PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – He is arguably the greatest and most famous gymnastics coach of all-time. Bela Karolyi joined KDKA’s Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about what it takes to be a great gymnast, some of his favorite moments, and a great gymnastics event coming to Pittsburgh next summer.
Karolyi is known for being the coach of Nadia Comaneci, who scored the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics history and coaching the “Magnificent Seven” to a gold medal in 1996.
Karolyi says to be a great gymnast you have to have passion and “you have to love it first of all to achieve a high quality performance.” Consistency is also key. “A consistent training, consistent trying,” is what makes a great gymnast.
One of coach Karolyi’s favorite moments is when Olympian Kerri Strug, with an injured ankle nailed a vault to secure the gold for the U.S. team.
A lot of people remember Karolyi picking up Strug and holding her. It is a memorable moment for him because he believes people got to see on prime time television that female gymnasts are not “little babies” or “little dolls,” but are strong athletes.
Pittsburgh welcomes for the first time ever in August 2014 The P&G Gymnastics Championships to the Consol Energy Center.
The event will feature the best female and male gymnasts in the country. Karolyi says the event is an “important step to form new national team, new faces, [and] new performers, along with older performers.”
Listen to the entire interview here.