Martha and Bela Karolyi defected to the United States from Romania in 1981 and gymnastics in this country hasn't been the same since. The premier gymnastics coaches in the world, the Karolyis have lived in Texas since 1982 at their ranch outside of Houston. Karolyi's Camp is now the U.S. National team training center. In 1984 Bela was Mary Lou Retton's personal coach when she made history by becoming the first U.S. woman to win the gold medal in the individual gymnastics competition. The Karolyis served as coaches for the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 1988 Olympics. Bela then coached the 1992 team to a bronze medal and Martha led the U.S. team to gold in 1996. In 1991 he led U.S. team to its first ever medal at World Championships (silver). Bela and Martha served as team coordinators for the 2000 & 2004 USA Olympic teams. Martha is currently the team coordinator and will continue in that position for the 2008 Olympics. At the 2005 World Championships the U.S. had its most successful competition winning 9 medals. The Karolyis have coached 28 Olympians including during their careers in Romania and the United States. They have worked with nine Olympic champions, 15 World champions, 12 European medalists and six United States national champions. Some of their proteges include Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Phoebe Mills, Kim Zmeskal, Betty Okino, Dominique Moceanu and Kerri Strug. She is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2005.

Martha Karolyi

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