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Olympic Coach Bela Karolyi to speak at Darien YMCA fundraiser

Bela Karolyi and U.S. gymnastics Olympian Kerri Strug

World-renowned Olympic gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi will be speaking at a fundraising dinner for the Darien YMCA Gymnastics Center on February 8, 2013 at 6:30pm at the Country Club of Darien.  Tickets are now on sale to the public for this unique event by calling the Darien YMCA at 203-655-8228 ext. 1352 or emailing beladinner@darien-ymca.org.

Bela Karolyi’s coaching efforts have produced 28 Olympians, 9 Olympic champions, 15 world champions, 12 European medalists, and 6 U.S. national champions in 30 years of coaching gymnastics in his native Romania and the United States.  He is perhaps best known for coaching Nadia Comaneci who earned the first-ever perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics competition.  He and his wife Marta have also trained Mary Lou Retton, Betty Okino, Teodora Ugueanu, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Dominique Moceanu, and Kerry Strug, whom he is famous for carrying to the podium after she injured her ankle on the gold medal-winning vault in the team competition at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Karolyi’s visit contributes to the celebration around the Darien YMCA’s new gymnastics center. “We’re honored to have such an inspiring speaker at the Darien YMCA.  It’s the perfect time to bring in the coach who has trained many of the most accomplished gymnasts in the history of the sport,” said John Schwartz, director of the Darien YMCA Gymnastics Center.  The YMCA Gymnastics team has won two U.S. National competitions in the last decade and was named best gymnastics program in Moffly Media’s Best of the Gold Coast awards in 2012.  Members of the gymnastics team also performed on the Katie Couric Show last month and met Olympic gymnasts Gabrielle Douglas and Mary Lou Retton.

Tickets for this event area available at the Darien YMCA by calling 203-655-8228 ext. 1352 or by emailing beladinner@darien-ymca.org.  Tickets are $150 per person, tables are also available.  The Darien YMCA website is www.darien-ymca.org.

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