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Nadia's 10 was partly the result of giving previous competitors very high scores. There had already been awarded a 9.9, in the days before multiple decimal point scores. Since Nadia was better, they had to give her a 10, even if it was not perfect (although it was pretty darn close).

Mary Lou Retton also scored 10s in the vault.

Thanks for the additional info - I didn't know how the score had come about, just the routine for which she earned it. I also didn't realize that Retton had scored a 10 as well. I think, however, that Nadia's 10 actually proves our point - you have to score lower earlier in a meet, or else you're screwed later on when someone is just freakin' better.

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