Bela Karolyi - Romania, USA
In the Lifetime Achievement category, BELA KAROLYI has earned a position of honor as a truly outstanding coach of internationally renown gymnasts.
Coaching for the National Team of Romania in the 1970's, he brought the Romanian women's gymnastics team to a position of international greatness. On his team was a young gymnast who would astound the world by achieving the first perfect scores in Olympic gymnastics history, Nadia Comaneci. (Montreal, 1976)
Moving to the United States and beginning again was only one more challenge to Bela Karolyi. In a few years, the American program began to reflect his dynamic approach to coaching, and the names of Bela's U.S. protégés -- including Mary Lou Retton, Kerri Strug and Dominique Moceanu -- have become recognizable throughout the world.
For bringing great gymnasts to the national and international arena, not only from one country but from two different lands, Bela Karolyi earned induction into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997, exemplifying the category of Lifetime Achievement.
1997 Inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame