We Tried It: Gymnastics With Olympic Legends Nadia Comaneci and Dominique Dawes


What happens when two nonathletic editors hit the gym with two Olympic legends? That’s exactly what Us Weekly decided to find out when video correspondent Christina Garibaldi and online style and beauty editor Sharon Tanenbaum had a playful (and sometimes painful) session at the 92nd Street Y in NYC with the iconic Dominique Dawes and Nadia Comaneci.

After a pep talk from Comaneci, the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the Olympics in 1976, the unassuming editors hit the uneven bars. “You’re going to do a basic move that usually a level three or a level four gymnast is learning,” Dawes instructed the two, before demonstrating the pullover herself. (In case you were wondering: She’s still got it!) 

Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Comaneci at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Leo Mason/CORBIS/Getty

So how did the two novices fare? Watch the video above for all of their hilarious attempts at the uneven bars and beams.

Dominique Dawes
Dominique Dawes at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty

Before they were teaching Us Weekly editors how to tumble, Dawes, now a mom of two and motivational speaker, and Comaneci, who coaches with husband Bart Conner at the Bart Connor Gymnastics Academy in Oklahoma, teamed up with reigning U.S. champion Simone Biles for Tide Pods’ inspiring “Evolution of Power” video. “I was 14 and a half, and I wasn’t going to the Olympics to score the first perfect 10. It just happened because I was prepared enough to do that,” Romania-born Comaneci told Us. “But now that I look back, it’s very emotional. It’s great to share all of this together in different generations: my generation, Dominique’s generation and Simone’s.”

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!