Nadia Comaneci!For some odd reason she crossed my mind last night. (I was in my male mid-twenties in 1976!)
And not just mine, as she appeared in the press today. And such a nice story.
Stories like hers need to be recorded so nobody is ever as stupid again as so many in my generation about how rotten to the core the Communist societies were.
Her comfortable life is a world away from her life in her twenties when, banned by dictator Nicolas Ceaucescu from ever leaving Romania, she was given a job with the Gymnastics Federation and her wages were heavily docked by the government because she was childless.
She was even sent every three months to a clinic to ascertain whether or not she was pregnant.
I had no idea of this part of the story.
Permanently guarded, she was even followed when doing her laundry or visiting the shops in case she tried to escape Romania. She felt so trapped she even threatened to drink bleach to commit suicide.
In the end a very gutsy girl:
By 1989, she decided she'd had enough, and joined a group of Romanians being smuggled to Hungary.
Fleeing the country in the middle of the night, she was forced to trudge through snow for six hours and wade through an icy lake to escape the brutal regime.
Finally landing in Austria, she was greeted as an international celebrity and flown to safety in the US, where she once again met, and fell in love with, Conner.