(born Nov. 12, 1961, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Rom.) Romanian-born gymnast. Comaneci entered her first international competition in 1972 and won three gold medals. In the 1976 Olympic Games, the first in which a perfect score of 10 was ever awarded in an Olympic gymnastic event, she received an astounding seven perfect scores and won the gold medals for the balance beam, uneven parallel bars, and all-around competitions. In the 1980 Olympics she won gold medals for the beam and the floor exercises. She retired from competition in 1984 and defected to the U.S. in 1989.