Think that female gymnasts and figure skaters are happy pittle pixies, racking up medals effortlessly, never having a problem with their coaches or being pressured by parents? Not so, claims Joan Ryan, author of this startling book. Ryan's well-researched, well-written book takes you behind the scenes of these two sports. Fair warning: This book is NOT about the recreational side of gymnastics and figure skating; it's a look at the ELITE side. Gymnasts and figure skaters do not lead the perfect and happy lives that the media is constantly yapping about. Far from it! They have to deal with life-threatening injuries and eating disorders, parents who only care about their daughter winning, and politics and money. Besides from explanations about problems with these sports, Ryan writes about true accounts that happened to actual gymnasts and figure skaters. She writes about Julissa Gomez's vaulting accident that caused her to become paralyzed and die, Christy Henrich's battle with anorexia and bulimia which also caused her to die, the story behind Kim Kelly being voted off the 1992 Olympic team, the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan saga, and much, much more.
Gymnasts and figure skates live a very tough, pressurized life, and Joan Ryan unzips the media's hype. As she explains, they only have one chance to win. One chance to be perfect. This book will explain to you that not everyone who participates in this sport ends up retiring winning five Olympic medals, being happy, and feeling great. This book is a must read for all gymnasts, parents, coaches- basically anyone whose involved in these two sports.