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In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Amanda Beard , Rebecca Paley

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Book Description

April 3 2012
In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.

At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. At one point, she was the most downloaded female athlete on the Internet.

Yet despite her astonishing career and sex-symbol status, Amanda felt unworthy of all her success. Unaware that she was suffering from clinical depression, she hid the pain beneath a megawatt smile. With no other outlet for her feelings besides the pool, Amanda expressed her emotions through self-destructive behavior. In her late teens and twenties, she became bulimic, abused drugs and alcohol, and started cutting herself.

Her low self-esteem led to toxic relationships with high-profile men in the sports world. No one, not even her own parents and friends, knew about the turmoil she was going through. Only when she met her future husband, who discovered her cutting herself, did Amanda realize she needed help.

Through her renewed faith in herself; the love of her family; and finally the birth of her baby boy, Blaise, Amanda has transformed her life. In these pages, she speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, the pressures to be thin, and the unhealthy relationships she confused for love. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry is a raw, compelling story of a woman who gained the strength to live as bravely out of the water as she did in it.

Product Details

Product Description


"Her remarkable story, courageous resilience, and honest self-assessment make this an inspiring read." ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Amanda Beard is a seven-time Olympic medalist. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband, the photographer Sacha Brown, and her son, Blaise. Visit her at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  88 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I expected Aug. 1 2012
By Jessica - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I am confused by the reviewers who are saying this book isn't what they expected, that it's not about her swimming career. If you read what the book is about it states in black and white that it's about the personal demons she dealt with. How difficult she found her fame to actually be.

I found this book to be a wonderful read especially because I have a beautiful daughter who is a cutter. I now have a better insight as to what she's going through and feel that I can listen with a 'new ear'. While I will never be able to understand the emotions my daughter is feeling, I can look at what she is doing to herself in a different light and feel that I'll be able to support her even more. Thank you, Amanda, for putting yourself out there and writing this wonderful book!
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very real & inspiring.... April 5 2012
By Sportsfan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a must a sports fan, I have been in awe of Amanda Beard's talent. Little did I know what went on behind the scenes, she is 100% honest in her struggles & her journey to overcome them.
Truly inspiring!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The shallow end of the pool Jan. 16 2013
By meandvb - Published on
Although the book is not well-written and contains poor grammar, I liked her story at first. Then I got to the part when she was rationalizing her Playboy appearance. I found it sad that it improved her self-esteem when she admitted the images were manipulated. Plus, how can an appearance in a magazine that degrades women be uplifting? What is her son going to think when he sees those photos? It made me realize that she's willing to do anything for money. I was disappointed in both the book and with her.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointed Aug. 3 2013
By Formerswimmer - Published on
As a former swimmer at a pretty high level (not Olympic, but national caliber and college scholarship),I found her portrayal of swimming and swimmers a little sad. The people I grew up and swam with (some were Olympians)were some of the nicest, funniest, and best group of people I have ever known. The parents are amazing, the kids were very close knit, and we had a blast growing up. I never thought of swimming as solitary sport, they were the best friends a person could ask for. So I find the portrayal of her club team to be sad and not true to life. The eating disorder aspect is very accurate and painful. Many of us did follow that path, but it mostly seemed to be triggered by the abrupt change from high school to college. It's really hard to figure out who you are when your very structured and busy life gets changed so drastically, and you no longer have your friends and family as support. But for the general population, going off to college is a big trigger for these problems as well. Anyway, I understand the turmoil and the resulting problems she had, but I feel she unfairly portrayed her fellow swimmers. I also feel like she inappropriately trashed two other public figures, who had no opportunity to tell their side of the story. Someone who is in the throes of bulimia and cutting is not the best companion (from a former bulimic, I would have found a relationship impossible during that time). They have their own issues and problems to bring to a relationship. I sympathize with the problems she faced, but feel her disclosure was too much when it came to her relationships.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener Dec 27 2012
By SAH - Published on
Amanda doesn't hold much back in her story. She sure went through a lot out of the pool. I wish there had been more details on how she prepared and felt during her competitions too.

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