Bart Conner is the only American male gymnast to win gold medals at every level of national and international competition. Conner has been a USA Champion, NCAA Champion, Pan-American Games Champion, World Champion, World Cup Champion, and an Olympic Champion.Conner was a member of three Olympic Teams in 1976, 1980 and 1984. It was in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where he made a dramatic comeback from his second torn biceps injury to win two gold medals, one as a member of the US team. Conner earned his second gold with a score of perfect 10 on the parallel bars.
Conner’s interest in gymnastics began in grade school gym class when he excelled at acrobatic moves. As a child he participated in many sports, but, at every opportunity, Conner could be seen trying handstands. By the time he was a teenager, he had a set of parallel bars in his back yard and a pommel horse in his basement.
In the fall of 1976, Conner moved to Norman, OK to attend the University of Oklahoma, and to be coached by Paul Ziert. While at OU, Conner earned 14 NCAA All-America honors, and led his team to 2 NCAA team titles.
After graduating with a degree in Journalism in 1984, Conner went into business with Ziert. Today, they own several gymnastics related business interests, including the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, where more than 1,200 gymnasts train at every level, from beginning motor skill development to elite athletes aiming for college scholarships, and spots of the US National team.
In 1992, Conner and Ziert took over International GYMNAST magazine, the premier international gymnastics magazine since 1956.
In 1996, Ziert and Conner formed GRIPS, Etc., a gymnastics supply company. That same year they opened up a new office building and factory in Norman, OK, to produce gymnastics grips, supports, equipment, tumbling shoes and gymnastics collectibles.
Conner still enjoys high visibility as a TV color commentator and public speaker. He has worked as an expert announcer for every major television network. Conner’s production company, Perfect 10 Productions, has produced gymnastics TV shows for ESPN, Fox Sports Net, Oxygen TV, and the World Championship Sports Network, now known as Universal Sports.
Conner has appeared in television and feature films, including, “RAD” - about BMX Bike racing, “Peaceful Warrior,” and the 2006 Disney gymnastics feature, “Stick It” starring Jeff Bridges.
In 1996, Conner married Romanian Olympic Champion, Nadia Comaneci, in a lavish state wedding in Bucharest, Romania.
Today, Conner and Comaneci are involved in several charities including the Executive Board of Special Olympics International – where Bart serves as Vice Chair, and the Board of Directors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In 1991, Conner was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame, and in 1997, he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. In 2006, Conner’s 1984 Olympic Gold medal winning team was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame. Conner also now serves as the President and Chairman of the Board of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Along with some of their fellow Olympic medalists, Conner and Comaneci contributed a chapter to an inspirational book called “Awaken the Olympian Within.” They also serve through online platforms, and give local and national speeches to continue to inspire youth to set goals, overcome adversity, resist complacency, and find their focus and balance.
In 2011, Conner and Comaneci began The Bart & Nadia Sports & Health Festival, an annual event that encourages families to take ownership of their health through activities that embrace Olympic and Paralympic ideals with an emphasis on sports, nutrition and wellness.
Today, Conner, Comaneci, and their five-year-old son, Dylan Paul Conner, continue to travel the world delivering inspirational speeches, as well as promoting their charities, gymnastics, fitness and healthy lifestyles.