Letters to a Young Gymnast Hardcover – Dec 25 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Although part of a mentoring series (Letters to a Young Lawyer; Letters to a Young Chef; etc.), this memoir is less about motivating aspiring gymnasts than justifying the author's life choices. Romanian-born Comaneci took the sports world by storm when, at the age of 14, she was the first person in Olympic history to earn a perfect score in gymnastics. At the event she garnered several more medals. When the author recounts her early years with legendary coach Bela Karolyi and details how his intensive training requirements plus her own determination led to her success, the text is engrossing. Comaneci, however, devotes far too much space to discussing the controversies that dogged her career. She refutes the oft-repeated accusation that Karolyi abusively overworked his young gymnasts and further denies that she drank bleach when the Romanian government assigned her to another coach. Although Comaneci's descriptions of her harsh life in Romania (although far easier than most) under dictator Ceausescu are compelling, and her decision to defect in 1989 completely understandable, she does not acknowledge that the man who facilitated her escape, Constantin Panait, was anything other than a personal manager. According to newspaper reports at the time, Panait, married with four children, controlled her life and finances and was responsible for TV bookings where the gymnast appeared overweight and inappropriately dressed. More discussions about the sport and less defensiveness about mostly forgotten gossip would have strengthened this mentoring guide.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book reminded me about all of the reasons why I have admired Nadia for so long and why she remains very dear to my heart, and in the hearts of so many others around the world. I want to thank her for taking the time to write such an honest book, and for sharing her thoughts with her fans. Her gymnastics career has had a big impact on my life, and has always inspired me to do my best in school, in my work and in my relationships.
One last thing: when I first purchased the book, I was disappointed that there were no photos included. Upon reading the book, however, I realize that the book is directed not necessarily at a young audience, but for her fans, many of us who are in our adult years now. While photos would always be welcome, I wouldn't have wanted photos if it meant taking out any parts of the book. Her incredible and inspiring story speaks for itself.
Thank you Amazon.com for speedy delivery of this wonderful book. I noticed that it was well packed several layers to protect the book so when it arrived through the postage, it was in perfect new condition!
I also would like to those of you who had not seen the book yet to know that the current book cover of this book is different from this book cover picture posted in Amazon.com. Amazon.com here has a 1st drafted book cover with Teodora Ungureanu's picture. After Amazon.com posted 3 months before the book launching, immediately the mistake was correct. Now the current on sales version has a beautiful Nadia rare floor exercise ending post picture in Montreal Olympics. You may view the current book cover at NadiaComaneci.com home page.
My pal Linda was correct about the book made like being Nadia talking to me alone. The book has that special personal touch, it does not need any pictures to elebrate Nadia, the true insight and honest reveal had made it more interesting than pictures.
More important is that Nadia had shown us the important to have good education for the better future of oneself. She shows us how athlete can be intellectual people. Not that she is good in gymnastics, she is good in reading, she shared the intellectual articles of Romanians writers. Her shared her love for her country, people, family, gymnastics and Bart with us. After you read the book, you feel you know Romania better, and you could see the pride of Nadia being a Romanian.Read more ›
While the book is not what I expected (would've loved to see more...ANY!...pictures), I will say this: Bravo beautiful Nadia for the remarkable inner strength that made you the champion you are today as well as yesterday. Unfortunately, with that championship spirit often comes impossibly high self-expectations and I hope that by writing this book you will be able to put those feelings to rest and finally let us love you!
Most recent customer reviews
Written as a series of responses to imaginary fan letters, Nadia takes us through lots of emotions as she explains her feelings about the events that shaped her extra-ordinary... Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by Mr Gareth Harrison
Letter to a Young Gymnast is a excellant book. My coach recommended it to me, and after reading it, I gave it to my best friend to read. I was barely able to put it down. Read morePublished on March 9 2004