Did an Olympic Athlete Have a Hit Song Re-Named After Her?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about the Olympics and Olympians and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Olympic urban legends featured so far.

OLYMPIC URBAN LEGEND: A song was re-named years after it first came out because it was used in a clip package for an Olympic athlete.

In an amusing coincidence, yesterday I had a sports legend that seemed like it could also work as an entertainment legend and an entertainment legend that could also work as a sports legend, so I figured I’d do them as bonus legends on each site.

In 1971, Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. wrote a piece of incidental music for the movie, Bless the Beasts and Children.

It was called “Cotten’s Dream.”

A couple of years later, the pair adapted the song to serve as the theme song to a new soap opera called The Young and the Restless. The show became very popular, and remains today one of the most popular soap operas out there. The song also gained quite a bit of notoriety from being the theme to the program.

However, it was not until three years later, in 1976, that the song REALLY took off and in the process, amusingly enough gained a new NAME!

In 1976, ABC’s popular sports program The Wide World of Sports used the song to go along with a series of clips about the Romania gymnast, Nadia Comaneci.

Comaneci, of course, was the extremely popular Olympian who was the first Olympic gymnast to gain a score of a Perfect 10 out of 10 (she received it during her uneven bars routine – she would go on to receive six more 10s, in total, during the competition, as she won three gold medals).

The 14-year-old Romania became an international sensation, and the buzz from the Wide World of Sports montage prompted De Vorzon to re-release the song, and in the fall of 1976, the song reached the top ten on the Billboard charts.

This time around, though, De Vorzon re-named the song in honor of the young athlete who was bringing it so much new attention, and the song was now called “Nadia’s Theme,” which is what it remains called today.

Amusingly enough, Comaneci never did any routines to the song.

The legend is…


Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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