiss, and now it grew into so much more. In 1994, just several years after they reconnected, Bart Conner proposed to Nadia Comăneci while the two were vacationing in Amsterdam.
In April 1996, Nadia and Bart tied the knot in Bucharest, Romania. Because the communist government had since been overthrown, Nadia had no reason to worry. In fact, the pair were treated much like royalty. The new Romanian government didn’t care about her defection years ago. Nadia and Bart were allowed to use the Parliament House for their wedding reception, which was an extremely luxurious celebration. According to Sports Illustrated, it was “the gymnastics world’s version of a royal wedding.”
Nadia commented about the event that “it was very emotional, not just seeing my mother, but seeing an entire country I'd left. When I got married in Bucharest, there were 10,000 people on the street. People didn't go to work that day. It was emotional to see how people care about you." The pair has now been married for 22-years, and they have a 12-year-old son named Dylan together.
Learn Gymnastics From The Best
Since they first reconnected, Bart and Nadia have been running the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy which was initially opened by Bart and Paul Ziert. Because it has two former Olympians as its head, the gym receives thousands of applications every year.
Bart and Nadia spent a lot of time promoting products and making commercial appearances all over the world. It’s safe to say that Nadia has resumed her position as the darling of the gymnastics world.
Similar History Sparks Friendship
In 2015, Nadia Comăneci walked onto the red carpet of the TriBeCa Film Festival with an unlikely friend by her side – actress Katie Holmes. The pair dressed almost identical to one another, both wore slim-fitting black pants, high heels, and black tops with their shiny brown hair down, showcasing their waves. They stood side-by-side, with quite the noticeable height difference and answered questions together about Katie’s first foray into directing Eternal Sunshine, a short which documents the Romanian expat's groundbreaking Olympic triumph in 1976 when she became the first gymnast to score a Perfect 10.
While many were surprised by the two being friends, if you look close enough, you’ll see they actually have quite a lot in common.