Gheorghe Comaneci dies at 76

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Gheorghe Comaneci, the father of gymnastics great Nadia Comaneci, has died. He was 76.

Comaneci arrived in Romania on Friday, a day after releasing a statement announcing her father's death.

Gheorghe Comaneci died of liver problems at Bucharest's University Hospital on Thursday. He had been hospitalized since Dec. 26, when doctors said he was suffering from cirrhosis.

"Losing someone dear to you is a very hard moment for anyone, especially when that person is your parent who was with you when you took your first steps in life and who supported you when it was hard for you," Comaneci said in her statement. "Anyone who has lost a parent, a person dear to you, understands how hard it is to talk about these moments and about the lovely times you spent with your parent."

Comaneci is traveling to the family hometown of Onesti for a funeral that is expected to be held Saturday, said Virgil Munteanu, general manager of the Nadia Comaneci Foundation.

Comaneci received the first ever perfect scores of 10 when she won three gold medals for Romania in the 1976 Olympics.