‘Final Five’ Coaches, Bela and Marta Karolyi: To Be Deported?

‘Final Five’ Coaches, Bela and Marta Karolyi: To Be Deported?
Simone Biles Rio OlympicsAgência Brasil Fotografias / Flickr cc
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Are the coaches behind the Final Five woman gymnasts of the U.S., Bela and Marta Karolyi, illegal immigrants who will soon be deported back to their country?


The U.S. Woman Gymnastics team is making America proud by procuring an array of gold medals in the Rio Olympics 2016. But the unsung heroes behind perfecting the athletes for glory, Bela and Marta Karolyi, have become embroiled in a pretty serious controversy.

Around 12th August, a dubious report started getting circulated in Twitter regarding the illegal status of coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, who had immigrated to The United States in 1981 from Romania.

The Karolyis have been associated with the field of gymnastics for a long time and before coaching the U.S. Women’s Gymnasts, they had a successful career in Romania where they had coached the famous Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci.

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The Final Five

Nadia became the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10 in the 1976 Olympics and that too at the age of 14!

The report, which was re-tweeted by a user called “OMGFacts” posted a picture of the Final Five with the caption “Make America Great Again Coached by a former “illegal immigrant””.

The caption obviously alludes to Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, with the intent to mock Trump and the Republican Party’s stance on illegal immigrants.

The user wants to point out to the fact the Karolyis, who have helped make America proud in the Olympics are illegal immigrants, as a sort of challenge to Trump to try and deport them too.

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2016 Rio Olympics

However, Snopes has called the user out, stating that nothing about the residential status of the Karolyis suggest that they are illegal immigrants.

As it turns out, during an exhibition tour by the Romanian Team in the United States, the Karolyis quietly slipped out of the hotel where they were staying with the team, and disappeared into the streets of NYC.

Their decision not to return to Romania, despite having left their infant daughter, Andrea, behind in their native country was based on the increasing political unrest in Romania in those days. The Karolyis got in touch with the State Department a few weeks later and applied for asylum, which was eventually granted.

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Donald Trump

The New York Times had followed the political asylum story of the Karolyis back in 1982 and had reported that they have hired the help of lawyers to get in touch with their daughter, who was staying in Romania at the time.

As per the profile and several supporting news reports from the time, it can be proven that the Karolyis are not illegal immigrants living in America and have been granted legal asylum by the U.S. Govt.

The recently surfaced rumor is just another way for the anti-Trump supporters to attack his campaign by at the cost of innocent people.

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