She had tougher tumbling and a more difficult vault in Montreal …
Dwight Normile, IG editor interview:
“Nellie,” I began confidently, “I remember you at the 1976 Olympics. You did a double back on floor, and you kept your knees together and your toes pointed.”
Nellie melted in gratitude. She thanked me â€” ME! â€” for noticing and remembering. This led to further discussion of her greatness. At those Montreal Games, she also introduced the full-twisting Tsukahara, using an inferior board to the contraptions used today. And hers was the real deal; she did the whole 540 degrees. It wasn’t the Kasamatsu-kind, where you can cartwheel on, cut the corner and get away with a lot less twist. Again, her form was impeccable.
Even we gymnasts at the time (I am the same age as Nellie) recognized that Nadia was “special”. She had a style and charisma that exceeded everyone else at the competition. At the 1976 Games, in fact. Nadia was the main story of those Olympics for all sports.
Yet today Nellie Kim is President of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee.
Click PLAY to see Nellie Kim – 1976 Olympic Gold Medal Vault on YouTube.
The Floor was very, very hard back then. Click PLAY for Montreal 1976 – USSR – Nellie Kim FX on YouTube.
Nellie Kim – Wikipedia
Nellie awarded the Golden Star of Russia