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Béla Károlyi, arguably the most successful coach in gymnastics history, is one of his sports' most-recognized personalities. He has coached and trained world-renowned gymnasts for the Olympic Games from 1976-2004, and returns to NBC as an Olympic correspondent for the summer 2012 London games, the same roll he filled during the Beijing Olympics.

Béla Károlyi, 2000 USA Gymnastics Women's National Team Coordinator, was born September 13, 1942, in Cluj, Romania. He has become the most successful coach in the history of gymnastics. His coaching efforts have produced 28 Olympians, nine Olympic Champions, 15 World Champions, 12 European medalists and six U.S. National Champions in 30 years of coaching gymnastics in both his native Romania and the United States. Among his most accomplished gymnasts are Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Phoebe Mills, Kim Zmeskal, Betty Okino, Kerri Strug and Dominique Moceanu.

The results speak for themselves. In 1991, Béla Károlyi led the U.S. team to a silver medal finish at the World Championships, the first team medal the U.S. women had ever won in World Championships competition. His gymnast, Kim Zmeskal, also won the all-around title, again the first time a U.S. athlete had ever won a World Championships all-around title. The following year, Béla led the charge to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where the United States captured its first medal in eight years. The team bronze medal was also the first time since 1948 that the U.S. had won an Olympic team medal in a non-boycotted Olympics.

After the 1992 Olympic Games, Károlyi announced his retirement from elite level coaching, but still maintained his gym and summer camp. In 1994, Zmeskal asked Károlyi to assist in her comeback attempt for the 1996 Olympic Games; he could not refuse, announcing his return to the elite coaching ranks. That same year he co-authored his life story in a book titled Feel No Fear.

In addition to Zmeskal, Károlyi coached Dominique Moceanu and Kerri Strug, who went on the win the team gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Along the way, Moceanu became the youngest athlete to win the U.S. National Championships at the age of 13, and claimed a silver medal on the balance beam at the 1995 World Championships. In 1996, Strug won the McDonald's American Cup, earning Károlyi his 11th champion in the prestigious event.


How old is Béla Károlyi? Find out here.

Age: 74 years old
Birthday: September 13, 1942
Birthplace: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Wife: Marta Karolyi

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